Who Is the Best Team In the Nation?

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Who Is the Best Team In the Nation?

Post by Hank »

1. Paul M. Dorman, SC

Scary Team... Always a contender. Honorable mention to my Hometown Savannah though. We're lookin' alright.
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Post by steven-lamp »

TJ. The end.
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Post by AKKOLADE »

Thomas Jefferson (of Virginia, not Missouri) would be the #1 team in that nation, assuming you're asking about quiz bowl teams of the NAQT/PACE variety. Maggie Walker would be second, and then it's a jumble of other highly talented teams.

If you're asking about teams competing on NAC questions, then just go find Chip Beall and ask him. I'm sure he'd be more than willing to inform you which team can place the cuts of meat of a cow from front to back better than any other in the nation.
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Post by Byko »

The best teams in the country this year were definitely from the mid-Atlantic region, not the southeast. Thomas Jefferson and Governor's School were great this year--made for probably the best national championship final I've ever seen. The fact that 3 of the top 4 at PACE were from that part of the country really says something about the competition there this past season.
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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

How about 4 of the top 5?
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Post by quizbowlmike »

yes, i agree. 4 of the top 5. one could probably even say TJ has 2 of the top 3.
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Post by ericblair »

I have to agree with TJA being the best. Pikeville second. Wait...NO that is false.


We need a top 25 ranking or something on here. Those were always interesting.
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Post by AKKOLADE »

While I personally feel and agree that the polls were interesting to look at back in the day just to see who was interpreted as the best team of the year in an activity where, in some years, the debate of who is the best team would not be decided in play, I can see how the poll caused more drama than it was worth. Weiner would be the one to further expand upon this statement, but (assuming I am recalling his statements correctly) I seem to remember he made a statement that the poll caused too much argument, didn't receive enough fair ballots from unbiased people, and just wasn't worth the time that was put into it - all statements that are true in my opinion.

However, if the poll was reborn in a less serious nature, and was viewed as not a definitive comparison of teams but just an attempt to recognize some of the best teams in the nation in an activity where such recognition can be lacking, I feel that it would be a worthwhile activity. Just my two cents.

Edit: You know, completing sentences isn't overrated.
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Post by quizbowlmike »

After looking at the outcome of the 2 real national tournaments, (I'll let you figure out which 2 I'm talking about) this is what I've come up with as the top teams in the country.

1. TJ A
2. Gov. A
3. St. Johns A
4. Richard Montgomery
5t. Eleanor Roosevelt
5t. TJ B
5t. State College
5t. DCC
5t. Dorman A

The rest after the top tier in no particular order:

Cutter
New Trier
Raleigh Charter
Princess Anne
Blake
DCD
Solon
Dorman B
Rufus King
Irmo
Macon Central
Pikeville
Dunbar
Ransom Everglades
Plano East
Charlottesville
Milburn
St. Johns B
Last edited by quizbowlmike on Mon Jul 26, 2004 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

I guess based on the national tournament results that may be all right, but you ARE only basing that on the PACE and NAQT nationals events. You are pretty much ignoring all other good or great teams that didn't go to those nationals (the only one that really stands out is Wheaton North, who I think has basically beaten the tar out of all Illinois teams all year, including a talented New Trier squad), and you are leaving out all consideration of regular season games. Dorman's regular season record was WAY better than six of your top nine (I believe they have lost less than ten games in the regular season), you seemed to automatically place PACE's top four as your own top four, and you don't consider regular season head-to-head matches (giving ER an edge over DCC and Dorman, TJ B an edge over RichMo and State College but under Dorman, Irmo, and Central Macon, the list goes on).

As far as I know, the only obvious ranking would be a top three, just as you have it. Beyond that, and maybe even still within that, the picture is extremely fuzzy; I might just turn your top nine in to a top ten by adding Wheaton North and trying to include Gonzaga and Okemos in the top 25 but that's just me.

