Top 6 (in no particular order. I think any one of these corps can win)
1. Bluecoats - Should have won last year. Could be another good show then a push to win in 2021 if we are following the Tilt, Kinetic Noise, Downside Up pattern. They will most likely be top GE and top 3 Brass. If they can up their percussion and guard game, then they have a chance.
2. Blue Devils - Will be strong across the board. Believe it or not even though I thought Coats should have won, I liked BDs show (one of only 2 I genuinely liked since 2008).
3. SCV - Will fight it out with BD out west. They will most likely win Drums again. The difference between 18 and 19 was their innovation with the props. I feel like they tried too hard. BD won last year because they had by far the most innovative prop I have ever seen and yet in many ways it was so simple.
4. Crown - I think their downfall is their reluctance to move towards staging drill. However it is also the reason they have my favorite corps year in and year out. Their finals show was the best performance wise of the entire top 12.
5. Boston - Do they really have the staff to get them to the top? Or will they hover as a 5-7 corps? Can a guard carry a corps?
6. Cavaliers - They will push all of the other corps in the top 6. I think with the right show, they have the talent to win.
7-10 (again in no particular order)
7. Blue Knights - I am going to miss the style of the percussion section under Mike Jackson. Their show last year made me cry like a baby.
8. Blue Stars - I am always looking forward to whatever one finger saber 12 toss Michael Shapiro makes the guard do. I think they had the most difficult drill of 2019.
9. Cadets - May push up to the top of this pack with the staff shake up.
10. Phantom - Another corps who may push to the top of this pack. Having JD Shaw back is huge
11-14 (again in no particular order)
11. Crossmen - They had a strong showing but seem to lock themselves into the 11-12 spot. I wondering if they are going to grow, or if the hungrier Spirit and Pacific Crest might catch them
12. Mandarins - I wasn't a fan of 2019 as much as I was of 2018. This is a corps that has the potential to finish 9th or not even make finals. The best battles are usually in the 11-14 range
13. Pacific Crest - If the tour was 2 weeks longer, they may have made finals. I can't wait to see what they bring this year
14. Spirit - 13th 2 years in a row hurts. Especially 2018 when I thought they had a superior show to my Crossmen.
I am also wondering if the staff changes and inclusion might push Madison into the finals discussion.
Academy and Colts are always pushing. I always love Colts shows and wonder why they do not place higher.
Genesis was a huge surprise for me last year. I did not watch them until Allentown and they blew me away.
I really do not have a comment about Music City, Troopers or Cascades, except the Cascades show gave me heart attacks because I was waiting for kids to trip.