A Comparison of Streaks: 1678 and 177


#3

Each and every one of 177’s Einstein appearances during their streak came in an era in which only 12 teams total made Einstein. 1678’s started at the very tail end of the 12 team era in 2013, but 16 teams made Einstein in 2014, 32 teams made Einstein in 2015 and 2016, and 48 teams made Einstein (total, 24 from each Championship) in 2017 and 2018. I know both Championship and the total FRC population has grown across that span, but being a member of an exclusive 12-team club six years in a row is absurd.


#4

Love this breakdown. Both organizations are top notch - but I never realized the connection between the two.


#5

I agree this is significant. To go along with this, 177’s divisions had between 85-88 teams and had has few as 7 qualification matches per team. 1678’s divisional team counts are: 100, 100, 77, 75, 67, 67 and had 10 matches per team 5/6 years. For a top tier team, it’s significantly tougher to seed high when there are ~25% more teams and ~30% fewer qualification matches (and 177 also had to deal with the 2007 schedule as well).

It’s an interesting debate because, while its most certainly easier to make Einstein during 1678’s run, I think most would agree they were ‘better’ during the stretch, shown by being on the top alliance as captain for first pick most of those years.


#6

Having worked with 177 on numerous occasions throughout the Connecticut regional, CT State Champs, NE District and Worlds, both during their streak and after, they are are one of the most strategic teams I’ve worked with. They understand how to perform in even the worst circumstances and adapt to the challenge ahead of them. They’d have no problem picking deep into the seeding for an unconventionally strong alliance and many alliance captains would pick them due to how well they can analyze the competition and act on their strengths and weaknesses. When we were at the CT State champs together in 2013, our teams worked together to shut down the seemingly unstoppable full court shooter of 195 without greatly effecting our scoring cycles. 177 may not always be the strongest or flashiest robot on the field but they know what it takes to win and are ok with sharing the lime light with their partners. They’re a strategic powerhouse.


#7

Strategy, Teamwork, Hard work, have fun, and Never give up. We had an **amazing **group of mentors/students every year that worked really well together. The importance of team dynamics can never be understated.

That might sound cliché, but we prided ourselves on never believing there was such a thing as an unwinnable match, prided ourselves on believing that we could always make our robot better; we changed things in season, and at events that I’m not confident many teams would have bitten off back then. In season re-builds, and massive improvements have become much more common now than they were back then, when a lot of teams had 1 regional and then had to go to the one championship.

During the 177 streak three of the years were single regional years for 177 (2008, 2009, 2010). 2008, 177 wasn’t even selected for the eliminations at the lone regional we attended.

I don’t think any sane person would argue that the six 177 robots were somehow better than the six 1678 robots. However, you also can’t argue with the new Einstein math of how many teams make it now vs back then. It was darn hard to make Einstein from those stacked divisions back then and many amazing teams missed out every single year.

Both streaks are improbable, both steaks are impressive, it’s a fun topic.

Correction to original poster 177 was the second pick of 190 in 2007


#8

When I participated as a member of 1625, we ran into 177 on multiple occasions at champs during their streak and always came out on the losing end. All 3 of the series below went to 3 matches. While frustrating to always be on the losing end, it is neat in hindsight to have been a participant of sorts in such an amazing accomplishment.

2006: Lost to 177 in Galileo Finals
2009: Lost to 177 in Newton Semis
2010: Lost to 177 in Einstein Semis

Both streaks are beyond impressive in their own ways and I look forward to seeing 1678’s efforts to extend their streak next season.


#9

Agreed completely. A few interesting things I’d like to add to this fun discussion:

  1. We’ve always looked up to 177’s streak, and still do. As many have already said in this thread and elsewhere, it was a special accomplishment that will never be truly matched.

  2. It is worth noting that both 177 and 1678 skipped Einstein 2012, which was probably a good call :frowning:

  3. Keep an eye on 2056, who has four straight Einstein appearances and counting. I’ve heard 2056 knows a thing or two about streaks… :wink:

  4. The 1678 class of 2018 participated in 16 official FRC events over their student careers, and came home with at least one winner blue banner from every single event :ahh:

Fun thread, thanks for putting this together!

