Undefeated German trio leads Europe’s Top 20 American football clubs

Our third 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 8th, 2017.

Our panel, which will grow 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.

There have been a couple of key changes in the Top 10. We are aware that there are still a number of 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.

The controversy in Serbia surrounding the last month’s game between the Belgrade Blue Dragons and the Kragujevac Wild Boars was settled just last week. According to a ruling by the Serbian federation (SAAF) the Blue Dragons had used a suspended player.  In short, the Wild Boars protested the game and initially the federation ruled in favor of Belgrade. However, Kragujevac filed an appeal and last week the rulings was reversed and the Wild Boars were awarded a 35-0 victory by forfeitKragujevac now has a 7-0 record and returns to the Top 20.

If you are interested in being a part of the AFI Coaches Poll please email [email protected].

Now, on to the rankings!

The defending German and Eurobowl champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions remain in the #1 spot after four straight convincing wins in the GFL and two in the Big6. Quarterback Casey Therriault’s return has kept the offense running smoothly despite the loss of a couple of key players.

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns continue to occupy the #2 spot under new head coach Jordan Neuman. In their five games they have averaged 46 points a game while allowing 12.6 per game.

Head coach Marcus Herford has his Kiel Baltic Hurricanes playing excellent football. Kiel has moved up to #3. With Australia national team quarterback Jared Stegman behind center the offense is averaging 49.25 points a game.

The Vienna Vikings from Austria have edged up into the #4 spot after continued impressive play in the Austrian Football League.

Dacia Vienna Vikings dismantle Modling Rangers

Austria’s Swarco Raiders also moved up one spot to #5 after rebounding from their defeat at the hands of the Dacia Vienna Vikings in Austrian league action. They outlasted the Graz Giants last week and face Serbia’s #16 Kragujevac Wild Boars in the Central European Football League (CEFL) final this weekend.

Finland’s Helsinki Roosters continue to impress in Finland’s Maple League with four straight wins. They move into #6 after knocking off 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.

Reigning Italian champions, the Milano Rhinos, continue to dominate in Italy and in European Football League play and have moved up to #7. Under head coach Chris Ault, they have not lost a game since 2015 and a member of our coaches panel proclaimed they are one of the top three teams in Europe.

Milano Rhinos rolled over the Lazio Marines

The Dresden Monarchs have dropped down to the #8 position after an embarrassing loss to the #1 Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. They will be trying to regroup as they face the #3 Kiel Baltic Hurricanes this weekend.

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.

The #10 spot goes to Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers who have looked very strong in the Polish league and 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 couple of weeks ago. They are the reigning Polish champions and under head coach Nick Johansen along with Rick Rhoades, they look to defend their Polish title.

Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders stay at # 11 following their dominant wins in the Swedish league. They had suffered an  overtime loss to the visiting Helsinki Roosters in the Northern European Football League (NEFL) championship game a couple of weeks ago. However, they had beaten both the Copenhagen Towers and London Warriors.

The Berlin Rebels also hold their spot, at #12 after four solid wins in the German Football League and a narrow victory over the Frankfurt Universe in the Big6.

The Frankfurt Universe have displayed impressive play in the past two weeks scoring 173 points in three games with three straight wins and move up to #13.

Frankfurt WR David Giron Photo: Kathrin Zier

French number one, La Courneuve Flash, have moved down one spot #14 but look strong as they prepare for the Rouen Leopards in the French semifinals this weekend.

Italy’s Parma Panthers hold their spot at  #15 after finishing the Italian regular season with a 9-1 record.

The Kragujevac Wild Boars from Serbia have rebounded and returned to the Top 20 after back to back dominant wins in the Serbian league and due to the overturned appeal now sit undefeated.

Finland’s Hämeenlinna Huskies under head coach/quarterback Stan Bedwell have opened the Maple League season looking powerful and enter the Top 20 at #17.

The Marburg Mercenaries have reeled off four straight wins in the German Football League rebounding from an opening game loss and looked impressive. They enter the Top 20 for the first time in a long time and occupy with #18 spot.

Denmark’s Søllerød Gold Diggers have dominated the Danish league so far in 2017 and move onto the Top 20 for the first time ever at #19.

Finally our #20 team is Great Britain’s London Blitz who knocked off the London Warriors a couple of weeks ago and continue to play well in the Premiership South.

Honorable mentions: Calanda Broncos (Switzerland), SBB Vukovi Belgrade (Serbia), Cologne Crocodiles (Germany), Ingolstadt Dukes (Germany), Koc Rams, Turkey, Lisbon Devils (Portugal), Badalona Dracs (Spain), Stuttgart Scorpions (Germany),, Gdynia Seahawks (Poland), Prague Black Panthers (Czech Republic), Thonon Black Panthers (France), Copenhagen Towers (Denmark).

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