Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

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Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Cheynem »

Let's get to it. Here are my Top 25 predictions for next year.

Note: I was unsure about Aaron Kashtan and Billy Beyer's involvement next year, so I did not rank either Florida team. Both would make the lists if each returned. Also, I have next to no knowledge of Canadian teams, so I chose not to rank any of them, although Western Ontario and Toronto would make the list if I assumed they returned a chunk of players.

1. Illinois--This could be the year Mike Sorice brings home the proverbial bacon, along with his trusty companion Colonel Ike Dubaku. But the supporting cast is a little shaky.

2. Penn--Assuming Eric Mukherjee doesn't get eaten by med school, this team is pretty scary.

3. Minnesota--It returns, at minimum, one half of its Nats runner-up team and assuming law school doesn't kill him, Andrew Hart will be around for the national hunt.

4. Brown--Now that the abusive Jerry has moved on, I predict Aaron Rosenberg to no longer live in fear and put up 200 points a game. The kids are all right, too, as proven at ICT.

5. Maryland--Chris Ray is Chris Ray and SteveJon is a nice young science player and I think they still have Logan Anbinder and Monica Remmers, but Jeremy Eaton has moved on, Phil Durkos may be too busy trampling out the vineyards where the grapes of wrath are stored, and Isaac Hirsch's parents don't want him hanging around with alcoholic black people, so the supporting cast may be a bit thin.

6. Harvard--Dirty D is probably the next great player and if Crazy Andy Watkins finds another favorable science tournament, who knows?

7. UCSD--Mrs. Gupta and his team of young rapscallions and Chris Chiego should pull off some upsets, but are probably a year away from contending for a title.

8. VCU--I'm a big fan of Evan "Isles" Adams, but I think like UCSD, it doesn't have quite have the raw material for a national title hunt.

9. Yale--They lose Rich Mason, but they still have John Lawrence and his Aquaman knowledge, Kevin Koai, plus angry young man Matt Jackson who despite not knowing much about television history, is still a top freshman.

10. Chicago--The colossus of the Midwest takes a year off from seriously contending having lost a number of players, most notably Adam Perkins. But an influx of talented youngsters (Graebner and I think Daichi?) plus the inimitable Steinbaum, Polk, and Gauthier law firm means this team isn't going to roll over and play dead. And who knows? Maybe Shantanu will pop out of a closet or something.

11. Michigan--Maybe I'm biased, but this is a team I see turning another corner next year, what with some major league young talent waiting to be harnessed around Kurtis Droge. It could use a few more reliable scorers.

12. South Carolina--The Gamecocks lose Joey Montoya, I think, but are in fine shape for another solid finish and remain probably the class of the south.

13. Carleton--A veteran team, Carleton really will make a push at ICT, especially for the UG title.

14. Virginia--The Cavaliers get Matt "Rizzoli" Bollinger, who brings with him not much knowledge about asteroids, zeppelins, and film, which luckily happen to be the favorites of other new acquisitions David Seal and Sarah Angelo. Add to this Will Butler and this is a team that has a bright future.

15. State College--While I despise most high schoolers, I find these four to put up an acceptable resume on hard questions.

16. Irvine--My man Dwight Wynne hopefully will not cry so much this year at ICT, and I predict another fine year of generalist action. The addition of Jeremy Eaton will help on the animal/video game questions.

17. Rice--Hoot! Hoot!

18. Carnegie Mellon--The addition of Jerry Vinokurov's specter should help this team develop more discipline as they fear for their daily lives. That said, their lineup at ACF Nats the last two years has been consistent if thin.

19. Missouri--Assuming he can get to tournaments (HO HO, HA HA), Charlie Dees should win more than he loses.

20. Columbia--Dan Passner, like Frosted Mini Wheats, keeps his team focused and full. If they can find time in between actually doing things, maybe Michael Arnold and Andy Kravis can drop by.

21. MIT--This team gets ANGST-ridden Neil Gurram and they do have some talented players who disappeared last year.

22. Ohio State--This team gets Jarret Greene, and I always root for the Small School winners.

23. UCLA--Who doesn't like Ray Luo? Who?

24. LASA--This team is solid and benefits from the "Texas Factor."

25. Mea Culpa Reserve Spot--Okay, so I probably ignored a good team that deserves to be on this list (obviously ignored Canada). So rather than get mad at me, just imagine your team ranked using this extra spot. Okay?

Now you rank.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

Is Neil Gurram playing this year for sure?
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

As i noted in the chat the other night, an Anurag Kashyap/Neil Gurram/ Neil Fitzgerald trio would be pretty darn good, but MIT always gets a bunch of good players and very few actually play. If all three play, that's definitely a top bracket DII ICT team.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Ras superfamily »

Cheynem wrote: 9. Yale--They lose Rich Mason, but they still have John Lawrence and his Aquaman knowledge, Kevin Koai, plus angry young man Matt Jackson who despite not knowing much about television history, is still a top freshman.
Yale also gets an awesome Ohioan kid named Ashvin Srivatsa who was completely dominant on any science I've ever seen him play, though much harder college questions will probably quiet him down a bit
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Mike Bentley »

Is the Illinois lineup changing for next year? I don't really see them beating Penn next year unless they're getting some big name player.

