Thursday, October 25, 2007

Random Thoughts on UPA Finals and the Fourm Posting

-I think picking who is going to win this year in most divisions (except Women's) is a crapshoot. It makes for entertaining ultimate.

-How can there be so many passionate predictions on Ultimate forums? We have zero stats in this sport except win/loss records. Maybe it's the Masters in Sports Management making me a jerk, but how are people writing these predictions/explanations. It's just recycled cliches and myths.

-I think there is way too much mean spirited slagging and coarse language on It's taking over the forums. I love clever quips like the ones found in the CDN Nats preview.. those are gold and everyone can laugh at.

-I think a post after UPA finals should be a discussion on whether Ultimate at the highest level is won by team depth, or by a small group of dominate players.

-For a long time, I have wondered if Furious could win without one of the big guys (Cruickshank, Lugsdin, Grant) being healthy. I wonder if today's 0-3 performance is a signal of things to come, or if it's a blip on the radar.

-I think the Iowa teams have great names.


Jon Rayner said...

On predictive team stats: a team's RRI (on Score Reporter) can often have good predictive power if enough results are in for each team. If you look at Open 2007, all the UPA quarter-finalists and play-in teams (except for Truck) are in the RRI top 10 after Thursday's results (not counting Buzz at #2... anyone would figure them for quarters if they could play UPAs). So, with no Buzz, you get this...
1. Sockeye
2. Jam
3. JB
4. SZ
5. Chain (there was lots of pre-UPAs rumbling that they were underseeded)
6. Boston
7. Condors (lost play-in to Truck)
8. Ring (lost play-in to Boston)
10. Goat

The only quarter-finalist out of the top ten is Truck, who, if you take out the spring tourney X and Y teams, are #14. The only teams ahead of them are Revolver (knocked out in nasty NW Regionals), and the two teams they directly or indirectly screwed at UPAs: Furious and Rhino.

I think Sockeye, Bravo and Jam have to be the strong favourites still. Great for Goat that they don't get one of them right off in quarters. But Goat earned that with the huge wins over Ring and then Condors. Just an amazing performance so far... continuing to build on such a great season. Chain is scary though. They were/are not a 13 seed. Bravo even more scary. C'mon Goat. I think a betting man has to call a Sockeye-Bravo final. Although Jam with their ex-Condor champs (Husak, Namkung, Steets, Cascino, Yarbrough) will be a handful if they gel in time. A likely Sockeye-Jam semi shapes up to be epic. Would love to see more upsets on the weekend though. I know who I'm pulling for.

On Furious: it'll be interesting to hear more about what happened. Sounds like MG is hurt, and saw something about Lugsdin and his back again. Plus, as someone on pointed out, no Al-Bob, no Kubalanza (Sockeye), no Neil Terry. 3 starters gone, and 2 big guns hurting? I don't know that roster well enough to know who else they might have lost. That certainly starts to explain it.

On Capitals: Man, that must have been one amazing comeback today (Friday). I'm sure they were down at least 6-11 in that play-in. An 8-1 run to win 14-12? Wow. WOW. Steve... it would be great if you could the inside story on that game when the ladies get home. I can't imagine those players ever quitting again when they're down. A win to feed off for the rest of their playing careers.

jon rayner said...

Ooh. I'll just add that RRI worked out well for this particular division (Open) for this particular year (2007). Perhaps it was off in other years. And Mixed always seems to be more of a crapshoot. Totally agree that there are lots of ridiculous predictions out there.

Although, on the other hand, here's what reading too much can do for you (re. Open):
- Sockeye didn't lose anyone, and picked up Gehret and Kubalanza and I think Seth Wiggins. Probably more. Too lazy to check. But they were bound to be even better this year.
- Jam re-formed, adding a bunch of ex-Condors who've won UPAs twice. And Damien Scott is playing. No surprise they are back near the top
- Furious had a really up-and-down year. Which they've done before, so everyone was ready to give them the benefit of the doubt.
- Chain sure appeared underseeded. They made semis last year, and they have at least one guy (AJ Tiarsmith who runs the ultfris blog) who spends a lot of energy figuring out how to get a team playing frisbee better
- Sub is picking up players from Wisconsin, which dominated this year's College Series
- Bravo has been good all year long, and their results suggest they are getting better... and they got real close last year with 13-15 loss to Sockeye in semis.

The genuine surprise to me so far is Truck. They are good, but I don't think many would have had them bumping Furious out.

Oooohkay. Now I've definitely spent too much time on this.

Sport Management Steven said...

Very good stuff Jon, as always I might add. :)

Perhaps someone can find out the confidence level that RRI can predict. That means we are going to have to take more than one year and one divisions worth of rankings.