Saturday, September 27, 2008

Power Rankings -- Week 5

Two very disparate divisions have cropped up with the most recent week's results, with both the first and fourth place teams in the East (Queens and Carolina) currently having a fairly incredible one and a half match lead in the race for the division title and the final playoff spot, respectively. When it generally comes down to the last week (at least for the final playoff spot certainly), with tiebreakers often needed, to decide those matters, such leads only halfway through the season are really quite an anomaly, especially considering how balanced the East has been throughout the League. On the flip side, the West has a whopping four teams tied in the races for the last playoff spots, with the division leaders not being far ahead, really making anything possible. It should be very interesting to see if the East standings can maintain their current structure, or if one of the 1 – 4 teams can make a crazy run in the second half of the season to make a race of it. Likewise, with such a mass of teams in the West all in good position to claim a spot, it's really anyone's guess who might emerge from that mass to make it to the playoffs.

1st: Queens Pioneers (5.0 – 0.0) (+1 from last week). I stated that once I felt Queens had clinched their playoff spot, I might promote them to the top spot and as they've done that (well, I suppose it's conceivable to design a set of results where at 5
– 5 they would not end up making it, but I for one am certainly not going to try), I have done just that (of course, San Francisco stumbling made it pretty easy also!). As Alex Lenderman noted in his blog, the focus for them now naturally is winning the division, as given their one and a half match lead, to not do so would definitely be quite a disappointment at this stage. Their big rematch with the second place Knockouts is coming up in Week 7, and a win there could well for all intents and purposes, clinch the division for the Pioneers should they achieve it. (Win Division: 66%, Make Playoffs: 100%), (Combined Current Record of Remaining Opponents: 14 – 11)

2nd: San Francisco Mechanics (3.5 – 1.5) (-1). It's very rare for the Mechanics to have a match as forgettable as I'm sure last week's was, as they could well have been swept had things gone slightly differently. Hopefully for them they got all the bad performances out of the way in that one match and can bounce back quickly since they clearly seem to be headed for a stiff fight with Dallas for the division title, and another loss might push them back into some of the logjam of the four currently 0.500 teams in the West. (33%, 89%), (12 – 13)

3rd: Dallas Destiny (3.5 – 1.5) (+0). Another very solid performance from the Destiny, albeit coming in a drawn effort rather than a win. Dallas just continues to look very tough all around, and with them now having Vazirova on the main roster and can now regularly use a strong IM on Board Three (especially in the postseason), the extra flexibility they now possess can only make them more dangerous. (32%, 87%), (10.5 – 14.5)

4th: New Jersey Knockouts (3.5 – 1.5) (+0). One of the quickest team victories for the Knockouts this week against the struggling Inventors puts New Jersey in prime playoff position, unless a big collapse allows one of the currently 1
– 4 teams to catch them. It's not unreasonable for them at this point to look higher towards trying to win the division title, but to get that, their Week 7 rematch with Queens is essentially a must win. (20%, 91%), (12 – 13)

5th: Boston Blitz (3.0 – 2.0) (+1). The Blitz team of recent years showcased itself as we'd come to expect in such a dominating win against the team many felt to be the best in the league. A definite relieving sign for them as two consecutive losses and then being matched against the Mechanics seemed to have a gloomy outlook to it, but Boston clearly showed they are still capable of what has made them so successful in the last two years. They now face four consecutive teams who currently sit at 1
– 4 and if anything can be a good opportunity to gain ground on the division leading Pioneers, one has to think that is. (12%, 79%), (9 – 16)

6th: Seattle Sluggers (2.5 – 2.5) (+2). A solid draw for the Sluggers against the defending Champions places them in the conglomerate of teams fighting for third in the West. There's little to say in terms of the keys to them successfully emerging out of that mass other than just to play well, and it should be an interesting test taking on the Knights and the Mechanics in the next two weeks, two teams the Sluggers have definitely struggled against in the past. (10%, 58%), (10.5 – 14.5)

7th: Miami Sharks (2.5 – 2.5) (-2). Like Seattle there's little to tell about Miami being caught in the huge tie in the West other than suggesting to them that winning would be a very good idea, especially considering their next two matches are both against teams which they are currently caught in that huge tie with, Chicago and Arizona. (9%, 56%), (15.5 – 9.5)

