In 2017 West Coast finished 8th, C’wood 13th, grand finalists in '18.
Adel didn’t play finals, GWC nowhere near it. Tiges, easily the best team, lost badly to C’wood in final.
As the ‘Forest from the Trees’ title suggests, there are so many factors contributing to where teams finish on the ladder… not least is the finals system where one off day and you’re cactus, regardless of the 22 rounds before (Tiges).
Adelaide, off the back of one disastrous team building exercise and some injuries, went to sh*t in 2018 after looking like they would go one better in 18. AFL teams play on a knife edge in terms of fitness and psychology - doesn’t take much for them to climb quickly or drop down hard depending on coaching, player welfare, systems and luck.
Stats are useful for the opposition in terms of identifying how a team plays and nullifying them. Wouldn’t give them as much credence in being able to accurately predict how a team will perform over a whole season. Our Neeld / post-Neeld rounds showed how valuable coaching, team harmony and player buy-in to a system, is - none of that shows up in Champion Data. From another sport, have a look at Man U this season, Mourinho / post-Mourinho… Player stats overnight went from ‘abysmal, get rid of this guy’ to ‘this guy is the best in his position in the world’, and the only thing that changed was the coach.