I think Harvard is probably better than sixth (certainly they'll do better than this at ICT).
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by dtaylor4 »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Is the Illinois lineup changing for next year? I don't really see them beating Penn next year unless they're getting some big name player.
Tryg will be spending a year at SIUC. Last I heard, Mike was going to focus more on finishing his degree. Outside of that, the A team should be pretty consistent.

For B, I'm gone. Hopefully Garb et al put in some work and get better. You hear that David?

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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Unicolored Jay »

Apparently I get to fill in some holes in the Ohio State knowledge bank, which should help. But I'm a rather bad player, so who knows.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

I'd put Carnegie Mellon a lot higher than where they are--Trevor did sort of win TIT and put up 18 ppb at Regionals. Besides that, I think you underestimate State College at your own peril: you may not like thinking about losing to a high school team, but that's a definite possibility for most of the teams on that list.

Also, after CO and VCUO, I think UVA should be able to hold its own against VCU and UMD; we'll see if that's true in the regular season, I guess.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

State College has the potential to finish third overall at ACF Nationals. I don't think they're the favorites to do it, but it's within the realm of possibility.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

Morraine Man wrote:State College has the potential to finish third overall at ACF Nationals. I don't think they're the favorites to do it, but it's within the realm of possibility.
State College is a really, really good team. The best high school team in the nation, and a top-15 team overall. But, and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible, I find it totally unbelievable that they would finish 3rd at ACF Nationals.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Papa's in the House »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Is the Illinois lineup changing for next year? I don't really see them beating Penn next year unless they're getting some big name player.
The Nationals A team will probably include Mike, Ike, Craig, and a fourth person to be determined.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

grapesmoker wrote:
Morraine Man wrote:State College has the potential to finish third overall at ACF Nationals. I don't think they're the favorites to do it, but it's within the realm of possibility.
State College is a really, really good team. The best high school team in the nation, and a top-15 team overall. But, and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible, I find it totally unbelievable that they would finish 3rd at ACF Nationals.
If we were to judge from the one Boston summer practice that happened, a hybrid of LASA, State College, and one kid from Chelsea (the one in London) wouldn't be likely to take that spot, but it could happen. It's not likely at all; they'd have to pull some major upsets. But I wouldn't give it less than a 1% chance, certainly. They'd have to give up science almost entirely, but they could grab almost anything else without trouble. I saw it with my own two eyes.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

So, I was going to do this thread in a slightly different way, but my dastardly nemesis Mike Cheyne beat me to it. Very well. I'm going to work from the perspective of not so much a rankings attempt as a scouting report. I'm going to look at a few teams that I think are top-bracket candidates at ACF Nationals and try to assess their overall strengths and weaknesses. This is more in the style of how such things were done in olden times and one of the few relics of that age I miss. Let's begin!

University of Minnesota
Scouting report: Last year's ACF finalists have shown themselves to be among the top-echelon teams in the game. This year will be harder for them; like many teams, they are in a transition of sorts. By all accounts, quizbowl's favorite automaton not manufactured by Moxon (I kid, I kid) will have graduated. If true, it's a serious blow for Minnesota's title ambitions, as they'll be losing their #1 scoring option. In addition, Andrew Hart is starting law school, and the notoriously busy 1L year might take its toll.
Strengths: Literature and science. Andrew and Rob were both English majors and Gautam is one of the more complete science players in the game: terrific on bio and chem, and can get the physics and other science questions before the giveaway. Solid visual arts knowledge on this team, though they may drop music to teams with good music players. Rob is also terrific at mythology.
Weaknesses: History. Without Brendan, this team gives up a lot of history questions and since the ACF Nationals editors have decided against a 1/1 Ghaznavid dynasty subdistribution, this will be a tough area for them. The R and the P of RMP could give this team trouble as well.
Conclusion: A strong team even without Brendan; it's worth remembering that before he came on board, in 2008, this was a top-bracket team, and all three main members have only improved since then. Could, in theory, beat anyone on their day, but all three players will have to play at their best if they want to bring home the gold. My prognosis: a top-3 team at both nationals with a realistic shot at the ACF title. It'll have to be this year because Gautam and Rob are both graduating.

University of Illinois
Scouting report: A perennial challenger, after a few lean years, the ever capable Mike Sorice has been supplemented by an improving Ike Jose. That Craig Messner kid is rumored to know some real literature, and whoever their fourth is might make some sort of contribution too. A volatile team that has the capability to go on a tear of answering tossups or negging them. When on their game can demolish good teams, but their game only comes once every few packets.
Strengths: Science. Mike Sorice knows that shit. Not as good at the bio and chem, but able to get them in the middle and at the end against teams without a great science player. Ike Jose knows him some lit (working on the CO lit set should have helped him a lot), and Mike knows a bit of everything. Solid on arts, including painting and music; decent history coverage and pretty fair on religion and myth.
Weaknesses: History coverage is somewhat spotty. No real area of dominance, meaning any question against this team is in play. If the RMP and arts don't break their way, can wind up dead in the water. Perhaps most seriously, a tendency to be their own worst enemy when Mike and Ike neg up a storm for no good reason.
Conclusion: If they can overcome some self-defeating game-play, this could be a title team. Mike will be focusing on his Ph.D., but he's a grizzled veteran who knows a lot and isn't likely to forget it, while Ike is a constantly improving player. Because they haven't cracked the top 3 recently, people forget that they were 5 points away from knocking Chicago out of contention for a final spot in 2009 with an arguably weaker team. My prognosis: a top-3 finish at ACF Nationals, probably as a finalist.

