Europe’s Top 20 – Battle for the Continent’s Top Spot

Although there have been no major upsets since our last ranking, there has been some movement. With so many leagues winding down or now finished, fewer decisive games have been played.

Nevertheless, the Dutch, Swedish, Serbian and Swiss championships have been decided and the Austrian and Czech Bowls take place this weekend.

Austria’s Swarco Raiders remain in the #1 spot in our Top 20 after advancing to Austrian Bowl XXXII with a decisive 63-30 semifinal win over the Ljubljana Silverhawks. In fact, they averaged 56 points a game in the last two contests and, apart from stumbles against the Graz Giants and Braunschweig, they have been unstoppable this season. They also turned heads in defeating the Elmhurst Bluejays, a NCAA Div. III college and looked dominant when downing arch rivals the Vienna Vikings in regular season play.

Austria - Swarco-Elmhurst - action

The Berlin Rebels from Germany remain in the #2 spot after shocking the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions 30-24 in June. The Rebels have been surprising teams all season and have been playing solid football behind the running game of Lawrence McCoy.

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns are making a bid to move higher but still stay in third after going 8-0 in German league play and 1-1 in the Big6, losing to Swarco in the process. They whipped Munich 70-3 but barely edged the surging Saarland Hurricanes a couple of weeks ago.

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions stay at #4 despite beating Dusseldorf 45-6. They had previously lost to the Berlin Rebels 30-24 and then tied the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes.

Germany - Rebels-Unicorns - 2pic 2016

The Frankfurt Universe are at #5. They have proven they can beat you with offense and defense. Frankfurt beat the Allgäu Comets by a shocking 10-0 score displaying a defense that shut down one of the finest offenses in Germany.  And yet, they have averaged almost 50 points a game over their last four games.

The Graz Giants from Austria stay at #6 spot after advancing to the Austrian championship game beating the Vienna Vikings for the second time this season in the semifinal.

At #7 we have slotted in the Dresden Monarchs. With the highest scoring offense in Germany, averaging 49 points a game, the Monarchs have been playing spectacular football. Three blowout wins in the four games and a solid performance against the Hildesheim Invaders attest to that.

The Amsterdam Crusaders have stayed at #8 after winning the Tulip Bowl in Holland in overwhelming fashion. They dominated the Dutch league and defeated both the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes and Hamburg Huskies from the German league in EFL action.

The Milano Rhinos from Italy are at #9 after an undefeated season winning the Italian championship going away against the Bolzano Giants 44-18.

The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, have stabilized, tying the New Yorker Lions and taking care of business against the Berlin Adler to come in at #10.

Germany’s Saarland Hurricanes jump into the Top 20 at #11 beating the Allgau Comets in their last game moving ahead of the Comets in the German standings.

Austria’s Vienna Vikings have dropped to #12 after losing to the Graz Giants in the Austrian semifinals.

The Wroclaw Panthers from Poland finished the season on a roll winning the Polish championship in a rout beating the defending champion Gdynia Seahawks 56-13 and are #13.

The Allgäu Comets slip to #14 after losing two of their last four and dropping a 31-24 decision to the Saarland Hurricanes.

Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders have earned the #15 spot winning the Swedish championship and going undefeated in Sweden.

Finland’s Helsinki Roosters move up to #16 as they remain undefeated in the Finnish Maple League.

Turkey’s Koc Rams are at #17. They finished the season undefeated in the Turkish league after winning the Turkish championship and they beat Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders in IFAF Europe Champions League play. We will see how the Rams match up against some of Europe’s best in the IFAF Europe Champions League Final Four this weekend.

Serbia’s Kragujevac Wild Boars enter the Top 20 for the first time in 2016 at #18 after an impressive Serbian Bowl win against SBB Vukovi Belgrade.

The London Warriors are continuing where they left off in 2015 and have so far are still dominant in Great Britain and come in at #19. They whipped the Bristol Aztecs 49-0 after Bristol had beaten Great Britain’s number two team, the London Blitz, 17-14.

Rounding out the Top 20 rankings is the St. Ouen Cougars from France after winning the French championships last month for the second year in a row.

Honorable mentions: Bolzano Giants (Italy), Milano Seamen (Italy), Gdynia Seahawks (Poland), SBB Vukovi Belgrade (Serbia), Ljubljana Silverhawks (Slovenia), Badalona Dracs (Spain), Białystok Lowlanders (Poland), Seinäjoki Crocodiles (Finland), Nice Dauphins (France), Copenhagen Towers (Denmark), Bern Grizzlies (Switzerland), Uppsala 86ers (Sweden), Stuttgart Scorpions (Germany), Prague Lions (Czech Republic).

AFI
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