EDIT: Synatx
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Post by quizbowlmike »

Gonzaga was actually suppose to be on there, I think I just skipped them when I was transfering the list. As for Okemos, they are next on the list after those teams I put on there.

As for not considering regular season tournaments, I considered them a bit, but not nearly as much as NAQT and PACE. I am not going to put that much time into this, I was just putting some names out there from just looking at the results of the better national tournaments. As for Dorman having a wonderful regular season... it's true, they did win pretty much everything in the southeast this year. But, as Mr. Barry has even mentioned, the southeast is not as strong as it usually is this year. If you would like to (or perhaps if you are more able to, like it sounds you are) please do put them down in some sort of order that makes more sense than mine.

Wheaton North - never heard of them. :|
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Post by somerandomguy »

The year is over, the top two spots don't really seem debatable. What are predictions for the coming year?
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Post by ihatenicksaban »

Quizbowlmike, though i generally shy away from pimping my own team like this i will since i have already graduated. Brookwood had a winning record or beat at least nine of the teams you listed as having honorable mention. I was also wondering where Milton and Walton would be placed amidst those schools you named.
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Post by quizbowlmike »

If Walton and Milton attended either of the two nationals i took into consideration, they most likely would have been put into the honorable mention group, depending on their preformances. I was thinking about adding you guys (Brookwood) in there, but you didnt do so hot at NAQT. I know you guys were missing people, but there's no way we can tell how well you would have done if those people were there. I probably should have thrown you guys in there, but it's too late now. I know you guys are a good team, although we never did get to play you guys this year.

By the way, what college are you going to and are you going to play?
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Post by what? »

why should a team be descriminated against just because they didn't go to a national tournament?

many schools just simply don't have the funds to send a team halfway across the nation...

just something to think about :|
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Post by Allandaros »

Without some sort of benchmark (like nationals) to compare the team to others not in its region, it's hard to give it a ranking, as such. For example, the Holton Arms quizbowl team in the DC area is a very strong team (in the great whopping SINGLE event they go to, the TV show It's Academic). Can they ranked compared to other schools? Not very well, since there's such a small sample size.

Oh, and getting stuff from the national tourneys is a whole lot easier to compute.
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Post by steven-lamp »

And now, LeftSaidFred's statement about polls causing too much drama and debate is proven. There are SO many factors one must consider and debate over when considering national rankings that it seems infeasible to even establish them. Unless there was one uniform system that all teams could and did compete in, then the debate will just continue on an infinite loop and eventually end with inconclusive rankings.
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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

But hey... at least the poll drama keeps that competitive quiz bowl spirit alive for the summer!

Oh, and for my two cents -- I'll agree that nationals are important, but for teams like Walton and Milton, who competed a lot in the reg. season against teams who did go to nationals (and competed against them on legit questions at legit events), a ranking would probably be possible, though I can understand why it might be difficult, not knowing every match outcome and such. Brookwood, though, did go 7-3 in the prelims at NAQT after a solid year, so not including them (especially considering some of the teams that were included) does seem kind of an unfair omission. I also think Milton, and maybe Walton, ought to be in that "second tier" but, hey, that's just my opinion.

(Oh and on a not-particularly-relevant-other-than-he-posted-last note, I played basketball with a guy who looked just like steven-lamp yesterday... kinda creepy :wink: )
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Post by ChopinManiac »

Hey, we could always try to create some sort of working BCS-like system related to quizbowl where it ranks teams based on their finishing in tournaments, the strength level of the teams at the tournaments and extra points for quality wins over good teams in their home states. Then at the end of the year, like the BCS should be, it would spit out the name of the 32 best teams across the country and at some designated spot, to be switched around every year in a 4-point wheel (?), they will meet and gather to play in what would be the one true national tournament of the year. Of course, sponsers would be used to ensure each teams participation and questions would be NAQT.

