After some incredible regional finishes, here is our prediction for the 2013 D-1 Open Nationals seeding:
1. Oregon (NW1)
2. Wisconsin (NC1)
3. North Carolina (AC1)
4. Pittsburgh (OV1)
5. Texas (SC1)
6. Carleton College (NC2)
7. Central Florida (SE1)
8. Colorado (SC2)
9. North Carolina-Wilmington (AC2)
10. Ohio (OV2)
11. Harvard (NE1)
12. Georgia (SE2)
13. California-Davis (SW1)
14. Arizona (SW2)
15. Florida State (SE3)
16. Washington (NW2)
17. Dartmouth (NE2)
18. Illinois (GL1)
19. Luther (NC3)
20. Cornell (ME1)
This produces the following pools:
#7 Central Florida
#3 North Carolina
#6 Carleton College
#15 Florida State
#9 North Carolina-Wilmington
A couple of places where arguments could be made:
- Carleton College vs. Central Florida for #6 and #7…avoids a North Central Regional Final rematch between CUT and Wisconsin.
- #12-#16…Georgia may be too high in the above seeding, but as you can see, there
are no regional rematches in any pool is only one regional match-up in the pool play schedule (Pool C: Carleton College vs. Luther). If you drop Jojah below the two SW teams, Davis and Arizona both end up in Pool A.
Feature photo by Adam Lerman
For those who haven’t read or heard, I will be stepping back from coverage this year to focus on coaching. Unfortunately the Standlers will be few and far between through the college season.
As I wrote in the preview for Queen City Tune Up, this is the time of the year that we begin to identify dark horses and potential surprises. Last year, 5 out of 8 quarter finalists qualified for nationals. Looking across this year’s group, it’s easy to see that each team will have a fighting chance come the series.
As an opposing coach, it was easy to see what made North Carolina so potent. A fast moving offense with an athletic group of cutters. It’s impressive to be in this state as a team this early in the season. They’re athletic across the board, and have experience at handlers. Throw in a few firecrackers in Christian Johnson and Tristan Green that are playing unselfishly and it’s easy to see why they cruised through the tournament.
Harvard has brought back a discipline to their style and it’s evident in the game that Ultiworld provided. Being able to stay patient with the disc is a virtue that most teams don’t achieve over the course of a season. Issues arose in the second half of the semis, where there was was not much movement against North Carolina. Cutters were only able to get a few yards per pass in that second half, while the athletic North Carolina defense was doing a good job of stopping the hucking opportunities.
After these two teams, we’re looking at the rest of the group. I don’t know that we can make too many assumptions on the state of Ohio by the size of score differential in the final. North Carolina looks like a top 8 team right now, in the same vein where Tufts was last season. Thus lets not close the book on Ohio. The consolation games are the easy path to show where the remaining teams are ranked. Harvard handled Penn State, while Tufts took down Georgia in the 5th place game. However, it seems like only North Carolina and Harvard can be declared winners in the strength bid argument so far. Lets look at the bid situation as a whole.
It’s a shifting landscape year, one that sees some North Central powers declining. Michigan and Michigan State did themselves no favors for getting a bid, while the Ohio Valley might crack through for multiple bids. Washington did not start out the season right, and last year they took Whitman’s strength bid to the big show. As I’m writing this, we can see even a few updates of Warm Up scores come in, with Florida having an upset over Pittsburgh. So where does this leave us?
North Central - Last year, five bids stole the show. However, this year seems to be a three horse race. Wisconsin, Carleton, and Minnesota seem like gimme picks for the strength bids. 3
North West – Two years ago it was four, a year ago two. With Oregon being the obvious, where is Washington? Can British Columbia or Victoria give us some Canadian blood? Not likely. 1
Ohio Valley – Last year Ohio stopped their regular season short of Chicago Invite preserving their strength bid and a trip to Nationals. This year, can Ohio and Pittsburgh claim two? There’s definitely a chance of 3, and an even outside shot at 4. Since these bid allocations have started, the Ohio Valley has held four bids at different points. Penn State and Cincinnati are still capable of giving Ohio a run, but would feel much safer with another. 2-3
Great Lakes – Illinois seems to be the strongest out of the bunch. Barring any surprises, this should be a one bid region. 1
North East – This is a tricky one, because last year Dartmouth looked like a team that was going to grab a spot for one tournament. This year, we have Tufts, Harvard, and have yet to see what Dartmouth can do on the field. It’s possible that we’d see three, but I think it’s more likely that we see two. 2
South Central - Texas and Colorado are almost always strong, so we can punch the ticket for at least two. Will Texas A&M do enough? They’ve got the hype train moving, but I think they can come in under 20 for that final third bid. 3
Atlantic Coast - North Carolina is real, but is North Carolina Wilmington? They had a young squad last year, and bring back NexGen’s Tommy Lamar for this year’s campaign. Should be enough for that second bid. 2
Southwest – My east coast bias is tingling, but it’s hard to tell where this shakes out. Year after year, we see the Southwest dominate 20 through 40 in the rankings but produce few tall bloomers. Stanford was missing U23 players at their last tournament, Eli Kerns is back for UC Davis, and Arizona wins Santa Barbara.This is the biggest wildcard region, but it also hurts they don’t travel too well. 1-2
Southeast – Central Florida should be a lock for a bid, and then the rest is up for grabs. Florida State has made noise early on, but the jury is still out. Where do Georgia Tech, Florida, and Georgia fall into the mix? Florida’s 13-7 over Pittsburgh today at Warm Up seems to give them an inside track. 2-3
Pre-Season All American
Yes we know major tournaments are starting to fire, but it’s still early enough that we can release who we think are the best fourteen players in the country to start the season. Our panel voted, and below are the people we came up with.
