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The biggest surprise in the AUDL this year?

A lot of hype has gone out this pre-season in the AUDL over the big moves and who will be the “best” team out there…but what team or player will be the biggest surprise?

Dallas will do well (or if they don’t that will be a big surprise), but which team is the most under-ranked? Which player or squad will get people talking when they weren’t earlier?

This may be a weird pick, but I think San Jose is being heavily underrated after the departure of their biggest stars. There’s no doubt they are not as talented as they were last season, but I’m surprised to see people picking them to possibly finish at the bottom of the rankings. Too much talent in the Bay for that.

I would not be surprised to see them finish ahead of LA, San Diego, and maybe even Vancouver to earn a playoff spot.

San Francisco is getting tons of hype for all of their signings from San Jose (aka Revolver). I’ll be interested to see how much player personnel dictates their success, versus what the front office does to create fan interest and an exciting playing environment.

Seems to me that teams love playing in front of fans. I think there’s not shortage of proof with Toronto and Madison. Can SF create the full community experience to keep their players hyped and excited? I don’t see them necessarily doing as well as their preseason rank. They get my vote for a surprise disappointment.

The one thing that I would really stress if we’re talking about the playoffs and what teams could get there, is that the schedule matters. Even if you think San Jose is as good as LA, San Jose plays San Francisco and Seattle 7 times this year. LA plays Seattle and San Jose five times. I’m not saying those are guaranteed losses, but San Jose undoubtedly has a tougher road to the playoffs. Most of their players are coming from Mischief or Boost Mobile, so the Spiders will be good, but if you’re talking about making the playoffs a lot of things would have to break right for them.

I think WUGC could be a factor in some teams underperforming this year. Dallas, DC, and San Francisco are the teams we think of as being the most reliant on players participating in WUGC, but the teams that it’s actually truest for are all Canadian. Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver have a bunch of players on either the Canadian Men’s, Mixed, or Masters teams. Given that, I think that Ottawa and Vancouver could underperform relative to expectations.