The PBR team series is back! I’m a huge fan of the individual part of PBR since lets be honest, bull riding is an individual sport. But I also love the team series. The 8 teams bring an energy to PBR that will only help it grow. Last year, the last place Nashville Stampede upset the entire field and won the first ever team championship. It goes to show how close each of these teams are. This year, every team should be pissed off that they let the worst team in the PBR win the title. They should all be focused on bringing the title to their city. Lets break down who the best teams are in the PBR, who should be the favorites this year, and make our preseason championship picks.
To decide on how these power rankings, we took into consideration each teams rider performance in the 2023 season, as well as the 2022 team series regular season and final standings. Then we entered them into a formula to get the rankings.
8. Kansas City Outlaws
Kansas City is highlighted by a roster that includes Kyler Oliver. But with only 4 protected players, a last place finish in the 2022 playoffs, and a 7th place finish in the regular season, the Outlaws have some work to do.
7. Missouri Thunder
Like Kansas City, the Thunder have a lot of work to do. Andrew Alvidrez is a stud, but a weak roster around him hurts the Thunder. They finished 7th in the playoffs and 6th in the regular season last year, so the Thunder have nowhere to go but up from here.
6. Oklahoma Freedom
The Freedom are in the next class up. They have some big names on the roster, including Chase Outlaw and Jess Lockwood. Yet, the rest of the roster is littered with injuries and unperforming riders. The Freedom do benefit from finishing 4th in the playoffs and 3rd in the regular season. If this group can get healthy and consistent, they are a darkhorse for the 2023 championship.
5. Carolina Cowboys
The #1 team going into the first ever team series regular season, the Cowboys have taken a step back in 2023. They are led by studs Cooper Davis and Boudreaux Campbell. They also have the injured 2022 champion Daylon Swearingen on the team. If that big three can get together, Carolina can get back to being the darling of the PBR. Until then though, they ride a 5th place finish last year in the playoffs and 4th in the regular season to the #5 team in the power rankings.
4. Arizona Ridge Riders
Last year, my metrics hated the Ridge Riders. This year, they start the season in the top half of the power rankings. While they don’t have a top 5 rider, they have the three headed monster of Eduardo Aparecida, Keyshawn Whitehorse, and Luciano De Castro, all killing it in 2023. Arizona finished 5th in the regular season last year, but made a Cinderella type run to a 2nd place finish in the playoffs.
3. Texas Rattlers
Texas has to be excited about their team this year. While they don’t have the superstar’s name, they have 6 quality riders who can hang with anyone. Technically, all the top 3 teams actually tied in my metrics. The Rattlers get bumped below my other two teams because they have the 3rd best projected roster going into the season, below the other two. Still, Texas has as strong of a chance as anyone because they finished 3rd in the playoffs and 2nd in the regular season. Doesn’t get more consistent than that.
2. Austin Gamblers
Any team that has the #1 player in the sport has to love their chances. Austin has Jose Vitor Leme and Dalton Kasel, currently ranked 2nd and 3rd in the world on the team. They also have a solid squad around them capable of getting points. The Gamblers were the #1 team in the regular season last year but laid an egg and got embarrassed in the playoffs. They won’t let that happen again.
1. Nashville Stampede
I didn’t plan on having the reigning champions at the top of my rankings. Yet when you have the #1 roster going into this team season, and won the championship, it’s hard to deny Nashville. Let by world #1 Kaique Pacheco, and followed by another deep team, Nashville is in a great position to defend their title. They finished dead last in the regular season, but after going 4-0 in Las Vegas they shocked the world and took it all.
So this is power rankings 1.0 for the PBR team series. Power rankings 2.0 will come out after the 2023 draft. After that, it’ll come out starting in July. With the PBR world finals a few weeks away, I’m sure the rider rankings will change as well. Hopefully we can see a little bit of power ranking movement before the season even starts. PBR is starting to heat up, and I couldn’t be more excited!