October 4, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in Analysis with 12 comments
It has been a wild year in the Mixed Division. Notably, Blackbird, the two-time defending National Champion out of San Francisco, failed to qualify for the Club Championships at Southwest Regionals last weekend. But perhaps even more surprising: seeding this year’s field is…easy?
While there is some flexibility in the middle of the bracket, there are a clear set of teams at each seeding tier.
Here is a look at what we expect to see from the seeding.
The #1 Seeds: AMP, Polar Bears, Chad Larson Experience, The Ghosts
Philadelphia AMP is coming off of an outstanding year, including an end-of-season #1 USA Ultimate ranking, a regular season title, and a dominant performance at Mid-Atlantic Regionals. They spent a good deal of the season at #1 in the Ultiworld Power Rankings, but have recently been knocked down a few spots thanks to strong late season performances from some Pro Flight teams. While San Francisco Polar Bears have a case for the top spot, their nearly identical performance — one bad loss and lots of good wins — won’t push them above AMP’s higher ranking.
The Polar Bears won’t go any lower than the two overall seed, though, after their strong win over Ames Chad Larson Experience at the Pro Flight Finale. CLX doesn’t have a head to head game against the Ghosts, but clearly has the better resume (and the better ranking) to put them in the three spot.
The Ghosts earned themselves the four seed after upsetting Slow White at the Northeast Regionals last weekend. They will pass San Francisco Mischief, who is ranked above them, thanks to a stronger resume and their strong pedigree.
Predicted Seeding: AMP, Polar Bears, Chad Larson Experience, The Ghosts
The #2 Seeds: Slow White, Mischief, Drag’N Thrust, Cosa Nostra
Slow White was all set for a pool #1 seed, but had that plan nixed by a loss to The Ghosts in the Northeast Regional final. They will fall down to the top #2 seed, almost certainly pitting them against The Ghosts once again in pool play at the Club Championships.
Mischief has had a strong season, including an Emerald City Classic title and a finals berth at both the US Open and Southwest Regionals. They are clearly a notch above the rest of the field and they will come in at #6.
Drag’n Thrust and Cosa Nostra came in behind Seattle’s The DOH Abides in the final USAU rankings, but DOH has very little connectivity. More importantly, Drag’N beat Cosa Nostra, who beat Wild Card, who beat DOH. With little separating these teams in the rankings, they should slot nicely into the next seeds.
Predicted Seeding: Slow White, Mischief, Drag’N Thrust, Cosa Nostra
The #3 Seeds: Wild Card, The DOH Abides, Cahoots, Ambiguous Grey
Boston Wild Card should find themselves as the top #3 seed, thanks to a head-to-head win over DOH. Unfortunately for them, that means they will find themselves in a pool with The Ghosts and Slow White. Wild Card is a combined 0-6 against those teams. Considering that those three teams were all in the Northeast Region, it is fair to wonder whether USA Ultimate will alter the pools slightly to break them up. But it’s difficult to see how else the seeding would fall out, considering the clear head-to-head wins.
DOH is clearly a step above Cahoots, thanks to a 14-11 victory over the Asheville team at ECC. Cahoots dominated Washington DC Ambiguous Grey 15-6 at the US Open and is ranked higher than AG in the USAU rankings.
Predicted Seeding: Wild Card, The DOH Abides, Cahoots, Ambiguous Grey
The #4 Seeds: 7 Figures, 7 Express, Odyssée, Steamboat
Los Angeles 7 Figures is ranked well above (#19) the rest of the #4 seeds, except Odyssée (who must be ranked below New York 7 Express). They will almost certainly be the #13 overall seed.
Although Cincinnati Steamboat has a case (thanks to a higher ranking) of landing at #14, they simply didn’t face high quality competition at any point during the season. 7 Express had better success against their lone common opponent (Wild Card) and has played very well since August. 7X should get the edge at #14, landing Odyssée directly behind them at #15, and Steamboat, the surprise qualifier out of the Great Lakes region, in the final spot.
Predicted Seeding: 7 Figures, 7 Express, Odyssée, Steamboat
Those seedings would create the following pools for Thursday:
|POOL A||POOL B||POOL C||POOL D|
|Philadelphia AMP (1)||San Francisco Polar Bears (2)||Ames Chad Larson Experience (3)||Boston's The Ghosts (4)|
|Austin Cosa Nostra (8)||Minneapolis Drag'N Thrust (7)||San Francisco Mischief (6)||Boston Slow White (5)|
|Washington DC Ambiguous Grey (12)||Asheville Cahoots (11)||Seattle The DOH Abides (10)||Boston Wild Card (9)|
|Los Angeles 7 Figures (13)||New York 7 Express (14)||Montreál Odyssée (15)||Cincinnati Steamboat (16)|
How do you think the Mixed seeds will play out at the Club Championships? Let us know in the comments below.