P.S. - This incredibly stupid idea was brought to you by a member of the Milton high school academic squad. Now put us on the second teir. Lol.
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Post by quizbowlmike »

if you would like to write the program for that or do the computations for it by hand, be my guest. to really do what you are suggesting, you'd need to have the entire record of every team including every team they've played and the score of every match, plus the question type.

i think this BCS for quizbowl thing has been suggested more than a few times in other threads in comparisons. each time it was followed with shreaks and groans. i'm for it and i'd help out if anyone really wanted to try to do that, but i do think that it would just be way too much work. just thinking about writing a program for that is hurting my head because of all the little check loops one would have to put in. another problem is that none of the teams play the same number of games, at least in college football, it's usually within 2 or 3 games difference with all the teams. here, you could be looking at as much as a 100 game difference.

as for milton being in the second tier, i think you guys belong there, but i wasnt going to put you there because you didnt attend either of the nationals i took into consideration. the amount of crap i would have to hear about why are you guys there if you didnt go to any nationals would just be too much of a head ache.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

We've never even had a computerized ranking system in the college game, where 95% of tournaments post full statistics and everything is basically in the same format, two things that are needed for such an endeavor. In high school, where after four years of work I still can't get certain entire states to send me their tournament results, it would be beyond impossible. You need to know who played who, what the score was, what the format was (to assign meaning to that score), etc for every game. My best estimate is that there are about 800 to 1200 high school quizbowl tournaments held each year, and about 5 to 10 of them provide such information.
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Post by ChopinManiac »

QuizBowlMike. That is completely understandable and of course I am not mad at anyone for not being on their list of top teams around the nation. After all, last year is now over and the next season is soon to begin. I hope that we might be able to attend a national tournament this year, but if not, then oh well, we still enjoy what we do. Anyways, I thank you for even taking us into consideration and we hope to have fun next year.
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Post by solonqb »

The program's not hard at all. I could probably write it in a weekend. As Weiner said, the inevitable lack of data is what kills the idea.
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Post by First Chairman »

Not only the lack of data, but also the plethora of formats will make any determination of a "top team" maddening. You could do it for NAQT's tournaments assuming that their question set is of some consistency for a rating system to be useful.

But to add to the discussion on whether a team should be necessarily disqualified for not competing in nationals. For the final poll, I think so. Imagine a golfer who instead of playing at the British Open decides to play at some minor competition to gain "victory points" and increase his ranking among his peers. Oh wait...

In most if not all organized competitive circuits (I can cite ballroom dancing, but it also occurs for tennis, swimming, track & field, and golf at least), there is a considerable weight placed on competing at "national" championships for a ranking. If your team prefers doing this event as a hobby, there's no loss for you if you don't go to nationals. But then don't complain if you think you're as good as those that do. There may be a team that goes completely undefeated in its region in quiz bowl, but at least until they play on a national stage, there's no reason why they MUST be ranked for a national poll.
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Post by quizbowlmike »

so what would be a good formula for computing the top teams? the BCS at least has human polls to base things on as a starting point.
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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

quizbowlmike: We've had human polls before, and could probably do so again, though it might take some work convincing to get people to participate. --OR-- Much as you did, we could use the actual standings from NAQT and PACE, where top teams prove themselves in actual competition with other top teams. (but see below...)

Dr. Chuck: I see your point about not competing at Nationals but unlike pro sports, quiz bowl teams (hobbyists or not) don't always have the money to travel cross-country to play. Yes, there is fundraising, but there's also a requirement of time and, often, a teacher willing to give up part of his/her summer. Many of us are fortunate enough to have schools and communities willing to help out, and dedicated advisors to come with us, but not everyone does.

