When considering your team’s placement in the rankings, please keep in mind that winning a tournament, regardless of the division you are in (Elite or Competitive) is no easy task and we give a lot of credit to teams that can do that. Sometimes it depends on how competitive a tournament is and what your team’s/league’s strengths are. We use the following outline as our general guide in ranking teams
A. Regional Tournament Performance
- Tournament championships / Strength of tournament competition
- Tournament finals appearances
- Tournament semi-finals appearances
- Head to Head tournament match-ups/record
- Tournament appearances
- League championships / Strength of local league competition
- Years active, Talent, Depth, Roster Size
Who is in our Top 10 and why?
2. Medford Dynasty: The 2015 NWFF champion is hoping to climb back into the top spot by the end of the year. They have the experience to do just that, and have the pedigree to boot. They have traveled to many regional tournaments through washington, Oregon, and California over the past year and adopted some unique schemes that can create issues for defenses. They lost in the Semi’s to the Baddogs in Medford, but only on a 4th down stop by the Baddogs, at the goal line, with time expired. Dynasty splits their time as the Semi-Pro Medford Generals, so we’ll see how they plug into the tournaments throughout the year and teams should be mindful when they are present.
3. Vancouver Cobras: The Cobras make the largest climb back into the top 10. After a lackluster 2015 year, with a few early exits from tournaments, they didn’t waste any time letting the NW know that they were coming for hardware in 2016. They avenged a knock-out loss from last year from the Chiefs, beating them in the Semi’s this year at the F|H WCFFC in Everett. Unfortunately they met the Baddogs in the ‘Ship, who seemed to be on a tear through the tournament and struggled to find enough energy to keep up with the them. The Cobras can be hot in cold at times but be careful of doubting them because they are dangerously skilled.
4. Vancouver Moose(epticons): With a top tier secondary in place and an athletic O & D line, the Moose are a strong team and have shown through the years that they can compete and beat anybody. Their first tournament of the year saw them get to the Semi-finals, knocking off an improved Seattle Last Minute team to get there. When their QB finds his rhythm, the team is hard to stop. They can move the ball on most teams and their secondary baits QB’s into taking chances only to force turnovers. They will be a strong regional team, so we will see if they are able to make any more tournaments outside of the BC area in 2016.
5. Seattle Chiefs: We think this team could end up at the top of the rankings by the end of 2016 but it was made more difficult by missing the championship game of the F|H WCFFC in Everett. The team still has one of the best QB’s in the region and his brother might be the best WR! With a few tournament championships under their belt for 2016, that combo will see the recognition they deserve. They play a more “classic” style of football than most flag teams, employing 5 lineman at times and leaving their WR’s one on one with the DB’s. If you add safety help you don’t get pressure, but if you bring pressure, you better hope your corners are lock down! Already with a league championship this year taking the Seattle 9v9 Winter title, the Chiefs are looking to compete as they are showing some strong interest in the 2016 Spokane Mayhem.
6. Salem Skally Wags: This was the quote at the beginning of this year, “The Skally Wags’ performance rides on their ability to play as a team.” It is still relevant; when they are playing together, they are easily a top 3 team! When they are struggling, they can play like mid 20’s team. A semi-finals appearance at the Medford Snow Bowl was impressive, their defense was playing well and their QB looked on point! They lost a lead late in the semi-finals game and were unable to find that Skally magic that has propelled them to Championships in the past. This team is well traveled and we look for them to show up at a variety of tournaments in the region.
7. Spokane Outlaws: The Spokane Outlaws have better balance than most teams in the NW. They seem to find ways to win despite what gets thrown at them. Their defense is led by a strong rush that usually forces QB’s into quick plays and a LB who often creates turnovers by appearing at just the right time. They ran into a buzz saw of a Baddogs team in the F|H WCFFC tournament and suffered an injury to a difference maker on their D-Line. With Spokane tournament up next, the Outlaws are looking for that elusive trophy that evaded them last year. They had two Ships in 2014, so they aren’t far from the upper ranks, they just need a little magic to go their way in a tournament and they will be on the top!
