The Best teams in Maryland
Happy New years! With a new year comes a new alternative to CHS platter. Well not really because we only cover Maryland.
We here at The Old Bay wanted to provide a nice counterbalance to the platter by only focusing on the northern half of the district. We are openly 100% biased, and will not be recognising teams in virginia by name. (The platter does plenty of that.) We decided to start of with a list ranking the top 10 FRC teams in Maryland going into 2018, similar to how a Baltimore Sun or Washington Post article would rank high school sports teams.
The rankings below are probably inaccurate, and only reflect the opinions of The Old Bay. We do have full time jobs, and unfortunately can’t spend every waking hour doing robotics stuff. We therefore probably forgot to consider key information as to why your team should have been included in, or ranked higher in the top 10. If you think we are wrong, tell us you think we are wrong, and then let this season’s results do the talking for you. I would personally love being proved wrong. It means I can rationalize spending even more time TBA and CD.
*Note, We did not publish our pre rankings last year as the article was not in a presentable format and it was clear we wouldn’t have time to create any presentable content that season. But we included the rankings themselves as they give you an Idea of where we thought they were going into last season.
836 RoboBees (Last year pre ranking- #1)
Yes, they had a “bad year”. No blue banners for the first time since 2010. No finalist appearances in 4 events. Two fairly respectable awards some might see as consolation (EI at NMD and Entrepreneurship at DCMP over Payne’s team, 2537, and a number of other strong Business plans in the district)
And I still put them at number 1. That’s how historically strong this team has been historically to maintain their number 1 spot.
- In a clear off year they still got selected in the early second round at DCMP. An off year for any other team on this list would probably mean no selection.
** - If they could shoot just a few more in the high goal, their number 7 alliance probably would have won DCMP.
- You have to go back to 2010 to see them miss worlds or a blue banner. That’s impressive. Especially in the old regional format.
- Last year they won all of their CHS events.
- They have 8 Blue banners
- They have a mean district event rank of 3.25, median of 3.5. This included an “Off year”
- 3 for 4 in worlds selections past 4 years
- 3 blue banners in 2 years
Why I’m wrong
- All of the next few teams on this list are in a serious position to take their number 1 spot this season. If the bees don’t make a recovery next year, one of them certainly will.
- We’re banking mostly oh history here. Robot performance backs it up olympic to an extent.
- Went 3 and 7 at worlds this year. (No selection)
- No finals appearances this year
2) 1629 GaCo (Last year pre ranking- #2)
The highlight of their season was probably winning chairmans at the district championship. That’s impressive, especially with the reduction to two winners. Robot wise, this was what I would say is about par year for them if you average out their season. They started off not so great, unable to escape the quarterfinals at their district events, and then improved by making the semis at DCMP and most significantly, getting picked at worlds. At district events, they have a mean district event ranking of 7 and median of 7.5.
As of now, GaCo is clearly the chairman’s favorite of the state. They have 5 chairman’s banners in the past 4 years, with a total of 7. 7 is tied for the same number of chairman’s wins the rest of the top 25 have combined (probably rest of active maryland but I didn’t check) (836 with 4, 1111 with 2, and 2537 with 1)
- 11 blue banners is the most in the state
- 4 event wins is tied with 836 for most in the state
- They have a dean’s list winner
- They have ranked top 10 their last 7 Regional and District events in a row.
- Went to worlds the past 10 years in a row. (11 times total)
Why I’m Wrong
- Of their 11 world’s appearances, they have only been selected twice. Once this year, and once in 2009. That’s a 7 year gap of no selections. (To be fair, it was harder back then)
- If seemingly flat (although great) robot performance trend continues, they could be in trouble when some of the the upwards trending teams catch them.
- No offseason events? Come on guys… (I guess the travel for you all is maybe prohibitive?)
**3) 2537 Space RAIDers (Last year pre ranking- #5)
Did you know that, prior to this year, this team has never made the world championship? Me neither. I honestly thought all of my top 5 had multiple appearances. So I had to go back and look deeper at this team to place them accurately, and found that the jump to a number 3 ranking was justifiable.
This team arguably flourished the most with the switch to a district format. They were unable to crack the top 20 at any of their 15 regional events between their start in 2008 and 2015. With the switch, they ranked 5th, 5th, 3rd, and 14th at their 4 district events since then. (mean 6.75 med 5). Thats a huge jump. Oh yeah, they also made Einstein this year. Whatever coaching and or leadership changes that have lead to this success should be applauded as this is clearly not a fluke. (Knock on wood) (Same goes for the rest of the teams on the rise)
- Tesla Division Champions. They are the first Maryland team to make Einstein in 16 years. (Team 53 did it in 2001)
- First Chairman’s win this year at CMD. Chairman’s is normally a sign of more success to come.
- They’ve had a dean’s list finalist all of the past 4 years. I am a little blown away by this one especially now that it’s harder in the district format.
- That Fresh Space-Bees alliance at DCMP really was something. They selected it.