I agree, though, that attendance at nationals is just about required to establish a team's quality versus other top teams; but in some cases (as with, say, Milton and Walton above), such teams have played nationally-competitive teams in fair formats, so a match record exists for evaluating them. IF they establish in those matches that they're a top-level team, and have a decent reason for not doing nationals, I think they should be ranked. (Of course, if they haven't established themselves, not going to nationals deprives them of that excellent forum to do so. In that case, I can't fault someone for not including them.)
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Post by quizbowlmike »

quiz bowl teams (hobbyists or not) don't always have the money to travel cross-country to play. Yes, there is fundraising, but there's also a requirement of time and, often, a teacher willing to give up part of his/her summer. Many of us are fortunate enough to have schools and communities willing to help out, and dedicated advisors to come with us, but not everyone does.
you're right, but if a team is dedicated enough, they will find a way. case in point, martin county; but i know no one wants to hear about our drama so i'll spare you all.

so what system or formula can anyone come up with that could take into account different formats, different levels of competition, different numbers of tournaments, different amounts of games, and different nationals?

just something i've been toying around with...
score = ( K / average # of teams at tournaments attended) * ( Sum of tournament places / Number of tournaments attended, note: nationals will count at 2 tournaments) + S * ( # of losses / # of tournaments, again, nationals count twice)

where K and S are constants for weighting purposes. K could perhaps be the average number of teams that attend all tournaments. S could possibly be the average number of tournaments attended by all teams.

for instance, Martin County's would be 5K/40.875 + S*1. (this is not counting Panasonic format or Beta competions for various reasons)

Ranking after a score would be like the BCS, lowest total = best ranking.

So what do you guys think, how can this be improved on?

And yes, I do realize this does require a lot of information from each tournament including # of teams there, a final ranking of all teams there (ties are okay), and number of losses for each team.
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Post by cvdwightw »

Two major problems with that are strength of the tournament field and difficulty/style of the questions. For example, using that formula, a whole lot of teams would be unfairly placed due to participation at this year's Cavalier Classic, which I understand had several of the top teams in the nation. A strong, but not-as-strong, team that did not attend Cavalier Classic could theoretically sneak into a place higher than they deserve due to attending easier tournaments. Also, it's harder to gauge the strength of comparable tournament fields--a good team in a weak area that doesn't travel much would have impressive stats and would probably do decent enough at nationals to merit a placing higher than they really should have. Based on your formula it would appear that Gov would have been no higher than third last year, based on finishing second to TJ at so many tournaments, while a team that placed highly at nationals from a different area would place second; despite this, it seems to be fairly well acknowledged that TJ and Gov were the two best teams in the nation last year.

Difficulty of questions must also be put in perspective. Some teams do extremely well with harder questions; other teams are faster on the buzzers but have no depth. Therefore different teams will play better at different formats.
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Post by quizbowlmike »

Two major problems with that are strength of the tournament field and difficulty/style of the questions.
i was thinking that i could get away with avoiding the strength of the tournament field by taking into account the size of the tournament, i.e. the number of teams participating. but, if it is the case that the number of teams is not a good predictor of the competition level of the tournament, perhaps these more difficult tournaments could be weighted as 2 tournaments and nationals could be weighted as 3? or, possibly, K and S could have something to do with the region in which a team resides to act as a handicap for teams that dont play against any top caliber teams?

as for taking the style of questions into account, i thought about it, but decided against it. certain types of format would probably be left out, such as panasonic, beta, it's academic, or anything else that has more than 2 teams playing at a time or elimination done by using a team worksheet. there is also the possibility of only counting tournaments that are hosted by a credible quizbowl party, such as a college team, a tournament with help from a question company (NAQT for example), or legitimate high school programs (this could include pretty much all tournaments hosted by high school teams that choose to report the results).

i was also thinking of adding another factor on for a quality win, or loss (gov losing to TJ all year), but i'm not sure how much to weight the points for that yet without some sort of idea for the normal point total for a good team.
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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

I think the quality win/loss thing (despite the BCS dropping it...) makes sense. Maybe if you could find out how many of the top 25/50/whatever team came to a tournament and somehow weight it using that...?

