Who is the worst premiership side of the modern era?


Collingwood, simply because it is Collingwood.


Bulldogs. Ordinary list that played out of their skin for a month. Really probably should’ve got dusted by Hawthorn but some costly misses let them back in.


Sydney 05


When I think ‘best’ and ‘worst’ premiership sides I think of two things. The fairly subjective ‘cattle’, and how dominant they were overall. Evaluation of the players tends to evolve over time (our '93 win seemed a fluke at the time, but when you look at the careers some of those kids had it becomes a lot less surprising), so will be hard to evaluate for a long time (is the 'Bont merely a gun player, or one of the all time greats ala Hird?).

People are skeptical of the Tiges and the Dogs because they were not dominant in the regular season (though the Tiges much stronger in this regard). While winners are grinners, the truly great teams don’t just win flags, they dominate seasons and eras. With that in mind, let’s use an ELO ranking for each premiership side at the time of their big win. This will allow us to roughly compare how dominant each side was at the time of their big win.

As a reference - Essendon’s ELO was around 1712 when we won the 2000 flag (it would peak a lil higher early 2001 before the decline). I’ve excluded some of the redundant flags for this purpose (sadly, we can say pretty conclusively that the Lions and Hawks were not bad premiership sides). Here’s the list from worst to least worst:

  1. Bulldogs - 1561
  2. Geelong (2009) - 1590
  3. Richmond - 1593 (pre-grand final ELO - they probably jumped a lil, maybe to over 1600)
  4. WCE - 1602
  5. Sydney (2005) - 1606
  6. Hawthorn (2008) - 1633
  7. Port - 1635

Some thoughts:

  • The Bulldogs come out on top and this is unsurprising.Premiership teams wit 7 H&A season losses are exceptionally rare. Their lacklustre 2017 does little to shake the feeling it was a bit of a fluke. A miraculous win for the fans but.
  • Geelong in 2009 is a real surprise. They were basically at the bottom of the ELO curve for their entire golden era, with the Saints incredibly dominant that year (in win loss terms at least, their ELO rating doesn’t approach the likes of peak Essendon/Geelong/Hawthon). They fluked this one, making up for 2008, and should build statues of Paul Chapman all across the Geelong era in his honour.
  • WCE/Swans are low largely due to the dominance of Adelaide across the 2005/2006 seasons. Their peak ELO of 1696 is freaking YUGE. They basically pulled our 1999 season twice.
  • The Hawks in 2008 were a fair bit better than they’re often given credit for. 2nd on the ladder and convincing winners in all their finals.
  • Port Adelaide finally got there despite being below the peak of their powers.
  • Richmond are definitely on the weakish side, but peaked at the right time. A good start to 2018 will see their ELO fly up and the whole thing will start to make a lot more sense. Or they’ll pull a bulldogs.

Data from http://plussixoneblog.com/elo-history/ - this is a standard ELO system that has the added feature of adjusting for margin. Note - the interface is a lil clunky so these ratings might be off by point or two.


If we could just go back one more year, then there’s a clear winner. North Melbourne, 1999.


If Richmond had held on for at least a couple of those narrow choke losses, say Freo and GWS, their record would be a lot better.


Too many complain about the Bulldogs in 2016 - They won 15 games in the H and A with an injury riddled time - From memory, 4th to 7th were separated by one win, so the Bulldogs were even with that bunch - The surprise was their form in the finals, but then again the top two teams in 2017 being Adelaide and Geelong won 15 1/2 games with Richmond 15 wins .


I couldn’t name 6 players in on the Tigers list that I’d slot into our best 22.

Dusty… yeah, anyone else?

Maybe Nankervis


you swallowed too many white crayons as a kid didn’t you ?

I know the process by which you idiots were judging “the worst” premiership side. my point was always who cares. what you think in 20 years time people are gonna be like, oh the dogs and richmond won a gf, but yeah they were the worst teams ever so it doesn’t count.

It’s all subjective anyway.
Again if Essendon won the flag this year, with the same players, playing the same way, would you lot be saying it’s the worst gf team of the modern era ?

What makes it the worst ? like i said 93’s essendon gf win at the time was from a bunch of no name kids, who went on to be some decent players, but at the time I’m sure the way they “went about it” there were just as many people saying, as there are now, wow why a ■■■■ side that was.

essentially what i’m saying is, anyone who rates a gf winning side as the worst, is pretty stupid, cos at the end of the day, you don’t just fluke a gf, you have to put in for 26 ish odd weeks out of a year, you don’t win 0 games, get gifted a finals birth and magically win 4 games in a row.

you may not like the way a team won it, you may not rate them, but it all means SFA at the end of the day.


Richmond, no contest.


And yet the beat us and won the flag


Jeff Lynne’s been a prolific songwriter but is he really an authority on footy?


Don’t bring my post down


Both were 15-7, Tiges 118%, Dogs 115%. Stronger yes, much stronger?

More that there were 3 strong teams in H&A 2016 (Giants, Swans, Cats all finished on 17 wins & 130%+); only Adelaide had a really strong season this year (15.5 wins, 136%)


I understand the implication of this thread is largely about Richmond this year but I’ll say this about them, they were very even throughout the year, very consistent. Having just re-watched the prelim final on fox footy, I long for the day that our team makes it back to meaningful finals football. Much was made of the Richmond faithful turning up in numbers after a thirty odd year drought and the torment they went through during that time. Nobody has been more tormented than EFC given recent events. I’ve been fortunate enough to see four flags and three GF losses in my lifetime & it’s been very special to see those flags, absolutely, but the next one, whenever that is, will be the sweetest.

Bottom line, I don’t give a fk what peopl think of our premiership teams. They are our premiership teams & I wanna watch avother one sooner rather than later.


Port won three minor premierships in a row. They were a seriously good side, who beat one of the best grand final sides ever. Laughable that they would be even mentioned in this discussion.


■■■■ thread. I’m sorry but it is.
If only we’d been so ■■■■ we’d won a flag in the last 15 years…


Is this the “worst team” to win a premiership, or the “most even years of the competition” thread?

Either way, who gives a ■■■■? A flag is a flag. You’ve got to do a hell of a lot right to get one - and while I fkn hate Richmond… etc.


no doubt they were, my point was that were more reliant on an even contribution that having an abundance of guns


This won’t be popular here but I always thought our 93 side stole a premiership. Half of them were inexperienced first or second year players. Some like Calthorpe would be lucky to make an AFL squad nowadays. Having said that it was a sweet victory against the blues.