8. Spokane Not Fast or Furious: While this team hasn’t played in a tournament yet this year, they are gearing up for the Spokane Spring Mayhem and had some hardware to show for 2015. This team is on the rise regionally, having finished in the Top 5 for the end of last year. Nothing seems to have changed as they are leading the Spokane spring league and looking to add more hardware to their mantel in the next few months. They are a young team with arguably a top 3 QB at the helm. While their defensive systems may need some work, their athletes keep the machine humming and their offense puts points on the board.
9. Vancouver Villains: Much like the Spokane Outlaws, this team failed to earn trophies in 2015 but has for many years been one of the best teams in the NW. They have all the pieces for a deep tournament run and their QB is a great student of the game. If the defense gives him too much time he will pick you apart. Their D was exposed by the Chiefs in the Faoro|Hicks tournament and they were unable to get consistent stops. The Chiefs eventually wore them down and as we have said before, this team struggled to play from behind...but if they can get a lead on teams, watch out. They could be hoisting the trophy at the end of the day at any tournament.
10. Eugene Dirty Birds: They haven’t played in a winter tournament, and they normally take the spring off since they start to play semi-pro tackle. However, given that they haven’t lost, and their resume includes a few trophies in the immediate past, we felt that staying in the Top 10 is warranted. They always compete in the Elite Division and are a Top 3 team in Oregon. They have a lot of the pieces to make a run into the Top 5 and a major tournament victory would propel them into that discussion. They have a good QB, a blend of skills, bigs, and hybrid players that can all move around on the field as necessary. Their team isn’t lacking on swagger, but it takes a little more than confidence to get through an entire tournament on top.
(13) Seattle Last Minute
(15) Yakima Gridiron Gang
Seattle Last Minute has been on the local scene in Seattle for quite a few years now finding success in the 7v7 and 9v9 format, and is starting to make their way into 8v8 regional play. They made a good showing at their first regional tournament in the Faoro|Hicks and are highly motivated to become a premier team in the NW. The Yakima Gridiron Gang splashed onto the scene last year only to realize the breadth of talent in the region was higher than they estimated. They have been great participants in regional tournaments and started off 2016 with a stellar tournament showing at the Faoro|Hicks making it to the Competitive Championship game. They are probably more hungry to get better and rise than any other team in the top 25.
(16) Everett Good-Times
(17) Grants Pass Venom
Everett Good-Times is another local Seattle team that has been together for quite a few years in the competitive 8v8 scene. They made good on their commitment to get into the 8v8 tournaments and proved that they need some recognition. Their style can hit or miss depending on the matchup, but they have plenty of players to begin to tighten up the skill and build a competitive franchise. Grants Pass Venom comes onto the scene with some great young talent, a solid offensive game plan, and motivation to showcase it. They performed well in the Snow Bowl and have the pieces to put a competitive team into regional play. It’s not known how high this team can reach until we see them in the winner's circle of a few more tournaments but they have the desire to make it happen.
1) Spokane Spring Mayhem World Championship Circuit - June 11th & 12th
- Liberty Bowl (June 28th & 29th)
- Show up or Shut Up 7man (July 11th & 12th)
- Mudd Bowl (October Mid)
4) Maximus Sports NW Championships - December Early
- Holiday Bash 7man (Dec 10th & 11th)
The first NW Women's Team Rankings will roll out shortly, and going forward the NWFF will roll out rankings approximately each quarter. 2016 v3.0 will debut in late June After Spokane Spring Mayhem, Salem Liberty Bowl, and Spring Leagues conclude. This will be followed by a version 4.0 release in late September after Flag Frenzy, SUSU, and Summer programs. Then lastly, the final rankings for the year will splash down in late December after completing the Turkey Bowl, NW Championships, Mud Bowl and Fall Leagues.
NWFF is always seeking out the most talented teams in the region to give any team a chance to shine if they are winning tournaments. If you are an 8v8 team on the margins or are not even featured at all and you think you deserve some recognition, let us know who you are and why we need to take notice and your squad may just be featured in our next ranking.
We hope to start adding coverage and visibility to other high caliber regional teams in the women’s, co-ed, and non-contact formats as well. If you are a regional team making waves in your local league and want to know where the next level of competition is, let us know who you are and we will try to give the top teams regionally info on how to find the best tournaments around.