October 1, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in Analysis with 41 comments
With Regionals finally in the books, many of the top teams turn their attention to the Club Championships. Some Ultiworld commenters, including Jim Parinella, have hinted that the changes in Club Championship format increases the importance for USA Ultimate to get the seedings correct for the Championship. With the winners of the the prequarters games locking in spots in the Pro Flight tier, USAU will want to try and set up seeds to minimize the chances that a quality team misses out on the Pro Flight.
Here is a look at what we expect to see from the seeding.
Top Three Seeds: Revolver, GOAT, Doublewide
San Francisco Revolver won the US Open, finished first in the final season regular season USA Ultimate rankings, is currently ranked #2 in the Ultiworld Power Rankings, and, of course, has an outstanding pedigree. It’s hard to see USAU dropping the #1 ranked team out of the top overall slot.
Toronto GOAT may have the second strongest argument for the #1 seed, as they took home the Pro Flight Finale title and then won a very competitive Northeastern region. They also upset Revolver in the first round in Davis. The primary shot against them is a lower USAU ranking (#4), but that’s in part based on a poor Terminus performance that no longer represents the current team (and doesn’t include their win over Ironside at Regionals).
Defending champions Austin Doublewide sit number one in our power rankings after winning the Colorado Cup and finishing second at the Pro Flight Finale, which included a convincing quarterfinal win over Revolver. Their status as the defending National Champions and strong wins over Johnny Bravo and Machine late in the season should cement them as the three seed.
Predicted Seeding: Revolver, GOAT, Doublewide
#4 and #5 Seed: Machine and Johnny Bravo
Chicago Machine sits at #2 in the USA Ultimate rankings — you could argue that they deserve to be seeded higher than #4 based solely on that. However, while Machine has proven they can run with anyone, we’re a bit more skeptical than the computer rankings of their Midwestern dominance at Heavyweights and Regionals. Still, wins over Seattle Sockeye and Doublewide at the Pro Flight Finale, combined with their strong end-of-season ranking, should earn them a pool one seed.
Denver Johnny Bravo is in a tough position to go much higher than #4 given that they were stuck in the Elite tier. Their #3 ranking, below Machine’s, should push them down to #5, but no lower thanks to their win over Sockeye at the West Coast Cup.
Predicted Seeding: Machine, Johnny Bravo
#6 and #7 : Sockeye and Ironside
With recent losses to Johnny Bravo and Machine, there is no way Sockeye can land higher than #6. They’re also ranked #6 in both our Power Rankings and USAU’s computer rankings. With a late season loss to Ironside at the Pro Flight Finale, they could well be bumped down to #7. But the strength of their wins over Revolver and Doublewide, along with their superior ranking, is likely to keep them above Ironside.
Similar to Sockeye, Ironside is ranked #7 by us and #8 by USAU. However, Ironside will jump PoNY, who is ranked above them in the USAU rankings, because they beat PoNY twice at Northeast Regionals.
Predicted Seeding: Sockeye, Ironside
#8-12 — Where It Really Gets Interesting:
New York PoNY, Atlanta Chain Lightning, Minneapolis Sub Zero, and Washington DC Truck Stop all have legitimate arguments for the #8 seed and head-to-head wins to justify them. PoNY is ranked highest in both our power rankings and USAU’s rankings, however they’ve lost twice to Truck Stop and barely squeaked into Nationals. Chain has a regional victory and may scare other teams, but they lost to PoNY in the Terminus finals earlier this summer and again during pool play at the Chesapeake Invite. Sub Zero has been up and down all summer — their 15-7 win over Truck at the Chesapeake Invite could bump them ahead despite finishing one spot behind Truck in the USAU rankings.
Truck has the wins over PoNY and a 9-4 Triple Crown Tour record — though that comes along with an 0-3 record against the top Pro Flight tiered teams.
Raleigh Ring of Fire also comes in somewhere, though they cannot surpass Chain after losing on universe to them in the Regional final.
We expect to see PoNY and Chain split the #8 and #9 seeds, Ring and Sub Zero split the #10 and #11 seeds, and Truck fall to #12. But, really, anything could happen amongst those final three teams.
Predicted Seeding: PoNY, Chain Lightning, Ring of Fire, Sub Zero, Truck Stop
#13-16 — Filling Out The Bottom:
Florida United, Santa Barbara Condors, and Vancouver Furious George will almost certainly go into the #13, 14, and 15 seeds. USAU rankings suggest that ordering, though you can argue that Furious’ history and regional performance justifies something higher than #15. One wrinkle is that the Condors lost head-to-head against Columbus Madcow at the Colorado Cup, but their much better regular season ranking should play heavier into the equation. Madcow will likely be seeded last at #16.
Predicted Seeding: Florida United, Santa Barbara Condors, Vancouver Furious George, Columbus Madcow
Those seedings would create the following pools for Thursday:
|POOL A||POOL B||POOL C||POOL D|
|San Francisco Revolver (1)||Toronto GOAT (2)||Austin Doublewide (3)||Chicago Machine (4)|
|New York PoNY (8)||Boston Ironside (7)||Seattle Sockeye (6)||Johnny Bravo (5)|
|Washington DC Truck Stop (12)||Minneapolis Sub Zero (11)||Raleigh Ring of Fire (10)||Atlanta Chain Lightning (9)|
|Florida United (13)||Santa Barbara Condors (14)||Vancouver Furious George (15)||Columbus Madcow (16)|
How do you think the Men’s seeds will play out at the Club Championships? Let us know in the comments below.