8th: Chicago Blaze (2.5 – 2.5) (+1). Chicago continues to look strong and very solid, but given the current competition, that might not alone be enough to get them to the promise land, as with such a deadlock currently, the teams that can reach really far down when it really counts are the ones who will emerge from the West. (8%, 53%), (14.5 – 10.5)

9th: Arizona Scorpions (2.5 – 2.5) (-2). While a draw against the Cobras is certainly not a super disappointing result, considering the fashion in which it was achieved definitely has to be quite disappointing for the Scorpions. In a league as balanced as the USCL, squeezing every possible point you can in every match becomes so important, and letting that half point go against Carolina and putting themselves in that huge tie as well, instead of having a leg up on it, is naturally a disappointment. But they have to move on as best they can, as they too are facing two teams they are currently in the large tie in the West with in two of their next three matches. (8%, 52%), (13.5 – 11.5)

10th: Carolina Cobras (2.5 – 2.5) (+0). While I felt at the beginning of the season (and still now) that Carolina didn't have quite the firepower of the other East teams (which is why I picked them to finish last), they certainly have displayed a far greater ability to play consistently than any of the three 1
– 4 teams languishing below them. I know I certainly wouldn't have expected them to have a one and a half point lead in the playoff race at this stage of the year, but they do and clearly they must utilize it. It certainly won't be easy as they still have to face Queens twice, and it seems reasonably certain that at least one of Baltimore, Philadelphia, or New York will catch fire in the second half of the season and give them a run for their money so they still have their work cut out for them. (2%, 62%), (15.5 – 9.5)

11th: Baltimore Kingfishers (1.0 – 4.0) (+0). It had to be a fervent hope that the Kingfishers would not have to play any matches without a GM at the top as they did three times last season, as it's hard to realistically claim that that might not have made a real difference in their final standing, and likewise it's difficult to say that that might not have made a difference in their result this week also as they nearly drew the match in spite of that. Nevertheless, it is done, and they are running out of time to be able to recover so one can only hope that won't happen again. (0%, 24%), (11 – 14)

12th: Philadelphia Inventors (1.0 – 4.0) (+0). While having a tough schedule was obviously something expected from their last year's success, having to face the highest rated lineup in league history last week probably seemed a bit excessive. Like Baltimore though, what's done is done, and they too are running out of time. It certainly isn't going to get any easier though with them still having to face the Blitz twice, a team they've really struggled against throughout the league. (0%, 23%), (13 – 12)

13th: New York Knights (1.0 – 4.0) (+0). An eerily similar yet obviously not desired spot for the Knights who started last season at 1
– 4 also. They certainly showed then that they are capable of recovering such a start, but once again fighting against the variance that digging yourself into such a hole creates has a way of catching up eventually, and this may well be the year that the Knights miss the postseason for the first time. (0%, 21%), (11 – 14)

14th: Tennessee Tempo (1.0 – 4.0) (+0). Once again a lineup with Ehlvest proved its mettle for the team, especially with his individual win being the saving grace for the team. A solid result once again, but they too are still in a big hole with time not being on their side. Hopefully, with their GM's continued prescence they can start squeezing out some match wins very soon and keep themselves in the game for a playoff spot. (0%, 5%), (13 – 12)


HA81 said...

Wow, it is just like BCS rankings. The Mechanics lose and they still end up 3 places ahead of the team that beat them and ahead of the defending "undefeated" champs? I don't like SF or Dallas, but come on. And Seattle at 6??? That is my team and let me tell you, they haven't played better than Arizona or Chicago, plus how do they fit ahead of Carolina? I don't know what "power" you are looking at, but maybe you should check with your optometrist!

Greg Shahade said...

Well HA81, SF did lose to Dallas head to head, so it's reasonable to keep them ahead in a tiebreak. Not sure why you are calling them undefeated also :)

I sort of agree with you about the other points as I think that Miami should be at the top of the 2.5/5 teams, based on results thus far, but those are all judgement calls IMO.

Not sure what Seattle has done to distance themselves from the other 2.5/5 teams, especially as their tiebreaks are the worst of them. Meanwhile Miami has the best tiebreaks and has faced the toughest avg rating of them all.

Arun Sharma said...

