Champion Data has released its ranking of AFL fixtures in 2021, ranking them from easiest to hardest.
Curiously, 2020 wooden spoon winner Adelaide has the second hardest draw in the league, while minor premier Port Adelaide has the easiest.
Of course, factoring into this is the fact that they play against each other twice and their 2020 ladder finishes would impact Champion Data’s rankings somewhat.
Despite that, Cornes still can’t get his head around how Adelaide has ended up with such a tough fixture.
“I’m not sure how this has worked because usually the teams up the top get the harder draw,” he told SEN SA Breakfast.
“The Crows have the second hardest draw. How does that happen?
“Their double-up games against Port Adelaide, West Coast, Melbourne who you think are going to improve and then Hawthorn and North Melbourne who shouldn’t pose too much of a threat.
“We don’t know who’s going to be a good team. No one would have expected Port to play in a Preliminary Final this time last year, so things can change.”
On the flip side, Cornes is equally perplexed by how the Power could end up with the easiest fixture.
“Double-up games against St Kilda, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Carlton and Adelaide,” he said.
“Part of that is a guaranteed two games against the Crows, who won three games last year so take that into consideration.
“The Crows second hardest and Port Adelaide the easiest draw in the competition.”
Cornes sympathises with Champion Data, feeling it will be an incredibly hard year to predict team performance.
“Collingwood, uncertain what they’re going to be. The Bulldogs, never certain what they’re going to produce, Sydney, will they be bottom four or if they get Lance Franklin back will they improve, either way wouldn’t shock me,” he said.
“The Giants, could they fall off a cliff with no Jeremy Cameron and other players who have left, Hawthorn who knows, Melbourne who knows, Essendon’s probably in a similar boat.
“There’s probably six or seven teams and they could be great or poor and neither would surprise me.”
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