-Mike


#10

1678 has been by far more dominant during their streak, but 177’s streak is the rarer accomplishment (both because of the scarcity of Einstein spots in their time, and because they so consistently threaded the needle and landed on the best alliance without usually being in control of their own destiny).


#11

177 wore a lot of different hats over those 6 years, and their flexibility was always impressive to me. But 1678 played their fair share of defense in 2014, and they did a pretty darn good job.


#12

Goldarn.

EDITOR’S CORRECTION: The original post states that team 177 was the first pick of 190 in 2007. They were the second pick, not the first. That means they were the second pick of their alliance four years in a row. (!!!)


#13

177 was indeed the second pick of 190 in 2007, immediately after 987 was picked. Thanks to the serpentine process as an eighth seed 190 could have as easily chosen 177 as their first pick and still pick us up to make a “wall of maroon”:slight_smile: I believe we were chosen first in part because of our autonomous performance. 177 earned every single run to Einstein and I still remember how fired up we were when we learned that we were going to get to play with 177. Watch the Einstein rounds to see just how special the final result was…:wink:


#14

I think very few teams are good at digging out value picks deeper and deeper in the draft. Surprised they haven’t done better in more recent years even with somewhat weaker performances on the robot side.


#15

This comes down to better, more intricate robots (1678) vs. the better streak of 177. Everyone loves a Cinderella story, and 177 delivered that to the FRC community 6 years running.

Super fascinating stats :smiley:


#16

I was out of country when this thread went up and just saw it. I wanted to add in with some of what Chris responded to.

To those of us on the team and most of FIRST at the time the 2007 Championship was not about stopping 233 but finally beating Beatty (Team 73).
They were 4 time champions who were still unbeaten on Einstein and had knocked out 2 of 177’s best championship runs, 1997 in the semifinal and 2001 in the Einstein Semi-final.

I was a mentor for 177 from 2003-2014 so feel free to ask any questions, I will answer if I can.

I will reiterate what Chris said about our team’s continuous improvement and our ability to not get so attached to one mechanism or way to play. The willingness to do a major redesign or rebuild late in the season was always a strength.

We also would have competing groups working on critical devices whenever possible so we could choose the best option.

Also reliability was huge in this streak. This may sound odd to modern teams, but in the early part of this streak, before districts, having a robot that could last 14 matches at championship to get to Einstein was not really common. For most teams 14 matches was the entire season.

In the pre-district days you would have a lot of robots slowly get worse all Championship weekend and have major failures in the eliminations.

2006 did not go to 3. We did not lose a match on Galileo that year going 13-0. Our first loss was the second match on Einstein against 25, 195, and 968 so we had 14 strait wins at championship which was a record until 111 won the championship without a loss at the Championship in 2009.

Oddly The Blue Alliance shows us winning 3 Finals matches which may have the demo match that was played for CNN that year.

I recall we ended way ahead of the other divisions because we never went to a third match on our field.

One more thing I wanted to point out.

The first “Streak” was held by 175 from 2002-2005.
177’s started in 2006 and ended in 2011.
1678’s started in 2013 and is still active.
It seems the next team inline starts up right after the previous streak ends.

Pete


#17

Well, here’s a bunch of ways to compare the streaks using Elo:

Divisional playoff sets won:
177: 18
1678: 16 (darn 2015 still messing things up)

Average playoff set win probability:
177: 65.5%
1678: 84.7%

Probability of winning their respective consecutive divisional playoff sets:
177: 0.011%
1678: 1.9%

Average sum of playoff opponent Elos – partner Elos (or, what Elo would be required to on average have a 50% chance of winning each match)
177: 1541
1678: 1629

Average Elo in playoff matches:
177: 1650
1678: 1907

6-year season long average Elos (strongest “dynasties”):

rank	team	year range	average Elo
1	1114	2010-2015	2013
2	1114	2011-2016	1978
3	1114	2009-2014	1975
4	1114	2007-2012	1972
5	1114	2008-2013	1972
6	2056	2010-2015	1968
7	1114	2006-2011	1967
8	2056	2011-2016	1963
9	254	2013-2018	1953
10	1114	2012-2017	1941
27	1678	2013-2018	1874
931	177	2006-2011	1625

I’d do an analysis of their respective alliance selection processes, but I still don’t have a good enough data set of alliance selections to be comfortable working with.

