Here are my rankings as they were in the preseason. Only 25 teams are listed.25. Oak Park and River Forest (IL) – I’ll use this space to remark that Ben is good at scoring points and not to make some terrible joke about how the school name is amazing.
24. Cistercian (TX) – Now that Andrew Chrzanowski and I recognize their talent, nothing can stop them! Really, a good team that will play a nice role in the ongoing resurgence in Texas quiz bowl.
23. Olmsted Falls (OH)
22. Richard Montgomery (MD) – Having just opened up the stats from the Maryland tournament today gives me just another reason to know why I’m a fool.
21. Loyola (IL) – Finished 23rd at NSC and everyone comes back.
20. Walter Johnson (MD)
19. Walton (GA)
18. St. Ignatius (IL) – Andrew’s the leading individual returning scorer from HSNCT, Abubakar from Walton second and Ben from Oak Park and River Forest third. For NSC, William from Alpharetta is the top returning individual scorer, Nikhil second and Kevin from Stevenson third.
17. Northmont (OH)
16. St. Anselm’s (DC) – This is the team I alluded to earlier with regards to the SCT tournaments. I was initially going to disregard St. Anselm’s due to Matt Bollinger’s graduation, but was pointed to the stats from this tournament, which shows a strong team without Matt. Fortunately, I listened to Matt and do not owe anyone $10.
But seriously, this does show a potential source of error in these rankings and that’s why I’m not putting very much stock in them once teams actually start having stat lines.
15. Detroit Catholic Central (MI)
14. Dunbar (KY)
13. duPont Manual (KY)
12. Auburn (IL)
11. Mission San Jose (CA) – Mission San Jose? Mission San Jose.
I understand skepticism regarding the limited number of stat lines they had last season. If I’m recalling correctly, they had exactly one stat line from a “regular difficulty” set before nationals (discounting A-sets), and that showed them with a 20 ppb over 5 games, which itself is a sample size issue with relations to the sample size issue. At the two A-set tourneys they went to, their ppb were 21.95 & 24.92. Even taking into consideration the inflation in ppb between an A-set and an IS set, those are good scores. (This all assumes that the displayed stats on NAQT’s website from last year are reliable).
They return everyone from their HSNCT team last year, which was 23rd at the tournament in ppb and 15th in ppg. Only five teams above them in ppb have everyone coming back, three in ppg. They had a comparable number of powers at HSNCT to various good teams like Seven Lakes, Centennial and La Jolla. My point being here that I believe teams are unlikely to have a level of performance in their stats and be unable to roughly reproduce that performance.
10. Alpharetta (GA) – This has nothing to do with the quiz bowl talent at Alpharetta, but I just discovered that there is a website devoted to recording the helmet designs used by Georgia high school football teams. The Alpharetta helmet is pretty close to the black University of Arizona one, if you were wondering.
9. Thomas Jefferson (VA)
8. Seven Lakes (TX)
7. Dorman (SC)
6. Hunter (NY)
5. Adlai Stevenson (IL)
4. Maggie Walker (VA) – I put MW here below Bellarmine because I think Greg Tito’s contribution to the team is way overlooked in evaluations, and Bellarmine put up really good stats last year too. I’m certainly not overlooking their proving me wrong, but right now I have them a spot below Bellarmine.
3. Bellarmine (CA) – California teams tend to be overlooked by the polls, though it hasn’t been as bad over the past year or so, or at least it seems that way.
2. LASA (TX)
1. State College (PA) – The chances of State College not winning both nationals this year are slim, just to be honest. Last year at NSC, only MW, LASA and St. Anselm’s were within 1 ppb of them. The closest team in terms of points per tossup heard at NSC was within 3.49, which is a pretty decent margin, and only those three previously mentioned teams were within 8 PPTH. At HSNCT, only SC, MW and Detroit Country Day had 20+ ppb, only SC & MW had over 100 powers for the tournament (next closest were DCD with 85 and LASA with 83), and only SC, MW & DCD had over 379 pp20TH (next closest was Georgetown Day with 328).