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2022 Daily Run Down


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9 hours ago, corps8294 said:

Was 2015 the year that the Cavaliers had a stomach bug outbreak so bad that it actually affected them from a competitive standpoint? It's starting to look like a deja vu season for them, sadly.
Covid has become a player in the competition; unfortunately, that's the reality that I think we all knew would, probably, happen. We all want our respected corps to finish as high as possible; but at the health expense of another corps...no way. 

Doom and gloom.

That was a different situation. For one, it happened later in the season, and people weren't able to practice.

This time around, I'm sure they'll have time to recover, and people were able to do more.

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July 18th Run-Down

Just one scored competition last night and all of the corps saw each other back-to-back. Vanguard Cadets expanded its lead over Blue Devils B by 0.400 points. The next grouping of corps saw larger increases from one show to the next with Les Stentors gaining the most (1.800 points).

Guardians make their competitive debut this evening. In that same show we begin to see some mixing of corps that we haven't seen before as Pacific Crest takes the field for the first time in over a week with a notable match-up with Genesis. 

The other show of the night continues to depend on whether The Cavaliers are back in competition or not. Certainly, the corps' 13th place position will change once a score is registered, but just how far back they go is the question. On the date of their last performance, The Cavaliers were in 5th place. Can they see an increase of the nearly 9 points it would take to get back to that spot?

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July 19th Run-Down

Well, now we have some things to talk about.

The main story, of course, is the return of The Cavaliers to the competition field. The corps' score increased by 5.900 points over its last competition on July 6th. That increase is less than every other corps in the Top 12 as of July 6th or today:

  • Phantom Regiment - 12.700
  • Carolina Crown - 11.700
  • Mandarins - 9.800
  • Colts - 9.100
  • Blue Stars - 8.900
  • Bluecoats - 8.700
  • Blue Devils - 8.350
  • Blue Knights - 8.300
  • Boston Crusaders - 7.550
  • The Cadets - 7.550
  • Santa Clara Vanguard - 7.450
  • Crossmen - 6.250
  • The Cavaliers - 5.900

We can all share our opinions about what to make or not make about this. On the plus side, you could argue that The Cavaliers being tied for 9th after 12 days of reduced rehearsals and extended sickness is a huge "win" for the corps, and they are very likely going to make up lost ground quickly over the next days and weeks. On the other hand, the time off the competition field clearly had an impact on the corps' trajectory. Will DCI's decision to include The Cavaliers in the 4-6 turn for San Antonio help get them back there? Only time will tell.

Beyond that part of the story, Phantom Regiment has come a long way back from their time out of competition to now be tied for 9th place. And don't lose sight of the Colts who are all the way up to 11th and in a real fight for a finalist position. 

In last night's other show, Guardians made their competitive debut at 27th place. Pacific Crest took the field for the first time in over a week with a large 6.450 point increase, about midway between The Academy and Genesis. Around this time in 2019, Pacific Crest made its big jump that resulted in the corps' highest finish to date. Troopers continue to keep their spread over The Academy and are gaining on Blue Knights.

Unless there's a tie, no more than one undefeated World Class corps will remain after tonight's show in Broken Arrow, OK. The current Top 6 are joined by The Cavaliers and Blue Knights. #1-4 are separated by 1.100 points going in so will Blue Devils or Carolian Crown come out on top? Or have Boston Crusaders or Bluecoats done enough to leap them both?

I'll do a fuller analysis of things after tonight's big match-up in Oklahoma, but there are some exciting battles to keep an eye on this year!

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July 20th Run-Down

Today I'll report only on the July 19th show. I'll post a full mid-season analysis tomorrow since there are no competitions tonight.

The Blue Devils took sole and convincing possession of the leaderboard with a 1.700 point victory over second place Carolina Crown. Bluecoats finished just 0.325 points back in third place. The two corps met head-to-head only one previous time this season on July 2nd in Kent, OH. In that show, Carolina Crown was up by 0.450. So this represents a slight narrowing of the spread.

It was also just the second head-to-head competition between Bluecoats and Boston Crusaders. The first was on June 28th in Detroit, MI. In that show, Bluecoats were up by 2.250 points. The current spread of 0.375 is significantly closer and represents a push for Boston Crusaders towards a medalist spot to be watching.

Carolina Crown and Boston Crusaders have two previous times with the following spreads, both with Crown on top:

  • 7/9 - Lexington, SC - 1.000
  • 7/16 - Memphis, TN - 0.400

The spread last night was 0.700 points from 2nd to 4th. In 2019, Blue Devils overcame a 0.650 point spread at this same show to win the championship over Bluecoats. What does that mean? I would suggest it at least means that there's a three-way race for second place.

Rounding out the Top 5, Santa Clara Vanguard has seen the gap with Blue Devils grow from 1.400 points on June 25th to 3.450 points last night, the largest of the season with many head-to-head competitions to look at.

Blue Stars in sixth place is an exciting story. Should they hold that position, it would be the first time the corps was in the top 6 since 1977.

