In my case for SotG over refs, I tried to argue that our current system is more accurate, as fair and now...probably no more biased either. Someone (with more time and money) actually did some real research and made a very interesting case for the cause of home field advantage. Rather than rehash what someone else said better, here's the link that tells how its all the official's fault.
I'm off to Stanford Invite in a couple of days. My quick preview is that we will get to see UW for real. When we played them back in Bellingham a month and a half ago, both teams were so raw and riddled with imperfection it's impossible to read anything into it. I expect them to be a top 5 team and I am excited for the game.
Before that, we will see UCSB in the second round. Any time you play a team in a championship, you are linked to them forever, whether you won or lost. While a lot of key players have left both teams, those who remain remember. I don't imagine there will be much time spent getting up to speed; both squads'll be ready. On a side note, UCSB's schedule sucks. Generally, I like the two-pools-into-semis schedule (it takes me back to the old nationals schedule from the 80s and 90s) but UCSB as the 3 in the pool plays UW (the 2) in the first round and us (the 1) in the second. Those games should be spread out in the schedule. And not first.
I am interested to see Stanford. Their win at SB Invite and their roster (intact from 2010 minus Damon plus grad students) make them a top 5 team.
Except for Carleton, its a Pacific NW and California tournament. A bit disappointing, but the rise of tournaments like Easterns and Midwest Throwdown mean less incentive to travel this far.
If you are a fan of college ultimate, it's time to quit paying attention to the front runners and start watching the teams that matter - the bubble teams. Sure it'll be cool to see us v. Stanford or Pitt v. CUT on the men's side, but right now those games don't matter. The biggest game on the women's side is Western Washington v. Carleton. Why? It's all about bids right now. My rough guess is that the top 16 teams will earn bids for their regions. The remaining 4 spots will fall to regions with a single bid. Carleton sits as the second team in the Cold and Snow Region at #12. Western sits as the fourth team in the PNW at #27. Their record (3-6) needs to get fatter at the front end if the PNW will earn four bids. Don't forget that UW, UBC, Iowa and Iowa State haven't played enough official games to be ranked yet. Carleton would love to make some hay knocking off the West Coast teams above them, but they need to beat Western.
I picked this game because its two teams I know well and at the tourney I'm attending, but there are a ton more in both the Men's and Women's this weekend. (The games like Sonona (#11) v USC (#21) don't really matter because they're in the same region.) Wash U v Colorado College. Northwestern v. Iowa. Colorado v. Iowa State. On the men's side, Oregon, Washington Cal and UBC all want to go to the show. They all need to win (against the likes of SDSU, Wisco, Texas, UCSB.) You want to stay one step ahead of all the other regions. You want your two to beat their one. You want your three to beat their two. You really, really want your four to beat their three (or two or one.)