Best Teams In The Country '06-07?

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Best Teams In The Country '06-07?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I'm curious who you guys think will be the nation's "quizbowl elite" this year.
As I don't live near some of the traditional powerhouses I wont pass judgement. I will say, however, that I think a couple of Missouri teams will be in the running this year (yeah i know I love MO). And I saw Danville players at ACE camp, and man are they good. I'll say they are also in the running this year.
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Post by brownboy79 »

It's hard to predict the best teams in the nation, especially this early in the season. Most of our play is in the Southeast, so I can comment on that, but aside from the usual powerhouses in the DC/VA area and a few up north, I honestly don't know. In the southeast:
Brookwood, Ezell-Harding, Russell, Manual (Lost Yilei and Hartz, but still a good team), Danville (Depends entirely on who's replacing Knupp), James Island, and maybe Aiken.
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Post by bigtrain »

Maggie Walker and State College.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

To expand on this topic, I would also like input on who will be the best individual players this year. Some (but not all) of my picks are Ted Goia from Gonzaga, maybe someone from Brindlee Mountain, Papa Chakravarthy, (heh, maybe even I could end up somewhere on there. That would be awesome)
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Post by vcuEvan »

[quote="bigtrain"]Maggie Walker and State College.[/quote]

I think Gonzaga and RM are also going to be strong. Also watch out for MLK Magnet and Mounds... both had strong performances at NAQT. I'm not sure how many graduated, but DuPont Manual and Santa Monica were also impressive.
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Post by brownboy79 »

Gonzaga returns Ted for his senior year, but RM graduated a several seniors, including Chris Ray. DuPont lost their entire starting team and their best B team player as well. This year looks like a rebound year for them, but who knows? They're always good.
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Post by dyetman89 »

iambusyeating wrote:
bigtrain wrote:Maggie Walker and State College.
I think Gonzaga and RM are also going to be strong. Also watch out for MLK Magnet and Mounds... both had strong performances at NAQT. I'm not sure how many graduated, but DuPont Manual and Santa Monica were also impressive.
I can hardly argue with Alex's selection of MLWGS and State College - both will be pretty beastly, and the former looks almost frighteningly strong. On that note, how does everyone think Maggie Walker will compare to TJ '05? In any event, both will be excellent.

Certainly Gonzaga will be good - Ted is returning, after all. I have to wonder about RM though; certainly I would never count them out, as they have been strong year after year, but their main threat is goin' west. His teammates were competent, sure, but could any of them really step up and fill Chris Ray's shoes? "Crazy captain" effect aside, I find it difficult to envision. That's not to say they won't be very good, merely to wonder whether they can perform as well as they did this year.

MLK magnet will be formidable next year, and perhaps even more so in '07-'08 - they have an enviable pool of talent there. But Mounds Park? Unless they are planning to clone Brendan Byrne, I don't see how they can be a national force. Am I missing something here? We (Stuyvesant) played against Mounds Park at the HS NCT. That they were very impressive I can attest firsthand, but they were, as my teammate Anthony Pang told me more than once, "a one-man army." Now that this one man is graduating, I don't see Mounds Park in the running next year.
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Post by brownboy79 »

Where is he (Brendan) going to college?
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Post by dyetman89 »

brownboy79 wrote:Where is he (Brendan) going to college?
Drake, I believe.
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Post by Strongside »

I can confirm that I graduated from high school and I am going to Drake University. They have quiz bowl at Drake and I am planning to participate in college. Unfortunately, I don't think my alma mater Mounds Park will be good enough to qualify for nationals.

As for next years best teams I'll agree with Alex and say Maggie Walker and State College. Maggie Walker's top three scorers were juniors and they almost made it to the championship at the HSNCT. State College got 2nd and their top two players were juniors and apparently they were missing a couple of their usual A team players. Their B team also finished in a tie for 14th.

Since MLK Charter was mentioned I'll point out that we played them and they were pretty impressive and sophomore Dallas Simons was one of the top scorers. They had to play a really difficult schedule for a 6-4 team.

