What if League One's top eight maintained their form - would Sunderland enter the top two?

We love hypothetical situations. Not only are they interesting, but on days where news is short they give us a fantastic reason to waste our time writing a blurb to waste your time. Win for everyone; wouldn't you say?

by GMac88 Monday, 14 March 2022 05:34 PM Comments

Dan Neil Crewe Sunderland blog

It is obvious that form means everything, especially towards the end of the season, with teams firing on all cylinders the most likely to achieve what they want to achieve, assuming they haven't left it a little too late (Ipswich, Portsmouth).

League One has it's fair share of form teams as we approach the spring and working with casino online, we thought wouldn't it be interesting if teams maintained their form over the last five games until the end of the season - who would finish where? Sunderland are one of those form teams, unbeaten with three wins which in this hypothetical situation would give us a points per game (ppg) of 2.2, leaving us to end on 84 points. Decent.

Would it be enough for a top two spot? Not even close, not by around seven points. It wouldn't even secure us a higher league position, or rather incredibly we would lose a league position, finishing sixth and maintaining a playoff spot by a solitary point. 

There are three teams in finer form than us; MK Dons, Oxford and, worryingly, Sheffield Wednesday - the latter being the only of the trio to be below us as it stands. Wednesday also have two games in hand, and their last five ppg of 2.4 leaves them with 88 points; but only in fourth place.

Ahead of them, the favourites accoridng to best uk online casino Rotherham amazingly drop out of automatic promotion posting 91 points with their recent form delivering a 1.6 ppg. MK Dons take their place with the best form in the league (2.6 ppg), but not enough to take the title which goes to Wigan on 95 points. Here's how the top eight looks in this hypothetical scenario, assuming none of the teams below us catch up.

1st - Wigan - 95pts - 2.0 ppg
2nd - MK Dons - 94pts - 2.6 ppg
3rd - Rotherham - 91pts - 1.6 ppg
4th - Sheff Wed - 88pts - 2.4 ppg
5th - Oxford - 87pts - 2.4 ppg
6th - Sunderland - 84pts - 2.2 ppg
7th - Plymouth - 83pts - 1.8 ppg
8th - Wycombe - 75pts - 1.4 ppg

Of course given the fixture list the scenario above is impossible to materialise into reality. I'm not sure we've ever seen three teams post over 90pts in a League One season, though remarkably 95 points would not have been enough for automatic promotion in the 2017/18 season where champions Wigan and runners up Blackburn Rovers posted 98 and 96 respectively.

Whilst this doesn't give us a reliable projection of what happens between now and the end of the season, it does prove that Sunderland cannot afford slip ups to secure a playoff spot. The competition is fierce this season, and teams like Ispwich and Portsmouth may well get involved should a handful of the top eight begin to wain as the season draws to a close. 

Perhaps it is time to forget about automatic promotion. Nope, I can't bring myself to do that either.