Pools and seeds are up and this is going to be a tough one to predict but we’re going to take a stab at it anyway. All we know, is that for a team to win this tournament someone is going to have to put their team on his back… though.
Out of all the pools in this tournament, this is the one that we think is most likely to go exactly to seed. Obviously, we know little to nothing about any of these teams as Florida is recovering from losing Brodie Smith and Chris Gibson and UVA is working on replacing its top player and former captain, Tyler Conger.
We would imagine that the 1v2 game and the 4v5 games are going to be barn burners. Expect UVA to come out disciplined against Florida in hopes of putting itself in a good position for Sunday. Georgia Southern and South Carolina have been long time Sectional rivals but the redraw changes all of that. That being said, the two always play each other well and despite USC’s strong early showing this season, one can’t help but believe that Southern will be attempting to avenge its season ending loss at the hands of the Gamecocks from last season.
We will all but guarantee that Florida and UVA will advance and the third place spot that will send a team to prequarters comes down to whether or not USC or GSU will be able to upend Tennessee. The schedule favors Southern as the Eagles will be facing Agent Orange off of a bye at the end of the day. To be honest, we don’t see it happening. Don’t get us wrong, Tennessee can be had but between club experience with Tanasi and overall experience, UT has the edge over the other two programs.
Florida, Virginia, Tennessee
UNCW is another team that is looking to replace a couple of big name players coming in to this season. On the other hand, Michigan State is bringing just about its entire roster back from last season. Burning Couch has to make a long trip and one would assume that some of its team won’t be along for the ride which makes it tough to call this a potential upset but the Seamen will be relying on several players to lead the team that haven’t had to take up that role yet. With that in mind, UNCW did roll the competition at The Wolfpack Invite. It appears that so far, its new leadership has done just fine.
LSU and FSU have a chance to take out either of the top two teams. Both DUF and LSU are teams that, when on, are tough to deal with no matter what team lines up across from them. If Burning Couch comes out flat to start the day or the Seamen let James Madison stick around too long either team could be facing an early upset.
11:00 AM is going to be awfully early for FSU and LSU to start battling it out for third but both teams will recognize the importance of a win against their new regional rival. There is a chance for a lot of parity in this pool and the dogfight is going to start early.
We don’t know much about James Madison but at the Wolfpack Invite JMU won the games it should have by a lot and lost by slim margins. The team is also high after advancing to UOA Nationals in two weekends. While that may distract, we can’t imagine that the Hellfish will lie down for anybody in this pool and if LSU or Florida State overlook this five seed it could spell trouble.
UNCW, Michigan State, LSU/FSU (Coin Flip)
Insider info tells us Georgia is going to be missing some big guns this weekend. That spells trouble for Jojah who is going to have a completely different look from the last two years with Peter Dempsey, Taylor Nilan and Rob Herrig departed for greener pastures. If a one seed is going to go down on Saturday, it very well may be the host team.
As if that wasn’t enough trouble for you, UNC has looked downright terrible relative to Darkside’s typical expectations so far this fall. UNC has lost big to several teams that are seeded much lower at this tournament, including South Carolina, Clemson and Florida State.
Kennesaw State is always a darkhorse to do well and that’s largely due to the presence of Taylor “Tree” Goforth. Goforth spent this summer learning from some bright minds after he made the roster of Chain Lightning. We had the displeasure of being sky’d on numerous occasions by Goforth during our short time at South Carolina and he may be the best individual player in the field this year. He certainly will create some serious matchup problems for Alabama and Georgia. Not to mention, if his time with Chain has made him half as dangerous behind the disc as he is downfield, he could be a lot of fun to watch.
We’ve heard that teams in the new South region are glad to be rid of NC and Virginia in exchange for the Bama section but if Georgia or UNC thinks they are going to walk all over the Crimson Tide then they’ve got another thing coming. Since Alabama’s football hopes were thrown out the window last weekend, we’d imagine most of the team will be making the trip to Athens and that includes one of the better individual players at the tournament, Tim Brady. Bama knows where its bread is buttered and if Brady can consistently get the disc, he will be distributing it all over to the rest of the boys from Tuscaloosa could make some noise in what appears to be the weakest pool in the tournament.
Finally, we don’t anything about William and Mary other than the fact it struggled mightily at 2010 AC Regionals. There’s plenty of parity at the top of this pool but W&M would have to have a pretty surprising performance to eek out a win on Saturday.
Kennesaw State, Georgia, Alabama
Pool D is a little easier to call in our opinion. There’s nearly no doubt that the 1,2,3 spots will fall to the teams that are already seeded 1, 2 and 3. Nick Lance from Georgia Tech looked unreal at points for Chain this season and his ability to put the disc anywhere on the field, any way you want it, opens up GT’s offense like few in the college game. Meanwhile, Texas is back after a tough season with the first and second team FOTYs from the former South Region in Chris Brooks and Will Driscoll. Finally, Clemson has shown that it is ready to challenge anyone in its new region by taking on all comers at the UOA ACC tournament earlier this fall.
On the other hand, Emory and Vanderbilt just don’t have the fire power to stick with that top three. These two will likely present a good match for each other too see who stays away from being at the bottom of this pool.
Georgia Tech, Clemson, Texas
This gives us an A Bracket made up of:
Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, UNCW, Michigan State, FSU/LSU, Kennesaw State, Georgia, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Texas
Virginia vs. Texas, Michigan State vs. Alabama, Georgia vs. FSU/LSU and Clemson vs. Tennessee
Florida vs. Tennessee, UNCW vs. Georgia, Kennesaw State vs. Michigan State and Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
Florida vs. Georgia Tech and UNCW vs. Michigan State
Georgia Tech vs. Michigan State
Boom, there’s really not even a point in playing the tournament because now you know how it’s going to go. This is our first time ever prognosticating out an entire tournament on paper. Hopefully this made sense and hopefully we get some predictions right. Feel free to discuss and riot in the comments.