Ladies and gentlemen, #nowitcounts. Teams have had chances to establish themselves, to set their baseline, and to see some competition from various regions. The bid picture is by no means settled, but we’ve found the corner and edge pieces of this puzzle and started filling it in. This past weekend’s Stanford Invite and Music City Mash-Up made big impacts on the rankings, while we are still seeing the effects of Midwest Throwdown and even some input from Tally Classic. The stage is set for Centex to be a #bidwatch bloodbath (hello, future bidwatch subtitle). Let’s look at the players:
Unsurprisingly, after their huge weekend in Stanford, Wisconsin is the biggest mover, jumping 18 spots up behind a 350 point boost. That’s a worthy reward for a 6-1 performance with wins over five teams from the top 25, including big seven point margins of victory over UBC, Washington, and North Carolina. Their only loss was by a measly two points to the #1 team overall. The Southeast Region posted some very big numbers up, with Georgia, Central Florida, and Florida State combining to add 17 wins to their case, with only two losses (both to #5 Ohio State). North Carolina being able to keep a lot of games close against top ranked competition did allow them to move up a couple of spots, but they left money on the table. The Great Lakes also helped themselves with the performances of Michigan and Illinois at Music City (plus Michigan State’s appearance), and Purdue and Notre Dame adding wins & closes losses to good teams at Tally.
No region had more risk this weekend than the Southwest, who was exposing their Strength bidholders to top competition from other regions. Literally every team in the entire region moved down – the only region with that effect – after not only their second tier teams struggling, but UC-Santa Barbara and Stanford bringing home eight losses. It was expected they’d lose a strength bid, maybe even two, but all three went bye bye. The South Central also took a hit behind the brick Texas put up at Music City, plus the domino effect of the weakened Southwest and Northwest hurt Colorado and Colorado College, diminishing their wins from Pres Day and Stanford Open. However, the next tier saw benefits from the North Central and Great Lakes boost, pushing their Midwest Throwdown attendees up.
This time, I’ll list the total number of bids, list every team that is holding a bid, and italicize the autobid team, to give you a more complete picture:
- AC (1): #12 Virginia
- GL (1): #23 Valparaiso
- ME (1): #61 Ottawa
- NE (1): #7 Tufts
- NC (5): #2 Iowa, #4 Carleton, #8 Wisconsin, #10 Minnesota, #18 Iowa St.
- NW (5): #1 Oregon, #3 British Columbia, #6 Washington, #9 Victoria, #17 Whitman,
- OV (1): #5 Ohio State
- SC (1): #13 Colorado
- SE (3): #14 Georgia, #15 Florida State, #16 Central Florida
- SW (1): #11 UC-Santa Barbara
As is typical, still only a couple of regions hold the bids; only three regions have strength bids right now. The big story is the movement of the Southwest bids to the North Central and Southeast, behind the results of Wisconsin, Carleton, Georgia, UCF, and FSU. There might have been more of a spread if for some different results this past weekend. North Carolina, Texas, and Pittsburgh all missed chances to get a second bid for their region, while the aforementioned Southwest failed to protect their bids. Pittsburgh Danger had three shots at the Southeast in Nashville, and came up short each of those (two losses to UCF and one to UGA in semis). Pittsburgh still remains on the cusp, a scrappy team with enough talent to be on top of their tier but unable to break through to the elite so far. North Carolina moved up a few spots, but the opportunity to get some wins and stay above those Southeast teams was there. If the Atlantic Coast stays a one bid region, a talented team will be left at home. I think Texas’s missed chances are pretty well documented at this point.
We will need to see more results and more games between regions in order to see bids spread out. Most of the big movements will come in two weeks at Women’s Centex. In Austin, top teams from the North Central (five), Southwest (three), Southeast (one), Ohio Valley (two), New England (one), Atlantic Coast (two), South Central (one), and Great Lakes (one) will make up the power pools. Yes, that’s almost every region, and that’s just top pools. The pools behind that house next tier teams from the Southeast, New England, South Central, North Central, and Northwest. That second group of pools has two strength bids in it (FSU and Whitman) and a number of former bidholders (Texas, Colorado College, and Western Washington), and teams in and around the top 30 looking to get a bid (#21 Northeastern, #28 MIT, #30 UNC-Wilmington, #36 UC-San Diego, etc). There will be some other regional competition as teams travel to Georgia for College Terminus & Southerns, and to VIrginia for Virginia is for Layouts (the weekend prior), but really, this tournament will settle almost everything going into the Series.
Want more available tickets to the show for your region? Put up or shut up in Austin. Let us all pray for great weather and good competition, because it should be a hell of a weekend.