A Smart Man’s Top 10

Prior to and after my interview of Matt West yesterday, we talked about the Colorado event, and so if you hear something that just doesn’t sound like me, I am probably garnering from that discussion.

1. Pleasant View (KY):
I said after the Midseason Invitational that if this ministry combined into one team, it may be a different story. Well, in Colorado, that is exactly what they did. While I think there were 2-3 teams that COULD have beaten them, none did. They are a legitimate team that might win it all. Without Autumn, I think winning AACS will be tough, but that may still not keep them from #1 on my ballot. They are now clearly the best Pleasant View out there.

2. Old Paths:
As I said three times previously, I have a feeling that (at least on my ballot) they will rotate with FBCCF throughout the year. I just had no idea that they would be 2/3 instead of their traditional 1/2 placing. I do think it is way more appropriate to have Old Paths at #2 as that seems to be the only place they know how to win. In Colorado, it appeared they may have overcome those demons. For once, they came into a two team final as the team in a worse position (they had a loss and had finished lower than PVKY in each of the last three quizzes). Then, as frequently happens, they dominated the first quiz, locking it up by question 14. Of course, sitting down the last six questions gave PVKY momentum and it looked like PVKY would return the favor. But instead, Old Paths started working on question 14 and made a miraculous comeback to come up just short. If they don’t win AACS, SCQANIT, or any other event, I think I will look at that missed question as the momentum builder they did not get. They still have to be the favorites at every tournament, though. (Well, maybe just the favorites to get 2nd).

How can I rate a 6th place finish this high? Well, first of all they won Athens. Second, they had more high wins than anyone save the top two. They are clearly a powerhouse teams with some flaws, but they are also the closest to having a chance to beat Old Paths mano a mano at AACS. It seems weird to say this, but Abby Carbonell finishing as the second highest quizzer, while not inherently a disappointment, was way below her potential. Matt feels that we may see the Abby of SCQANIT last year in early April this year. If this team can get some advisory work done by Matt’s dad, they can make the jump back to the top.

4. Woodside:
Jeremy was phenomenal. The rest of the team is great. And their Freshman team was also in the top five. If Woodside merges these two, they might get to the top. They are a great team, but Old Paths, Pleasant View, and FBCCF have established a level above that for the top spot this year. Since I think that PVKY will not be quite as solid at AACS, I believe this may be the only team to derail the FBCCF/Old Paths rivalry for the championship. They have the best coaching of the top 5, and that’s gotta count for something.

5. Faith (MI):
To prove that I am stubborn, I have kept the same top 5 teams as I had before and just switched the order. I was very tempted to switch this team with my #6 team, but with no head to head quizzes between the two, I’ve gotta go with the team that has more experience winning.

6. Tri City:
At AACS last year I said, “How does this team survive?” At Colorado this year I said, “How does this team survive?” I detect a pattern. My guess is that they are the antithesis of Faith (SC). I bet they would go nowhere in a two team tournament, but since they won’t be in one that I know of, it really doesn’t matter.

7. Capitol City:
Pleasantly surprised by the support Felicia received from another top 10 quizzer. The JH team also had the makings of a solid team. I was never worried, but I really think that this program will be solid for years to come. Felicia may just be capable of pulling a Valerie/Jenni/Abby and leading a team to special places all by herself. I believe, however, that she’ll end up getting them a top five finish.

8. Faith (SC):
As alluded to above, I think that this team might be the favorite in a two team tournament. I believe they had 3 teams in the Final Four of the PQA tournament. No ministry has as many good quizzers as this team, that fields 8 solid PQA teams. I do believe, however, that the current PQA seems to churn out relatively few excellent quizzers. Not to say that they don’t have many very good quizzers, but not since the days of Valerie Wood has a PQA quizzer single handedly led a team to a top three finish. Of course, maybe it is the fact that the team always has too many good quizzers to make that happen.

9. Open Bible:
Unfortunately, no one will ever get to see if this is just Florida bias or if they are a legitimate top ten team. With their best two quizzers being The D’Amicos and both having weird health concerns, I think next year will be their next big quiz. Nevertheless, I insist that this team is good and with Breanna’s graduation, may be able to beat an Abby-led FBCCF team. For those wanting to see the talent here, come see the D’Amicos at the Independence Day Spectacular and you will see greatness. Also, who can vote against Grace D’Amico–The cutest seven year old to ever get a top 5 quizzer award at NYC?

10.Pleasant View (SC):
Pleasant View? Valley? Heritage Mission? Wood County? Spring City? All of these teams made a case for the last team to be included on my ballot. Each has a good case. Pleasant View seems so good on paper, but we all know quizzes aren’t played on paper, but on the internet sites. Valley won SCQANIT last year, but they are clearly in a “rebuilding” year. Heritage Mission? They had a “B” team that did better than their “A” team. What is that about? Wood County? I have not seen them since October. Spring City? Their showing at Athens was the best of this group. I just think that if the real team ever comes close to that paper team, we are in for a great team.

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