The Cavaliers had the smallest score increase on the night - not the best sign of things rapidly increasing as they get back onto the competition field. 

 

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Mid-Season Analysis


Tuesday, July 19th was the 21st competitive day of the 41-day competitive season (show days only). Although I typically like to use the Saturday before the actual mid-point due to the number of corps competing and the way Saturdays line up with regionals, this works well this year given how things have played out, most notably for The Cavaliers.


The Medalists


With a 1.700 point lead, the Blue Devils are the clear favorite for the gold medal. Carolina Crown, Bluecoats, and Boston Crusaders are all grouped within a point of one another with Santa Clara Vanguard 1.050 points behind for the corps with realistic chances at a medalist position. 


In 2019, the Blue Devils rose from third to first from the mid-season analysis to finals, however Blue Devils had been out of competition for a few days at that time that season so they were probably closer than things appeared. That said, Bluecoats were undefeated at the mid-season point in 2019 and still did not win the gold medal. In 2017 and 2018, there were no changes in the Top 3 from mid-season to finals.


Unless something dramatic happens, the battle is for second place. Then it becomes a question of experience. Can Boston Crusaders enter unchartered territory to unseat Carolina Crown or Bluecoats from a medalist position? The corps has never placed higher than 5th compared to average placements of 3.0 for Carolina Crown under the current competitive model (2011-2019) and 3.8 for Bluecoats.


Similarly, is Santa Clara Vanguard alone on a 5th place island as the current score makes it appear or can the corps charge forward during the second half of the season?


6-10


There is a big gap between 5th and the next group in the current standings so it seems relatively safe that the Top 5 is set with the enormous asterisk that is The Cavaliers. Pre-COVID disruption, The Cavaliers were in 5th place and 1.350 points behind 5th. The corps currently sits down at 9th place. It is really hard to tell if The Cavaliers can make up all of the lost ground to climb back up into a conversation about 5th or 6th place or if they have lost too much ground to make up. 


Similarly for Phantom Regiment, several days were lost and the corps dropped in the standings. Unlike The Cavaliers, though, this occurred very early in the season when numerous Top 12 corps had yet to even appear in their first competition and the lost time was less. Enough time has passed since that period that it seems like Phantom Regiment is placed in the approximately right competitive grouping with much less of an asterisk.


Unlike the medalist spots where making up ground beyond about one point has not occurred much lately, there is precedent for covering more ground in this tier. In 2019, The Cavaliers went from down 2.000 to Boston Crusaders at the mid-season point to top Boston Crusaders by just under a full point at finals for a nearly three point swing.


Using three points as the potential margin of movement, then, suggests potential volatility in the 6-10 range. There are many interesting storylines here. Let’s go from the current order.

 

  • Blue Stars have not finished higher than 8th since 1977. Currently seated in 6th, the corps has a great chance at changing that fact this year.
  • The Cadets went through a lot of changes between the start of the 2019 season and today. I am sure there were many wondering if the trajectory would continue down further from the corps’ 9th place finish in 2019. Instead, the corps is currently in 7th and within 0.550 points of 6th. 
  • At 8th place, Mandarins are as high as they have ever been in the rankings. With only two previous finals appearances in 2019 and 2018, both in 10th place, this is an exciting and unprecedented position for the corps to be in. This is a major area to watch in San Antonio to see how the corps stacks up when everyone is in competition on the same night.
  • As mentioned up above The Cavaliers are currently in 9th with the big question mark around what that means. If it holds up, the corps would tie its lowest finish in the current model era from 2015.
  • Phantom Regiment’s solid 10th place positioning is a welcome sight to that corps’ fans after consecutive declining positions from 2015-2019 (7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th). Unlike this time in 2019 and 2018, there are no whispers about Phantom Regiment potentially falling out of finals this year.

11-13


If we stick with the three point potential margin of movement, there is a three-way race for the final two finalist spots.

  • Blue Knights are in unfamiliar territory at 11th, having not finished below 10th in the current model, although the corps was in 11th in the first two years at Lucas Oil Stadium (2009, 2010). While the corps has not gone head-to-head with Phantom Regiment yet, it did see The Cavaliers on July 19th and was down by just under three points. This feels like a lot of ground to cover with a corps that is likely artificially lower than its trajectory.
  • Colts and Blue Knights have not seen each other head-to-head yet either, but they both competed against The Cavaliers on back-to-back nights separately. The Colts were closer to The Cavaliers on July 18th than Blue Knights were on July 19th. This is probably a coin flip right now.
  • Crossmen are equally distant from Colts as the corps is from Troopers on this spreadsheet. The reason they are included in 11-13 is because the corps has not had a new score since July 16th compared to the corps immediately above and below so it is reasonable to believe that the spread is smaller up than it is down. Crossmen and Colts went head-to-head on July 1st (Crossmen by 0.800 points) and July 3rd (Crossmen by 2.850 points).