University of Pennsylvania
Scouting report: A newly-minted team that showed its chops last year, getting into the finals at ICT against Harvard and performing quite respectably at ACF Nationals. Eric Mukherjee holds this team together, forging its spirit in the tradition of his ancestors. Mehdi and Sid offer a decent supporting cast, though the departure of serial Bob Dylan champion and urban planning guru Chris White hurts this team in the arts category a little.
Strengths: Science, science, science. Eric is probably the single best science player in the game right now, able to nail bio and chem very early on and take physics questions from physicists, CS questions from computer scientists, and so on. Unless you have another really good science player on your team, just assume you're not getting any of those tossups against them. Solid in all other areas of the distribution, especially deadly in myth. Pretty solid on philosophy and decent arts knowledge.
Weaknesses: History and literature. Will be all over those tossups on the February 26th Incident, but gaping holes when it comes to European and American stuff. Will be giving up those categories to better teams if they don't improve. Literature conversion on this team is spotty; Eric has been around long enough to know a few things via osmosis, but the lack of a dedicated lit player will be hard to overcome. In general, the theme of this team is: whatever they know, they know very well, but there are a lot of holes and when those pop up they're very vulnerable. The absence of Chris White will allow many teams to get music tossups off them.
Conclusion: Eric's first year of med school may take its toll, just like Andrew Hart's first year of law school. If Mehdi, Sid, and whoever else is part of that team contribute a combined 50 PPG to the effort, this team could crack the top 3. They're better situated for ICT, where Sid's trash knowledge is formidable; on ACF questions they take a hit. My prognosis: top-3 at ICT, middle of the top bracket (places 4-6) at ACF Nationals.

Ok, these three are all I'll do for now. Keep in mind that these are just my individual assessments of how I think these teams will perform and not canon law. Feel free to point out how stupid I am for making these predictions. It should be understood that no offense is meant to any team; if I've said that you aren't that great at history but you have a great history player you're ready to bring on, prove me wrong. I will do a few more of these as I do more thinking about the various teams.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Demonic Leftovers »

Chicago Scouting Report:
Overview: Chicago certainly seems likely to undergo some trying times this year as they start the post-Teitler era. Yet despite that if things fall into place we could still be looking at an excellent team this year. Chicago, perhaps more than any team has a difficult to predict lineup for the a-team. If Shantanu and Selene both play we could see a lineup along the lines of Selene, Paul, Shantanu and Daichi. We could also see a lineup of Jimmy Ready, Matt Menard, Sam Bailey and Tyler Smith. Chicago still has the top level talent to be a contender but I remain doubtful that all of that talent will play. They also have some solid young players who are still improving, anyone of which could slip onto the a-team next year.
Strengths:
Science: Selene has always been one of the premier bio/chem players and Shantanu was pretty good at science too. However this becomes a huge weakness if they don't play.
Fine Arts: Selene, Paul and Shantanu all know classical music. Shantanu knows other arts and Jimmy is a very good visual arts player. Supposedly this is newcomer Douglas Graebner's favorite topic as well.
Ancient/Euro History: Paul is one of the top ancient history players and some of the younger players like Matt also know it well. Shantanu is very good at European history and a few of the other players know parts of it deeply.
Weaknesses: Mental Toughness: Losing Seth, the mentally toughest player in the game could affect this team. Seth's toughness allowed Chcago to pull out a lot of close victories on the way to its numerous championships.
Science: Could quickly become a huge weakness if Selene or Shantanu don't play.
Player Notes: Sam Bailey: Having played with sam at VCU open let me say that he can be a definite contributor to the a-team. Don't be surprised if people are talking about him at thte end of the year. Has a fairly eccentric base of knowledge but perhaps strongest at things like American History and Paul Krugman's cats.
Final Word: Without knowing who is going to play this team is extremely hard to predict. The ceiling is possibly a title if everyone plays and they get a little luck. If none of the top players play this team might not even be a top 20 team.

A few other notes on the season:
1. More than ever this season might come down to who decides to actually show up at the championships. Eric's participation is up in the air and that alone might change the outcome. A few other notable players also seem iffy and of course we'll probably see some notable player miss things unexpectedly.
2. Div II decisions also will be huge for ICT. A few teams, such as Yale with Matt Jackson and UVA with Matt Bollinger, have players who could be serious competitors at DII or major contributors on very good DI teams. These decisions might cause some serious changes in the final standings.
3. As I see it the main title contenders are Illinois, Penn, Harvard and Maryland. If there ever was a year where true dark horses emerged to take a title though it would be this one.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by marnold »

I'm going to remain coy about this for now, but I will plant the seed that come championship time a certain grad student/LLM acquisition might make Columbia a tempting pick for Nats.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Nick »

A little bird once told me that Ming Lin from Southside will be attending Penn in the fall. If this is true, and it totally may not be, I predict Penn in the top 2.

