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August 9, 2018 vs. August 10, 2017

2018

I was in the stadium from the first note of Heat Wave until the last note of the Calgary Stampede Show Band with great seats in Section 139, Row 14. Here goes!

Two corps had score increases of two or more points: Music City (2.463) and Oregon Crusaders (2.150). A whopping 11 corps, all Open Class, had score decreases of one or more points. Southwind "led" the way with a decrease of -3.262. Thanks to a surge from Genesis, only four Open Class corps made it to World Class Semifinals this year: Vanguard Cadets at #17, Blue Devils B at #19, Gold at #23, and Spartans at #25. The same three World Class corps did not make it to Friday's Competition: Cascades (#27), Jersey Surf (#30), and Pioneer (#36). The Spartans made a significant move on Thursday by passing Legends to earn the #25 spot by a margin of only 0.013 points after beginning the week 1.350 points behind at Open Class prelims.

Season-ending tidbits:

  • Cascades ties its lowest finish in the Lucas Oil Stadium-era at #27 (2013).
  • Guardians earns its highest finish in corps history at #29. The corps has only appeared three times.
  • Jersey Surf earns its lowest finish in the Lucas Oil Stadium-era at #30.
  • Louisiana Stars ties its lowest finish in the Lucas Oil Stadium-era at #31 (2016). The corps has only appeared three times.
  • Golden Empire made its championship-week debut at #34.
  • At #35, Pioneer had its worst finish since joining World Class in 1993.
  • Raiders had its worst finish (#38) since the current model began in 2011.
  • Heat Wave made its championship-week debut at #39.
  • Two new corps appeared this year (Golden Empire, Heat Wave) and two of last year's participants did not appear (Impulse, Les Stentors) for a net even of 39 competing corps.

2017

Genesis put up the only 2+ score increase (2.425). The most anticipated aspect of World Class Prelims is seeing where the Open Class corps stack up. Vanguard Cadets moved up to the #16 spot overall with Blue Devils B at #18, Legends at #22, Music City at #24 and Spartans closing out the Semifinals qualifiers at #25. That means that 3 World Class corps did not make it to Friday's competition: Seattle Cascades (#26), Jersey Surf (#27), and Pioneer (#33).

Seattle Cascades, #26, missed Semifinals by only 0.225 points.

Colts defeated The Academy for the first time in 7 meetings this season. This is quite a turn as just 3 days earlier The Academy led by 1.375 points in head-to-head competition.

Blue Stars beat Crossmen for the first time since July 15. Blue Stars now lead the season series 8 to 5.

Season-ending tidbits:

  • In its second year of DCI world championships competition, Louisiana Stars improved 3 places to #28.
  • Southwind returned to DCI championships competition for the first time since 2007, finishing at #31.
  • At #33, Pioneer had its lowest finish since joining the World Class ranks in 1993.

Comparison

In 2016 and 2017, there were three corps within one point of gold after Prelims. This year, there are only two: Santa Clara Vanguard and Blue Devils (-0.837).

Just for fun, let's apply last year's Semifinals trends to this year. The corps that moved the most from Thursday to Friday was Blue Stars, with an increase of 1.425 points. If we assume for argument's sake that that is the most anyone will improve tonight, let's play out some possibilities that are within striking distance of movement. For the sake of this exercise, I assume Blue Knights will not get a 0.500 point penalty. 

