It’s getting closer to the series and we’re starting to see more matchups between Mixed Division powerhouses. Here’s an early prediction of the teams (with a few bonus slots) that will make the biggest impact on the division this year, without the use of a fancy algorithm.
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The Front of the Pack
Choosing the top four teams was pretty easy. Placing them was not quite as simple. Slow White has shown that they will be a top competitor this year, finishing second at the US Open and at the Boston Invite. Of course, Slow falls behind Polar Bears and the Ghosts, each of whom defeated Slow White in a finals matchup (Polar Bears in Boulder and the Ghosts in Boston). Both teams won 15-10, which made placing one over the other very difficult, but in the end, the Ghosts won my confidence with two first place finishes this season. Of course, leaving last year’s national champion out of the mix would have been a travesty. They edged out Polar Bears based on their early season finals victory at Cal States. Despite this being a tryout tournament for many teams, including Polar Bears, this is the only matchup I had to go off. We’ll see how this holds up after the Mixed Emerald City Classic this weekend.
Midwest Dominating in the Middle
Coming in at the five spot, Drag’n Thrust has been able to remain consistent this entire season. After tying for third at the US Open, Drag’n Thrust asserted themselves at the top of the North Central division at the Minnesota Ultimate Disc Invite. Although they fell early to Chad Larson Experience, they came back and avenged that loss in the finals. Overhaul came out strong early in the season, winning the Philly Invite amongst a number of East Coast teams on the lower half of the list. Odyssee, out of Montreal, has proved unpredictable: notable wins against Slow White at the Boston Invite as well as Drag’n Thrust and Polar Bears at the US Open, but unexpected losses to Wild Card and AMP.
Teams Making Noise in their Regions
Wild Card is a new team out of Massachusetts that has been putting up wins on many of the more established teams on the East Coast, including AMP, Ambiguously Grey, and 7Express. On the West Coast, 7 Figures showed their new regional rivals from the Bay Area that they were ready to compete with a third place finish at Cal States behind Blackbird and Polar Bears. Mischief and GrasSFace, however, have been doing more to pull themselves into the spotlight in the always-competitive Bay Area. They played a close semifinal match at Revolution in which Mischief won 12-11.
Just Making the Cut
After a disappointing 7th place finish at the US Open, Golden Spike hasn’t played many notable games. However, it would be unfair to leave a a team unranked that played tight games with the nation’s best. Bucket and Killjoy have each shown that they are front runners in their own regions, but haven’t shown how they compare with outside competition. Steamboat, out of Cincinnati, has also shown off their talent in the Great Lakes region, winning the Cin City Classic and finishing second at Motown Throwdown, but we have yet to see what they can do against big-name teams. wHagonwheel squeaked onto the radar with an 8th place finish at the Philly Invite and a first-place finish at the smaller Summer Glazed Daze.
On the Cusp
Santa Maria, Cosa Nostra, B.O.H.I.C.A., and Southern Revival have all been competitive within their regions this season and are certainly worth keeping an eye on. They just barely missed the cut for this weeks rankings because of losses to a few of the teams above. Santa Maria actually took first at the Chesapeake Open, but was unable to defeat Steamboat in a meeting earlier this season, and finished below them in another tournament.
Get Ready For It…
It might seem like I’ve left some important teams off of the list. District 5, Engine 45, Great Northern Ultimate, Bigfoot, and Mental Toss Flycoons are all recognizable names that haven’t made much of an appearance this year. All of them (with the exception of District 5) will be making a big entrance onto the scene this year at the Emerald City Classic this weekend and will probably be claiming spots on next weeks rankings.