A Smart Man’s Top 10

1 Pleasant View KY

OK, while they weren’t quite as dominant as last year, they were far and away the #1 team. They were challenged at tournaments and even lost The New Year’s and Blue Ridge Classics. Noone, however, should argue with this. They are, as they should be, #1. The have the best two quizzers in the country, and they live in the same house and are both coming back next year. Right now, they stand as having the most dominant two year stretch, EVER. No middle wins at AACS for two years. Now, I am sure there was at least one quiz where they lucked into a high instead of a middle, but even so, they are just awesome. And they show no signs of slowing down. Right now, I hear the odds are 50/50 that they will four-peat with Randy, Will, and Autumn.

2 First Baptist Central Florida

When I was thinking of ranking Pleasant View #1 no matter what happened on Thursday, I realized just how great their year was. They lost on a bonus at Athens. They lost on the final question at Colorado. They even lost on the final question at AACS, when Praiselynn gave too much information. Two years ago, they had an amazing array of people and narrowly edged out other teams to finish #1. This year, they lost one of the best quizzers of the last decade (Abby Carbonell) and are still the concensus #2 team. I could either go on about the greatness of Luke Brigham and Katie Rinaudo in replacing Abby, or I could just say that their coaching staff is very good.

3 Calvary Florida

It is no secret that I liked this team at the beginning of the year. And with their two best quizzers both being freshman, there is a lot to like for next year also. However, they couldn’t even win state. That is a pretty big stumblingblock when trying to win AACS. Next year, though, they may just pull it out.

4 Old Paths

Here is where I think people start to disagree. But, when one team gets 4th at NYC, 4th at SCQANIT, and 4th at AACS, where else can they possibly be ranked? They alternated doing better at tournaments with Heritage (New York), so I used their placement in DC as the tiebreaker. Old Paths got 2nd and the best New York team got 4th. Whenever a team loses at AACS amidst controversy, I feel I need to give them any benefit of the doubt.

5 Heritage (New York)

Unlike Lindsay used to say, I finally feel like we have settled on a name for this team. Which is nice, because going to a tournament and saying, “Who is Genessee Valley” is just getting old. Like I said above, they alternated with Old Paths. And while I generally like to give them extra credit for having multiple good teams, this year, they only brought one really good team to SCQANIT and AACS. And they alternated doing better with Old Paths. And I like AACS a little better.

6 Schaumberg

Third at AACS is great. Tenth at SCQANIT is not. They had a very up and down year, and while I would love to use their AACS status as a great precursor to a fantastic ranking, I just don’t think they were consistent enough to put them in the top 5. When they were good, they were very good. I wish we could have seen this team at New Year’s Classic or some other events, but at the events we did see them, they were stellar.

7 Open Door

If ever there were an example of how not quizzing late hurts you, this is it. Open Door was great at Colorado. And after back-to-back great finishes (including the New Year’s Classic), everyone seemed to have them in the top five. I almost took them out of the top three in their state after SCQANIT, however. Could they have made a statement? Maybe. Can I know for sure that they would? No.

8 Truth

If we are ever again going to see a team that just knows how to win, this is it. They won more quizzes than anybody except Pleasant View, New York, and Calvary at SCQANIT. On the other hand, they never had a single high win. That is a skill that I thought was lost as the better teams began to assert themselves when I quizzed. As I learned, it is still possible to go through all the way to the top 5-6 teams. And if Keith would have heard that word on Question 20, they may still be wading their way through Middle Wins.

9 Faith (SC)

Believe it or not, I wanted to rank this team much higher. They seemingly had more potential than any of the teams at 4-8. However, they got eliminated at the same time as Truth at SCQANIT. Finished outside the top 10 in Colorado. Had only one good team at the New Years Classic. I realize it was only a partial team at AACS, but somehow I think if Calvary had just their top two quizzers on an AACS team, they would do just a little better. About two years ago, Faith switched their style from one of being the most cautious of the good teams to being one of the more gutsy. Only time will tell if it is the correct move.

10 Woodside

Quick. When was the last time a team that won New Years Classic finished outside of the 10 best teams? Woodside does not fall into that category, but they tempted me by making the consolation tournament at SCQANIT. Reboudning for a very solid 6th at AACS, made me feel good about this and even tempted me to raise them. Of course, I couldn’t discount the partial team of SC’s performance into dropping them any further, so Woodside ends 10th. On the bright side, they have shown that if they get to the finals, they can still do really well, and as far as I know, everyone is coming back. Not to mention, they will be out to better their finish from this year.

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