A list of the greatest hypothetical college alumni all-star teams.
December 10, 2015 by Charlie Enders in Opinion with 89 comments
Special thanks to Gwen Ambler and Kyle Weisbrod for their input.
With the inaugural USA Flatball Mixed College Championships in the books, and the Alumni version coming this spring, collegiate mixed ultimate is suddenly a legitimate thing. That got us thinking: if every college program had an all-time mixed team, who would make the teams? And which team would win the title?
Legends come and go at every school, but imagine if each were in their prime: how would they stack up? Naturally, we had to figure it out.
Thus I present the hypothetical 11 best college mixed programs and their seeding within a hypothetical tournament. Again, for this list’s purposes, we’re assuming every player is in their prime. This same list with only players that are CURRENTLY dominant could and would look much different. Now without further ado, let’s begin!
Players were judged on a variety of factors. As previously mentioned, each was evaluated at their prime, whenever that may have been (college or club). No time period was valued more highly than another; while it’s a popular sentiment that the college game has gotten faster and more competitive within the last decade, players that dominated in the ’90s are held at the same level. If a player was dominant, time period doesn’t matter.
I also selected starting offensive and defensive lines for each team. If a player was/is a dominant force on either, they probably got put there. With the lines, I took into account the possible chemistry of the players when making selections. If a player is on the bench for a team, it might not suggest anything about their talent level; it may simply be that another player fit better on the starting unit.
Of course, many players have played with multiple schools due to transfers or graduate programs. Players were generally placed with their undergraduate team, with some exceptions for players who are remembered more for their time in their graduate program.
11.Tufts E-Men/Ewo (Ewo-men)
I couldn’t find a way to eliminate Tufts from the conversation; they’re too good to not make this list. Thus, the not-oft-seen “Top 11″! This is a very young roster, with most players having graduated within the last five years. As would be expected, there’s a strong majority of Brute Squad and Ironside players, with the notable exception of Chain Lightning veteran Andrew Hollingsworth. Perhaps not in the same league as some of the higher teams on the list, but undoubtedly a supremely skilled squad that could pull off an upset or two.
10. UCSB Black Tide/Burning Skirts (Burning Tide)
A program with one of the most dominant title runs in the history of the sport, UCSB Black Tide hasn’t quite matched their late-80’s-through-90’s dominance in recent years. Then again, no one has. As these teams assume every player is in their prime, many of the men on this roster were integral parts of those incredibly dominant Black Tide squads. For the women, they read like a starting line for Fury. That’s decent, I guess. The Burning Skirts have been a consistently excellent team for the past decade due to the women on this roster. Lisa Pithcaithley and Kaela Jorgensen are two of Fury’s most important contributors right now. The generational gap between men and women on this team could make chemistry difficult, but they would certainly be one of the most interesting teams to follow.
9. Brown Brownian Motion/Disco Inferno (Brownian Inferno)
Legends litter this roster. While Brown might have fallen from the cream of the college crop in recent seasons, it was once an absolute powerhouse in the open division, behind their three male allahan winners (Mueller, Safdie, and Ziperstein). Not only do the men have tremendous speed, but they have one of the best deep defenders ever in Colin Mahoney. While Disco Inferno hasn’t had as much success on the national stage as their male counterparts, they have produced a number of amazing players. Hana Kawai is currently an integral cog in Riot’s offensive line, while Pauline Lauterbach bring the Brownian Inferno Callahan total to four, the most of any school.
8. Michigan Magnum/Flywheel (Magwheel)
Michigan Magwheel finds themselves on this list almost entirely through the herculean strength of their women. Baecher, Seville, and Malinowski are coming of a dominant national title run with Brute Squad, one in which each played a critical role. Riot’s Surge Griffith remains one of the best in the world, while Bodova and Paruk were absolutely spectacular in their day. The men, while not nearly at the same level, are no slouches. 2009 Callahan winner Will Neff’s length and game IQ are both outstanding. Purcell and Kinley are veteran handlers with all the throws, and Hondred, Buchsbaum, and Greenwood are egregiously athletic cutters that dominated the college game. But, as stated earlier, Flynum is a team that is dominated by its women. For consistency, the lines listed are 4-3, but were there actually a tournament, it’s safe to say that this team would be playing as many 3-4 lines as they could.
