A Smart Man’s (Premature) Top Ten

Is it too early for such a list? Well, only if accuracy is your goal. Admittedly this is based on an extreme amount of conjecture and assumption. Nevertheless, we have finished a very solid tournament (Midseason Invitational), some lesser events (Peach State, FQA monthlys, PQA monthlys) and some more are coming. Plus, I have to give you my opinion or else you’d be disappointed.

#1 Kentucky
As if there were any doubt. If you need justification for this, I don’t care about you. They won EVERYTHING last year and were very solid at the Midseason.

#2 New York
Second place at AACS in 2005. Third place at AACS in 2006. Second place at the Midseason with a very respectable 6th place team there also. A tremendous program with incredible history. If ever there were an event where your top 5 quizzers couldn’t quiz (I know, it is a lame idea), this team would be the favorites every year.

OK, when I started making this list, I at first thought that I might need to leave off FBCCF entirely. They were #2 last year, but they were losing one of the best quizzers ever. However, at the Midseason, the second highest quizzer (Jesse Startup) was talking about how great Praiselynn Santos was this year (and she was one of the five best quizzers last year). Then I took a gander at the FQA stats, which Matt West posts regularly, and it seems that FBCCF is very strong there. Call it the homer pick of the year, but (for now, at least) they are my #3 team!

#4 Colorado
Call it a hunch. Last year they were great at SCQANIT, but they faltered at their own tournament and AACS. They were eliminated at their own event, because of Andrew Scott’s selflessness and they were the second seed after the round robin. I think this is a team that is going to pick up consistency and be among the best.

#5 Calvary (FL)
Finishing last year at #9; having noone graduate; adding two new quizzers to their top three from last year–this is a very good team. I thought they were going to win the Midseason, but alas they got 3rd. This is a very fair placement.

#6 Faith (SC)
Much like New York, they can go several teams deep with quality quizzers. They have at least 8 PQA teams and half of them are always in the top 10. If they never had to quiz each other, they could easily have 2-3 undefeated teams. The only reason I place them this low is because 1) I am biased and 2) It is tough to determine how good they actually are until NYC.

#6.5 UCF
Since I can’t vote for a college team, let me pause here to give major props to Jesse Startup for his effort. He gets about 5 tournaments a year and he is very solid at every one of them. Getting 4th at the Midseason was a huge accomplishment. He promises to have a better team at the FQA Finals on February 10. Incidentally, that tournament will have no fewer than 5 teams listed here and Brant Callaway’s Georgia Tech team insists that they can beat at least one of them if they adequately prepare.

#7 Texas
Has anyone been more consistent since 1994?

#8 Truth (FL)
OK, this newcomer is very good. 5th at the Midseason was excellent. Not sure what else they intend to attend, but they have tickled my fancy early.

#9 Calvary (SC)
They won the Peach State Invitational. They have two teams tied for fifth in the PQA. Very solid start to a very solid year. We’re very glad to see them achieve the predicted greatness when the message board dubbed them “The Surprise Team of the Year.”

#10A New Jersey
If they can get a team together, expect great things. Arielle Parkas was excellent and I know that they had 2-3 other quizzers last year who showed great things. Expect to see them hang around the top 10 all year. They probably would have placed better at the Midseason if they had had their best quizzers.

#10B Open Door (FL)
I may be biased. However, when I look at the fact that after 200 questions at the Peach State Invitational, they were only 10 points behind the #9 team, I find it difficult to make them lower than #10. So, there.

Surprising Skips
I surprised everyone by not choosing Old Paths. Here are the facts, as I choose to believe them. They graduated Grace and their coach quizmastered at the Midseason, saying that he felt his team was off to a weak start. They have potential, but when your coach comes to an event that the teams skips, it doesn’t look good.

I surprised myself by not choosing Michigan. I am sure they will beat Faith and Calvary at their own tournament and want to be in the top 5. I guess I just continually neglect to give them the props they deserve until I see them. The short answer is I never know who were seniors the previous year. And maybe I just slight them because I dislike the format of their tournament. Which of the fantastic five (Sarah Moon, Josh Foran, Steven Graham, Eric O’Brien, or RJ Tanis) are coming back? I have no clue. If 3 or more are back, they deserve to be in the top 7, I think.

I surprise noone by eliminating Missouri. Fact is, they will be mediocre until AACS where they will do really well and everyone will wonder how we overlooked them. Other teams that may be good by AACS include Virginia (Heritage, that is), which is a very solid team. If I had seen them at the Midseason, I would feel better. But they skipped the nearby event. Athens is in a really down year, I hear. Stats are the thing telling me the loudest. Valley lost 3 of their top 4 coaches, so I think they may need to re-tool for a year.

West Virginia and North Carolina could crack this list, but after their showing at the Midseason, they seem to be just outside of the elite group.
Everyone else is probably way better than I think. To everyone slighted or not mentioned, please prove me wrong. To those mentioned, I am sorry if I have give you the Lindsay Ranking Curse, but suck it up and just prove you really are that great.

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