HA81, as both Greg and Eddie tried to explain to you on the Seattle blog/forum, please don't make ridiculous statements without at least having the basic facts straight. I mean first off, you tell me to check with an optometrist? These are mostly opinion based rankings, and you can disagree if you want, but that's why they're called opinions. Furthermore, your comment of: ahead of the defending "undefeated" champs, when Dallas is not undefeated (lost to SF in fact, another thing you conveniently omitted in your point when inferring that it's ridiculous for SF to be ahead of the team that beat them). Once again, you can disagree with my opinions, but at least try to have the simple facts correct before you make statements that are factually completely wrong. Of course, one could make an argument that Boston should be ahead of San Francisco after really pummeling them this week, but that like everything is a matter of perspective. If Queens loses to Carolina this week, are you then going to claim that Carolina should be put ahead of Queens in next week's rankings?

As for what Greg said, regarding Miami being the top of the 2.5/5 teams, naturally that's a reasonable thing to think, but I don't agree on his reasons for it. If you want to base these rankings solely on the current tiebreaks (of which game points and toughest avg rating are amongst) then you might as well just rank teams by the actual standings.

As for Seattle being ahead of Arizona, Chicago, etc., of course there is always some basis to say it should be the other way, but as noted in this article (another fact that you clearly didn't research, which both Greg and Eddie had to remind you of), Seattle has the easiest remaining schedule of all of those teams (and Carolina, who currently has the same record as Seattle, still has to play Queens twice, but I suppose you didn't take note of that either?). In addition, based on their lineup this week, Seattle seems very inclined to use the Nakamura + Serper combination as often as they can, in which case I definitely prefer their chances to come out on top compared to Arizona and Chicago (once again, my OPINION).

Is there something unusual going on in Seattle or something? I mean last year, when I predicted Seattle to not make the playoffs before the season, I was chastised by their manager for not giving them any respect. And now, this year when I do think they have a good chance (as shown by my preseason predictions and these rankings), someone from Seattle chastises me basically saying "No, we suck, rank us lower". I suppose I just can't win whatever I do when facing people from both sides of that spectrum can I?

But I suppose I really shouldn't care what all of you keep posting about no matter how ridiculous in nature it happens to be. As I said in my interview a few weeks ago, this is almost certainly the last year I'll be working for the league anyway so next year all of you posters should at least have someone new to attack in this fashion. Hopefully, whoever that poor soul happens to be, they will provide you with more entertainment than I'm apparently capable of giving!

HA81 said...

Arun, easy brother. Take a breath. Yeah, you got me... I didn't check that Dallas was undefeated. Ok, you are right, SF should be ahead of Dallas. Forget tiebreaks, forget who did what in the playoffs, forget all that. Just like you forgot that Boston beat San Fran... oh, sorry. I didn't mean that. I mean, you know I just write stuff, kinda like you. And a lot of it is just being made as I go along. It seems to me that you are doing a great job and little jab like this shouldn't hurt, after all I am just nobody. Or, well I was nobody. Then you go and say something like how Eddie tried to reason with me about facts. Gee, I thought I was reasoning with him about facts. The Sluggers are my team, but they haven't done squat. I know some of the players and they are pretty good, but somehow when they play this season they can't pull it together. The two expansion teams have gotten a better pace going than the Sluggers. As for schedule, Arun did YOU READ THE POST???? Seattle has zero luck against the Knights, we can skip the Mechanics, then they face Arizona twice and Tennessee. Arizona has the same record as the Sluggers, so that don't really sound so easy... to me at least. And don't forget that the Sluggers could only tie Tennessee last time. I know Arun, you are going to say that I see "the glass half empty". You are wrong. I see a glass and I see water, I think it is better to be the glass. And what happeded to Carolina? I think they would be... um... in the playoffs?

So, go ahead and lambast me for forgetting the outcome of a SF - Dallas match, I deserve it.

Arun Sharma said...

HA81, you took to telling both me and Eddie to calm down or something similar of that nature, when it clearly seems that you are the one who attempted to instigate things (at least with me, telling me to check with my optometrist). I'm always very happy to debate opinions and theory about the League with people, but when you make a comment like that, something clearly designed to do nothing but insult me, don't expect me to be all lovable when I respond.

In regards to your continued statement about Boston vs San Fran, your argument for that still confounds me. I reiterate: If Carolina beats Queens this week, should I put Carolina ahead of Queens in my next week's rankings? If you don't think so, then please enlighten me what your argument really is for the previous instance. In any case, while that might be relevant, it seems like a poor thing to use as such a major factor like you seem to be suggesting. In a league as balanced as this, anomalous results can always occur in any week, and basing these rankings simply on a team's most recent match seems ridiculous to me. If I was to do that for SF, given how badly they were beaten this week, I probably would have put them near the bottom of this week's list, and I think many more people would consider that far more wrong than ranking them above Boston. Given SF beat Dallas, Dallas beat Boston, and Boston beat SF, I don't quite comprehend how you would make use of that information to make reasonable rankings. If I was to put Boston ahead of SF and SF ahead of Dallas as you basically suggest, then someone from Dallas blasted me for doing so saying that since Dallas beat Boston, they should be ahead of them, how pray tell would you have me respond to that person?

