Friday, March 20, 2015

Glass City Preview

By Nathan Digmann

Next weekend is the Third Annual Glass City Classic in Toledo, Ohio.  This tournament will feature several of the top teams in the Midwest Region, as well as a few teams from the Northeast. This tournament will be using the Swiss Style; I’ve thus ranked and analyzed the teams in order of how I think they will finish in the tournament.  

Bowling Green State University (BGSU)  (19-5)
BGSU is a solid squad.  It has a ton of depth and has performed consistently all season. This should benefit the team in a Swiss Style tournament with more competitive games. At the Midwest Regional Championship, BGSU was down only 30 to Ohio State Quidditch (OSU) when it lost on a snitch grab in the finals. BGSU can play with the best of the Midwest. It struggled earlier this season in losses on snitch grabs against Villanova Community Quidditch and the Warriors and has a couple losses to Ball State. BGSU’s games have had the tendency to come down to a snitch grab this season. If its seekers are able to get catches when it needs them, Bowling Green should find itself playing for a tournament championship.

Blue Mountain Quidditch Club (BMQC) (18-12)
BMQC has a lot of games under its belt this season, and it has both won and lost against most of the upper echelon teams in the Midwest. BMQC has shown that, at its best, it can be great. It’s a team that comes in as one of the limited few to have beaten OSU this season. I don’t think there is any denying that Blue Mountain is one of the top teams in the region. That said, at its worst, it’s found a way to lose to Ohio University and only managed 10 points against Kansas Quidditch. I think it is safe to say that BMQC is one of the frontrunners for the tournament but it also depends heavily on who shows up to play on the tournament roster.

Michigan Quidditch Team (12-5)
Michigan is a team with about as impressive of a resume as any team in the Midwest that isn’t OSU. It has impressive wins against strong teams such as Miami University and Central Michigan University (CMU) (it beat both by 60 points, including the snitch catch), and it has shown that it is clearly near the top of the Midwest. Its losses, though, show an inability to finish teams off with a snitch catch. Two of those losses were blowouts at the hands of Ohio State, and the other three were lost on a snitch catch. It was leading by 20 against both BMQC and the Ball State Cardinals (BSU) when it lost on a catch. And finally, its loss against Michigan State University Spartan Quidditch (MSU) during bracket play of the regional championship came when MSU made the catch in a tie game. Michigan has shown that it can play with everyone in quaffle play except Ohio State, but if it wants to make a run at winning Glass City, it’ll have to find a way to make the snitch catch when it matters. So far that hasn’t happened.

Central Michigan University (17-5)
CMU comes in with very consistent results this season. Its five losses all come to very high quality teams. It has two losses to Blue Mountain Quidditch Club and one at the hands of Michigan, OSU, and University of Missouriduring bracket play at the regional championshiprespectively. It is safe to say that this team isn’t likely to have an off day. Its strength of schedule doesn’t seem to be that great, though. This is a team lacking big wins to put it over the top. Its best win of the season was over BMQC, but its next best was probably one of the several times it took down Michigan State. I see CMU bowing out in the semifinals of Glass City, but don’t be surprised if it finds a way into the finals.

Rochester University (8-11)
Rochester hasn’t really shown too much this season until the regional championship. Then, all of a sudden, it was able to play with the best teams in the Northeast Region. It had a close loss to Emerson College Quidditch and cruised to a win against the RIT Dark Marks. Its most impressive game was probably against the Tufts University Tufflepuffs, in which Rochester forced overtime before falling just short. This is a tournament where we can see what a team like Rochester can do against some of the better teams from the Midwest. If it plays like it did at the regional championship, Rochester could potentially beat a team like CMU or Michigan. If it plays like it played before the regional championship, it could fall to the level of a team like Falcon Warriors or the Grand Valley Grindylows.

Michigan State University Spartan Quidditch (MSU) (11-11)
Ball State, CMU, Ohio State, and BMQC were the only four teams to have beaten Michigan State before the Midwest Regional Championship, although it never really beaten anybody that good. MSU seems to be one of those teams that has some pieces that allow it to beat all the poorer teams, but it just doesn’t seem to have enough to put it over the top and into the upper echelon of the Midwest. In pool play at the Midwest Regional Championship, Michigan State was leading in quaffle points but lost to both Marquette University Quidditch and Minnesota Quidditch on snitch catches. Bracket play brought MSU its best win of the season when it beat Michigan, though MSU did go on to lose to Missouri in snitch range. Its win over Michigan shows MSU has the potential to do big things, but its results from pool play at the regional championship does leave one wondering whether or not MSU is quite at the level of the upper echelon teams of the Midwest. Michigan State could easily pull off an upset or two, though, because anything can happen with Jacob Heppe on the field.

Marquette University Quidditch (4-4)
Marquette is an enormous question mark. The team showed some fight in close losses to Bowling Green and Minnesota earlier this season, and it took down Michigan State in pool play at the regional championship. It showed weakness, though, in losing out of snitch range against Miami and Ball State. While Marquette is a team struggling to be recognized with the upper echelon teams of the Midwest, it definitely isn’t there yet. This tournament should give everyone a much better idea of what this team is really made of.

Ohio State Quidditch (N/A)
Ohio State is unofficial for this tournament because the team it’s bringing will be a mix of OSU and the Mighty Bucks (its B team). Due to its roster being unknown at this event, it is tough to make a prediction. I would assume that OSU will bring enough talent to be relevant, but a lack of depth may doom its chances of having more than one win against any of the teams listed above. Still, I would be very surprised if OSU lost to any of the lower level teams in the tournament.

Grand Valley Grindylows (GVSU) (9-6)
Grand Valley boasts an impressive 9-6 record. Its only losses have come to some of the best teams in the Midwest, and it was able to take care of business whenever facing a mid-to-lower level team. Still, I think Grand Valley isn’t nearly as strong of a team as its record states, and I expect it to struggle at Glass City. It has been blown out in all of its losses, and many of its wins have been by very small margins.

Falcon Warriors (3-13)
The Falcon Warriors may be just a B team, but don’t let that fool you. This is a quality team. Their showing at the Midwest Regional Championship seems to show that, as they lost to the top three teams in their pool by an average of only 43 points. Though they don’t have any marquee wins, they boast an impressive strength of schedule. I think the Falcon Warriors will prove to be stronger than many expect, especially after working day in and day out with the Bowling Green team over the winter. Though they won’t upset anyone too good, I think they will be surprisingly competitive and sneak out some decent wins.

Ohio University Flying Bobcats (9-12)
Ohio University is a wild card. It showed some promise early in the season with a win over BMQC. Most of its losses came from teams at the top of the Midwest. It just didn’t seem like any players on the team brought their heads to the regional championship. It was ahead in quaffle points yet lost to both TC Frost and the aforementioned GVSU. Ohio University also lost out of snitch range against the Falcon Warriors and was blown out by Illinois State University Firebirds.

Merc teams are always a wild card, but I’ve heard there might be some good talent. It all depends on who the team has and if the players can find a way to collaborate effectively.

Q.C. Nerd
This will be an unofficial team made up of players from SUNY Geneseo and Syracuse University. Those are two decent teams from the Northeast. It will be interesting to see what type of players Q.C. Nerd is able to bring, and how those players mesh together.  I wouldn’t expect too much from this team, but with that being said, I also have no idea what kind of talent the group is bringing.

University of Dayton
Dayton is not an official team, and this makes it very hard to know what to expect. It can be assumed that Dayton will fall somewhere near the bottom of the teams attending.

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