Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Southwest Coaches Poll

Over the next week, the Quidditch Post will release the results of our Coaches polls. Coaches or captains from every team were invited to vote or designate someone from their team to vote for the top teams in their region (one vote per team). The number of selections voters were asked to make depended on the number of teams in the region.

The Southwest voters were asked to pick their top 10 teams from the fall season. Eighteen voters participated in the poll. Points were allocated in the following manner: Ten points for a first place vote, nine points for a second place vote, eight points for a third place vote, etc. The votes have been tabulated and listed below in order of total votes. The number in parentheses indicates how many first place votes a team received.

SW Coaches Poll Results
  1. Lone Star Quidditch Club (LSQC) – (17) 170
  2. Texas State University - San Marcos –  (1) 155
  3. The University of Texas at Austin (UT) – 147
  4. Baylor University – 131
  5. SHSU Quidditch – 78
  6. Texas A&M Quidditch –  74
  7. University of Arkansas Quidditch Club – 56
  8. Oklahoma State University (OSU) – 49
  9. University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) – 47
  10. Loyola University New Orleans – 23

Also receiving votes: Texas Tech Quidditch – 21, The Silver Phoenix – 13, Oklahoma Baptist University – 6, Tribe Quidditch – 6, Austin Quidditch – 5, Louisiana State University – 4, Tulane University – 3, University of Northern Colorado – 1, Osos De Muerte – 1  

Voters Explain Their Decisions
“There is no question after seeing the team’s performance that Lone Star dominates the Southwest region. After Lone Star, the next three positions are all debatable. Baylor leads the three because of the team’s ability to keep up the pace at its own level. While UT and Texas State are both extremely aggressive teams with the ability to physically dominate their opponents, Baylor has the ability to mentally mess with its opponents both on the offensive and defensive ends. With its hoop defense, excellent ball movement, and ability to finish the game on the seeking end, Baylor possess the greatest threat to Lone Star. Texas State and UT are both pretty close in competition, but after Texas State’s win against UT at Lone Star Cup, it is possible that it is slightly better. If SHSU keeps playing at the level that the team performed at during Lone Star Cup, SHSU could be considered a real threat. Texas A&M could still be a real threat to the lower-class teams due to the team’s athleticism; but without a real core to lead the team on the field, the team may not return to the dominance seen from Texas A&M last year. UTSA has looked strong this fall and has quite a bit of potential. Silver Phoenix has made huge leaps forward this last year. The team really disputes its "B team" status as Silver Phoenix has been playing incredibly well, sometimes appearing to play better than Texas A&M 's "A team." Osos is another "B team" with potential to make large strides, and the team’s slightly impressive performance against the lesser-dominate teams in the Southwest has made it a fairly well-performing team overall.”

“Lone Star – Self explanatory.
• Texas State – Texas State has earned victories over both UT and Baylor now and has only fallen to Lone Star. This shows that the Bobcats have stepped up their game to a level where they may be the second-best team in the country.
• The University of Texas – Texas never ceases to amaze me with how dominant the team plays. It has so many incredible players that just keeps it relevant.
• Baylor – The team’s zone and beaters continue to impress me and make it hard for any team, but the big three to break them down.
• UTSA – This team can be a true competitor in the Southwest. UTSA rebuilt well after the team’s personal losses last year.
• Sam Houston – This team had a spectacular turnaround at Lone Star Cup, taking out the likes of UTSA and Texas A&M. We will see what it can do at the SW Regional.
• Loyola – Holding multiple top teams closer than the team would like, you can expect Loyola to make waves this year at the SW Regional.
• OSU – Having taken out Arkansas twice last year at the SW Regional, this team can stick around.
• Arkansas – The team has some good athletic talent, but its strategy is not refined enough to hang around the top tier of the Southwest.
• Texas A&M – So much athleticism, yet the team’s game sense seems lost from last year. Texas A&M might be able to pull it out this year, but it is nowhere near the team’s prime of last year.”