As for reasoning with you about facts, from what I saw, you claimed twice how much trouble Seattle was in because of how "hard" their remaining schedule is, and both Greg and Eddie pointed out, that going strictly by records, Seattle has the easiest schedule of the teams they are competing with, so yes it seems that they were both pointing out the "facts" to you (something which your claim of "hard schedule" doesn't seem to take into account).

In regards to your later point: "Seattle has zero luck against the Knights, we can skip the Mechanics, then they face Arizona twice and Tennessee. Arizona has the same record as the Sluggers, so that don't really sound so easy... to me at least." Yes Seattle is 0 - 2 so far versus New York, and I do feel that is relevant (something I will make a note of when I predict this match tomorrow). I've always been a proponent of the theory that league history is pertinent, but you seem to be counting it as a much bigger factor than it probably should be. Obviously, every team changes every season (Seattle certainly never used a lineup along the lines of the one they are using this time in the previous two meetings), and when you say you can "skip the Mechanics", are you implying that Seattle has no chance to win? I have a feeling both teams might disagree with you. Anyone who feels any league match is a certainty is just flat out wrong. And for facing Arizona twice etc., I never implied they or anyone else was "easy". The simple fact is: no match in the league is ever easy, just once again if you simply look at the combined record of Seattle's remaining opponents compared to the teams they are fighting with for the playoff spots, their opponents should theoretically be easier, that's just a simple numerical fact, nothing else. You might not feel that's pertinent, but it is a fact nonetheless.

As for Carolina being in the playoffs compared to Seattle et. al., obviously based on their divisional standings, they should have a much better chance of making the playoffs than any 0.500 team in the West (as my %'s indicate). But aside from that fact, I feel the other teams that have the same record as them are generally stronger in other regards. As noted, Carolina has a very tough schedule (especially this week) and just generally when I picture teams who can go deep into the postseason, they just strike me as less likely to do so than the other teams, but again that's just my opinion. If you were basing these rankings mostly on who's more likely to be in the playoffs, of course due to the current divisional structure they would be higher than the other 0.500 teams, but I only consider that one factor (a factor I raise in importance level as we go deeper and deeper into the season, and the postseason becomes more and more in teams' reach). Given half of the season still remains and so much can happen (as New York's epic comeback and your own team's fall last year indicate), I don't choose to weigh that highly enough that I put them above the other 0.500 teams. Once again, that's merely my opinion, and of course it's certainly reasonable to take a different approach.

HA81 said...

Arun, I will let you have the final word. After this I am done with this thread. It appears to me that we have three basic differences. Let me summarize.

First: I commented on your blog about the rankings "being like the BCS. THe Mechanice lose and they still end up three places ahead of the team that beat them" . Ok, somehow I come out the bad guy because Dallas beat Boston and Boston beat SF and SF beat Dallas... ad infinitum. You decided that I thought Boston should move ahead of SF, no I said the Blitz were 3 places behind SF. At the end of the week there were 3 teams at 3 1/2 - 1 1/2 - SF, Dallas, New Jersey (on your list you have SF at 3.5 - 0.5 ? ). SF was the only team that lost, went down 1 spot. Dallas drew, went up zero and New Jersey won and went up zero. I think that even in college football they would reward a victory a little better than "zero". So, your argument is correct it is impossible to base rankings on single results. You don't like recent results, so you aren't like the BCS? Here is a htought: the only tiebreak system I ever completely understood ( I never directed ) is you score all the points of the opps you beat, half for the opps you tie and zero for losses. If I look at this I see:

SF: beat Dallas (3.5) , drew Chicago (1.25), beat Miami (2.5), beat Phlly (1) and lost to Bos (0) that equals 8.25

Dal : lost to SF (0) , beat AZ (2.5), beat Bos (3), beat Mia (2.5) and drew Sea (1.25) which comes to 9.25

NJ: beat Bal (1), lost to Que (0), tied Sea (1.25), beat Bos (3) and beat Philly (1) that adds up to 6.25

So, there is my suggestion for ranking them. Not putting Boston ahead of San Fran likely you said.

