Two months into the AFL season and two of the game’s senior coaches have no idea where the 2016 flag could be headed.
Collingwood delivered an almighty upset of the premiership favourites Geelong on Saturday, bringing the Cats back down to earth.
At the same venue 18 hours earlier, three-time reigning champions Hawthorn laid bare their vulnerabilities in a tight defeat by Sydney.
With another finals-defining match to be played out in Western Sydney on Sunday, it’s anyone’s guess as to who deserves favouritism.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley and Cats boss Chris Scott are among the many in the fog when it comes to tipping the 2016 premiers in one of the most open seasons in memory.
“I don’t know, I wish I knew,” Scott said.
The 2011 champion coach said he saw Geelong finishing in a group of teams with a shot at glory.
“Let’s wait until the eve of the finals … someone might get the jump on everyone else and in 10 weeks time we’ll be saying ‘you can’t beat that team’,” he said.
“I hope that’s us but I suspect it won’t be.
“I think we’ll be in the group. Hopefully if we’re good enough we’ll be in the group that if we play our best footy when the time is right we’ll be a chance.
“The results over the last six weeks show that the season is going to ebb and flow.
“It’s good for the game and harder for me as a coach. I wish we were better than everyone else but there’s a big clump of teams that are pretty close.”
Buckley agreed it was an unpredictable year.
“If you’re bringing your best you’re a chance and if you’re a couple of per cent off, you’re not,” he said.
The Magpies improved to be 4-5 after the four-goal win over Geelong and Buckley said it remained to be seen whether the Magpies’ stirring win kick-started their season.
“That would be the back story if we go on from here,” he said.
“It’s the next win for us.
“Our challenge now is to make sure we can keep putting our best foot forward.”