Colorado Invitational Saturday

Bible Quizzing is an event that takes months of work to just be respectable at big tournaments. One such tournament is the Colorado Invitational, which in the last few years has become the second most desirable tournament to win in this author’s mind. After interviewing several people who were at the event, hereafter is my take on the event.

Saturday began with Matt West posting pairings and Andrew Scott making announcements. While there was a whole Junior division tournament, it seems that all the people I interviewed knew little about it. So, based on what I can gather from the website, it essentially was a chance for the teams from New York and Colorado to dominate other teams and New York to win a two team grudge match for the championship.

There were two teams eliminated after just two rounds–Tri City and Park Avenue. Each scored over 100 points which is unheard of for teams eliminated after just two rounds. Take my word for it that both of these teams will be players later this year. Both teams were solid but not quite spectacular.

Woodside and Spring City finished with one win in the tournament. For Spring City this was a slight improvement from Friday night, whereas it was a severe downfall for the #2 seed Woodside, who suffers from recruiting so many good teams to come to their tournament.

Finishing from 7th to 10th were Calvary, New York 2, Valley, and New York 1. While New York and Valley have built successful programs, Calvary is a newcomer to the scene. Much has been written about them, but a finish at this position does put them in the same class as the returning state champs from New York and California. However, in Florida they are nothing better than the #2 team.

6th place–Old Paths
I have been pleasantly surprised by Old Paths this year. I thought they would be good, but I never dreamed that they would be as good as they have been. Outside of the top three, they had the most high wins and they have an impressive three of Grace, Keith, and Daniel. While they certainly are not the powerhouse they were last year, they still could win a tournament.

5th place–Capitol City
I suspected this team would be Felicia and little else. Well, Felicia was still very good but the team impressed me. I think they are a team in the 5th place mold. Solid enough to hang around, but never a threat to win.

4th place–Faith (SC)
A team very different than the Faith (SC) dynasty of a few years back. This team is wild and it suits them. They still have incredible direction that causes them to never give back a quiz they should have won.

3rd place–Faith (MI)
While noone would admit to dropping Faith (MI) in their rankings, the fact is some did. You don’t drop from 3rd to 7th if no one does. However, they clearly proved that their original ranking was superior. I predict a return to the top 5 for this group. Matt Fenton telling his quizzers to anticipate became the sound of the finals in Colorado. This team just may crack the top teams.

2nd place–FBCCF
OK, while the last tournament gave us an occassion to talk about this group too much, they clearly established themselves as one of the top two teams. Their only losses came in the weirdest quiz ever–a Bill Valentine quiz ending with 7 challenges in a row–and the final two. They outscored every team (Pleasant View by 10 and all others by at least 700 points). They had two of the top five quizzers. They did great at a tournament that has traditionally been bad to them.

1st place-PVKY
BUT, they did not pass Pleasant View as #1. All year they separated themselves as the best team and that did not change. I believe they have done something that I would have thought impossible the past few years–render SCQANIT moot. Don’t misunderstand me, I would love to see a competitive SCQANIT, but the fact is that if they maintain custom and don’t attend the only title someone could achieve is the best team at a tournament where THE BEST TEAM did not attend. AACS is clearly the final test for teams around the country. Everything I said to tout our #2 team can be duplicated here–two of the top five quizzers; they outscored all, save FBCCF, by at least 700 points; they established themselves as the cream of the crop.

This brings me to an interesting series of questions. If PVKY gets 2nd at AACS, are they still the #1 team for the year? Does FBCCF and any other AACS team have any motivation to attend SCQANIT? Could Aaron Wells be better than Abby Carbonell? Well my answers are maybe, no and yes, and no.

PVKY is the #1 team if they get second UNLESS a top flight team at both majors already (FBCCF, Old Paths, Calvary, and maybe Valley and New York) wins both SCQANIT and AACS. Faith (MI) cannot be #1 unless PVKY finishes third or worse at AACS and Faith (MI) wins SCQANIT. Unfair? maybe, but it is a reality that it would take that for anyone to consider them better than PVKY.

FBCCF is the one team that may be able to win just AACS and still be better than PVKY in our minds. Many consider quizzing in the gym at Athens to be not as valued as the full day, and they lost to PVKY by 10 points at this Colorado event. Returning the favor at AACS may tell us that they evened it out and then it becomes CI vs. AACS. Everyone else must go to SCQANIT to have any chance to be #1 (unless PVKY just blows it big time at AACS).

Aaron Wells is a very good quizzer and he has closed the gap on clutch quizzing, which was his main weakness. However, Abby Carbonell is best 2-3 all time good and Aaron Wells is just Hall of Fame good. Nothing wrong with being Hall of Fame good and in his last two years, Aaron may improve upon his legacy even more, but the fact is Abby is still the best by a decent sized gap.

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