@TPORankings: It’s very easy to say ‘that won’t work’. It’s much harder, but infinitely more rewarding, to ask ‘how can that work?

FansVoice: Jake @Jake_TPO and Cody @CodyShorter are two brothers from Queensland. As massive fans for anything Australian football related, they have developed ‘The Pecking Order‘. Through podcasts, videos , articles and their incredible TPO Rankings they have transformed the Football ranking system in Australia and provide, arguably, the most insightful look at NPL football in the country. Hear their story…

The Early years

Cody and I both grew up in country NSW in a small town called Uralla. We spent most of our early school/football years there, before moving to Woodgate Beach in Queensland, half an hour from Bundaberg.

After school (a couple of years apart), we both ended up in Brisbane for university and both studied Business degrees at QUT.

I spent the next 10 years working and playing in Brisbane, and 12 months ago quit to start my own business (which has the benefit of giving me more time for TPO Rankings!). Cody tried the corporate life in Brisbane as well, working briefly for the ATO before deciding entrepreneurship was more his style. He’s started and sold a couple of businesses, had stints living in Germany and then on the Sunshine Coast, and is now running his own business and living back in Brisbane.

Jake and Cody with Mel Mclaughlin in Brazil

Early football

We both played from a young age, all the way up until a couple of years ago when life priorities changed and it started to become more fun being a fan rather than a player.

Paul Wade , Jake and Cody

In our senior years we’ve both played for a number of clubs.  I’ve spent time at Across the Waves FC (Bundaberg), Lions FC, Brisbane City, Souths United and Brisbane Force.  Cody played for Across the Waves FC, Souths United, Brisbane Force, Eastern Suburbs (for a long time), Woombye and Caloundra FC.

More then a Game – TPO

We’ve always loved playing and watching football, but when the A-League started I decided to start running tipping competitions (my first go at combining Excel and football).  That was fun for a while but didn’t really go into the detailed statistics and use of algorithms that I’m more interested in, and it also wasn’t a unique idea.

Around 2014 I came across a site called clubelo.com which was basically the FIFA World Rankings, but for European club football. An instant lightbulb went off and the idea for TPO Rankings was born – the FIFA World Rankings, but for Australian football clubs. At that point the idea wasn’t to publish it for everyone to see – it started as something just for Cody and I and purely out of interest.

My (Jake) professional background is in financial analysis and business modelling, so I spend a lot of time with numbers and using Excel.  But I’ve always spent as much time using Excel for a range of personal projects outside of work hours.  The combination of that background with football is a sweet spot that I love.

Note from Cody – Not to mention Jake’s Uni Thesis, which was supposed to be on the topic of Accounting, was somehow twisted into a football paper that looked in detail at professional player contracts in the English Premier League. The Uni allowed it, and he got top marks…

Whats TPO all about?

Football has the ability to overcome all obstacles, be they geographic, ethnic, religious, economic or cultural.  It connects us all, and we’re here to celebrate and share our love of the beautiful game.

But football, at its roots, is also about competition. It’s about rivalries, it’s about passion, it’s about bragging rights and it’s about defeating all before you and proving that you’re the best.  At The Pecking Order (TPO), we’re a little obsessed with the competitive side of football and in particular, the ranking of everything from the serious and undisputable, to the ridiculous and often meaningless.

TPO NPL Rankings

It’s the football on the field that drives everything, but by itself is only a small part of a much larger picture that includes players, coaches, fans, administrators, volunteers, media and many more.  When looking from all of these points of view, football is also obviously a game of opinions.  And when you throw opinions, passion, rivalries and competition into the mix, it’s easy to see why the topic of rankings is such a compelling discussion.  And often also a fiery one.

We are here to bring you the stories of the struggle for supremacy in Australian football that you might not otherwise hear.  Our mission is to dig into the competitive nature of football, not only in an attempt to answer the big questions, but also for the discussion it creates.

We’ve collected data from over 100,000 games, 1,000 clubs and 40 years of Australian football, and we are only just getting started.

Nothing we do is perfect, nor is it meant to be. We do this because we love it.

Whats next for TPO

We’ve discussed this a bit, but ultimately it comes down to us creating content and discussing football for enjoyment. We will always move towards the things that we enjoy. While it’d be nice to grow TPO in to a household name in Football media, we’re not too concerned with this at the moment.

We’ll just keep updating and discussing the TPO Rankings, and as long as we’re still enjoying it we’ll keep putting out content.

Favourite Teams

This has probably changed over time, but right now it would have to be the NPL level, and we follow the second tier across all States. Living and previously playing in Brisbane, we have a soft spot for the QLD NPL though. 

The great thing about the TPO Rankings for us is that we learn so much about leagues and clubs that we’d otherwise have no idea about.

Greatest Fan Moment

Jake – Brisbane Roar’s come-from-behind Grand Final win against Central Coast Mariners would have to be top of the list. It will be difficult to beat the emotions from that game.  The second moment that comes to mind was being in the stadium in Brazil with Cody and our Dad when Timmy Cahill scored that volley against Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup.

Jake and Cody with their father – Brisbane Grand Final Win

Cody – Cahill’s volley was awesome, but for me the moment inside the stadium in Curitiba before witnessing my first ever World Cup game v’s Chile was something special. I also remember watching Australia beat Japan 3-1 at the 2006 World Cup from a Conference Room in the Across The Waves Club (in Bundaberg) on a big screen. Crazy scenes.

Jake , Cody and Dad before Chile game in Brazil
Australia vs Netherlands , Brazil

Whats the Dream

Cody – I’d like to see the game grow in recognition through the general population. I want to see more A-League clubs merchandise when out and about. I want to go to work Monday and talk to coworkers about the games on the weekend and leave Friday talking about this weekend’s fixtures. I want to see football players and fans get excited about Australian Football the same way they do about the Premier League.

Jake – My dream is that we find a way to adopt the global standard for football – an open pyramid where sporting merit is the determining factor for who competes in the A-League. Where any club with ambition has the opportunity and incentive to prove themselves worthy and reaching the summit of Australian football.  Where our elite level is inclusive and not exclusive.  Of a completely unified Australian football.

2nd Div and Pro/Rel

Cody – This is Jake’s territory. He’s written an extensive plan on why/when/how this can be achieved. I agree with his thoughts –

It’s very easy to say ‘that won’t work’.  It’s much harder, but infinitely more rewarding, to ask ‘how can that work?’.
With that in mind, please click below.