A Smart Man’s Top 10

I am going to write a three part post-Athens’ New Years Classic article. I am unofficially titling the article, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Today is the first part–The Good. You will see that these mirror NYC in many ways, but not completely. Brant Callaway and I compiled stats and together came up with a ranking of the teams 1-9 and 11-25. Supposedly the Consolation Champ was 10th. I will cover that in more detail in the bad and ugly articles, but for now we will stick with what they have.

#1 Kentucky
Startup thinks I should justify this. And I suppose that now, more than ever, there should be some doubt. I think it is undeniable that they are beatable. If the season ended today, I’d have to vote them #2 based on performance. But, if rankings are supposed to mirror what I believe will happen, I still think this is the team to beat. They lost early to Calvary (FL) and Woodside. They then came to the gym with both Woodside and FBCCF being undefeated and they high won three straight quizzes. They did lose in a two team quiz, but Aaron was the best quizzer in that quiz, and I have no reason to believe that the rest of the team will not improve.

#2 Colorado
I ranked this team 4th before the Classic. I still believe that the next two teams are better than them when they quiz their best. Nevertheless, Woodside survived some poor quizzes, and they proved to be resiliant. If the season ended today, they’d be #1 because of results. As of right now, I just don’t think they can maintain it. While this team may feel dissed overall, I had them #4 and I would not be at all surprised if that is where the ended up. Of course, maybe now I will be the one disrespecting them, as everyone else may vote them #1. And with them being seeded #1 after the morning, they would have a good argument.

My hesitancy to demote proved to be wise. They got 3rd place and probably would have beaten Woodside if they would have been more aware that Woodside could get back in it with the bonus. They have the best quizzer in the country, which means that noone will benefit like they will when you quiz out with six. Reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. And just in case you were wondering, their “B” team got 9th place! This is the only team in the top 5 I didn’t adjust one slot from their tournament finish. As a side note, I wonder if it has ever happened before where seeds 1-3 in the morning mirrored exactly 1-3 place finish in the late evening.

#4 Calvary (FL)
A slight bump from their 5th place finish at the tournament. This saddens me. One of the top four teams in the country will not be at AACS. All because they are from the same state as another top team. I will cover that state in more depth in my bad article, but know this–I will not be surprised if a team that wins either SCQANIT or Colorado is not at AACS, and not because they can’t, but just because they get beat at the state level. Calvary came together well, had a good run, and were more impressive than every team above them in their good quizzes–and more irritating than teams beneath them in their bad quizzes. Incidentally, their “Middle School” team got second at that event. They were led by a plucky 5th grader named Daniel Tyrrell. This ministry will be around for a while.

#5 Pennsylvania
Hands down the team that has improved on my ballot the most since the year began. Anything that may have been said about their demise was greatly exaggerated. They are around to stay. I bumped them down slightly from their 4th place finish at the event, but they are a top 5 program without a doubt.

#6 New York
I dropped this team to #6 in my previous ranking to some objection, but that appeared to be just right. Also, this is the first time in years that their second team did not crack the top 10. I wonder if combining the two would be beneficial, but right now, I am not sure that they are any better than sixth. While no doubt I will be criticized for my terrible predictions, they were almost completely correct, except for one thing–I mislabled the teams that would do the things I thought they would do. For example, this team lost its first playoff quiz and recovered. But I think they did so by quizzing weak teams, as I have stated about the PreBracket previously. Read what I predicted about FBCCF and change the name to New York. Eerily correct, I say.

#7 Faith (SC)
There is no team that I overrated more than this group. They finished in 7th place, but it really didn’t seem like they were ever a threat to finish much better than this. They finished 19th and 14th also, but their depth seems less than it has in the past. This is a solid team, but they aren’t a threat to be #1 any time soon (unless they start winning, of course). Their Junior High team did win that event, in case you are interested.

#8 Open Door (FL)
This team was solid. I was amazed at how well they did. Last year it seemed like they were Grace with little else. This year, Grace’s brother seemed to be stellar, while Grace looked tired all day. They flamed out at 8th, but it would not surprise me if they do better later in the year. In the past, they have seemed to overachieve and do nothing after this tournament. Please prove me wrong and come to something else this year!! If you don’t come to any more events, this will be your annual high point. I believe, however, that top 5 finishes are not out of the question for you (if you go to anything else)!

#9 Truth (FL)
I will talk about this in the ugly article, but their “10th” place finish as consolation champs was solid. They seemed to be the worst of the “really good” teams at the event. The teams behind them never seemed a threat to finish in the top 5 and the teams ahead of them were all better. This is the best first performance at a major event for any team in a few years.

#10 Texas
Has anyone been more consistent since 1991? I keep them at this spot, because I have now concluded teams that finished in the top 10. What about Heritage Mission 2 and FBCCF 2? Well, since we only rank a ministry once, those nice teams will get no top 10 love.

Near Misses

Calvary (SC) was the best team not included. I think they can do well at many events forthcoming.

Those who were unable to improve their stock at Athens.

Wisconsin has the world’s coolest name–Mukwanago.
Virginia (Heritage, that is)
West Virginia

Those who were able to drop their stock at Athens.

Parsippany is a team I believe will be top 7-8 at a major this year. They need to be more consistent. If that happens, all will be well in their world. They just did so poorly at this event, that I dropped them out of the top 10. The best of the poor finish teams, though.

North Carolina may have been overrated by me. They were not stellar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.