We know next to nothing about teams so far this season. Great strides will be made between the fall and the spring, as rookies often get more playtime between now and the series, strategies aren’t fully implemented, conditioning hasn’t taken place for a lot of the teams, many teams stay closer to home during the fall in order to save cash for longer travel commitments in the spring… the list goes on. Making predictions now about teams is perhaps one of the dumbest things anyone who writes about sports can do, more often than not they end up being wrong (see: my club predictions, my hockey predictions, my what’s for dinner tomorrow predictions).
Still, that doesn’t stop me from making them! Here they are friends:
- Michigan is over-hyped again.
- And unless they go back to the hockey sweater jerseys of the late ’00’s I won’t be changing on that. I actually have one of those jerseys, it’s great to wear because it looks like a hockey sweater, yet I’m fooling everyone around me and supporting an ultimate team instead! Ha!
- Seriously though, Michigan is a good team. A semi-finals (or better) of Nationals team? Hell no. Will they play well at a tournament again this spring, and have everyone over-value them again? Yes. Unless a lot changes system-wise from what I saw last year, especially at Easterns, they will not be able to compete with the better teams.
- Pittsburgh should be the clear #1 favorite. Ultiworld is reporting that their only two graduating players from last season are thinking about making the move back for this season. Dillon, Thorne, etc. all are back, and have had great off-seasons playing club, both in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. They also once again have a strong youth group coming in. Favorite should be written all over them.
- Favoritesburgh. Pittvorite. Nope, nothing.
- I don’t want to discount North Carolina, especially after what their players did in club this off-season. They’re also reportedly bringing back many veterans from last season’s great team, and a whole group of youth players that are just plain amazing. Not fair UNC, not fair. I agree with the assertion that they’ll need some time to find their legs, and find the strategy that works for the team long term. That may not have happened the fall tournaments, nor will it in the early spring. But by late spring? Yes, they will be a team to beat.
- Semi-finals of any tournament is the worst this team does in 14-15.
- Carleton is going to be the best team out of the North Central!
- No longer should anyone put stock in Minnesota. The ‘Oregon never shows up for things!’ story-line that pops up on r/ultimate and Ultiworld comment sections is so overplayed. But where are all the haters coming down on Minnesota and their disappointing finishes? Is it because it doesn’t follow the college football storyline?
- The Florida teams (UCF, FSU, UF) will be good again, but will cannibalize themselves before they’re able to make a dent at the College Championships.
- By this, I mean they will hurt themselves seeding-wise through playing each other, and through the close-games they will give each other.
- Colorado does get back to Nationals, but doesn’t repeat (this is a bold prediction).
- If you couldn’t tell, I’m being a little sarcastic. Colorado will be a very good team again, no doubt. They are returning a core group of players that played big roles (albeit, not Mickle-roles) last spring to bring them the championship. But unless they have a breakout star player, someone who could shut-down the likes of a Stubbs (or insert_name_here), than they are going to run into some problems at Nationals, and other tournaments next spring. They are also missing their coach on top of the roster turnover.
- UNC-Wilmington is the second best team out of North Carolina again.
- No knock on UNC-Wilmington though! Good team. Greg Vassar consistently coaches a smart group of players. They just happen to be in the same state as one of the best teams.
- Oregon follows up the Rhino performance with a strong Nationals performance of their own.
- I think Oregon finishes, at worst, in semi-finals like UNC.
- And hey, I want to say goodbye to the ‘Oregon never shows up!’ story-line this season, so they should go further than that; please and thank you players of Ego who probably don’t read this.
- If you’re following along, I have three possible semi-finalists named (Pitt, UNC, Oregon). It won’t be a Florida team. It won’t be Colorado. I think it’ll be Harvard to take it.
- Why Harvard? John Stubbs, Jeremy Nixon, Mark Vanderberg and coach Mike MacKenzie helped lead them to a New England regional championship last season. They’ll repeat that feat this season, and more. Their top players have gotten too good, and too smart, for this not to come to fruition.
Again, that’s Pittsburgh, UNC, Oregon and Harvard in the semis. Carleton is my alternate right now.
Now, go to Google Calendar. Set a reminder for May 26th of this year, at around 8 p.m., so you can come back here and let me know just how off my predictions were. But please, wait until then.
Fix: Originally the title, and still the URL, lists 2014 instead of 2015 – the year we are currently in. Damn.