Since someone from both Stuyvesant and Dunbar B posted I'll mention that both of those teams made the playoffs and didn't have any seniors. Stuyvesant is a really prestigious school and Dunbar is really good at producing Jeopardy champions.
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Post by brownboy79 »

We(Dunbar B) had 4 sophomores (myself included). We played Stuyvesant, and although we didn't have a good game by any means, they were an excellent team.
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Post by Strongside »

As for me being a one person team I would like to thank Doug for the compliment but I don't think I was a one person team. Although I did answer over 80% of our team's tossups in both the prelims and the playoffs it was definitely a team effort and I couldn't do it alone. I played solo in a couple of tournaments because none of my teammates could come so I know what it is really like to be a one person team and it's definitely easier with teammates.

All of my teammates were really good at answering non sports trash questions and Logan was really good at French literature.
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Post by Chico the Rainmaker »

Santa Monica will be undergoing some rebuilding. I'd expect them to be good next year, but not as good as this year. Of course, if a couple of them decide it's worth their time to do a lot of studying instead of partying they could be better than we were, but I wouldn't count on that.
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Post by Magister Ludi »

At this point I would say Maggie Walker is the favorite with State College likely being their toughest competitior.
RM should be very good, returning many solid players. TJ also should be strong again and hopefully us(Gonzaga) will be solid.

From the South I would say Dunbar, Danville, and MLK are all going to be strong. MLK could be a darkhorse pick because they had several very strong players at ACE(especially Dallas).
As far as individual players are concerned Papa from Dunbar, Alison from State College, Charles from North Kansas(who was probably the best player at ACE), and everyone from Maggie Walker's A team are the best players I've seen and maybe I would be included on the list.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Judging from last year's national tournaments and looking at who is returning from the top teams, I feel pretty confident in saying that State College and Maggie Walker are both in very good contention for the title. Both teams were incredible last year with mainly Junior players.

TJ will be good. Their B-team was all sophomores at NAQT last year, and finished pretty high. Plus, they will have Evan from last year's A team.

Troy High School returns their best player, Kareem, so they will probably do well.

Beyond those teams, I think it's going to depend on who works hard and how the year progresses. We'll just have to see in June.
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Post by Strongside »

As for the best high school individual player next year I don't know of anyone who was amazing and didn't graduate this year but my experience at National Tournaments is limited. Looking at the results from the 2006 HSNCT Mark Guerci might have been the top non-senior with 18 powers and 3 neg 5's on a strong team playing a strong schedule but there were a lot of other excellent players who didn't graduate, while a lot of the top players (Chris Ray, Will Schultz, Joel Knight, Nate Mattison, etcetra) did graduate.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

No love for Shady Side? They join Walker and State College in returning at least some of their key players from a high-finishing nationals team.
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Post by Daniel_from_Manual »

I appreciate the nod towards Manual!

Unfortunately, I can't count us this year as a big powerhouse like we normally are. We have a new coach who is virgin to the big quiz bowl tournament scene, and I don't anticipate us making it to any big tourneys. In the occassion we do go to tournaments (I'm trying to assemble a squad to play at Ezell), we probably won't have an official school administrator with us, and because of some wierd rule in our county, that means we can't compete under the name of Manual's quiz bowl team.

My money is on Dorman from what I've seen. They have some great kids who are solid and consistent.
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Post by cvdwightw »

One name to possibly watch out for is Rancho Bernardo. From what I understand they are returning everyone from a team that barely missed qualifying for HSNCT by finishing about one or two spots out of qualification at every tournament except one in May. Jeffrey's a one-man wrecking crew and there is a decent amount of depth behind him. Santa Monica and maybe Torrey Pines or San Dieguito will be a step or two behind (based on what little I know about returning players). Still, Southern California is losing just about all the best players in the area, so the competition could be its weakest since 2003-04. At this point don't count on anyone from the area being in the running for the top spots at nationals.
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Post by Wall of Ham »

My speculation of teams near our region:

I think that Shady Side and Stuyvesant will be very good teams this year, with both probably making top 10 at NAQT next year. Shady Side is always good, and always beats us or nearly beats us at nationals. Stuyvesant won our tournament last year, and I was really impressed with them, as well as many on our team.

As for an Gov-SC "rivalry", well, we'll probably be losing more often than not. But that's alright. They're a really nice and really good team.

But we'll still try.