I also predict UVA and state college to be somewhere from 3rd to 10th. Matt Bollinger is nasty.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Duncan Idaho »

Nick wrote:A little bird once told me that Ming Lin from Southside will be attending Penn in the fall. If this is true, and it totally may not be, I predict Penn in the top 2.
Much to Eric Mukherjee's glee, this is true.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by The Ununtiable Twine »

I predict Clemson will find its way into the top 10 in at least one of the national tournaments. I also think Rice will have a similar performance.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Obviously the big wildcard for Harvard is Ted. He showed at VCU Open that he is still pretty good at quizbowl. If he comes back he can answer some questions. Even if he doesn't come back, Dallas is getting better at a pretty scary rate. Check out his stats from early in 2009-2010 and then his stats from Penn Bowl forward. Big difference.

What fewer people may know is that Harvard actually had a pretty solid Div II team this year. Zhao Zhang was especially impressive on higher-level science, and I've seen him beat Andy to science tossups in practice with some regularity. But I'm not sure how dedicated to quizbowl the Div II team is. They're good, but they irregularly showed up to things and just didn't seem to be as hardcore about the game as me, Andy, Ted, or Dallas were (or are).

I don't know much about Stephen Liu who will be a freshman this year, but he showed up to CO which is always a good sign.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Kyle »

grapesmoker wrote:
Morraine Man wrote:State College has the potential to finish third overall at ACF Nationals. I don't think they're the favorites to do it, but it's within the realm of possibility.
State College is a really, really good team. The best high school team in the nation, and a top-15 team overall. But, and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible, I find it totally unbelievable that they would finish 3rd at ACF Nationals.
Maybe they couldn't now, but ACF Nationals is many months away, and high school seniors have an awful lot more time on their hands than people in college. If they decided to do it, I wouldn't bet against them.

(I haven't seen them play, obviously. I'm just saying, look at the rest of this thread. Everybody is qualifying predictions with things like "if Eric doesn't get swallowed up by med school" or "if Mike doesn't work too hard on his PhD" or "if Andrew doesn't find 1L too busy.")
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

Ok, again, without meaning any disrespect to State College, or Ming Lin, or any other really great high school player, I think that people are making totally unwarranted pronouncements about how those players are going to dramatically affect the landscape of national tournaments. I played State College at Nationals last year and it's true, they were very impressive. However, making the jump from "great high school player" to "major contributor on an elite team contending for a national collegiate title" is hard. I can only think of a few players that have done that, maybe really just one, Shantanu, and does anyone think that team was winning a title without Seth? I mean, all those players are great, no doubt, but the college canon is deep and wide and it's not like the high school canon where you can reliably predict what kinds of things are going to come up. You can memorize all the plot summaries you want but unless you're going to commit Masterplots to memory, you're going to leave out a lot of stuff. You're going to be competing on history questions against people with 4 years of a history major under their belt, on science questions against teams stocked with Ph.D. candidates, on philosophy questions against players who have actually read a whole bunch of those things. In general, you're just up against people with a lot more experience than you, and experience counts for a lot in this game. There's no doubt that being a good high school player is a great asset when it comes to making the transition to the college game; I fully expect players like Matts Bollinger and Jackson, Ming Lin, and Graham Moyer to be awesome college players in a few years. But I just don't believe that those players are walking into ACF Nationals against veteran teams and dominating. I will be very impressed if State College cracks the top bracket, something they are very capable of doing, but finishing in the top 3? I find that highly unlikely.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