7. Stanford Bloodthirsty/Superfly (Superthirsty)
The average age of Superthirsty might be on the high end, but so too is their top-lines’ talent. With 3 Callahan awards between them, Jim Schoettler, Dominique Fontenette, and AJ Johnson in their primes would form a terrifying trio. Meanwhile, Revolver and Fury mainstays like Watson, Schlag, James, Ambler, and Meister are or were some of the best in the world. While depth could be an issue, Superthirsty’s top seven could very well be the best on this list.
6. Washington Sundodgers/Element (Eledodgers)
While this roster might not be the biggest (physically), they more than make up for it with overwhelming team speed and agility. The “twins,” Sefton and Murray, have started on Sockeye’s O-line for the past few seasons, and their chemistry is unquestioned. Meanwhile, the endless list of talented Washington women are headlined by Riot superstar Shannon O’Malley and Barb Hoover. Much like Texas, this team seems to be a combination of the two best club teams in the state, Sockeye and Riot (Rioteye).
5. Texas TUFF/Melee (MUFF)
Yes, MUFF looks more-or-less like Doublewide/Showdown (Doubledown). And in no way is that a bad thing. Doublewide has been a top club team for years now, and the men on this roster represent many of the best players to grace DW’s roster. Cara Crouch propelled Showdown deep into club nationals more than once, dominating matchups (and eventually earning her a spot on the Worlds team). Crouch not only has the love connection with husband Natenberg going for her, but she also has the only Callahan award in school history. Needless to say, the chemistry on this team would be palpable.
4. Colorado Mamabird/Kali (Kalibird)
Yikes. Colorado’s men are simply unfair. Mickle and Beau on the same line would be absolutely impossible for any team in the world to matchup against. Both are top-5 players right now, a duo that no other team on this list can hope to match. The D-line men are almost as intimidating. Everyone is big and freakishly athletic, at at times in their careers have been treated as their team’s “lockdown” defender. If Hylke Snieder and Stanley Peterson are on your bench, you might have a decent D-line. Meanwhile, the incomparable Alex Snyder headlines the otherwise youthful Kalibird women. I’m scared looking at this roster.
3. Oregon Ego/Fugue (Fuego)
Wiggins alert! Couldn’t resist putting the two on the same line. There’s gotta be some crazy chemistry there, right?! If not, Bjorklund and Shofner can drive the O from the cutting position while former Callahan winners Friedman and Dengler blind the competition with their shiny awards. On D, it’s all about speed. This is almost certainly the fastest line in the tournament, with smaller firecrackers (Freechild, Lennon, and Zahnheiser), supremely athletic mids (Kaylor and Wallis), and a horse (Honn). If Lou Burress came out of his recent retirement to coach this team, Fuego could be straight fire.
2. Carleton CUT/Syzygy (Cutygy)
There’s only one possible outcome from witnessing this roster. Jokes aside, the most storied program in the history of college ultimate unsurprisingly boasts a sickening amount of talent. Montague and Reed have their choice of probably-wide-open cutters on the offensive side, not to mention the obvious chemistry the men on this line have (Montague, Stuart, and Lindsley all still play with each other on Subzero). Meanwhile, the D-line is chock full of nigh-unparallelled athletes. Few players in their prime brought the combination of size and speed that Alex Nord and Chase SB possessed. Snyder and McCardle are young studs, while MC in his prime would be…I’m not really sure, as his prime seems to have lasted almost a decade. Look, when two Revolver starters are on your bench, you know your team is stacked. A rivalry matchup with the Hodannas would be the stuff of legends.
1. Wisconsin Hodags/Belladonna (Hodannas)
Does “Hodannas” sound really Australian to anyone else? Just me? Nevermind.
Three Callahan winners (Heijmen, Bosscher, and Kiesow) lead this terrifying Madison squad. For most teams on this list, it’s clear that either the men or the women are stronger, but for the Hodannas that doesn’t apply. If these men and women formed an open and women’s team (respectively), I have no doubt they would qualify for Nationals right now. The names left out (Ben Feldman, Drew Mahowald, Cullen Geppert, Biz Cook, Adrienne Wells, Rebecca Enders) could be starters on most any club team in the country. Could this team win a club Mixed National Championship? Uh, yeah.
North Carolina Dark Pleiades
Who did we miss? What schools got snubbed? Who would you pick to win it all? Let us know in the comments.