However, I think this year the championships are open to any good team from any region. Less so than last year maybe, but its still just a roll of the dice.
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Post by David Riley »

Daniel: DON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!

There is no reason why your program should suffer just because you have a new coach. You and your teammates should make pests of yourselves or do whatever it takes! IMNSHO, if she isn't willing to take you guys to the next level then she shouldn't have taken the job!
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Post by Tegan »

David Riley wrote:Daniel: DON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!

There is no reason why your program should suffer just because you have a new coach. You and your teammates should make pests of yourselves or do whatever it takes! IMNSHO, if she isn't willing to take you guys to the next level then she shouldn't have taken the job!
Not to sidetrack this thread, but I'm with my distinguished Hungarian librarian. If yous guys want to do more, and the coach is saying no, very politely go to the administration, and keep bucking up the chain of command. It can help if parents get involved (depending on the school).

I've seen too many programs evaporate because good, dedicated coaches leave for whatever reason, and they get replaced by mushrooms who draw a salary and do little for it. Good luck!
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Post by Daniel_from_Manual »

Thanks for the support guys.

Right now, we have a coach and we're going to Ezell officially, with the coach and everything, but I'm still worried about a major communication disfunction on our team. That communicaiton breakdown has especially revealed itself in the fact that all members of the team have to re-tryout for the varsity squad, including myself, who managed to eke somewhere in the 40's in ind. statistics at NAQT HSNC. Not to be arrogant, but I just don't understand why I and my fellow starters from last year have to waste time doing this process - Ezell is in two weeks or so, and we haven't even had a single practice yet!

Ah well. Manual's players are looking forward to a good year, and we especially look forward to seeing some similar faces in the Southeast at some of the big tourneys.
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Post by The Answer »

I just want to post since I found out about this site I'm Torrence and I go to duPont Manual High with Daniel and ill be one of the starters this year for our team. I just wanna say that we will be traveling this year and even though we may not be a powerhouse this year as usual we will not be an easy team to beat we have speed and knowledge. Quiz Bowl pwns Quick Recall but I think we will be right where we were last year with (2nd place at state) in quick recall. We haven't lost speed and contrary to what some might say about losing Jack and Yilei we havent lost TOO MUCH knowlege wise. I'm excited about Competing against the other good teams around the state and region and later the country (hopefully). Good Luck to all other teams.
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Post by Mechanical Beasts »

BLiu wrote:My speculation of teams near our region:

I think that Shady Side and Stuyvesant will be very good teams this year, with both probably making top 10 at NAQT next year. Shady Side is always good, and always beats us or nearly beats us at nationals. Stuyvesant won our tournament last year, and I was really impressed with them, as well as many on our team.
I'm still pulling for an all-PA national championship.

Had I only not gone insane for two consecutive rounds and scored 0 and -5 points, respectively, I would have had close to 65 pp20h. (That said, I did, and so I'm far from elite. Elite requires both consistent and consistently sane.)

And overall, we're losing Grant (28 pp20h) and Charlie, Josh (who got a power on the first few words of the entropy TU) and I are returning. With a pretty sweet frosh class.

And State College will own--and we'll play them lots through the year so we'll know what to do to improve more.

Oh yeah.
BLiu wrote:Less so than last year maybe, but its still just a roll of the dice.
That's what I noticed, really. Until the last TU (which you nabbed from me on a sick buzz, by the way) we were what, just 10, 15 points back from you? And we were leading at the half. On top of that, though, we only beat Wilmington Charter A and Troy by ten points each, both on the last tossup. I know there were a lot of other similarly close matches.

So a roll of the dice it is. May the best team win.
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Post by nurgles_herald »

Well, the cat is out of the bag- RM may have graduated Chris Ray, but it certainly didn't hold them back. If anything, it may have improved their playing style, as now there isn't some god-like figure for the rest of their A-team to defer tossups to.

We attended the TJ tournament yesterday and, going in to it, I was pretty confident that Maggie Walker was going to win. They beat our A-team two out of the three times they played us at NAQT nationals, and two of our players are 'new' on the A (one was on B last year, the other was mostly inactive). State College A managed to beat Maggie Walker A in the playoff round, but due to the closeness of the game, it was quite apparent that the SC-MW 'rivalry' isn't just speculation.

