What are the best teams to have missed the finals?

We’ve rated every team before and after every game using our Elo ratings system and created an interactive graph containing all the AFL-era ratings. This is part of a series of posts highlighting interesting facts from the history of AFL ratings.

Sometimes, teams scrape through to the finals on luck. The clearest case of this was Carlton in 2013, who finished the regular season with 11 wins, but took the disqualified Bombers’ spot in the finals.

Maybe this was some kind of karmic retribution for the previous year. It turns out that the 2012 blues had, by quite a margin, the best average Elo rating of any non-finalist team of the AFL era. If you believe our Elo ratings, they’re the best team to have missed the finals.  The 2012 Saints were the next best non-finalists, finishing the season with 12 wins and an average Elo rating of 1585.

 


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