Here's my Top 10 as of December 1st.
1. Bluecoats (Canton, Ohio)
- Kinda get the feeling something truly groundbreaking is going on in Canton this year. Also think an emphasis is being put on being visually beautiful as well as putting forth a breathtaking sound. Shot in the dark, that's all.
2. Blue Devils (Concord, CA)
- Really wanna put Santa Clara here, but it's highly doubtful the Devils fall past second any time soon. It's gonna be hard to top last year, though. That ending stopped hearts.
3. Santa Clara Vanguard (Santa Clara, CA)
- Very tight medal group, once again. The Gaines Effect is felt even moreso this season, and another great show is presented, but it's not enough.
4. Boston Crusaders (Boston, MA)
- Up and up and up. As they said in the promo video, "2017 was just the beginning." Buy into the hype.
5. Carolina Crown (Fort Mill, SC)
- They may be running out of stellar ideas in Fort Mill. That much was evident last year. That brass staff is incredible, but they're not incredible enough to solve possible repeat of poor design along with a poor percussion program that may be declining even more.
6. Blue Knights (Denver, CO)
- Thought last year's show was criminally underrated and underscored. Really believe in Bocook going all in on this hornline as well as an incredibly designed program coming before us.
7. The Cavaliers (Rosemont, IL)
- Wasn't as big a fan of 'Men Are From Mars' as it seems like most were. Not sure Kevin and his staff can fix a lot of the problems that plagued this hornline last year. Hoping for a great program, as always, but not expecting one.
8. The Cadets (Allentown, PA)
- These are dark times in Allentown. The end of the Hopkins Era could (and should) be over soon.
9. Phantom Regiment (Rockford, IL)
- Huge fan of last year's program, especially those gorgeous uniforms. Hoping that stellar brass staff can come in and propel the Regiment forward, but it might take one more year of the downfall of Cadets before that happens.
10. Crossmen (San Antonio, TX)
- That Texas homegrown talent is starting to really show for Crossmen; they're headed in the right direction. Really impressed with their recent precision.