"Texas State has earned the No. 2 slot after beating both Baylor and Texas. Seven, eight, and nine could be put in any order, and UTSA can be expected to start rising again. Oklahoma State looked flat against UTSA at Lone Star Cup. After Brooms on the Brazos, Texas Tech can be expected to break into the top 10, but after only one tournament against mostly western teams, putting it there is not justified yet. Texas A&M's fall from grace has been ugly, but with a good second half of the season the team could climb back in.”

“1. LSQC
2. Texas State – Texas State is the clear No. 2 team. The team has only lost to LSQC, and it outplayed UT in November at Lone Star Cup.
3. UT – While still an elite team, its two losses so far indicate UT may not be able to pull away from a close game against the top two with a snitch catch win.
4. Baylor
5. University of Arkansas – Arkansas proved with its win over Kansas at Cowboy Cup that it is a top team in the Southwest. The team doesn’t have many games to go off of, however, and only beat OSU at the same tournament by a snitch snatch. Arkansas also lost to Kansas at Kansas Cup a few weeks prior. The team’s seeker is one of the best in the league, and its beating game remains strong.
6-8. SHSU, UTSA, and OSU are all on about the same level. SHSU has won with a snitch catch against UTSA, and UTSA came from behind to win against OSU by a snitch catch. Each of these three teams have proven they can be very good in some games, then lose by a large margin to the top teams around the league. Meanwhile, all three have varying records against teams typically viewed as second tier in the Southwest. SHSU lost to Osos De Muerte at Wolf Pack twice and then solidly beat Osos at Lone Star Cup. OSU also beat Osos soundly at Lone Star Cup. Neither SHSU nor UTSA have played against teams outside of the Southwest. Meanwhile, OSU has played against some of the better teams from other regions; OSU beat Minnesota once before losing to Minnesota and Kansas later at the same tournament. All three of these teams could move up if they were more consistent.
9-10. Texas A&M and Silver Phoenix. All but one of Silver Phoenix’s losses have been against the top four teams, and the team’s final loss was by a snitch catch after leading the game. Texas A&M’s gameplay was pretty underwhelming at Lone Star Cup. However, the team has fought in games and showed there is still part of the elite team from years prior. It is still undecided on which team is better. Their win percentages are almost even; Texas A&M lost by a much larger margin to Texas State than Silver Phoenix did, but Silver Phoenix's loss margin against UT was much larger than A&M's. These two teams are pretty tied.”

A remarkable 19 of 26 teams appeared on Southwest voter’s ballots with only three teams appearing on all 18 ballots. Lone Star was nearly the unanimous top team, getting 17 out of 18 first place votes; one voter refused to rank Lone Star, referencing the unfair nature of competition between community and college teams. The three teams appearing on every ballot were defending champions the University of Texas, defending runners up Texas State University, and Baylor University. Seventeen voters placed Texas State or UT second with 10 of those votes going to Texas State. Texas State received just 1 fourth place vote, while UT received four; neither team appeared below fourth. Baylor received 11 fourth place votes and just 1 vote outside of the top four.

While the top four teams appear to have been clear to our voters, five teams received multiple fifth place votes. Sam Houston State and Texas A&M each received 5 fifth place votes with Arkansas, Oklahoma State, and UTSA also receiving multiple votes. Sam Houston State and Texas A&M each received a majority of their votes in the fifth and sixth place slots. UTSA grabbed 6 seventh place votes with Loyola and Texas Tech each receiving 3 seventh place votes. Arkansas and Oklahoma State both edged UTSA in the poll with voters seemingly unsure how to rank the two non-Texan teams. Arkansas received 1 fourth place vote and multiple fifth place votes; however some voters left Arkansas unranked. Oklahoma State was voted into the top 6 by five voters, vaulting it into eighth. Ninth-ranked UTSA was ranked on twelve ballots, receiving 6 seventh place votes. After the top nine, voters were especially unsure how to vote. Eleven teams received tenth place votes with Texas Tech receiving 4 and Loyola 3. Loyola was named on nine total ballots, being ranked as high as seventh – enough to get it the tenth spot. Tribe Quidditch received 1 fifth place vote, while Silver Phoenix and Austin Quidditch each received 1 sixth place vote.

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