A Smart Man’s Top Ten

4th Place–California
A second place finish at NYC started the year off right, and while a relatively bad finish at CI and SCQANIT began to hurt their case, they overcame everything at AACS and were the last team to lose on Tuesday. They had a very strong team all year and when they were having their best quizzes, it clearly seemed like they could beat anybody. Of course in those bad quizzes…

5th Place–Texas
Who was the 5th place team at AACS? Lest you think we merely copied AACS standings, consider, this team got 5th place in SCQANIT and CI also. Consistently placing 5th in every major tournament they attend. What place would you make them? Felicia was probably the best quizzer not on one of the top two teams and this team was certainly a fine supporting cast. A good, if unspectacular finish for this consistently strong program.

6th Place–Illinois
I struggled to differentiate between Texas and Illinois as Texas finished one place better at AACS and Illinois finished one place better at SCQANIT. In the end, I determined that AACS is more important, and if you dislike that, Texas proved itself in California. The truth is this team was doing great at AACS, but they just hit a wall when the middle wins became harder to come by.

7th Place–Faith (SC)
This team has more depth than any other team in the country. I am confident that if asked to quiz with their third best team, they could still pull out a decent finish. The problem recently seems to be that they just can’t get any dominant quizzer. Therefore, they linger around, but when a couple of the team members don’t pull their weight in the same quiz, they just can’t quite step it up. When will this church start a school group eligible for AACS?

8th Place–Michigan
I long for the days when MI returns to the AACS fold. SCQANIT has never been their tournament and, unfortunately, it is now the only tournament by which we have to judge them. While people accuse this site of an anti-Michigan bias, it is difficult to rank them higher when they finish 9th at SCQANIT. Their sterling finish at CI kicked them up a spot, but I would have difficulty moving them ahead of any of the other teams. I do believe, however, that they would do well at AACS and earn a higher ranking almost every year.

9th Place–Calvary FL
As much as I hate to do this, I am voting for a second team from the same state. Calvary placed 5th at NYC and 8th at CI. There is no reason to believe that they would be outside the elite group. Their top quizzers are very young, and their elementary team is a favorite at the finals, so I have to believe that they are a team to recken with for years to come. But unless they are able to join GACS, it may be a year or two before they see AACS.

10th Place–Pennsylvania
In a rebuilding year, being a top ten team is dynamite. Grace graduates with a little bit lower place then her brother did, but I can’t see anyone leaving with more respect. She had a very young team to carry this year, but they will benefit from this experience next year, and I don’t expect to see them fall anywhere to far down the chart any time soon.

Those placing in the top ten in an event not ranked
Colorado was the toughest to leave off my ballot. I have no doubt that they had top ten talent, but they didn’t even crack the top ten at NYC or their own tournament. Granted they were seeded fifth and second after round robin tournaments, but that is of limited value. They did extraordinarily well at California (until the finals) and SCQANIT and I thought I’d be able to move them up this ballot. But they faltered at AACS, placing 9th. I just couldn’t place them ahead of any of the teams above them. New Jersey was almost the opposite. Their AACS finish of 8th almost put them on my ballot. Notwithstanding that excellent showing, they did not place at NYC and I just can’t give them too much credit for 4th in DC. As much as I like to favor Florida, Old Paths continually does nothing after NYC. I cannot respect a 9th place finish there only. Missouri is a tough case, because they did so poorly at CI and SCQANIT. A 7th place finish at AACS is great, but when combined with two finishes outside the top 10…

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