But oh my god. The final round with State College A against Richard Montgomery A was a terrifying reenactment of NAQT nationals. We had beaten them once in the prelims, and at the half State College was in the lead, 190-60 (if I remember correctly). The second half was one giant slide of RM ability- the game finished with RM in the 400's and State Colelge (again, if I remember correctly) in the high 200's.

I can't say I blame those of us who claimed RM would need a year to rebuild. I thought that RM would be a good team, on the same level of Shady Side, but I would've given them a very slim chance at #1 in the nation. This tournament isn't definitive- teams can change drastically over the course of a year- but I think it sends out one message loud and clear...

Richard Montgomery is here to stay.
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Post by Siverus Snape »

Jeffrey Siegel of RM impressed me immensely at ACE camp with his social studies knowledge. At SEMO, he was one of the top five camp scorers for both tests, and I remember seeing that another RM guy, Leonard Chang (?), did as well at the Maryville camp. I'm not surprised they're doing well.
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Post by Wall of Ham »

Well, I live nowhere near DC, so I'll post here about TJ's tourney.

Yes, Walker, it was reminiscent of NAQT last year, but I believe this time at the half we were down by 40 or 50 points.

Then RM stomped us, getting nearly every tossup in the second half. We were also down in our first game against RM at the half, but we managed a comeback due to the nature of the questions.

I have to agree that it is only a matter of questions which will for the most part decide the champions. We got pretty lucky in our Gov match, managing to get our questions and beat them in some buzzer races.

Since there are other good teams in the geographical section (Which I define arbitarily as between NY and NC) that didn't attend TJ (like TJ), and since neither Gov nor SC won this tournament, it makes for later tournaments to be that much more ... interesting.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Yeah no offense to TJ, they're generally really good at question writing, but it always seemed like every year the rounds weren't always all that well balanced for their house tournament. There might be the same distribution per round, but a category or two would be harder than the others, causing a big luck factor to be involved.

It's ironic how Raleigh Charter was beaten pretty thoroughly by RM at this tournament last year, and then they were able to come back and dominate their final round against RM at PACE. I think most of the top teams at this tournament will be in the top 10 or so by the end of the year (though Collegiate is a big question mark - it'll be interesting to watch them), but the question of who wins out largely depends on who develops more over the course of the season and who puts in more work/practice for it. Hosting a tournament and having to write questions certainly helps for some of the teams. Speaking of which, it'll be interesting to see how TJ does at the Cavalier Classic, since sometimes we forget about them after the big tournaments they host (which of course they can't participate in).

Out of curiosity what was RM A's lineup? Jeffrey and Keith were on there I guess but who else?
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Post by DumbJaques »

Yeah no offense to TJ, they're generally really good at question writing, but it always seemed like every year the rounds weren't always all that well balanced for their house tournament. There might be the same distribution per round, but a category or two would be harder than the others, causing a big luck factor to be involved.
I think TJ's house written tournaments suffer from the inability of whoever happens to be putting playoff packets together to visualize what it would be like to actually PLAY on those packets (especially in 2005, when TJ A set the bar a little higher). So in that sense, I agree with you. However. . .

It seems like you're implying these results are tied to TJ's house written unpredicability. As someone who has been going to this tournament for the last 3-4 years, surely you know that the fall tournament is NAQT? As in, that tournament RM beat RC at last year was also NAQT?

Still, aside from this bit of confusion, I'll agree that improvement is a huge factor (as it always is). And to answer your question, RM consisted of Keith, Jeffrey, Leonard, and Patricia. Interestingly, Jeffrey and Patricia were also on last year's JIAT championship team.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Derka derka, my bad, I did indeed go to TJ's tournaments 3-4 years, but for some reason they're the one host that I always mix up which tournament uses which type of questions. Maybe it's because of the shared name (JIAT), who knows.... But yeah I was referring to their house written tournament. As for NAQT, it's hard to speak on what their questions are like this year since I haven't played on or heard them, but if they're going by the same trend as last year then I'm guessing they're gradually getting more sloppy. Notable NAQT brain farts from last year include a tossup on Standard Oil which had Ida Tarbell well before the power mark, the infamous fusion reactor tossup at nationals, a tossup on Susan B. Anthony which mentioned "fighting for women's suffrage" before the power mark, and a lot of serious answers with really trashy early clues.