  • Blue Devils could move to #1 (which would move Santa Clara Vanguard to #2).
  • Bluecoats could move to #2 (which would move Blue Devils to #3).
  • Carolina Crown could move to #3 (which would move Bluecoats to #4).
  • Boston Crusaders could move to #4 (which would move Carolina Crown to #5).
  • The Cavaliers could move to #5 (which would move Boston Crusaders to #6).
  • Blue Knights could move to #8 (which would move Blue Stars to #9).
  • Phantom Regiment could move to #9 (which would move Blue Knights to #10).
  • Mandarins could move to #9 (which would move Blue Knights to #10 and Phantom Regiment to #11).
  • Crossmen could move to #10 (which would move Phantom Regiment to #11 and Mandarins to #12).
  • Spirit of Atlanta could move to #12 (which would move Crossmen to #13).
  • The Academy could move to #13 (which would move Spirit of Atlanta to #14).
  • Colts could move to #13 (which would move Spirit of Atlanta to #14 and The Academy to #15).
  • Madison Scouts could move to #15 (which would move Colts to #16).
  • Vanguard Cadets could move to #16 (which would move Madison Scouts to #17).
  • Troopers could move to #16 (which would move Madison Scouts to #17 and Vanguard Cadets to #18).
  • Blue Devils B could move to #17 (which would move Vanguard Cadets to #18 and Troopers to #19).
  • Pacific Crest could move to #19 (which would move Blue Devils B to #20).
  • Music City could move to #20 (which would move Pacific Crest to #21).
  • Oregon Crusaders could move to #21 (which would move Music City to #22).
  • Genesis could move to #23 (which would move Gold to #24).
  • Spartans could move to #23 (which would move Gold to #24 and Genesis to #25).

So if we combine all of these considerations (and ignore the possibility of scores going down and a million other variables), here is a predicted range of finish:

Santa Clara Vanguard - 1-2
Blue Devils - 1-3
Bluecoats - 2-4
Carolina Crown - 3-5
Boston Crusaders - 4-6
The Cavaliers - 5-6
The Cadets - 7
Blue Stars - 8-9
Blue Knights - 8-10
Phantom Regiment - 9-11
Mandarins - 9-12
Crossmen - 10-13
Spirit of Atlanta - 12-14
The Academy - 13-15
Colts - 13-16
Madison Scouts - 15-17
Vanguard Cadets - 16-18
Troopers - 16-19
Blue Devils B - 17-20
Pacific Crest - 19-21
Music City - 20-22
Oregon Crusaders - 21-22
Gold - 23-24
Genesis - 23-25
Spartans - 23-25

So, the biggest storylines for tonight:

  • Can Blue Devils tighten the gap with Santa Clara Vanguard or even win Semifinals?
  • Can Carolina Crown tighten the gap with Bluecoats or even move into a medalist spot heading into Finals?
  • Which way will Crossmen go? Can they move up or are they vulnerable to a surge from Spirit of Atlanta?

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August 10, 2018 vs. August 11, 2017

2018

Four corps had score increases that exceeded last year's highest increase: Mandarins (1.887), Boston Crusaders (1.726), Santa Clara Vanguard (1.463), and Blue Stars (1.450). This exceeds the largest score increases in 2016 (0.700) and 2015 (0.925) as well. Genesis (-0.925) and Oregon Crusaders (-0.350) were the only two World Class corps to have their scores decrease. All four Open Class corps also decreased in score. There were three placement changes from Prelims: Mandarins beat Phantom Regiment to move into the #10 spot. Colts beat The Academy to finish at #14, exactly reversing what happened last year. Troopers beat Vanguard Cadets to finish at #17. All three of these changes were in the possibilities described yesterday.

Last Night's Storylines:

  • Can Blue Devils tighten the gap with Santa Clara Vanguard or even win Semifinals? No, Santa Clara Vanguard extended its lead.
  • Can Carolina Crown tighten the gap with Bluecoats or even move into a medalist spot heading into Finals? No, Bluecoats extended its lead slightly.
  • Which way will Crossmen go? Can they move up or are they vulnerable to a surge from Spirit of Atlanta? Crossmen finished in #12 solidly and gained on Phantom Regiment.

