The turmoil at Whitten Oval and a stinker of a season for the Bulldogs has Cliff Bingham wondering how much worse the year will get for them, although meeting the Tigers in this weekend's AFL isn't likely to make things much better...
St Kilda v MELBOURNE
0.5 units to win with 48.5 points start @ Betfair odds of (1.90) or better
St Kilda will need to quickly rebound from a heartbreaking loss last week with a win over Melbourne to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
Last week's loss extended the Saints' 2012 record in games decided by less than two goals, which may prove decisive when the top eight is finally settled. Their recent record at the MCG is also well below the level they've set at Etihad.
In winning last Sunday against the Suns, the Demons have almost certainly avoided the 2012 wooden spoon, but there is very little else to be positive about.
The Saints have won seven on end against the Demons, although only two of those wins have been by 40 points or more. In round five the Saints won by just 18 points.
The Saints are a far superior side to the Demons, but the venue, recent head-to-head record and potential dip in motivation brought about by last week's loss all suggest taking the Demons with the big start.
CARLTON v Brisbane
One unit to win by more than 30.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.90) or better
Much like St Kilda, Carlton need four straight wins and favourable results elsewhere to make the finals; the task begins for them when they host Brisbane.
The Blues have been among the big disappointments of 2012: early season form, which painted them as a premiership contender, is a distant memory now. With Brett Ratten's future as head coach potentially on the line, it will be interesting to see how the playing group responds.
The Lions are in all likelihood running out of energy as the season draws to a close, losing their last two matches convincingly. With the Power and Bulldogs scheduled for their final two games of the season, you could forgive Michael Voss for focusing his efforts on getting the team to peak form for those two more winnable games.
The Blues have won each of their last three matches against Brisbane at Etihad Stadium, including wins by 61 points last year and 55 points in 2010.
Throw in the 91-point win at the GABBA in the second round of this season and the recent head-to-head record all favours Carlton, which is enough for me to be taking the favourites in this match.
HAWTHORN v Port Adelaide
One unit to win by more than 80.5 points
Hawthorn will be out to prove a point this week - a scenario that doesn't bode well for a Port Adelaide club dealing with internal turmoil.
The Hawks may have suffered four of their five losses for the season to date against teams who can play excellent man-on-man defence in the Cats, Eagles and Swans, but that will matter little against this match. When given sufficient time, their use of the ball by hand and foot is fantastic to watch, and I expect them to carve the Power up for the duration.
The Power have huge problems, with the head coach and president both gone after Port became the first club to lose to both the Suns and Giants - you have to feel for interim coach Garry Hocking and the position he finds himself in.
The Hawks and Power haven't played at Aurora since 2008, with Hawthorn winning that match by 15 points. Nonetheless, with a 24-11 record at the ground overall, the Hawks have certainly made a second home in Tasmania. Moreover, they have won their last three matches against the Power by an average of 81 points.
Traditionally across a number of sporting arenas, clubs tend to perform well in the first week under a new head coach, which would imply taking the huge start here.
However, I think the Hawks are too powerful and the Power too damaged for that trend to continue here.
RICHMOND v Western Bulldogs
0.5 units to win by more than 35.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.90) or better
Richmond's final chances may have evaporated, but they can still finish the season on a strong note, beginning with their clash against the Western Bulldogs.
The Tigers have been by far the better of these two teams in 2012. However, their record against bottom-six teams this season acts as cautionary tale: a 5-1 head-to-head record is countered by an average points differential of only 29 (105 points per game scored, 76 conceded) and only a 3-3 record on the line in those games.
Compare this to the Bulldogs, who look completely shot for 2012. Their last seven losses have come by an average margin of 57 points, while they've also lost seven straight on the line (by an average of 30 points).
The Tom Liberatore scandal hasn't helped them, while the MCG has also been unfamiliar territory to them of late, only playing three games there over the past two years (for a win and two losses).
The one saving grace for the Bulldogs is the head-to-head record, with eight wins and a draw in their last nine matches against the Tigers, including three comfortable wins at the MCG.
Ordinarily, the mediocre record against poor sides and the terrible head-to-head record would put me off the Tigers in this match, but the Bulldogs are so out of touch at the moment that I think the favourites are still the play here, albeit with limited confidence.