There were plenty of worthy candidates out there, and many others receiving votes. The real test is the season.
I am currently coaching the University at Buffalo Men’s A team as well as assistant coaching the Rochester Dragons in the AUDL.
With a snow storm threatening the north eastern teams, the forecast still looks good here in Charlotte, NC for Queen City Tune Up. The field is a good one this year, featuring 8 teams that have qualified for nationals in the last three years. With good weather, this year should be revealing of who has the raw potential to make the big dance come May.
One of the more difficult things to do in prognostication is to predict who will be making it from #10 to #20. Stanford Invite and Easterns are both pieces of the puzzles later in the season, but early on, Queen City Tune Up sets the stage for those dark horses and surprises. Last year gave us two teams in the finals, Tufts who ended up 2 points away from a semi finals appearance, and Wilmington, who lost strength as the year went on. A bad or good performance is not always indicative of who qualifies, as Michigan won the tournament in 2011 and failed to qualify and North Carolina was eliminated in quarters but took their region in dominating fashion.
So who is going to be the surprise story this year? Who’s a current favorite that’s not going to make it out?
Let’s take a look at all that potential:
North Carolina Darkside – The question may not be will they qualify, but how far into Nationals will they be playing. Christian Johnson is the star on a veteran squad that returns the majority of the previous year’s roster. Not returning is Thomas Sayre-McCord, a big impact player during the regular season in 2012, but missed the majority of the series with a knee injury. Darkside is not built on just a few elite players, but a plethora of young men who can play well in roles. Tristan Green is explosive in his own right while Max Shepard and Marshall Ward sure up the decision making. Look for a total team effort on the weekend as Coach Mike DeNardis tries to continue the uphill climb from missing Regionals in 2011, qualifying for nationals in 2012, and maybe more in 2013.
Tufts Emen – Tufts was on the early season radar last year with a win at this very tournament, but many of the play makers have left from the strong squad that had Wisconsin on the ropes in quarterfinals. Should we still expect them back at Nationals? At this point, they would seem to be the favorite just because of last year’s finish, but Dartmouth and Harvard are slowly nipping at their heels. Despite losses of Jack Hatchett, Sam K-S and Alex Cooper, Tufts is a program good at developing talent into specific roles. Adrian Banerji has returned with a cast of other veterans; Gene Buonacorsi and Will Wong are among those returners while Tyler Chan and Carter Thallon bring a bit youthful talent into the mix.
Michigan MagnUM – The spin master is back. Yonatan Rafael has returned after an ACL tear last season to lead Michigan back to nationals. The roster also features Dan Detone and a fearful transition defense as well as Krishna Mahajan on the offense. Notable names of Jeff Pape and Seth Collins from previous campaigns are gone, but one of Michigan’s strengths has been recovering after the departure of strong players. After Will Neff won the Callahan in 2009, Michigan rebounded to within a point of semis in 2010.
Harvard Redline – 2012 Queen City Tune Up MVP Piers McNoughton has gone to the darkside, leaving Tufts for Harvard, and joining up with Mischa Herscu in addition to Mark Vandenburg fresh out of Paideia High School. Redline was eliminated by a much stronger Tufts squad in the Regional finals last year, but chances seem higher this year. This tournament is a perfect place to start the march for a strength bid. As we’ve seen from analyzing the rankings, the decay function causes these games to be weighted less as the season goes on, so a good result here may not be enough if bad performances occur later in the season.
Ohio – Mitch Cihon and Connor Haley are the two big names to know for this squad, one that is looking to repeat a visit to Nationals. With the defending champions in their region, it’s imperative that Ohio does work to get a strength bid. The Ohio Valley region has held at times up to 4 bids during the regular season, but they were only able to hang on to two by the end of last year. They can’t not afford to waste time this year and let their younger part of the roster develop if they want to return to the show.
Georgia has had difficulties the last two years qualifying for college nationals, but junior Elliot Erickson is excited for the potential that Jojah brings this season.
The Ohio Valley is well represented with 4 teams attending, Ohio State, Penn State and Cincinnati.
I will be limited in my writings this year as I am the head coach of the University at Buffalo team. Good luck to the rest of the field this weekend!
Due to lots of rain and loss of fields, Joint Summit Classic has been cancelled. As a result, we will not have coverage from the event. Next weekend will kick off our college tour with T-Town Throwdown.
Expect our regional previews, rankings, and a little something extra to start next week.