grapesmoker wrote:University of Pennsylvania
Scouting report: A newly-minted team that showed its chops last year, getting into the finals at ICT against Harvard and performing quite respectably at ACF Nationals. Eric Mukherjee holds this team together, forging its spirit in the tradition of his ancestors. Mehdi and Sid offer a decent supporting cast, though the departure of serial Bob Dylan champion and urban planning guru Chris White hurts this team in the arts category a little.
Strengths: Science, science, science. Eric is probably the single best science player in the game right now, able to nail bio and chem very early on and take physics questions from physicists, CS questions from computer scientists, and so on. Unless you have another really good science player on your team, just assume you're not getting any of those tossups against them. Solid in all other areas of the distribution, especially deadly in myth. Pretty solid on philosophy and decent arts knowledge.
Weaknesses: History and literature. Will be all over those tossups on the February 26th Incident, but gaping holes when it comes to European and American stuff. Will be giving up those categories to better teams if they don't improve. Literature conversion on this team is spotty; Eric has been around long enough to know a few things via osmosis, but the lack of a dedicated lit player will be hard to overcome. In general, the theme of this team is: whatever they know, they know very well, but there are a lot of holes and when those pop up they're very vulnerable. The absence of Chris White will allow many teams to get music tossups off them.
For what its worth, in addition to Ming Lin, we're also getting Dominic Machado, who once he shakes the rust off will regain his place as a dominant ancient history + myth + american history player. He also knows some literature. We're also getting James Lasker, formerly of Kellenberg, who's pretty dedicated to getting better.
grapesmoker wrote:Conclusion: Eric's second year of med school may take its toll, just like Andrew Hart's first year of law school. If Mehdi, Sid, and whoever else is part of that team contribute a combined 50 PPG to the effort, this team could crack the top 3. They're better situated for ICT, where Sid's trash knowledge is formidable; on ACF questions they take a hit. My prognosis: top-3 at ICT, middle of the top bracket (places 4-6) at ACF Nationals.
Fixed. And I'd have to agree about those predictions, though I hope that we can break 4th at ACF Nationals (though only if we can beat Maryland and UCSD this time).
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Fixed. And I'd have to agree about those predictions, though I hope that we can break 4th at ACF Nationals (though only if we can beat Maryland and UCSD this time).
My bad. I only put "first" there because I was under the impression that your first year was a Ph.D. year and not an M.D. year.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

marnold wrote:I'm going to remain coy about this for now, but I will plant the seed that come championship time a certain grad student/LLM acquisition might make Columbia a tempting pick for Nats.
You're also picking up a competent science player (who may be occasionally active, I'll ask him) in Michael Schreiber, formerly of Lawrence. Not a world-beater by any means but can get you bio and chem against all but the highest-quality opponents.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

Some more thoughts:

Yale
Scouting report: Yale loses their #1 scoring option Rich Mason, who was a very good philosophy player in addition to being able to buzz on literature, history, and art. On the other hand, they pick up high school all-star Matt Jackson, who has a very high ceiling. How that balance works out for them in the end will determine whether they move up to the top bracket.
Strengths: Music. Downright ridiculous on music questions, probably the best set of specialists in this area with John Lawrence and Kevin Koai being able to buzz very early. A little-known fact is that Kevin is also one of the best poetry specialists in the game. Very good on other arts, fair on literature in general.
Weaknesses: Science. A very difficult niche to fill for this team, as they are liable to give up all four science tossups to a good team (with the exception of math questions, which Kevin knows well). Rich had some science knowledge that could get you bonus conversion, but with his departure it's not clear where those points are coming from. History is another weak point for this team, and a place where Rich leaving hurts them perhaps more than in any other part of the distribution. Matt Jackson should be able to step in and do a decent job on philosophy, but that may take some time.
Conclusion: Could have been a top-bracket team last year in what was a very stacked field. Will likely finish in the bottom of the top bracket at ACF Nationals, but losing Rich is going to hurt them this year. On the other hand, could be very strong two years from now as Matt Jackson picks up his already formidable game. The nice thing about this team is how young it is; they don't have to worry about losing anyone in '11 (if I remember this right).

University of Maryland
Scouting report: Jeremy Eaton has followed Horace Greeley's advice and headed west, which leaves this team a little threadbare in some parts. Stevejon Guth has emerged as the foremost sonoluminescence player in the game and also knows a bunch of other science-type things; look for him to develop into one of the most legit physics/math players in the game. And of course Chris Ray and his wild, gunslinging ways lead this team, making them dangerous against any opposition. It's worth noting that they were the only team other than Stanford to beat Minnesota last year.
Strengths: History. Chris is one of the best history players around right now, with legitimate depth on both Western and non-Western material. Maybe a little deficient in American history but nothing that can't be easily fixed. Solid science knowledge from Stevejon definitely helps. In addition, Chris is a solid generalist in all other areas, including myth and literature.
Weaknesses: Literature, social science, philosophy, and arts. Not terrible by any means in any of those areas, but liable to give up points to other good teams. Their performance on these topics seems to depend greatly on whether it's something Chris knows about or not, which means it fluctuates pretty wildly from packet to packet. Who replaces Jeremy and Phil Durkos as the #3 and #4 players on this team is going to dictate whether this team succeeds in replicating their impressive finish from last year. No music players to speak of, which means they concede those tossups to teams with specialists.
Conclusion: This is a wildcard team that has a style of play reminiscent of Nathan Freeburg: if they catch fire, they blitz you with fast buzzes, but they're just as likely to fall apart with wild guesses and badly-timed buzzes. I think the loss of Jeremy Eaton is going to be too much for this team; if they catch a favorable seeding they will likely finish in the bottom of the top bracket at ACF Nationals. If they don't, they'll probably be at the top of the second bracket.

