The first (of many, I’m sure) ANYC previews

I hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas holidays. I took a much needed month-long respite from because December is a killer month for the pastor at our church. Not only do we have the typical weekly load, we always do an advent series, which requires an additional two sermons a week. We also had three weddings and unfortunately, a funeral. Long time church attender, Robert B, has joined the saints in Heaven. Having said that, I am getting the fold rolling with its first New Years Classic Preview. I am not the biggest fan of previews, because it suggests an amount of knowledge that I just don’t have. I am willing to guess as to which teams are the best in a poll, but when you boil it down, the fact is, I have no idea how the other factors will contribute (travel, sickness, quizmastering, acoustics, etc.).

I am not privy to such information, but I believe that this may be one of the bigger events at Athens. I see no reason why the number of teams should ever decrease. It is a fine event and this year, it is late enough to not interfere with New Years Day and early enough that it doesn’t cut into a full head of steam. I think the 5th would be the perfect day, but the 6th and 4th are not bad.

Looking at my top 10, I do not see a reason why any of them would not attend. So, many will obviously state that those should be the top 10 at the event. I do believe that will be the case. I am assuming that California, Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin will not attend. That means that those just outside the top ten will be Calvary (SC), Open Door (FL), Temple (NC), and Wood County (WV). Of those, I think the first two are more likely to sneak into the the top 10. First, I think they are a little better. Second, though, both have teams that they are in a league with which are in the top 10 that may help them out.

Now, I think you would all find me and my article very boring if I just told you that the ranking I did a month ago was how I predicted the teams would finish. Nevertheless, there is a delicate balance. Of course, if I didn’t believe the teams to be ranked as such, I never would have done so. Further, I know that there is no way that I am 100% correct. And while in every tournament a team does better or worse than they actually are, the team actually is an accumulation of their performances that are all individually either better or worse than the mean. Hence, I will give you whether I think each team will do better or worse than my ranking.

10th–Texas, Capital City.
Obviously, this is the team I think is most likely to fall out of the top 10, but I would guess that they are unlikely to finish better than 10th. I just can’t see them jumping the teams ahead of them, as they are the only team without a competition already. They’ll improve, but a 10th/11th place finish is my prediction for this event. I would not be surprised if either a “B” team, Calvary (SC), or Open Door knocked them out of the top 10.

9th–Truth (FL).
I think this team will overachieve. I think they have the moxie to get more middles than they should and a couple teams above them from their state. Expect a 7th/8th place finish.

8th–New Jersey, Parsippany.
I think this team will underachieve. To be honest, I think they are better than the 8th best team in the country. BUT, they follow great quizzes with subpar ones. They’ll give a top 4 team a loss, then bow out to a lesser team. Expect a 9th/10th place finish.

7th–Pennsylvania, Old Paths.
Overachievers. They have always shown well here and noone knows what specifically to expect. I’d predict a 6th place finish.

6th–New York, Heritage Mission/Covenant/Rochester/Genessee Valley.
I don’t know what to make of this team. If they combined, I’d predict a top three finish, but I think they will split, finish 7th/8th (and somewhere between 10th and 12th).

5th–Calvary (FL).
I think this team will overachieve. They seem to have a solid team. Perhaps a strategy flaw or so away from being the best, but I am predicting a top three finish.

4th–Colorado, Woodside.
I think this team will very slightly underachieve and finish fifth. Jesse touts their time zone benefits of being able to stay up late, but I think that is equalled out by the travelling weariness. Further, since Bamford has organized the tournament better (the last three years he has given props to West for the schedule and its quick redo’s), the late factor is not nearly as signifigant.

3rd–South Carolina, Faith.
I expect this team to finish right about where we’d expect to see them. In the top three.

2nd–FBCCF (FL).
As much of a homer as I usually am, I must confess that the results of the last FQA event scared me. We had my historically favorite team divide into what I thought were “A” and “B” teams. And the “B” team beat the “A” team, and they did poorly overall. Now I wasn’t scared enough to totally dismiss them, but for a team that has gotten 4th place like four years in a row (with a second team winning once and getting 7th twice and doing something else of which I am unaware in the other year), I think that is a nice placement. If they can ever learn to quiz together, they are dangerous, but I predict a 4th place finish.

1st–Kentucky, Pleasant View.
I expect this team to finish right about where we’d expect to see them. In the top three.

Now I know you are all hankering to know where I predict the top three will finish. Well, you’ll have to wait for those specifics!! Have a wonderful Boxing Week and a Great New Year!! See you (even if you don’t see me) at the Classic.

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