Our fourth Top 20 of 2017 includes the input of some of the best coaches in Europe. With all the European seasons now underway we now present the AFI Top 20 for the week of June 24th, 2017.
Our panel, which has grown to include many more coaches throughout Europe, takes a look at the strength of schedules within each league. This is the same approach used in all other ranking systems. Although this is not perfect, it is as close as we can come at this point. We continually work to improve and always welcome your comments and insight. A special thank you for the input this week from Johannes Woudenberg.
There have been a couple of key changes in the Top 10. We are aware that there are still a few undefeated teams throughout the leagues in Europe. We know that many feel they deserve to be on our list and we do our best to examine all leagues and their respective leading teams.
If you are interested in being a part of the AFI Coaches Poll please email email@example.com.
Now, on to the rankings!
The defending German and Eurobowl champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions have continued to dominate in Germany and as a result are still the #1 team in Europe. They won the Eurobowl championship with ease over the Frankfurt Universe.
The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns continue to put on the points and are still our #2 team. They are unbeaten in seven games.
The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes are the third undefeated team in the German Football League and actually top the standings in the North as they have played one more game than New Yorker. They are the #3 team in Europe.
The Vienna Vikings from Austria are our solid #4 spot with the best offense and defense in the Austrian Football League.
Austria’s Swarco Raiders are playing impressively in the Austrian Football League and dominated Serbia’s Kragujevac Wild Boars (#20) in the Central European Football League (CEFL) final.
Finland’s Helsinki Roosters have been marching through Finland’s Maple League with six straight convincing wins and deserve their #6 spot. They also defeated Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders to win the Northern European Football League title. The Roosters have the top quarterback in Germany in 2016, Brandon Connette who moved over from the Dresden Monarchs.
The #7 spot goes to Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers who have been by far the best team in the Polish league and will be playing the Polish championship game this weekend. They surprised the powerful Swarco Raiders in Central European Football League last month, forcing the Raiders to come from behind to win the game. The Panthers are undefeated in Poland and soundly beat Denmark’s Triangle Razorbacks a month ago. They are the reigning Polish champions under head coach Nick Johansen along with Rick Rhoades.
Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders move up to #8 following their continued dominant play in the Swedish league. They suffered an overtime loss to the visiting Helsinki Roosters in the Northern European Football League (NEFL) championship game a month ago but have rebounded and look unstoppable.
The Amsterdam Crusaders stay at #9 after waltzing through the Dutch league and playing even with the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions before losing 20-6. They also easily defeated the Spanish title holders the Badalona Dracs.
French number one, La Courneuve Flash, have moved up to #10 and looked strong in beating the Rouen Leopards in the French semifinals two weeks ago. They will play for the French title this weekend.
The Dresden Monarchs have dropped down to the #11 position after an lopsided loss to the #1 Braunschweig New Yorker Lions and a loss to the #3 Kiel Baltic Hurricanes.
Reigning Italian champions, the Milano Rhinos, have dropped down to the #12 spot after losing to France’s number two team, the Thonon Black Panthers in the European Football League championship game. They continue to dominate in Italy and enter the Italian playoffs this weekend.
Our new #13 is the Marburg Mercenaries who continue to impress in Germany and have posted a 6-1 record halfway through their German Football League South season. They have moved up from #18.
Italy’s Parma Panthers have moved up one spot to #14 after finishing the Italian regular season with a 9-1 record.
France’s Thonon Black Panthers solid win over the Milano Rhinos in the EFL final and impressive victory in the French semifinals earn them the #15 spot.
The Frankfurt Universe suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the New Yorker Lions in the Eurobowl final and dropped down to #16.
Denmark’s Søllerød Gold Diggers continue to dominate the Danish league and move up the Top 20 #17.
Great Britain’s London Blitz who knocked off the London Warriors a month ago continue to play well and dominate the Premiership South.
The Prague Black Panthers from the Czech Republic enter the Top 20 for the first time after staying unbeaten in regular season play with only one game left.
The Kragujevac Wild Boars from Serbia have dropped down to #20 after losing to the Swarco Raiders in the CEFL title game 55-20. They start the Serbian playoffs this weekend.
Honorable mentions (not in any order): Berlin Rebels (Germany), Calanda Broncos (Switzerland), SBB Vukovi Belgrade (Serbia), Cologne Crocodiles (Germany), Graz Giants (Austria), Ingolstadt Dukes (Germany), Hämeenlinna Huskies (Finland), Koc Rams, Turkey, Lisbon Devils (Portugal), Badalona Dracs (Spain), Stuttgart Scorpions (Germany),, Gdynia Seahawks (Poland), Örebro Black Knights (Sweden), London Warriors (Great Britain), Copenhagen Towers (Denmark).