Season-ending tidbits:

  • Mandarins made Finals for the first time in the corps' history. The corps' previous best finish was #13 in 2017. California has three corps in the Top 12. This is the first state to have that distinction since 1992 when California had four finalists (Blue Devils, Freelancers, Santa Clara Vanguard, Velvet Knights).
  • Spirit of Atlanta's improvement from #18 to #13 is the second greatest change this year (to Gold).
  • Madison Scouts had its lowest placement in DCI history at #16. 
  • Music City had its best finish ever at #21. The corps' previous best finish was #24 in 2017.
  • At #22, Oregon Crusaders ties it worst finish at World Class Prelims (2011).
  • Gold had its best finish ever at #23. The corps' previous best finish was #26 in 2013 and 2012. Gold's improvement from #29 to #23 is also the greatest change this year.

Year-over-Year Trend Based Predictions:

In 2017, the highest (and only) score increase from Semifinals to Finals was 0.425 (Blue Devils). If we assume for argument's sake that that is the most anyone will improve tonight, let's play out some possible scenarios of corps that are within striking distance of movement. You would have to go back to 2015 to have a higher Semifinals to Finals increase (1.150 for Bluecoats and Crossmen).

  • Bluecoats could move to #2 (which would move Blue Devils to #3).
  • Mandarins could move to #9 (which would move Blue Knights to #10).

So if we combine all of these considerations (and ignore the possibility of scores going down and a million other variables), here is a predicted range of finish:

Santa Clara Vanguard - 1
Blue Devils - 2-3
Bluecoats - 2-3
Carolina Crown - 4
Boston Crusaders - 5
The Cavaliers - 6
The Cadets - 7
Blue Stars - 8
Blue Knights - 9-10
Mandarins - 9-10
Phantom Regiment - 11
Crossmen - 12

2017

The largest score increase went to Blue Stars (1.425) with 4 Open Class (Blue Devils B, Legends, Music City, Spartans) and 1 World Class corps (The Cadets) seeing their scores decrease. There were only two placement changes from Prelims: The Academy beat Colts to finish at #14 and Spirit of Atlanta beat Blue Devils B to finish at #18. Both changes were listed in the possibilities based on 2016 trends. What was not predicted accurately was the rate of change. In 2016, the highest increase from Thursday to Friday was 0.700; in 2015, it was 0.925. Last night, it was 1.425.

Season-ending tidbits:

  • Mandarins had its best finish ever at #13 and its highest World Class championships score at 85.550. The corps has scored higher but only on the old Division II/III sheets.The corps' previous high placement was #16 in 2001.
  • In addition to winning Open Class championships for the 5th time, Vanguard Cadets tied its highest ever finish in World Class at #16, which was the corps' placement in 2015.
  • Pacific Crest matched its previous lowest placement at #21. Since first competing at DCI Championships in 2003, the corps has placed #21 three times: 2006, 2015 and 2017.
  • Legends had its best finish ever at #22 along with its highest World Class score at 76.225. The corps' previous high placement was #24 in 2016.
  • Music City had its best finish ever at #24 along with its highest World Class score at 74.272. The corps' previous high placement was #25 in 2013.

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August 11, 2018 vs. August 12, 2017

2018

Santa Clara Vanguard earned its seventh world championship and first since 1999. Blue Devils put up a fight with the greatest score increase of the night (0.600). There were no position changes and all scores stayed within one point of Semifinals.

Season-ending Tidbits:

  • Santa Clara Vanguard finished in its highest placement since 1999 when it shared the goal medal with Blue Devils.
  • Blue Devils continue its streak of not finishing below second place in the Lucas Oil Stadium era (2009-present).
  • Boston Crusaders had its highest finish in the current era. The previous high was sixth in 2017. The corps tied its highest finish in DCI history (2000, 2002).
  • The Cadets tied its lowest finish in the current era (2017).
  • Blue Stars tied its highest finish in the current era (2009, 2010). The corps also extended its run of consecutive finals' appearances to six, its longest run since leaving Top 12 status in 1980.
  • Mandarins had its highest finish in DCI history (tenth) and first appearance in DCI Finals. The corps' previous high finish was 13th in 2017.
  • Phantom Regiment had its lowest finish since its first year in Finals (1974) when it also placed 11th.
  • This was the fifth year in a row in Finals for Crossmen, its longest streak since being knocked out of finals in 2005.