- 3 blue banners in 2 years
- 100% four year selection (or captain) rate (8 for 8) at Regional and district events, 10 for 11 at all events
- Had some extremely nice videos last season (Where did they go?)
- Upward performance trend
- Ir*c Dominance (10-0 including elims) was at least notable. With that other CHS team to make einstein.
.Why I’m Wrong
- Only having made worlds once.
- Ranked 54 out of 58 at District champs in 2016. (No Selection)
- Went to CMD, that one laughably weak event, and did bad (ranked 14th, picked in second round, lost in QFs.)
- No really impressive robot performances prior to 2016
- The only Maryland team that could have gone to IRI if they wanted to this year. They didn’t go. Come on guys!
- Offseason is meaningless
**4) 1111 Power Hawks (Last year pre ranking- #4)
Arguably their best year to date, and at one point the best robot in the state, The power hawks won their first event ever and won their second Chairman’s award (at NMD.) They were the first overall pick at the DCMP (because some purple team declined it) and came out as semi-finalists. At district events, they have a mean district event ranking of 12.25 and median of 11.
- They still host an event. These are apparently hard to keep for multiple years (in MD).
- 4 worlds appearances in the last 6 years
- Made at least semis at all 3 CHS events this year
- One of the most in demand teams to select in district, selected 3rd overall at GDC, first overall at NMD, and first overall at DCMP* (To accept)
- With one of the largest teams in the district, we see low chance of performance drop off due to graduating seniors
- Chairman’s correlates well with continued success
- 4 EI’s is not an easy thing to do
- 3 blue banners in 3 years
- “We are proud of you” is the best cheer ever.
- For a good time they were somewhat accepted as #1 in the state for their bot this year
- They are basically tied with 2537 for the number 3 spot. I gave 2537 the edge because of Einstein vs no selection at worlds 2017, and head to head in the 2016 NMD finals.
Why I’m wrong
- Only top 10 team (Other than 2534) to never get selected at worlds in multiple appearances. They have 6 appearances.
- Only one event win.
- This team feels like it should have a Dean’s List or Woodie flowers Finalist. It doesn’t.
- They seem to choke a decent amount. Their number 1 seed alliance with 836 (and 3791) fell apart in the finals at 2014 NC regional. They beached on the moat, costing their 2016 alliance the competition at 2016 NMD finals (Against 2537, 5115), and next year beached on FUEL at 2017 GDC semis series they would lose arguably partially because of it.
- No offseason events? You and 1629 I guess. Maybe I’m missing something here? Then again, meaningless.
5) 1389 The Body Electric (Last year pre ranking- #7)
This was their best year ever despite not making worlds. And yet they were never fully polished. I am almost sure that if this team had worked out all of the kinks with their robot, they would have made worlds. Apparently they have only made worlds in 2016, making them one of two top 5 teams with only a single appearance. A little less surprising, but still looked extra hard at this team and justified them edging out the number 6 team for the final top 5 spot. They have a mean quals ranking at district events of 11.25 and a median of 14.
- Finalists at 2017 GDC (that almost won)
- Winners at 2017 CMD
- This means they did the best in playoffs at district events out of any top 5 team at their district events this year.
- Just a feeling that they are not performing at their current potential.
- Seemingly upward performance trend
Why I’m wrong
- Like 2537, only one worlds appearance in a long history isn’t impressive.
- Used to host an event. This could be looked at as a positive as they don’t have to deal with hosting anymore, but I see it as more of a negative that they weren’t selected to continue hosting GDC. (FIRST Chesapeake took away the third Maryland event… At least DCMP is back at UMD)
- Consistency and reliability issues made them a selection liability this year (to be fair it paid off for the teams who selected them at district events)
- They have one non-robot related award in a 13 year history (Entrepreneurship at 2017 CMD)
- Only one event win
Top 5 Predictions
- All 5 will make District champs in 2018 (same as they did in 2017)
- 4 will make worlds in 2018 (same as 2017)
- 4 will get selected at DCMP in 2018 (same as 2017)
- 3 will get selected at worlds in 2018 (+1 from 2017)
- They will earn a combined 3 chairman’s banners (-1 from 2017)
- They will earn a combined 5 event win banners (+2 from 2017)
6) 2377 C Company (Last year pre ranking- #3)
This team has been extremely mediocre at all of their district events. They have ranked 24th, 14th, 9th, and 23rd (mean 17.75 med 19). They made the semis once at these 4 events. But somehow this team pulls it together for district champs quals. They ranked 15th and 3rd the past 2 years, ending up on a quarterfinals alliance both times. Neither 2537 or 1111 got selected at the DCMP in 2016.
- 10 for 10 in selections past 4 years (excluding worlds)
- 2 for 3 in worlds appearances past 3 years with 7 total.
- 2 selections at worlds in those 7 appearances (2009, 2012)
- 3 regional wins (2010, 2011, 2012)
- 3 imagery awards in 2016 alone. (Nice pit guys)
- No wins in the past 5 years
- Made finals once in the past 5 years (2015)
- Went to CMD, that one laughably weak event, and did bad (ranked 23rd, picked in second round, lost in QFs.)