University of California, San Diego
Scouting report: It's the Auroni Gupta show. Like with a lot of teams that boast one superstar, this team lives and dies based on his performance. Chris Chiego provides competent history backup and unprecedented knowledge of unique rock formations, and that Vivek guy seems to know a fair bit of non-Western history.
Strengths: Science, especially bio and chem; not at the top of the science heap overall, but will take those questions from many teams, including sometimes from teams with real specialists. A strong history team with good coverage of American and world content. Solid on literature as well, especially of the non-western kind. JAPAN.
Weaknesses: Seem to drop a lot of stuff on categories like RMP (especially classical myth), arts, and social science. Can't stand up to real music specialists, so will probably concede those questions to many good teams.
Conclusion: This team was at the bottom of the top bracket this year, and comes back essentially unchanged. Look for Auroni's improvement to take this team a few places higher at ACF Nationals, but unless he performs a Subash-level feat of strength, it seems unlikely that they'll be true contenders. I have them as breaking into the middle of the top bracket.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Cheynem »

In regards to Minnesota's gaps, I would guess the fourth scoring option would fill at least some of the holes Jerry's talking about--barring anything uncertain, it will most likely be either Bernadette (who knows R and P) or myself (who knows Christian R, 20th century P, and American history). That still obviously leaves some major gaps, but I think both would serve as complementary rather than redundant scoring options. At ICT, I also bring my formidable knowledge of "NAQT Literature" and "Trash from 10 Years Ago."
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by ThisIsMyUsername »

grapesmoker wrote: However, making the jump from "great high school player" to "major contributor on an elite team contending for a national collegiate title" is hard. I can only think of a few players that have done that, maybe really just one, Shantanu, and does anyone think that team was winning a title without Seth? I mean, all those players are great, no doubt, but the college canon is deep and wide and it's not like the high school canon where you can reliably predict what kinds of things are going to come up. You can memorize all the plot summaries you want but unless you're going to commit Masterplots to memory, you're going to leave out a lot of stuff.
Maybe I'm using a different definition of "major contributor on an elite team contending for a national title" than you mean, Jerry, but wouldn't the role Guy filled for Brown and Ike filled for Illinois as second-place scorers qualify as well? And they were freshmen this year, too. I think at least the Matts seem to have enough grasp of collegiate canon to be capable of that kind of playing come April. (I haven't seen that much of Matt Bollinger, but he slightly outscored Evan and Auroni on their Chicago Open team, and almost matched Chris Ray's stats when they played with Eric and Dominic at VCU Open, and Matt Jackson put up high numbers at VCU Open, though with less shadow effect, and I've seen him play very well on Regionals+ level stuff when he visited Yale.) It seems to me that they're not going to be major contributors on elite teams, because UVA and Yale don't have enough other elite team material; because we lack the Seth, Mike, Eric, or you, etc. sitting in the first seat, not because the Matts couldn't fill that second-seat nicely. They may not be catapulting any teams into the top five at ACF Nats, but I'd be surprised if either of the Matts is omitted from the Top 25 in the next collegiate player poll.
The nice thing about this team is how young it is; they don't have to worry about losing anyone in '11 (if I remember this right).
We'll lose Danila, Denise, and Linna. I agree, though: Yale's hopes are the incoming freshman and sophomore classes and our strongest days probably lie in the '11-'12 or '12-'13 seasons.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Maybe I'm using a different definition of "major contributor on an elite team contending for a national title" than you mean, Jerry, but wouldn't the role Guy filled for Brown and Ike filled for Illinois as second-place scorers qualify as well? And they were freshmen this year, too.
Sure, this is true. Shantanu is the best example because he was actually on a title-winning team in his first year and was a major contributor to it.
I think at least the Matts seem to have enough grasp of collegiate canon to be capable of that kind of playing come April. (I haven't seen that much of Matt Bollinger, but he slightly outscored Evan and Auroni on their Chicago Open team, and almost matched Chris Ray's stats when they played with Eric and Dominic at VCU Open, and Matt Jackson put up high numbers at VCU Open, though with less shadow effect, and I've seen him play very well on Regionals+ level stuff when he visited Yale.) It seems to me that they're not going to be major contributors on elite teams, because UVA and Yale don't have enough other elite team material; because we lack the Seth, Mike, Eric, or you, etc. sitting in the first seat, not because the Matts couldn't fill that second-seat nicely. They may not be catapulting any teams into the top five at ACF Nats, but I'd be surprised if either of the Matts is omitted from the Top 25 in the next collegiate player poll.
Let me just belabor this point some more: I have a great respect for all of the aforementioned players. I think they're excellent players, light-years ahead of where I was when I was at that stage in my development. My assessment is by no means an attempt to denigrate their achievements, which are impressive and substantial. I would certainly expect every one of them to improve over the course of the year and very likely be in the top 25 of players come spring. However, the relevant point here is that every team that is contending for a title has a top-25 player. The best of these teams have top-5 players (Eric, Mike), and some of them have conglomerations of top-10 players. In addition, the calculus isn't just about who can take whom one-on-one but about matchups. Chicago didn't win three consecutive titles by having the best one-on-one players in the game (although each member of those title-winning teams was no slouch individually); they won them by covering so much ground that they were competitive on every question, which, combined with their specialist backgrounds, made them extremely tough to beat.

