Will these seeds match USAU's?
September 28, 2018 by Charlie Eisenhood in Analysis with 0 comments
Our coverage of the Men’s Club postseason is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author. Please support the brands that make Ultiworld possible and shop at Spin Ultimate!
After an exciting weekend of Regionals, we now have the full field of teams and the post-Regionals rankings update from USA Ultimate. It’s time to start thinking about what the seeding and pools might look like for Nationals.
Note that Regionals finish no longer binds seeding at Nationals. We do our best to follow USA Ultimate’s guidelines for seeding: USAU’s post-Regionals rankings are very heavily weighted, head-to-head wins matter at the margin, and historic success is considered. We do not explicitly try to avoid regional matchups.
Let’s kick things off right away with the pools generated by my predicted seeding.
|POOL A||POOL B||POOL C||POOL D|
|Revolver (1)||PoNY (2)||Ring of Fire (3)||Sockeye (4)|
|Madison Club (8)||Dig (7)||Furious George (6)||Truck Stop (5)|
|Rhino (12)||Sub Zero (11)||Doublewide (10)||Machine (9)|
|High Five (13)||Bravo (14)||Temper (15)||Chain Lightning (16)|
1. San Francisco Revolver – #1 ranked team, defending National champion. Despite their recent loss to Pony, they are 1-1 against them and are ranked over 80 points higher.
2. New York PoNY – Even though Sockeye is the #2 ranked team, their resume feels especially thin after losing the Northwest to Furious George. I think USAU will reward PoNY for an obviously excellent season. PoNY is 2-0 against Ring, so their small rating deficit won’t matter.
3. Raleigh Ring of Fire – Ring should go immediately behind PoNY. #3 ranked team.
4. Seattle Sockeye – What will USAU do with Sockeye? This is one of the hardest seeding challenges that I can remember. You could make the case for putting them behind Furious given the Regionals result, but Furious’s resume is extremely thin. Given Sockeye’s wide points margin over the teams seeded below them — they’re 130 points higher than Truck, for instance — I don’t expect to see them drop below the five seed. They could also easily be the #2.
5. Washington DC Truck Stop – Furious George may be ranked slightly ahead of Truck, but historical performance and this season’s context signal a boost for DC. #6 ranked team.
6. Vancouver Furious George – Furious was 0-4 in the regular season against Nationals qualifiers (Sockeye and Rhino). They beat both teams at Regionals to win the Northwest. But, outside of those games, the team is basically untested against elite competition. It’s hard to see them landing higher than their #5 ranking, and it’s conceivable that USAU will bump them down further for having what feels like an inflated ranking1. But winning a tough region in dominant fashion has to count for something.
7. Boston Dig – Fairly straightforward #7 seed for the #7 ranked team. Worth noting that a Pony-Dig matchup in pool play is not a rematch; they haven’t played this season.
8. Madison Club – Madison is 10 points clear of Machine in the rankings and has a head-to-head win against them. Despite their loss in the North Central final, Club should get the final #2 seed.
9. Chicago Machine – 20 points ahead of Rhino and Doublewide with a H2H win over Doublewide. Clear.
10. Austin Doublewide – Effectively tied with Rhino in the rankings. I expect Doublewide to get the nod for winning the South Central.
11. Minneapolis Sub Zero – Got the NC crown, but it might not do much for Sub Zero given their #12 ranking. 2-1 v. High Five. I think giving Sub a small bump over Rhino makes sense given their Regionals win, especially since it eliminates a Sub v. Madison rematch in pool play.
12. Portland Rhino Slam! – #10 ranked. Could see them go anywhere from #10-12.
13. Michigan High Five – Things are tricky in the bottom of the rankings. High Five has losses to Bravo and Temper, but a notably higher ranking. Opting to follow rankings here makes the most sense.
14. Denver Johnny Bravo – Bravo has a H2H win over Temper. Bumping them up has the added benefit of avoiding a Doublewide v. Bravo rematch.
15. Pittsburgh Temper – Temper has H2H losses to Bravo and Chain, but their ranking is high enough to insulate them from Chain. Could also see them go at #14.
16. Atlanta Chain Lightning – The lowest ranked team. 40 points behind Bravo and 60 points behind Temper.
There’s some precedent for that in recent seedings ↩