This grouping is highly volatile heading into San Antonio.

14-15
 

This mid-season analysis typically stops at 15th so that I do not have to get into difficult territory of where Open Class corps could sneak into the discussion. Troopers and Madison Scouts are currently in the 14th and 15th spots. The two corps have not gone head-to-head yet and their tours have kept them from even having reasonable common competitors to form a good relative argument. We will just have to wait and see what happens tonight when they meet for the first time.


If the season ended today with these placements…

  • Blue Devils make it 14 straight seasons in either first or second place.
  • Boston Crusaders and Mandarins earn their highest placement ever.
  • Blue Stars has its highest placement since 1977.
  • Blue Knights and The Cavaliers fall the furthest in the Top 12, down four spots from 2019.
  • Colts make finals for the first time in Lucas Oil Stadium and for the first time since 2007.

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1 hour ago, DrumCorpsRadio said:

 

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Won't quote it all to save a little bandwidth, but outstanding work. I sure wouldn't have the drive or aptitude for that matter to dig so deeply into the numbers, so thank you. 

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July 22nd Run-Down

Denton

Not only did Boston Crusaders jump Bluecoats in the rankings and win head-to-head for the first time this season, the corps pulled within 0.300 points, the narrowest margin of the season. Santa Clara Vanguard also made a big jump from Broken Arrow - the largest of the corps that competed in both shows - to counter my mid-season analysis suggestion that the corps is all alone in 5th place. 

Mandarins came out on top of Phantom Regiment in their first head-to-head match-up by a 1.000 margin. Mandarins continue to show that their spot in the rankings is not a fluke.

The Blue Knights-Colts match-up was predictably very close. Blue Knights had the edge by a slim 0.200 point margin.

Austin

The Cavaliers showed a big score improvement, one that corps has been waiting for since returning to competition. It will be interesting to see if it holds when they are at a show with other corps in the same competitive grouping. Similarly, Crossmen saw the largest score increase for that corps in awhile as well. By score across shows, however, the corps is still sitting just outside finals. As predicted in the mid-season analysis, Crossmen opened up some room below with Troopers, which suggests a different competitive tier after the 13 spot.

Looking ahead to tonight's shows:

Houston

The 7-9 grouping of Blue Stars, The Cavaliers, and Mandarins are all lined up here. If any of these corps are going to set themselves apart from the pack and make a run at The Cadets, tonight seems like a night for such movement to start. It is also interesting to see the medalist contenders sans Boston Crusaders all lined up. Do Bluecoats come in with a chip on the shoulder after falling to Boston last night? 

Bakersfield

Columbians and Golden Empire enter their final weekend of competition while Blue Devils B and Vanguard Cadets (and Les Stentors to a less competitively important extent) finish up their time in California to begin pushing towards Indiana. This weekend should help establish whether Blue Devils B early season success was right or whether Vanguard Cadets have taken the lead on the West Coast for good. At least until Gold is back in the mix.

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July 23rd Run-Down

All placements remained intact as far as head-to-head competition is concerned.

Houston

The 7-9 grouping of Blue Stars, The Cavaliers, and Mandarins are all lined up here. If any of these corps are going to set themselves apart from the pack and make a run at The Cadets, tonight seems like a night for such movement to start. It is also interesting to see the medalist contenders sans Boston Crusaders all lined up. Do Bluecoats come in with a chip on the shoulder after falling to Boston last night? 

All three of the 7-9 corps increased their scores relative to The Cadets turning turning the 7-9 group into the 6-9 group. The Blue Stars were just 0.300 points behind The Cadets, with The Cavaliers 1.000 points behind the Blue Stars and Mandarins only 0.100 back from The Cavaliers. This is a very tight grouping. Performance order could make a difference here. Tonight, the order is The Cavaliers, Mandarins, Blue Stars, The Cadets. 

Bluecoats did gain a little ground on Carolina Crown without Boston Crusaders in the mix.

Bakersfield

Columbians and Golden Empire enter their final weekend of competition while Blue Devils B and Vanguard Cadets (and Les Stentors to a less competitively important extent) finish up their time in California to begin pushing towards Indiana. This weekend should help establish whether Blue Devils B early season success was right or whether Vanguard Cadets have taken the lead on the West Coast for good. At least until Gold is back in the mix.

Vanguard Cadets remained on top but Blue Devils B drew within 0.300 points. It appears that there will be a heated battle between the two northern California corps.

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In regards to Open Class, Gold is just about back to full strength from the illnesses and Covid that took them out of competition since Stanford. They have a full rehearsal today and tomorrow, then Mon/Tues/Wed off to rest and pack, leave for Atlanta on Thursday and performing at Southeast next Saturday, their first show since July 10th. 

The show is coming along nicely! They have the closer on the field, and the corps is eager to perform. Sadly they lost a rehearsal day yesterday due to air quality (fire broke out in Riverside County).

Gold/Spartans/BDB/SCVC is going to be a dogfight when they all meet up back east. 

 

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