SHAWNEE –– Four years after Championship Week heartbreak, the Rebel Alliance have claimed their first AFC title. Roe began his season with arguably the AFC's best draft class (ranked third by RateMyLeague.com) and then added breakout star TE Darren Waller in free agency. That was enough to win nine regular-season games and achieve the second-highest OPR OIL-wide. But the Rebels finished one game behind Steel Reign, dropping them to the AFC's second seed. However, given the opportunity to prove who the better team was on the field, the Rebels beat Steel Reign in the Thunder Bowl to claim their first championship.
Roe survived below-par games from QB Russell Wilson, WRs Tyreek Hill and Anthony Miller, and TE Darren Waller in large part due to Fitzgerald's team underperforming even worse.
Despite the loss, it was a great year for Fitzgerald. His Steel Reign squad won 10 regular-season games while he spent the season in Prague, Czech Republic. So, who's the real winner here?
AMARILLO –– Picked to finish second by RateMyLeague.com, the Vandals were a contender all season. But they had to defeat fifth-seeded The Xtreme, the top-seeded Nightmares, and second-seeded Team Tadlock to claim their first championship.
2019 was Lutonsky's third in the OIL. He went 9-4 his first season before suffering through a 4-9 season in 2018. But he drafted well in 2019, made the right moves in-season, and got hot at the right time. His semifinal upset of the Nightmares was one for the ages, as the Nightmares' 2019 season ranked sixth in OIL history (out of over 300 individual seasons). Congratulations to Tonk. His jersey will be ordered soon.
Tadlock seemed poised to be the one celebrating his first championship. He went 10-3 in the regular season, and, after the Vandals upset the number-one Nightmares, Team Tadlock was the clear favorite going into the Patriot Bowl. Alas, it was not meant to be. It wasn't a disaster for Tadlock, as he scored enough points to have won the AFC's Thunder Bowl. But he ran into a buzz saw in the PFC's Patriot Bowl, and can't be faulted for the Vandals' 194 points. Congratulations on a good season and best of luck next year, Tadlock.
Six teams. Four managers seeking their first championship. Three trophies. Two previous champions. Welcome to Championship Week 2019. Analysis after the jump.
And then there were 12. The AFC and PFC are guaranteed first-time champions, while the NFC has a 75% at a repeat champ. Round One lived up to the playoff hype with all but one matchup coming down to Monday Night Football. Congratulations to the semifinalists. Pour one out, however, for those championship contenders no longer with us:
War Pony, the Cocks, Dead Again, DominationStation, the Havoc, and the Xtreme
will all have to wait until 2020 to compete for a championship.
Two of three 2018 conference champions did not make the playoffs, while the NFC's Lucky Enuf is back to defend his title. Of 18 playoff contenders, only four have previously won a championship. They are:
For most of us, Week 13 constituted the end of the 2019 season. Congratulations to those still competing, and condolences to those that aren't (myself included). Below are the final regular season standings and OPR rankings.
A new wrinkle to the OPR chart is the expected record of each team based on their OPR. The expected record is based on 299 individual seasons of data, forecasting a W/L record for each OPR.
Finally, Rivalry Week is upon us. For some leagues, Week 13 has no special significance. But the OIL is different, and we reserve the last week of the regular season for rivalry games. See the matchups after the jump.
I cannot remember a season where not a single team had clinched a playoff spot going into Rivalry Week, but that's the case in the NFC. In contrast, the AFC has four playoff spots locked up, while the PFC has two. Seeds 1-6 are all still up for grabs in the NFC. Crazy.
You may notice a jump in OPR scores from previous weeks. Regrettably, you should know there was one error in an individual manager's raw OPR formula, and that skewed everything. I have found and fixed it, and the results are below.
There are only two games left, and yet only three teams out of 42 have clinched playoff spots: the AFC's Brewmasters and the PFC's Nightmares and Team Tadlock. No NFC team has clinched a playoff berth in what may be the most competitive seasons yet in that conference.