I would also be very cautious against using CO as a metric for long-run individual performance. You can get 20 PPG at CO by being very good at one or two things or by being a wide-ranging generalist. Neither of those are mean feats, but I don't really think that this is going to give you much of an idea of how these players will perform when asked to lead an ACF Nationals team.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by cvdwightw »

California Predictions: Well, Mike Cheyne started this thread out with a Top 25, rankings but not much behind them. Jerry's looking at the top competitors for the ACF Nationals crown in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Since Matt Weiner's inevitably going to make his giant prediction post, which will cover every region better than I could, I thought I'd present a third style of predictions.

Like every year, the West Coast suffers from an inability to attract teams to tournaments. This isn't the bad old days of the early 2000's, when multiple clubs had people in charge whose idea of a quizbowl club was to run lots of high school tournaments, make the club lots of money, and then not attend any college tournaments. This is the early 2010's, when clubs are instead facing low turnout and leadership questions. There's a fairly solid tournament-placement pecking order for this year in which each club's top teams aren't likely to leapfrog more than one team ahead of them, so I'll present instead each team's chances of attending tournaments.

UCSD: The major question here is, will too many cooks spoil the broth? Their roster has three people who have been in charge of college clubs before in Auroni, Chris (Georgia) and new addition Micah Manary (Caltech), and it doesn't sound like they're always on the same page. If Auroni can avoid overextending himself and the team can avoid infighting, this team ought to make it out to most if not all regional tournaments.

UCLA: They have a healthy-sized club, but who's in charge? The website hasn't updated its leadership contacts since 2008. Ian doesn't appear to want to be the tournament-directing force he's been in years past. Ray and Mik will make it out to lots of stuff and try to get people to come with them, but ultimately this club's ability to do things might be in the hands of a couple of logistically-oriented incoming freshmen.

UCI: At this point it's clear who's in charge - me. That adds up to us doing whatever I can get our like five-person club to do plus whatever Jeremy wants to do and can convince me to come for. Enthusiastic young players desperately needed.

Stanford: I'm honestly not sure who's left here. Stanford always has freshmen, but most of those freshmen drop after the first year or two, so the club always ends up in the hands of like one grad student and whatever undergrads are left. It looks like that's the case again this year. Apathy quotient highly variable from year to year, so who knows what they'll make it out to this year.

Caltech: With the end of Caltech's third Power Couple era, Alan Lin moves into the leadership position with a club he just needs to steward. This is an improving team that appears to have stability and enthusiasm for playing stuff. If they don't all get burnt out by notoriously grueling Caltech classwork, they ought to make it out to every event in Southern California and hopefully make some road trips as well.

Berkeley: In the early and mid-2000s Berkeley had a glut of grad students and a regular supply of talented undergrads. Pretty much every member of that group is now either retired or in semi-retirement, and from what I heard the late-2000s leadership pretty much ran the active club into the ground. It appears that Sam Braunfeld has taken the reins and is driving this club slowly back from the brink. Actually hosting that high school tournament is next on Berkeley's way back to relevance.

Claremont: Alejandro is one of the true glue guys in quizbowl, and it looks like this may be Claremont's breakout year now that they appear to have the personnel to actually run a tournament and the transportation to actually get to tournaments.

Not considered: BYU and ASU (will they continue to venture out here or join up with other circuits?), Fresno State (perennial D2 SCT competitor, unclear if they'll attend anything else), high school teams, potential new clubs that may or may not exist.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Cheynem »

I think the continued closer intersections between the high school and the collegiate circuit make it easier than ever to make an effective transition from high school quizbowl to college quizbowl. Almost all solid high school players have played a college tournament by the time they get to college--many of them have played very hard tournaments (even if they haven't, they've surely read the packets!). Many of them have experience writing a packet and a number of them have written whole tournaments. Many of them have talked to, have met, and have played with or against their future college teammates and should make a smooth transition to joining the club.

On the other hand, as someone currently at his third academic institution, going to college is HARD. As trite and cliche as it sounds, it's a completely different ball of wax than high school, and it's not unexpected that the differences in culture, lifestyle, and personal responsibilities one might encounter or develop at college could have detrimental effects at quizbowl development. Also, the nature of college quizbowl can be very different than high school quizbowl--the lack (generally speaking) of coaches, the increased burden of organization and management upon team members...these can get daunting. I'm not saying that high school players are all rubes who have no experience in doing this--many, in fact, have more so than college players, but...it's different.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Mike Bentley »

I'm pretty sure both Brian and Arnav are still going to be at Stanford this year. They're also getting freshman Steven Diamond who knows some stuff (he put up 105 PPG at ACF Fall in Boise last year for what it's worth). That team still has the potential to be decent nationally if those people all play and they get at least one other dedicated person as well.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Tanay »

I think Neil from Southside is going to Stanford too.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region »

South Carolina's Joey Montoya is going to grad school at Stanford this fall. He's a very good science and music player. And a helluva guy.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Golran »

Dwight, Richard will be joining you at UCI, and he's said that he's thinking about playing during law school. As for our hosting, we'll probably end up hosting 3 college and 3 high school tournaments this year in addition to WCI.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by itsthatoneguy »

I know this is a bit late in the thread, but...
Inkana7 wrote:Is Neil Gurram playing this year for sure?
Answer: Sort of. I talk to him a decent amount and he says that he is interested in playing some of the semi-major events and SCT / ICT, but not ACF Nats.

