12 Days of College Ultimate: Pat’s Magic 8 Ball

Let Pat's Magic 8 Ball divine the future of the college division on this Day 8 of our 12 Days of College Ultimate

Ultiworld’s coverage of the 2023 college ultimate season are presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

It’s time to unwrap some presents as we introduce the 12 Days of College Ultimate. Through December 23rd, we will be releasing one gift per day, though don’t count on getting any partridges in pear trees: it’s all college ultimate. From highlight videos to player chatter to a giant bracket, we’ve got a little something for everyone. On Day 8 of the 12 Days of College Ultimate, Patrick Stegemoeller reviews bold picks for the 2023 season with a little help from his trusty Magic 8 Ball.


According to certain faiths, the lord God sent his only son to earth in the heart of winter, on the coldest, darkest nights of the year, the world all covered in a blanket of snow. (I mean, not in Bethlehem, one would have to assume. Very temperate climate down in the southeastern Mediterranean. But I guess we’re assuming that God was intending this whole production for future northern European audiences). And in that cold void, the holidays are a promise of light in dark times. Of a fresh start for all of humanity. A clean canvas that covers over the sins of man, just like that slate of white snow outside your window (again, only in climates specifically connected to Western holiday iconography).

Which means it’s a great time for takes.

The whole new year in front of us, untarnished by facts and unbound by the realities of the year to come. It’s beautiful. It’s a little eerie. It’s a time when you can say things like, “A Metro East player is going to be a Callahan finalist” and not be technically wrong yet. The world is a blank page.

As the ultimate community sends it votive prayers into 2023, who knows which ones will come to fruition? That’s not a rhetorical question. Who knows? I’ll tell you who knows. This Magic 8 Ball.

This is your god now.

Readers submitted their bold predictions for the 2023 college season, and this Magic 8 Ball will tell us whether these claims will come true or die on the vine of wishful thinking. This is a time of year for optimism, for looking towards an unwritten future. But when it comes to a handful of very specific questions about the upcoming college season, the future is very much written. Read on, friend, to find out what life has in store.

“My sources say no”

Of course they aren’t. As a D-III alum I would love for the division to get a full 20 teams, and even more importantly a full four-day event, but it’s never going to happen.

Why? Because it is in the interest of the oppressor (USA Ultimate) to create class distinction between the people (D-I and D-III players) so that they don’t realize they share the same enemy. They need to keep D-I players feeling a sense of entitlement, a fear of ever losing their sense of superiority over the great unwashed masses in D-III .

Or maybe it is because no one wants to see the team that finished third in GL-III throw a four person cup at Nationals every game. Either way.

“My reply is no”

Well, looks like another season of Pitt hegemony in the Ohio Valley. And by not specifying which division you were talking about, SaM, you’ve now ensured that Pitt is going to lock things up in both men’s and women’s. So thanks for that, SaMmy.

Now, I can hear you saying “Hey wait a minute, this isn’t on me! The 8 Ball isn’t dictating these outcomes, merely revealing them. If Pitt was going to win in both divisions anyways, my asking about it now doesn’t change that, it just changes when we found out about it. I didn’t lose the region for Penn State.”

To which all I can say is, don’t make me explain the Schrodinger’s Cat Wikipedia entry. No, seriously, don’t make me do it. I don’t think I actually understand the theory and am fine not knowing.

“Signs point to yes”

What a year for the young man Albert, making the U24 team and winning OPOTY. Pretty great 2023. Let’s think about how that OPOTY win happens: Duke makes Nationals for the first time… ever? Upsetting, like, Maryland, William & Mary, and NC State in the backdoor bracket at Atlantic Coast Regionals. Then going on a run at Nationals to quarterfinals with Yuan putting up some NUMBERS on a ton of touches and a couple signature seven or eight assist games.

Hmmm…. I don’t know if I see it.

Another route: He bribes the Ultiworld staff and the vote is rigged.

I’ll leave it to you to decide which you think is more plausible.

“Without a doubt”

Woof. Pretty devastating response honestly, because the results at Nationals last year were – and it’s okay to admit this – boring as hell. The highlight of the men’s division was an upset that didn’t even happen. The only “upset” in the women’s bracket was the no.9 seed beating the no.8 seed. Dire times.

So we’re getting even more chalk in 2023. Likely another UNC sweep (which is the smart money prediction every year until the 6th year of COVID eligibility works its way out of the pipeline in a few years) with Colorado getting close. Evan Lepler trying to muster an interesting angle on Pleiades winning again and dropping a line like, “Pleiades which are of course, in Greek mythology, the seven sisters, are 3/7ths of the way to a seventh title!” Charlie and Keith on Deep Look afterwards talking about Minnesota Grey Duck as the Cinderella of the men’s division because they took half on Pitt in quarters before losing 15-12. Bleak!

“It is certain”

Wow. This is a big one. Huge news for the UConns and Binghamtons and Rutgers of the world, less huge news for the New England1 teams who are going to vaguely notice there are a few new teams finishing between 4th and 11th at Regionals this year.

It’ll be a sad day for the sport when USAU makes this announcement. The destruction of a spectacular lineage of mediocrity over the last decade and, crucially, an unbalancing of the college ultimate ecosystem! In a well functioning food chain, even the seemingly small, weak, collectively 0-10 at Nationals parts of the chain are important. Go watch some Magic School Bus, or the new Avatar movie. It’s all in there.

The repercussions to this senseless action could be sizeable, manifesting in ways we can only imagine. God help us all.

“Most likely”

Kind of a hedge here from the 8 Ball, so I’ll be more definitive and tell you specifically which Canadian teams will qualify for Nationals.

In the women’s division UBC is going to make it. Not a huge reach, but hey, weird Northwest fuckery has happened before.

The second Canadian team is coming from the men’s division and it’s going to be Queens-Kingston, randomly getting it together for one year with like four Canadian U24 dudes and wiping the floor at Metro East Regionals. Except, wait, as revealed by the 8 Ball above, the Metro East is getting folded into New England, which means that the second team is actually… McGill! Coming through with the region’s 6th bid to Nationals. New England Men’s is getting 6 bids to Nationals! Wow. Wild stuff

A magic 8 ball that says "outlook good"

“Outlook good”

The outlook will indeed be good when Downey plays in shorts for once and reveals the absolutely insane calves he’s been cooking under there for his entire career. It will come in Georgia’s moment of need, a moment of absolute crushing desperation on the brink of being upset in an elimination game at Regionals, needing a hero. And in will come Downey, gams out, saving the day, free of fear and fabric below his knees.

A magic 8 ball that says "don't count on it"

“Don’t count on it”

Tough stuff my man.

  1. Not “north east” by the way, “emf” 

  1. Patrick Stegemoeller

    Patrick Stegemoeller is a Senior Staff Writer for Ultiworld, co-host of the Sin The Fields podcast, and also a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn.

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