Weighing the Odds

Since we have had an abundance of article covering the New Year’s Classic, I thought that it was time to move on to what we know now following the tournament. Here’s my take on the odds of each team in our new team rankings winning nationals at this point in time.

Let me guard my odds somewhat by saying that these are my predictions as to a team’s chances are of winning nationals. There is a distinction here between winning nationals and their ranking. I don’t necessarily think that a team with a higher percentage is better than a team with a lower percentage or that a team with a higher percentage will even finish higher than a team with a lower percentage. For instance, there are plenty of teams that seem to have a knack for losing early even though they were dominant throughout the day. To me, this team would seem to have a better chance of winning nationals that a team that is very good at maximizing their potential and getting 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. Which of these qualities to have is a difficult question. Nonetheless, I give my estimation of which teams will have the best chance of winning nationals.

10. Truth – 0%
I was going to give them 1%, but they’re not eligible to compete at their state competition this year, so that eliminates any chance they would have. But if you quiz them at a different tournament watch out for them, they’re capable of beating anyone in a given quiz.

10. Capitol City – 1.5%
I don?t know much if anything about this team this year. They have been good in the past, but didn?t show up an NYC this year, and they’ve never won nationals – seems like 1.5% is the obvious choice to me.

9. Schaumberg – 4%
Again, I don’t know a lot about this team but what I saw of them last year at nationals. My biggest hesitation is that they will not have had enough quizzes against quality teams by the time they get there. On the other hand, if they’re even a little better than they were last year, they suddenly become a major threat to the some of the more famous teams.

8. Open Door – 0.5%
I would be very, very surprised if they were to make it out of their own state, but if they do they would have eliminated much of their competition at nationals. They also will not have Grace D’Amico at state because she is too young. If they were to win Florida, their odds would go way up though.

7. Heritage Mission – 2.5%
I saw none of their high school teams quiz, but they seemed to finish lower than I expected them to. However, they seem to have a knack these last couple years for making us think that they are having a down year, and then really coming up big at nationals. I give them an outside chance.

6. Faith SC – 0%
Another team that suffers from not being able to compete because they are a church rather than a school. My pick for NYC champions came up a little short this year. It’ll be interesting to see what they do the rest of the year.

4. Calvary FL – 17.5%
As you?ll notice, this is the first team that has a substantial percentage. The problem for Calvary is that FBCCF is in their state so just making it to nationals will be a challenge. I think they are probably the team with the most upside on the list. They struggle from inconsistency, but I think they are the only team with enough really strong quizzers to consistently give Pleasant View a loss in a three team quiz. In fact, I doubt that Pleasant View will receive a low in a 3-team quiz this year that doesn’t have Calvary in it. I think a couple more big tournaments this year should improve them much. They are my pick to pull the upset and be the team representing Florida at nationals.

4. Old Paths – 5.5%
OK, I calculated what percentages I was going to use before I wrote the article. Now that I?m actually doing it, I think I may have underestimated Old Paths a bit. I think they have the recipe for nationals success with two very strong quizzers and a team that also got questions late in the day. I expect them to get stronger as the year goes on as well. They definitely have a shot.

3. FBCCF – 15%
Again, they must go through Calvary and Open Door to even get there – that hurts their percentage. I?ll go ahead and give them some bulletin board material and say that I think that Calvary will be the team that ends up representing Florida. On the plus side, Praise Santos is a star and the supporting cast is better than I expected.

2. Woodside – 23%
What a snub? How are these guys #2 after their win at NYC, I don’t understand that, seems to me like they deserve the #1 spot. They ended Pleasant View’s invincibility factor. They have more tournaments to go to in order to get their relatively inexperienced team some more work. They proved to have strong quizzers at the top as well as depth that no one else could match. Plus, a little inside information I have says that two of their top five quizzers weren?t even there. They have a whole lot going for them at this point.

1. Pleasant View – 30%
I know I went on and on about how good I think Woodside is. Fact of the matter is that the brain tells me it’s too early to hand the crown over at this point. Just because Phil Mickelson wins a major every now and then, everyone knows Tiger is still the man. I think Pleasant View could potentially be moving into dynasty territory this year. They still have the best quizzer – even though the Florida people still try to argue on this. They still have the best #2 quizzer. Inside information from Aaron Wells himself says that the two brothers on the team sometimes beat out the Wells duo, and that it was just the magnitude of the situation that kind of got in their heads a bit. If they were going to lose any tournament this year, the New Year’s Classic is where it would happen – and they came very close to pulling it off. They seemed to be the dominant team in the gym until the final round. My guess is that second place will only serve to motivate them. They should repeat as national champions again this year.

Everyone Else – 0.5%
Valley, Parsippany, Calvary SC, Athens, Tri-Cities, Heritage VA – I can’t really see anybody coming out of nowhere to win nationals. This is not a slap in the face, I think that several of these teams could finish in the top 10, but it’s hard for me to believe that we have the national champion outside of the current top 10.

Now, as some of you may know I am a graduating computer science major at Georgia Tech. As such, I thought it would be nifty to simulate for the winner of nationals. I came up with a little program, entered my percentages for each team on the list, and the winner was…

Calvary FL

Congrats, on winning the Callaway Nationals Simulated Championship. We’ll see how that pans out for you in the future.

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