Europe’s Top 20 Sees A Few Changes With New Number Two

It has been a few weeks since our last Top 20 and a few things have changed at the top.

Since our most recent ranking, most countries have finished their seasons. The German playoffs are set to start September 17, Denmark enters its final weekend of regular season play and Russia is in the midst of its playoffs. Countries that have finished their seasons include the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden Austria, France, Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Spain and Belgium.

Austria’s Swarco Raiders deservedly remain in the #1 spot in our Top 20.  They won their second straight Austrian Bowl with a 51-7 drubbing of the Graz Giants and they played more games than almost any other team in Europe losing only two. They also defeated the Elmhurst Bluejays, a NCAA Div. III college.

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Swarco Raiders WR Sandro Platzgummer scores against the Graz Giants in Austrian Bowl XXXII

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have moved up to #2 after capping an outstanding year defeating the Frankfurt Universe to end the regular season and remain undefeated in German league play (14-0). They are the number one seed in Germany entering the playoffs.

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions #3 seemed to have regained their form from 2015, at the right time of the season. Last weekend they dominated the Berlin Rebels.

The Dresden Monarchs have moved up to #4 with the highest scoring offense in Germany.

The Frankfurt Universe #5 have demonstrated that they can play defense to go along with their explosive offense. They have only lost two games all season, both to the Unicorns but by close scores.

The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes at #6 have lost only one game since May 28 and that was a 24-21 nail-biter to Braunschweig. They have looked impressive and their running game behind Chris McClendon has been superb.

Austria’s Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants enjoyed an outstanding season and although they were overwhelmed in the Austrian Bowl, they lost to Europe’s #1 team, the Swarco Raiders. They have earned #7.

Holland’s Amsterdam Crusaders at #8 proved they belong in the top 10 after beating both the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes and Hamburg Huskies from Germany in EFL play. They won the Dutch league in dominant fashion going undefeated.

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Schwäbisch Hall QB Marco Ehrenfried in action.

The Berlin Rebels from Germany have dropped to #9 and suffered a setback getting badly beaten by Braunschweig in the final regular season game of the German season. However, with their powerful running game featuring German rushing leader Lawrence McCoy, they will have an edge in post-season play. They could well surprise in the German playoffs.

The Vienna Vikings (#10) lost the Austrian semifinal to the Project Spielberg Graz Giants but still remain within the Top 10.

The Milano Rhinos from Italy are at #11 after an undefeated season winning the Italian championship going away against the Bolzano Giants 44-18.

Germany’s Saarland Hurricanes have earned the #12 spot after beating the Allgau Comets twice and advancing to the German playoffs for the second year in a row.

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

The Allgäu Comets remain at #14 after losing four of their last seven games and losing both key games to division rival 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 won their fifth straight Finnish Maple League championship and stay at #16.

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.

Serbia’s Kragujevac Wild Boars remain at #18 after an impressive Serbian Bowl win against SBB Vukovi Belgrade.

The London Warriors won their 4th consecutive BritBowl and were dominant all season in Great Britain. They deserve a Top 20 position.

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: Stuttgart Scorpions (Germany), Hildesheim Invaders (Germany), 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), Triangle Razorbacks (Denmark).

AFI
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