Hot takes:
1678 has been consistently excellent 2013-2018. Their 1.9% chance of winning as many divisional sets as they did is low, but it really isn’t shocking that some team ended up doing this given how many teams have had as good or better 6-year dynasties as them. This isn’t to take anything away from them, just saying they are still in the realm of possibility.

177 is a statistical abnormality, they have the 931st best 6-year dynasty according to average Elo and had really no meaningful chance of winning as many divisional playoff sets as they did. I’m planning to add in a playoff Elo-boost into my model at some point, which I’m sure will help make 177’s chances look a bit better, but even with this they will still have one of the luckiest streaks of all time.

It’s pretty clear to me that 1678’s playoff gauntlet has been fiercer than 177’s though, so I think that’s a poor argument for 177 having a better run. This could be in part due to 177 joining up with already strong alliances whereas 1678 often had to make do with late draft picks. It could also be due in part to that there have been more great teams playing in divisions in recent years than ever before, which offsets or even overcomes the dilution we’ve seen in team quality in recent years at champs.

IDK, think what you want, I just made this post as an excuse to casually remind everyone that 1114 was actually the best. :smiley:


[TBA Blog] 1114 Is FRC's Greatest Dynasty
#18

I suspect that next year, once 254 drops 2013, they jump to the top of the list. :yikes:


#19

I don’t have any first-hand insights into 177’s Einstein streak, but I do want to let anyone who’s curious know a few things that have changed about the team since 2011. I recognize that most of these are things that every team has to deal with at one point or another, and there are teams out there that would kill to have these be the worst of their problems. I just wanted to provide some context for anyone who may be wondering what’s different about the team now vs. 2006-2011.

1) The waitlist is no longer a reliable way to get to Championship. This isn’t a team-specific one, but as has been mentioned already 177’s streak was heavily reliant on getting to Championship off the waitlist. Reliably qualifying for Championship through a Regional was something the team was never that good at, which made us very glad when New England went to Districts in 2014. We didn’t make it to Championship in 2012, which ended the team’s Einstein streak with a bit of a fizzle. I’d argue that our 2012 robot was more competitive than some of the robots that the team has taken to Einstein, but our reliance on the Championship waitlist finally caught up with us.

2) We lost our primary mentor pipeline. We were very fortunate to have a major sponsor that not only supported the team financially, but also provided additional paid time off and subsidized travel for any of their employees who mentored the team. This resulted in a reliable stream of dedicated mentors. In 2013, that sponsor was sold by their parent company. We continue to receive generous grants from that parent company, but those mentor perks are gone. We have had to look for new sources for mentors, and have been fortunate to find them among our parents and alumni.

3) Our founding teacher retired. After the 2016 season, our founding teacher Al Mothersele retired. He was the driving force behind starting the team in 1995, and his (very well-deserved) retirement left a big hole in the team. It was not easy for us to find another teacher willing to accept the time commitment involved in running the team, and there was a period of time where we weren’t sure we were going to be able to compete in the 2017 season.

4) I rejoined the team. There’s a running joke on the team that it’s more than just coincidence 177’s streak lined up almost exactly with my last year as a student (2004) and my first year as a mentor (2012).


#20

Related to this is probably one of the most under rated things I kind of forget about myself, is that we had a huge mentorship change out after we won our first Championship in 2007. We lost 3 mentors that had been with the team since 1995 that decided they could now walk away, and then 2 more who were former students who worked with me at our primary sponsor moved away.

Also from June of 2012 to December of 2013 at least 5 of our mentors got married, it was a pretty crazy stretch in the personal lives of the group of people running the team.


#21

So are we safe if we don’t let any pre-2013 students come back to mentor if they’ve been gone??? :yikes:


#22

There were a few other pre-2006 students who came back as mentors before I did without negatively impacting 177’s streak, so you might be okay risking it.

My personal defense on this point (beyond this) has always been that I was on the team in 2001, the first time we made it to Einstein.