(^^To recall some of the above NAQT foul-ups I did have to go back and look at the "worst powers" thread, so if anyone's thinking "hey I told you that!" please don't sue)
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Post by Magister Ludi »

I agree with Matt there seems to be greater leniency in power marks now then there was a few years ago.
Also it seems that TJs NAQT always has a lot of good teams getting knocked out in the first round that go on to have great years: State College and DCC from last year.
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Post by STPickrell »

(re lenient powers)
Are the clues still pyramidally structured or are they just putting Ye Olde Power Mark 50% through the question instead of 25% through the question? Also remember auto-power for TJ/Gov/SC/etc. may not be auto-power for the middle and low end teams.
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Post by BuzzerZen »

My dad's impression from reading at our tournament was that NAQT's questions had improved over the year before, which I agreed with, based on having been exposed to fewer questions. I spend my day mostly ensconced in the war room.
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Post by Byko »

BuzzerZen wrote:My dad's impression from reading at our tournament was that NAQT's questions had improved over the year before, which I agreed with, based on having been exposed to fewer questions. I spend my day mostly ensconced in the war room.
I'd say that, in terms of content, I'd agree, and a couple coaches probably would too. I think John Barnes had commented to me that the questions seemed a little bit more difficult at this tournament. Although I'd say there were still several very generous power marks and a few overused lead-ins on tossups, the set did not seem as trashy in terms of distribution as it had in recent years.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

Yes, I thought the questions were a little difficult for an early regular-season set. But, the top teams were answering most of the questions, and in some games, powering half the questions or more. I attribute this more to the quality of the teams than to the generosity of the power marks. We will be able to do a better analysis of these matters once the stats are posted. As for trashiness, any trash is too much in my opinion. But, I understand that many people enjoy it.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

jbarnes112358 wrote:Yes, I thought the questions were a little difficult for an early regular-season set.
I mean that as a compliment, by the way.
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Post by vcuEvan »

While I also thought the questions were better than last year's, I did see some problems. For example, one of the questions I got in our semifinal match against State College was almost an exact repeat of an NAQT questions we had practiced on the week before.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

Magister Ludi wrote: Also it seems that TJs NAQT always has a lot of good teams getting knocked out in the first round that go on to have great years: State College and DCC from last year.
Your Gonzaga team, along with Stuyvesant A, definitely fit that category. The stats are indicative of this fact. I like bonus conversion rate and power answers as good indicators of the strength of a team. Total points per toss-up are not as useful because it is so dependant on which teams are played against.

In the prelims, the ranking for bonus conversion was:

1. SC A 23.9
2. RM A 23.6
3. MW A 21.9
4. Stuy A 21.6
5. Gonzaga 20.8

The ranking for powers/ questions heard

1. MW A 39/117
2. SC A 35/112
3. RM A 32/106
4. Stuy A 32/106
5. Gonzaga 27/117

Gonzaga's 3-2 record is not indicative of their strength. They lost very close games to RM B and Blake, excellent teams whose stats are not far behind the ones listed above. They easily could have been 4-1 or possibly even 5-0. Eventhough Gonzaga was a little under the radar at this tournament, I believe they will be a significant player at nationals.

Stuyvesant is definitely for real. We have not heard the last from this team. Their win over MW A was indeed impressive. By the way, there were 810 points scored in that game between the two teams, even with MW's negs and lower than normal bonus conversion.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

Stuy A's bonus conversion was 32/113 not 32/106. Sorry I couldn't edit it. My ranking is still correct.

Of course, all the data analysis is based on a small sample size of 5 games. Plus, odd and even brackets played on different questions. So, all this analysis should be taken with a grain of salt. The bottom line is that this tournament had many very strong teams that should compete well at nationals and that there is no clearcut favorite at the present time.
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Post by bigmac »

In terms of tangible measures of teams, one also must consider powers to negs. This was the biggest weakness of RM last year; we had to power questions just to make up for the 5 or so free tossups we gave away each game.

It would also be interesting to look at a few other numbers for comparative purposes.