As far as Michigan goes, we are returning the vast majority of our players. Notable players who will be inactive / not as active are: Scot Putzig, who is going to Notre Dame for law school; Surya Sahapathy, who will be limited by Michigan med. school; Michael Hausinger, who is in his last semester and may get a job after graduation; and Phil Guan, who is going to graduate school (I think).

As far as newcomers go, we have Matt Nicholas from DCC, a collection of Michigan HS players (sorry I don't know you guys by name), and Terrill Wilkins, former assistant coach of Dorman HS. He will be attending law school, so his amount of playing will also be limited. I know Libo and Kurtis are studying and getting better, and I plan to do the same (eventually).
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Sun Devil Student »

cvdwightw wrote:Not considered: BYU and ASU (will they continue to venture out here or join up with other circuits?), Fresno State (perennial D2 SCT competitor, unclear if they'll attend anything else), high school teams, potential new clubs that may or may not exist.
Until the high school students around ASU graduate and start up some organized teams within driving distance of ASU (e.g. Tucson, Flagstaff), expect an annual autumn flood of novice teams from ASU. Right now, we have no opposing team to host tournaments for, and we have nowhere else to go for novice training except Southern California, so sorry if we're intruding :)

Also, I have a present for the Stanford team (sorry to all the Californians who were hoping to throw off the yoke of Stanford at last)...
My former teammate Theodore Miller, who truly lives up to his name, will be an MA student at Stanford this fall. He is ASU's greatest player of all time (on "good" questions - #2 all-time if you include College Bowl), which doesn't sound like much until you realize that he never even picked up a buzzer until October of last year and within 8 months surpassed me, who took more than twice that long to reach my current playing level. Make sure he has free time and he will improve very quickly to whatever level you need.

I also know someone who is starting at Stanford as a freshman this fall, and will try to persuade her to join your quizbowl world as well.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Duncan Idaho »

NoWayItsTanay wrote:I think Neil from Southside is going to Stanford too.
So is Joey Montoya of South Carolina.
EDIT: I should really update these pages before I attempt to respond.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

Not that this matters, but Western Kentucky should be somewhat better than last year, but we're still going to lose a lot more games than we win.

However, there are two teams in the state (Louisville and Centre) who have some decent talent. With some hard work I think they can be reasonably competitive. Also, there are enough people at Kentucky who played HS quizbowl that I'm hoping they'll start that club up again. Beyond that, I don't know if any other teams in the state are planning on making it to anything besides the tournaments of the quick recall league they have. I'll probably e-mail some of them and try and get them to go to some good tournaments.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

It's possible that I meet the ACF eligibility requirements to play for Georgetown this year; my employer is paying for me to take a class there this fall that seems to be the equivalent of a grad-level poli sci class. I'll talk to Matt Weiner about it on IRC one night.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

Morraine Man wrote:It's possible that I meet the ACF eligibility requirements to play for Georgetown this year; my employer is paying for me to take a class there this fall that seems to be the equivalent of a grad-level poli sci class. I'll talk to Matt Weiner about it on IRC one night.
Bruce, it's worth noting that Matt Weiner is not currently an editor of any ACF tournament; therefore, nothing he would tell you would be binding on any of the actual editors (although I would also say that I would take very seriously any recommendations that Matt might make on this matter and would encourage the other editors to do likewise). The rule as it stands right now regarding eligibility is somewhat vague and meant, as I read it, to prevent people from merely taking classes to extend their ability to play ACF tournaments. Whatever the case, decisions on this matter will be rendered by either the individual editors or, more likely, by a global ACF policy/rule clarification.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Maximus »

Hilltopper22 wrote:Not that this matters, but Western Kentucky should be somewhat better than last year, but we're still going to lose a lot more games than we win.

However, there are two teams in the state (Louisville and Centre) who have some decent talent. With some hard work I think they can be reasonably competitive. Also, there are enough people at Kentucky who played HS quizbowl that I'm hoping they'll start that club up again. Beyond that, I don't know if any other teams in the state are planning on making it to anything besides the tournaments of the quick recall league they have. I'll probably e-mail some of them and try and get them to go to some good tournaments.

I'll be at UK starting this spring. I hope to start the club back up and go to tournaments and such.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by grapesmoker »

marnold wrote:I'm going to remain coy about this for now, but I will plant the seed that come championship time a certain grad student/LLM acquisition might make Columbia a tempting pick for Nats.
There's only one person I can think of who could single-handedly transform a middle-tier team into a championship contender and who is still playing.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by mhayes »

Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast wrote:Apparently I get to fill in some holes in the Ohio State knowledge bank, which should help. But I'm a rather bad player, so who knows.
Um, I'm pretty sure you're not a bad player, Jasper.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by Cheynem »

Jasper couldn't even get in the top bracket at NSC playing solo. I believe this means he sucks.
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Re: Collegiate Prediction Thread, 2010-2011

Post by The Ununtiable Twine »

He is nowhere near as bad as me, for example.
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