Second: about the Sluggers. Fine, they have the easiest schedule left. And you never said anybody was easy, that would be a ridiculous statement. Well, if none of the matches is easy, how is the Sluggers schedule "easiest"? I mean, what part of the schedule is easy? I am saying that I see the dangerous aspects of the teams they have left to face, not that some number is smaller than some other number. I am talking about chess players going for victory. I have another apology, that I don't think have the "easiest" schedule left is something the Sluggers should be proud of. By the way, the same way you came up with Seattle having the easiest schedule - adding up the scores of teams left to face - use that on each of the 4 teams in the 3rd place tie in the West. I think you will see that Arizona has faced the toughest.

Third: You seem to think that I have stepped out of line in my responses to your posts. That I instigated trouble with you, the comment about your optometrist. For any offense that I have caused you with that remark I do sincerely apologize. I cannot tell you how somber I feel writing this. I was legally blind once upon a time and I would never make jest of anyone based on a vision problem. Yet, I am left to wonder. I had expected a more evolved attitude towards arguments based on "opinions". My feeling was that playing the simple brute to your much more sophisticated persona would play well. You however took my entire first post to be an affront. Ok, your blog, your opinions, your words... whatever. I will post here no more forever

Arun Sharma said...


Your initial post, not only the ending remark, just the general tone of it seemed to be one aimed at trying to ridicule what I was saying -- not attempting to as you say create a more "evolved attitude" about my opinions or whatever. If you had simply said you disagreed with SF being three places above Boston and Seattle being as high as sixth and why, that would have been totally fine, and we could have discussed it from there, but you chose to express the fact that you disagreed with those rankings in a degrading fashion rather than one aimed at real discussion, and yes I took offense at that. Perhaps my initial reply was a bit strong, but when you were ridiculing my OPINIONS and didn't even seem to have the basic FACTS correct, that seemed a bit much to me.

In regards to your recent point about the BCS, yes you are right that system-wise it might be similar, but I don't feel that analogy is a very good one. Simply put, when dealing with the BCS, basically all the teams at the top have either 0 or 1 loss the entire season, which naturally makes any loss by any team a very big deal in their ranking. Given how balanced the USCL is, it's very unlikely that more than one team will achieve even an 8 - 2 record or better (if even a single one does that well) so clearly losses and draws are far more common amongst the top teams, making how to shift them when such matches occur a much more obscure task. For that reason, I don't think it's necessarily ridiculous to keep a team three places above another even if they lost to them in the most recent match.

Yes, of course no match or team is easy, but obviously that's not the same thing as saying that every opponent is equally difficult. If you were to take a poll amongst the teams on which team they would least like to face right now, I'll bet a majority of them would say Queens. Certainly that doesn't mean they think that facing some other team is easy, just simply they feel that would be a bigger challenge. Every match is a challenge, and some challenges are bigger than others. Even though none of them are easy, that doesn't mean some team might happen to have bigger challenges ahead of them than some other. I also never tried to imply that having an "easier schedule" was something to be proud of, it's something which is a fact if you happen to judge future schedule strength based on that criteria (which of course you might not wish to, but that seems like a fairly natural way of doing so). As such, it does seem to be a pertinent issue when ranking/assessing teams currently -- not something to be proud of, just a simple evaluation of how you think teams might do in the future.

Like you, I've grown weary of this as well, so I think it's reasonable to end it here. I do hope you post on this blog in the future; it's somewhat rare to find people who are so interested in discussing these kinds of aspects of the League (which is something I'm intimately familiar with given all the work I do for the League :) ). Just I would prefer comments here to be simple discussion with opinions being shared, not commentary created from trying to ridicule someone's (whether mine or somebody else) opinions.

Ilya said...

BRRRRRRR................ Ok...well I am not going to complain about where my team sits because perhaps we have earned it but I do not quite understand Arun's statement that going by records is like going by actual standings... first of all the standings are divided into East and West and combining them is important; secondly the Power Rankings are supposed to reflect the standings although not neccesarily mirror them. From my understanding of "power ranking" as they are computed in sports, it is not just some abstract number but there are formalas involved... I have said befor that expectations and future schedule should play no role whatsover in a mid-season Power Rankings. Power rankings need to reflect Record(including tiebrake points) and Winning/Losing streaks. A hot team may have a higher ranking that a cold team with a slightly better record. In light of this for example someone like SF would be placed below Dallas, because they had lost last match, whereas Dallas has drawn... Arun I know you wont listen to me but I suggest checking out Power rankings in sports like Basketball and Hockey. Also, I have to agree about Miami being too low and Seattle too high. All the best.