Trend Analysis:
This statistic looks at how much above or below its Lucas Oil Stadium average a corps placed this season. The higher the number, the further above its historical average the corps did.

Trending up in 2018 (2+ positions)

  1. Mandarins (8.0)
  2. Music City (5.8)
  3. Gold (5.0)
  4. Santa Clara Vanguard (3.3)
  5. Boston Crusaders (3.2)
  6. Spirit of Atlanta (2.4)
  7. Guardians (2.0)

Trending down in 2018 (2+ positions)

  1. Pioneer (-6.8)
  2. Jersey Surf (-5.9)
  3. Madison Scouts (-4.7)
  4. Raiders (-4.1)
  5. Phantom Regiment (-3.9)
  6. Oregon Crusaders (-2.8)
  7. The Cadets (-2.7)
  8. Cascades (-2.5)
  9. Troopers (-2.3)
  10. Colt Cadets (-2.0)

Trending up 3 years in a row (2018, 2017, 2016):

  • Mandarins (8.0, 5.0, 1.0)
  • Santa Clara Vanguard (3.3, 2.3, 0.3)
  • Legends (1.4, 5.4, 3.4)
  • Crossmen (1.3, 2.3, 3.3)
  • Genesis (0.6, 1.6, 1.6)

Trending down 3 years in a row:

  • Pioneer (-6.8, -4.8, -0.8)
  • Jersey Surf (-5.9, -2.9, -1.9)
  • Madison Scouts (-4.7, -0.7, -1.7)
  • Phantom Regiment (-3.9, -1.9, -0.9)
  • The Cadets (-2.7, -2.7, -1.7)
  • Colt Cadets (-2.0, -2.0, -2.0)
  • Pacific Crest (-1.2, -2.2, -0.2)
  • Spartans (-0.5, -0.5, -0.5)

2017

Blue Devils earned its 18th world championship with a decisive win and the greatest score increase of the night at 0.425 points. The only other corps to improve its score night over night was The Cavaliers, which moved up a spot from #5 to #4. This was one of the two higher probability changes that yesterday's analysis considered although it was the first time in 16 meetings this year The Cavaliers bested Bluecoats. Phantom Regiment saw its score decrease most (-1.762).

Season-ending Tidbits:

  • Blue Devils have not placed below 2nd in the Lucas Oil Stadium era (2009-present).
  • Santa Clara Vanguard finished in its highest placement since 1999 when it shared the gold medal with Blue Devils.
  • Carolina Crown finished in a medalist spot for the third year in a row, the first time in the corps' history it has achieved this status and only the third corps to do this in the Lucas Oil Stadium era (Blue Devils, Bluecoats).
  • Bluecoats continued the trend of champions (other than Blue Devils) falling a bit in the year after. With a 5th place finish, the corps matches Carolina Crown's path with its first championship in 2013 and a 5th place finish in 2014.
  • Boston Crusaders had its highest finish since 2003 and achieved the greatest movement from 12th place since Crossmen went 12 to 7 in 1989-90.
  • The Cadets had its lowest finish since 1981. 
  • Phantom Regiment tied its lowest finish in the Lucas Oil Stadium era (2009).
  • Blue Stars were a finalist for the fifth year in a row, the corps' longest streak since leaving top 12 status in 1980.
  • This was the fourth year in a row in finals for Crossmen, its longest streak since being knocked out in 2005.
  • With 39 corps participating, this was the largest DCI championships event since 2011 when 41 corps competed. Corps participating in 2017 that  were not there in 2011: Southwind, Impulse, Shadow, Guardians, Louisiana Stars, River City Rhythm, Gold. Corps participating in 2011 that were not there in 2017: Glassmen, Teal Sound, Revolution, Forte, Racine Scouts, Blue Saints, Spirit of Newark/New Jersey.

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