Predictions Championship 2012: Archimedes
The once mighty Archimedes division is in a drought. The division finally broke through Curie in the semi-finals last year, after losing three straight years before that. But one has to go all the way back to the 296, 217, and 522 alliance of 2006 to find the last time Archimedes took home gold from Einstein. This year, that has the potential to change with a strong upper level of teams in Archimedes that could produce a number of combinations capable of winning Einstein. Expect a fierce battle all weekend, with most of the top contenders firing away from the key and lots of battles for the co-op bridge in hybrid.
The Hawaiin Kids and Team Nemesis both have machines that aren't flashy, but put up steady points and each won a pair of events. 359 has more upside of the duo, but it's not by a huge margin. If 2590 gets a reasonable schedule, they could end up surprising people and landing an alliance captain spot. Both teams will easily reach the eliminations, but will need some help to knock off the powerhouses. If Nemesis somehow slips into the second round of the draft, look out.
2168, 177, and 228 have gotten a lot of hype as some of the best teams not attending championship, but 195 was the reason why. The Cyber Knights pulled off two terrific upsets in the semi-finals over the course of the season. They provide a quick strike offense and they usually step up at Championship. Expect them to fall somewhere on the 6th-8th alliances.
Not playing since week 1 is a long lay off, and the style and strategies of Rebound Rumble have come a long way since then. It will be interesting to see how 716 and 3476 handle that hiatus. The C'Teks were incredibly effective near the fender in New Hampshire, but were upset in the quarterfinals. Code Orange were one of the few effective key shooters in San Diego, and it resulted in a convincing regional victory as the #1 selection. Both teams will be on the edges of their seats during the second round of alliance selection, but could prove valuable partners if they are picked.
973 had high expectations coming off of winning this event last year. Unfortunately for them, a pair of high caliber opponents stymied them in the eliminations at both of their events this season. With their effective fender scoring and history of triple balancing, the Greybots could be a vital component to a mid-seeded alliances run in the eliminations, and could possibly knock off a powerhouse or two along the way. But they'll need strong partners and a bit of luck to do it.
1218 was much better at playing the early season game than the later season game. Being partners with Miss Daisy certainly didn't hurt, either. The Vulcan Viper can put up great tele-op totals when they're on their game, but they don't have a lot of elite features (like a 3+ ball autonomous or a stinger) and haven't successfully triple balanced (despite at least five attempts). They're one of the most dangerous "#2" teams in the division, but they'll need that top level team to take the pressure off of them and help them advance in the tournament.
The Bionic Tigers have had tended to struggle a bit at Championship, and they haven't advanced past the quarters since 2008. They have one of the better robots in their history, which captured gold at both Florida events, so 1592 has an opportunity to try and change that this season. They don't score from the key, which exposes them to defense and could cost them at more competitive levels. They'll surely be a first round selection or alliance captain, but don't bet on a deep run.
In most divisions 2826 would be a lock, but the strength of the top of this division pushes them down a bit. They played out of this world in Wisconsin, putting up dominating tele-op numbers and hitting their hybrid shots. If they can maintain that level of play, they should be a very early selection and have the potential for a deep run. But they'll need help to overcome the best of the best, especially when it comes down to the end game.
The term "sleeper" is oddly fitting for this team, since their robot seemingly spends many matches "sleeping." Communication issues have plagued 1676 for most of the season, but when they're working they are a huge threat. Their accuracy tends to run a bit hot and cold, but they can put up a bunch of balls when they're on their game. If they can work out their communications woes, they could potentially match the type of success they've had at Championship the past two seasons.
The WiredCats did something that only a handful of other teams have accomplished this season, scoring six balls in hybrid. Granted, 2415 was fed by their alliance partners in order to accomplish the task, but it proves their accuracy and potential. They weren't great at Peachtree, but they managed to win anyway. They were eliminated in the semis at Lone Star, but still managed to put up 90 points in a losing effort in one of the great matches of the season. If they can keep their level of play close to their peak levels, they could be very dangerous.
It takes a ton of skill, smarts, and luck to find your way onto the #1 alliance in a division one year. 1114 has had the opportunity to join the #1 as either the top seed or first selection every year since 2006 (they declined in 2007). Let that settle in. The Simbots have consistently performed in championship qualifications at a level that nobody else ever has. Their machine this year has the ability to match that success, no question. It's going to come down to their co-op score, and likely their seeding will determine their success in the eliminations.
2056 has dominated regionals like no team in FRC history, as they're now in their sixth season without losing a single event (and competing in as many as three regionals per year). With a division win in 2010 and a pair of IRI victories, the only thing missing from their resume is a Championship victory. The best fender machine around, OP Robotics has had no trouble scoring through defense (and sometimes backing up to the key). At GTR-West they utilized their consistent triple balancing to beat 1114 in the finals. It would take an absolutely brutal match-up for them to lose early.
With Team Hammond missing St. Louis this year, 67 has an opportunity to match 71's four championships this season. HOT has been very hard to beat this season, and is one of the most well rounded machines in FRC. But their biggest advantage will likely be their balancing, both in terms of triple balancing and co-op balancing. Their incredibly successful and consistent coopertition game will help give them an edge reaching the #1 seed and getting their ideal partner, which is often the difference at Championship.
[note: Archimedes and Curie are being posted now, Galileo and Newton will be up around 10PM]
Last edited by Looking Forward : 04-24-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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