Not including difficulty of questions makes sense to me, too. As long as your rank is based on W-L mainly and not on points, question type/difficulty shouldn't matter. Dwight makes a good point about teams doing better on certain types, but if this is supposed to be sort of an overall quiz bowl ranking, I don't see the problem with taking into account all kinds of formats, at least for pre-national events. If your team is good at whatever kind of tournament you frequent, your rank will go up.
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Post by First Chairman »

Personally I think it's all about quality and not about quantity. If quantity were important, the national champion every year would be the KMO winner.
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More from the southeast

Post by Kappin »

What about Aiken?
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Post by quizbowlmike »

What about them? They were a pretty good team this year in the southeast, but did they even go to any nationals?
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aiken

Post by Kappin »

they went to st. louis, went undefeated in the prelims and lost to Booker T. Washington in the 2nd round. Nationals was the first time the first team played together since Savannah Country Day in January. They beat Brookwood in the playoffs of that tournament (Brookwood was #1 seed, Aiken #8) and beat Central Macon in a championship round early in the year. Not saying aiken was better than them, but they were a pretty good team.
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Post by quizbowlmike »

and like i said, you're a good team in the southeast, but i wouldnt say so nationally. who did you lose to at savannah--milton or taylor (both left off the list, as well as brookwood)?

st. louis, you guys should have gone to NAQT or PACE. i'm sure there were some good teams there, but quite honestly, i dont give a damn about st. louis and i dont think a lot of people here do either.

you guys were a good team this year. i believe i had you ranked in the southeastern standings back when i was doing those, but i dont think you guys belong in the top tier nationally. sorry, no offense.
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Post by ChopinManiac »

If I remember correctly, Aiken lost to Taylor County in the semi's and then Taylor County lost to Milton in the finals.
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k

Post by Kappin »

no offense taken...i appreciate you putting aiken in your rankings...lots of people overlooked us...we weren't the best, but you couldn't just ease by us. we went to st. louis because we seem to do good in chip's tournaments for some reason...maybe it's because of the rockin outfits he wears! some very random questions though. we had a question asking us to identify an instrument from a western movie theme song and they played the theme from the good, the bad, and the ugly. it was an ocarina, but sounded like whistling followed by harmonica (if anyone can identify that as an ocarina, i respect you very much). the problem is, most of the information in the question was wrong...it said it won best picture in the 60's (it wasn't, i don't even think it was nominated for anything!) doesn't that sound just like a chip tournament? but we seem to do well (maybe it's the insanely easy lightning rounds he gives us when he wants us to win!) and we only had the money to do one and we figured that was the one we had the best shot at. another chip note: i was in the elevator at our hotel and he got in and said if i ever wanted to stop by for snacks i could and he told me what room he and all the others would be in...needless to say, i never stopped by for snacks...probably could've helped us in the playoffs though! again, i appreciate you think highly enough of us to recognize us in your rankings...if only i had stopped for snacks with chip, aiken high could've been national champions!
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Re: k

Post by Matt Weiner »

Kappin wrote:we only had the money to do one and we figured that was the one we had the best shot at
The rest of your post about Chip's favoritism and question quality is appreciated. I have to wonder about this though; given the cost of Chip, it seems like any team that goes could have done both NAQT and PACE, at least if one of them was drivable.
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Post by Kappin »