1. If NAQT, or even just scorekeepers, kept bouncebacks and tossups as distinct statistics, then a team's net tossups (powers + non-bounceback tossups - negs) would be a more valid stat than points per game. Without accounting for straight tossups at all, I think one undervalues those teams that may have a demonstrable advantage in buzzer speed (Blake, e.g.).
A "net tossups" stat would also be a better way to measure individual performance; the current stats only penalize a player 5 points for hurting a team, on the average, as much as a power helps the team in an actual game.

2. Playoff statistics, though rarely posted, would probably reveal some things that prelim stats do not: how teams perform against other good teams, how consistent playoff stats are to prelim stats, and how frequently a team scores, say, 400 points.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

Interesting ideas. I agree that power stats should be weighed against negs somehow, as highly aggressive buzzing can often increase powers at a cost of increased negs. Stuy A had this problem to some degree.

Since people are currently developing new tournament software, perhaps the moderator could split off this thread into a thread on good ideas for quizbowl stats.
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Post by Magister Ludi »

I agree that bonus conversion is perhaps the most telling stat because it is indicative of what your team knows and has nothing to do with the strength of one's opponent.

While I was dissapointed by my team's early exit I was encouraged by our powers, our bonus conversion, and the fact that we were 4th in the tournament in PPG.
I think that Stuyvesant will definitely be a threat on a national level and maybe a team like Hunter could also develop.
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Post by Sir Thopas »

Magister Ludi wrote:[M]aybe a team like Hunter could also develop.
Haha, thanks. Right now, our biggest concern is for everyone (perhaps with the exception of myself) to be more aggressive on the buzzer—in our 5 games, I was the only one who had a single neg (10, as a matter of fact). There's no way that we'll be able to even have a chance at beating top-tier teams (although losing by 150 to State College A isn't all too bad) unless we buzz in before they do, plain and simple. Another thing we'd like to get up is our bonus conversion, currently just over 17 PPB.

One last thing to remember is that our team on Saturday was composed of three sophomores (including myself) and a junior. I am quite looking forward to the next couple of years, in which the core of the team will have the opportunity to develop as a group. :)
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Re: Best Teams In The Country '06-07?

Post by johnboy81918 »

charlieDfromNKC wrote:I'm curious who you guys think will be the nation's "quizbowl elite" this year.
As I don't live near some of the traditional powerhouses I wont pass judgement. I will say, however, that I think a couple of Missouri teams will be in the running this year (yeah i know I love MO). And I saw Danville players at ACE camp, and man are they good. I'll say they are also in the running this year.
I doubt any Missouri teams will be in the running, since Missouri doesn't have Quiz Bowl, right? Wait...I guess they do...

Should be an interesting year in MO actually. Charles will rise to dominance, bringing NKC back into its former glory, and Savannah is now David-less, but from what I saw at the Liberty tournament...they're still a potent team.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Nationally, don't count out Dorman. I know my out-of-MO competition is limited, but they easily gave the best performance I've ever seen in the Vanderbilt finals.
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Post by DrakeRQB »

charlieDfromNKC wrote:Nationally, don't count out Dorman. I know my out-of-MO competition is limited, but they easily gave the best performance I've ever seen in the Vanderbilt finals.
Yeah, they were kicking ass and taking names all weekend. It's hard to imagine anyone beating them.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

I'm sure Dorman will be a contender at nationals; they always are. I look forward to seeing them at our GSAC tournament in Richmond next month.

By the way, did Vanderbilt and UVA use the same questions? If so, and if the stats will be posted, then we might at least get some statistical comparisons going.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

jbarnes112358 wrote:I'm sure Dorman will be a contender at nationals; they always are. I look forward to seeing them at our GSAC tournament in Richmond next month.

By the way, did Vanderbilt and UVA use the same questions? If so, and if the stats will be posted, then we might at least get some statistical comparisons going.
I don't know about always, but certainly very often. GSAC looks to be very interesting once again. I hope State College will be there this time, last year they missed it because of snow, right?

Stat comparison would be pretty cool, except it's sometimes hard to compare when one tournament or the other has an easier field, or the teams in question were lucky enough to happen to draw an easier schedule.
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Post by sweaver »

Fisher Catholic is the best team I have seen so far, this early in the season.
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