Over the past 8 matchdays, the teams in the Mexican Apertura have treated the spot atop the table like a papita caliente. Only one team, Jaguares, has managed to stay there for more than one week. The others haven’t even had time to enjoy their cafecitos at the top of the mountain before they are knocked off the perch. The table is so tight, that only 6 points separate 1st from 12th. 6 points! It begs the question: is the league that good… or is it that bad? Who knows? But one thing is a certainty: it is extremely competitive.
Ahhhh, parity. Somewhere Pete Rozelle is smiling.
The last month of the season will be the wildest and woolliest in a league whose trademark is unpredictability. And this time around, there are no groups to muck up the fun. The top 8 teams in the table make the post-season, as it should be.
Getting rid of the groups was the best idea the FMF’s competition committee has had in a looong time. Of course, they tried to ruin it by proposing a round robin playoff system —- an idea so ludicrous even the television networks shot it down, but hey.
The peloton is so tightly bunched that there is absolutely no room for error. A two game losing streak can have catastrophic consequences on a team’s position in the table (not to mention the employment of the head coach). Case in point, my Pumas were at the top of the table 2 weeks ago. But consecutive 4-1 defeats at the hands of Tigres and Atlas now have them down in 7th with a miserable goal differential. Good luck with that tie-breaker. Conversely, Santos’ current 4 game winning-streak has catapulted them from 12th a month ago to 1st.
At least for this week anyway.
I can’t speak for y’all but I kinda like having the table this compressed. What is the fun in watching a league where only a fistful of teams have a realistic chance of winning the title? Unless, of course, if you’re a fan for one of those teams. And in some leagues, that number gets smaller and smaller with each passing year.
It has been a good while since we have seen teams that are a cut above the rest in the Mexican Primera. And lately, if a team does separate itself from the rest of the pack, it still has to deal not only with the subsequent liguilla, but the dreaded top-seed curse.
Perhaps that is the reason why teams are hesitant to stay at the top of the table for any period of time.