You can see my (probably wrong) Men’s Pool Predictions here – now read how things will turn out come bracket play.
Quick disclaimer – these are based 100% on the pool predictions I made earlier, not on any results in case you’re reading this after the tournament begins. Again – not based on actual results, they are instead based on this.
Going round by round, my thinking on each game:
Revolver has an easy win over Prairie Fire. GOAT beats Ring of Fire like an AUDL Championship game that could have been. Truck Stop versus Rhino is an extremely tough pick, and while I ended up going Truck Stop, I think either could make it out of this game. Doublewide against Florida United is tough too, but Doublewide holds the edge in my mind. Poor, poor Machine! I want them to do well, but Bravo in pre-quarters is just not a great draw – Johnny Bravo keeps the repeat hopes alive for at least one round. Sockeye beats Sub Zero, ya know. High Five is given a game by Madison Club, but High Five is the better team.
Hello Revolver versus GOAT! Revolver gets revenge from last year… again. Ironside against Truck is a tough pick! Could these teams play better during the regular season, or at least to more varying degrees of good so I can make this pick and feel good about it. I’m going Ironside though, if not purely for the matchup it creates in the semifinals. Doublewide versus Johnny Bravo is a great regional rematch, and it ends just the same as before. Sockeye versus High Five should be the best game of this round, but Sockeye stops the wild ride High Five hoped to take to ascend to the top of the top. Not a bad way for them to go out either, to one of the most storied and prolific teams at the tournament.
Revolver versus Ironside… this matchup forever. Revolver wins, they’re the better team this season without a doubt, but man this is just the classic matchup of Club Nationals no matter how much their rosters change. Doublewide versus Sockeye has me wondering, why not pick Sockeye? Height differential? Where does physicality play in? Strategy and tactics? Toss up game to pick. I went Sockeye in the end, but either team could come out alive.
How close is this game to the Colorado Cup final where Sockeye beat Revolver? That was a great game, which Sockeye ended up winning. But I don’t think the same thing happens here. Revolver has looked on another level for a lot of the season, starting way back during the AUDL. Circumstances have changed for each team since that weekend, and in reality you could pick either team to win and not feel bad about it. If you go Revolver, you’re betting on Beau to win again with players like Simon Higgins and Christian Johnson stepping up big too to help propel the rest of the core to another championship. If you go Sockeye, you’re betting on their style of play, that last season was a fluke, and that they’re back on top of the division.
To recap, I have Revolver, Ironside, Doublewide, and Sockeye as the final four teams in the Men’s division this season – with Revolver meeting Sockeye in the final, and Revolver taking the cake.
Some other random thoughts:
- Given a different draw, Johnny Bravo makes the semifinals in their bid to repeat. I think regardless they fall short.
- High Five too, could make semifinals with a different draw. But no matter what, I think that is their ceiling this season.
- Machine has a ceiling of quarterfinals this season.
- Enough about ceilings… let’s talk about the floor for some teams. Each of the four teams I have making semifinals, I would say quarterfinals is their floor. I’m not exactly going out on a limb saying that, but realistically that means they won’t hurt themselves with a bad matchup in prequarters after a poor pool play showing (so that would mean seeing a team like High Five, Bravo, or Truck in prequarters), and that they will survive whatever their likely opponent (Patrol/Sub/Florida) can throw at them.
I’d also like to apologize for the lack of writing, and the focus solely on the Men’s division for these short posts I’ve done. Starting a new job has been tough in many more ways than I thought, and other commitments have kept me from being able to watch and write as in depth as I’d like. But it’s also given me a lot of time to think about where to take Up Call, and how I can schedule my time to do bigger and better things. So stay tuned – better writings of all will come soon.