well, we originally were going to drive to houston to play in naqt, then drive up to st louis from houston the next week...we had enough for st. louis and we had done well the past few years in chip's tournaments, and we decided we wanted to go there. his questions suit our style of play, because there aren't that many teams at his tournaments that are faster than us and deeper than us, so if they beat us to the 5 pointers, we could still take the 20 pointers...that, and we felt confident with the lightning rounds because we had someone on the team who could cover almost any category (the fairy tales category in our playoff round didn't help us though...they changed the titles of fairy tales and we had to guess the original...the other team got a very easy art lightning round to increase their lead). i liked his tournaments because of his sports questions. his audio questions, like i hinted at earlier, are the most random ones ever. i never really liked his game show setup (especially the score being directly behind you) and the way he played favorites (we were well ahead of a team in the 4th quarter, really cruising along, when he stopped for a minute and said he needed a new question, and pulls out a music question...i thought back to the player introductions from before, the other team's captain was in the band and was going to be a music major and knew all this music stuff). he knows how to kill your momentum and deliver it straight to the other team. in our playoff match against booker t, we were up pretty big after the 1st considering it was 5 and 10 pointers, then they got a question in the 2nd and he starts reading faster and reacting to their correct answers and before we knew it, the 3rd quarter had passed by and we were down huge.
NOTE: I am not trying to take anything away from Booker T. Washington. They are a great team and deserved that victory. I'm not trying to say they only won because of Chip, that would be foolish. I'm just pointing out how he can disrupt one team's flow and transfer it to the other. A few posts ago, I was trying to see what anyone thought of our team...now I'm bashing Chip Beall...how great is this? maybe there should be a section just for chip bashing. that would be the most popular message board in history.
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Chris Frankel
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Post by Chris Frankel »

Hey Kappin: interesting post about Chip "issues" (I had some similar experiences with NAC's "quirks," so to speak, during my own HS QB career, so it's always amusing/disappointing to hear that he's still up to the same old nonsense).

I just had one quick favor to ask. When you post, can you try to spread out your comments over several short paragraphs? It's just hard to follow everything with one really long paragraph as opposed to few separate ones. No biggie, just a tip that would make your posts easier to read.
jrbarry
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Post by jrbarry »

We (Brookwood) drove to Chip-New Orleans and then on to NAQT in Houston.

I like going to both if that is possible, but I will never go to both again with so many (1-3) of my top players absent.

My expectations of national tournaments are so low, I am rarely disappointed. We just go for the trip if our season has been successful by some measure.

Chip has abandoned St Louis in favor of Chicago for his NAC venue #3.
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solonqb
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Post by solonqb »

I wonder what effect that will have on ASCN. Didn't they have their fewest number of teams ever this year?
Noah Rahman
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jrbarry
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Post by jrbarry »

ASCN has had about the same number of teams for the past 3 years, low-to-mid 30s.

I am not sure what NAC moving into Chicago will do to ASCN. Dates seem as important to choosing nationals as locations. I presume that ASCN will still be during Memorial Day weekend with NAC-Chicago being 2 weeks later than that.

My guess is that NAC moving to Chicago will NOT affect ASCN's numbers.
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Matt Weiner
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Post by Matt Weiner »

jrbarry wrote:My guess is that NAC moving to Chicago will NOT affect ASCN's numbers.
I'm going to say that far fewer teams will do both. At this point tourism is about the only reason to go to either of those tournaments, so why go to the same city twice to play bad questions?
mhanna
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Post by mhanna »

ASCN should be fine. I personally like the tournament and as much as we would like to attend, we no longer can because of a change in our exams and graduation date.

Mac Hanna
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emactruman
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Post by emactruman »

In previuos rankings, most people put DCC ahead of DCD. This is obviously being more heavily influenced by late season results than ones from earlier in the year, when DCC struggled to prove itself anything higher than a top four team in the state.
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tony5429
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Post by tony5429 »

tj.
Last edited by tony5429 on Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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No Sollositing On Premise
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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

I'm sorry, but I'm trying not to drown in your torrent of sheer logic [/sarcasm]. Care to back that up?
Mike Sollosi, University of Virginia
wwellington
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Post by wwellington »

In previuos rankings, most people put DCC ahead of DCD. This is obviously being more heavily influenced by late season results than ones from earlier in the year, when DCC struggled to prove itself anything higher than a top four team in the state.
And your point is?
mindquaker111
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Post by mindquaker111 »

is everyone aware that Gov graduated the entire A team from recent nationals? we're still strong, but have a lot to defend after that team.
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