Arun Sharma said...

Well I had intended my last post to be the last one on this thread, but I hadn't reckoned on someone new jumping in so I guess I have to rescind what I said.

Thanks for the comments Ilya (THIS is the kind of commentary I'm looking for here, even if you happen to disagree me).

In regards to what you said about not understanding how going by records is like going by the actual standings, that was in reference to Greg's point about Miami having the best tiebreaks amongst the 2.5 / 5 teams affording them to be the top of that batch of teams -- again to me if you consider that factor so important, it seems you might as well go by the actual standings (including tiebreaks) when making these rankings. Not that they aren't necessarily deserving of it anyway, just again my personal instinct told me to put Seattle higher (which actually had a bit to do with what you mentioned about hot vs cold, since Miami had lost two straight matches and then only managed a draw last week, in a match they would have guessed to have been big favorites in under normal circumstances).

As for expectations and future schedule not playing a role in rankings, to be frank I don't know exactly how Power Rankings work in other sports exactly, but I'm sure they have much more sophisticated number tools for measuring such things in the sports you mentioned. I'm really not sure if those systems would really apply to the USCL as there simply aren't as many variables in the USCL. In those sports you have factors like long term injuries and a team having a "strong bench", things which can have a major impact on how good you might rank a team to be, factors which don't really apply to the USCL. Perhaps more importantly, the "hot" vs "cold" team issue when you have an eighty two game season in the NBA or one sixty two in MLB, leaves a lot more room to reliably describe a team as being "hot" or "cold" than a meager ten match USCL season.

To be honest, if you don't take things like expectation/future schedule into account, what factors can one really use other than actual records and tiebreaks to differentiate between teams? The hot vs cold thing again, in such a short season can only be so reliable (especially since many teams seem to have one random bad match, like SF last week and Boston + New York the week before, etc.). I honestly don't see what other factors someone can use to do it.

Perhaps that means that Power Rankings in their traditional use simply don't apply to something with the structure of the USCL, I don't know. But if someone out there does know and has a good idea of how to do them in the USCL, I wholly encourage them to give it a try. I certainly am not opposed to changing the way I do things if someone clearly has a better system!

Von_Igelfeld said...

Power rankings on sites like CBSsportsline are in fact based on one guy's opinion, much like these. The problem with those power rankings (and to some extent these on USCL) is they really are restating the obvious. A true power ranking should reflect trends that essentially could be used as a predictor to final standings.

I'd actually think something BCS-like would be much more interesting for this league. Perhaps let team captains rank the teams (individual rankings are unplublished) and then assimmilate into a formula that also includes strength of schedule and dare I say it, potential to win future games (using something like average team rating). Of course, this is just an "artist's rendering" of one possibility ...

Bionic Lime said...

I like the "Coaches' Poll" idea. Maybe next year, Arun and Greg?

Greg Shahade said...

The coaches are generally pretty busy, there is no way the majority of them will take part in something like this, sorry!

Von_Igelfeld said...

Greg ...if you think the coaches don't have enough time, ride the coat tails of technology and automate the input on a webpage (actually a password controlled webpage for each team to independently put in their entries). I can't imagine it taking a coach (or designee) ten minutes to order and submit. If you get really fancy (and not fancy by today's technology) you could even have them drag and drop them in order. From there software can then collect the input from each team and crunch through the rest of the formula. Technically speaking, not difficult.

Also, I really think it's best to only list the top ten teams (if you were to do this) to add some mystery on the bottom four.

Anonymous said...

ha81 has a hard time being objective quite clearly. He wants to lessen the pressure off his team. Seattle, by the numbers, has by far the easiest schedule. They get to play Tennessee, and they get to play Arizona twice. Arizona is not a bad team but they are tied with Seattle and they have the 2 GM monster lineup - something that should give them a huge advantage over most teams. Is it any wonder that Seattle has done well in the matches when the 2 GMs are in the linuep together?

Greg Shahade said...

Seattle has only used both GM's on one occasion (vs Chicago), so it's tough to say how good they have been in those "matches".

The second time will be tonight vs. New York.