A Comparison of Streaks: 1678 and 177


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. (!!!)

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:

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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.

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:

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.


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:

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

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).


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.

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

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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.

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With their win in the Carver Division, I believe 1678 now has the longest Einstein appearance streak, with 7 straight years.


Congrats to 1678 on breaking the tie with 177 for consecutive divisions.
The next target you have to take down 217 & 254 on total division wins.


1678 is cool and all, but 177 had to do their streak in the era before duct tape was legal :wink: .

Seriously though, this was interesting analysis.

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It’s a bit hard to catch 254 in particular when they keep adding to their own total. Maybe if they let us compete at Detroit too.

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Guess you’ll just have to get in the same division and beat them…multiple times.

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I like the challenge, but not the odds…

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The 1678 class of 2019 has now achieved the same accomplishment. 16 official events attended, 16 Regional/Division brackets won, 16 winner banners. Very proud of these kids!



An insight into 2007. I am on team 190. In 2007, our exact pick list was 987 and 177, and we were extremely fortunate to not have to change our picklist. According to at least one of my mentors, we wanted 177 on our alliance from the beginning of alliance selection.


Since you revived the thread, figured I’d share this photo from our 25th Anniversary Celebration this past weekend. I got to meet this robot again for the first time since my freshman year, when 11 played against 177 at the NJ regional

Such a cool robot to finally poke around!