Monday's Brownlow Medal count is the most open in years and all of the key contenders have to defy history to win the AFL's highest individual honour.
Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett is the favourite with bookmakers, but history says players from losing teams struggle to poll enough votes to win. Ablett is trying to snare his second Brownlow despite Gold Coast managing just three victories for the season.
It's been more than 60 years since a player has achieved that type of feat. Hawthorn's Col Austen won the 1949 Brownlow Medal after the Hawks won only three matches, but that was in a 19-game season.
Richmond's Trent Cotchin and Essendon captain Jobe Watson are also fighting against history because Hawthorn champion Shane Crawford is the last player to win the Brownlow Medal from a team that missed the finals.
Crawford was brilliant in 1999 and polled 28 votes to dominate the count in a season where the Hawks finished with 10 wins and one draw. Richmond won 10 games and also had a draw, so that may be a good omen for Cotchin.
Adelaide pair Patrick Dangerfield and Scott Thompson have the best chance of victory, according to recent history. They have played every game, been part of a top-four team, are midfielders and have enjoyed stellar years.
That has been the recipe for Brownlow Medal success for Dane Swan, Ablett, Adam Cooney, Jimmy Bartel, Adam Goodes and Ben Cousins since 2005.
Chris Judd and Mark Ricciuto are the only players to have won from outside the top four since Crawford's victory in 1999.
It's an amazingly open season. Collingwood trio Swan, Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams have performed well enough to win, but will take votes from each other.
- ·WHO WILL WIN *P130-131