Unbeaten German clubs lead Europe’s Top 20

Our fifth Top 20 of 2017 includes the input of some of the best coaches in Europe. With most of the European seasons wrapped up and only Germany, Finland and Denmark still playing, we present our first Top 20 since June 24.

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 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 protected].

Now, on to the rankings!

The defending German and Eurobowl champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions finished the regular season with an unbeaten, 14-0 record and wound up as the top offensive team in the German Football league. They won the Eurobowl championship with ease over the Frankfurt Universe. They remain our number one team.

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have not lost a beat all year and also finished with an unblemished 14-0 record. They were not quite as dominant as the Lions down the stretch but are still the number 2 team in Europe.

The Vienna Vikings from Austria enjoyed a resurgent year and  finished back on top of the Austrian league, winning the Austrian title with a decisive victory over the Swarco Raiders. They move up to our #3 spot.

Vienna Vikings win Austrian Bowl

The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes have slid down to #4 after losing three games during the regular season but have impressed when it counted and could challenge for the German title.

Austria’s Swarco Raiders remain at #5 although they lost the Austrian final. They played impressively in the Austrian Football League and dominated Serbia’s  Kragujevac Wild Boars (#16) in the Central European Football League (CEFL) final.

Finland’s Helsinki Roosters have marched through Finland’s Maple League with an 11-1 record and sit solidly in the #6 spot. They defeated  Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders to win the Northern European Football League title. They defeated the Wasa Royals this weekend in the Maple Bowl.

Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders move up to #7 following their continued dominant march to their 8th Swedish title. 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.

Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders win 8th straight Swedish title

The #8 spot goes to Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers who won the Polish championship in dominant fashion. They surprised the powerful Swarco Raiders in Central European Football League  earlier this year, forcing the Raiders to come from behind to win the game. The Panthers are undefeated in Poland and soundly beat Denmark’s Triangle Razorbacks. They are the back-to-back Polish champions under head coach Nick Johansen along with Rick Rhoades.

The Frankfurt Universe have played extremely well after losing to the New Yorker Lions in the Eurobowl final and have made the biggest jump from #16 to #9. They boast the stingiest defense in Germany and could pose a threat in the playoffs.

The Dresden Monarchs have moved up one spot to the #10 position .

The Amsterdam Crusaders are our #11 team 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 champions the La Courneuve Flash, have moved to #12. The staged a come-from-behind victory to win the French title, beating the Thonon Black Panthers.

Our #13 team is the Marburg Mercenaries who continue to impress in Germany and finished the year in the German Football League South with an 8-6 record marking the biggest improvement of any team in the league.

The Berlin Rebels have moved into the #14 slot and with a late-season resurgence could pose a threat in the upcoming German playoffs.

Italy’s Milano Seamen have entered the rankings at #15 after their upset victory over the Milano Rhinos to win the Italian championship.

Italy’s Milano Seamen win Italian Bowl

The Kragujevac Wild Boars finished the Serbian season in style winning the championship game over the Novi Sad Dukes to defend their title. They also held their own against the Swarco Raiders in losing the Central European title game.

Denmark’s Copenhagen Towers have rebounded in the Danish league and dominated following their opening game loss to the Sollerod Gold Diggers. They trounced the Gold Diggers two weeks ago and look poised to challenge for the Danish title again.

Great Britain’s Tamworth Phoenix who upset the London Blitz to win Britbowl XXXI have entered the list at #18. Tamworth is the first non-London team to win the British championship in 10 years.

The Prague Black Panthers from the Czech Republic are our #19 team after running away with the Czech league blanking the Ostrava Steelers in the championship game.

The Calanda Broncos enter the list at #20 with their impressive play in the Swiss league and lopsided win in the championship game over the Basel Gladiators. They returned to the podium after a one year absence.

Honorable mentions (not in any order): Wasa Royals (Finland), Milano Rhinos (Italy), Novi Sad Dukes (Serbia), Cologne Crocodiles (Germany), Graz Giants (Austria), Ingolstadt Dukes (Germany), Hämeenlinna Huskies (Finland), Koc Rams, Turkey, Lisbon Devils (Portugal), Thonon Black Panthers (France), Badalona Dracs (Spain), Gdynia Seahawks (Poland), Örebro Black Knights (Sweden), London Blitz (Great Britain), Ostrava Steelers (Czech Republic), Søllerød Gold Diggers (Denmark).

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