- Of their 6 CHS events, they have lost in the quarters 5 times and in the semis once.
- The whole barley making district champs thing could cost them an appearance if it continues.
7) 449 Blair Robot Project (Last year unranked)
Blair had a roller coaster of a season in 2017. All while that one guy was always waving the flag in the stands. It started with a bad ranking (25th) at GDC with a quarterfinals elimination. They then ranked 30th at their next event, CMD, and somehow got selected with the 2nd overall pick. This turned out to be a worthwhile selection as they would go on to make the finals at the event. They ranked 52nd at the district championship, and when selection seemed unlikely and their season seemed over, were picked up by a purple team and made another finalist run, qualifying themselves for worlds. There they got selected in the early second round, meaning they got to compete on field in world’s elims. (were taken out in the quarters)
- Being consistently picked well above ranking must mean teams want them in elims. Maybe the whole giving out their scouting data thing pays off when you rank below performance. (BTW although it has varied accuracy, the turn around on the data delivery for that stuff is impressive)
- Being an early second round pick at worlds is impressive
- 3 DLF’s in 4 year stretch (2011, 2012, 2014)
- This season would indicate an upward performance trend
- They are a fairly sizeable team
- Flag guy
- Mean District event rank of 20.75, median of 22.5. This speaks for itself as events have a MAXIMUM of 40 teams.
- You have to go back 13 years to find their only event win
- Not particularly bad for this rank, but this year was also their only worlds appearance in 13 years
- Flag guy (I love him but sometimes it’s too much. Don’t slow down, I am mostly just jealous of your upper body strength.)
8) 4638 Jagbots (Last year pre ranked #8)
Ok, so the Jags are an interesting team. High rankings, and not so great elims performance. But we felt they deserved to keep their spot as they seem to have consistently good rankings at district events (10th, 1st, 9th, 4th), and seem to have grown as a team. Their 6-10 CHS elims record can be improved upon, but overall the next logical step for this team is to make worlds.
- District event Ranking mean of 6, median of 6
- 5 for 6 for getting selected (or captaining) an alliance in CHS events.
- Made DCMP both years
- Has some nice videos from this season
- 3-6 elims record as captains
- Never made worlds
- No finals appearances in team history
- With a bad season, they fall off the list. The district is too deep to remain relevant in mediocrity.
9) 3793 Cyber Titans (Last year unranked)
I wanted to leave this team off, but the rankings upsets they pulled this season just can’t be ignored. (As much as I would like to. This really was one for the history books)
Is this the luckiest team ever in quals this season or is there something special here. I will leave that up to you to decide. Either way, this team came out of nowhere this year. I didn’t know who they were until I saw them selecting the number 1 alliance at 2017 GDC. They also ranked 11th at CMD. Both of the alliances they selected got swept in the quarters. I really didn’t think they were likely to get picked at DCMP, but it was them doing the picking, as the number 1 seed. They apparently learned from some of their previous mistakes as captains, and made the semis. This landed them a spot at worlds where their season ended, ranking 55th. (No selection)
Their rankings upset at CHS DCMP won’t be rivaled for YEARS.
- Mean CHS event rank of 4.3 median of 1 in 2017 (Includes DCMP)
- Surprisingly 2016 avg event rank of 17 is better than both 449 and 2377 2 year averages
- This makes for a respectable Mean District event rank of 12.5, median of 12
- Pulled the biggest rankings upset the district will see for years at DCMP, currently only comparable to their rankings upset at GDC imo.
- Sharp upward trend
- Never won an award in 6 year history (let alone an event)
- Never been selected to an alliance in 12 event 6 year history (captained all 4 of their elims appearances)
- Elims record of 2-8 (always as captains. You can’t blame your alliance when you pick it)
- No DCMP in 2016
- “Upward trend” is based almost entirely on one season
- This could easily be 3389 all over again. If so, I have no regrets with this ranking.
T 10) 2534 Lumberjack Robotics (Last year unranked)
T 10) 5115 Knight Riders (Pre Ranked #10 in 2016)
So I hate ties, but it really was hard to objectively pick one team over the other for this last top 10 spot. And they both definitely deserve the full mention.
Both teams have won an event each of the past two years. They won their most recent one together with 5115 selecting 2534 in the second round. A value pick but a second round pick nonetheless. This would have been enough for the knight riders to exclusively hold their number 10 spot, but they proceeded to not make worlds at DCMP, while 2534 was a middle First round selection. (their 5th seed alliance was, however, torn apart in the quarters). So I don’t really know who’s better. Lumberjack has more experience with an event win in 2010, while 5115 won both of their events as either a captain or a first round pick. 2534 was always a second round selection for their event wins. 5115 has never made worlds, 2534 has gone three times, twice within the past three years.
So I guess we’ll see who deserves this spot in 2018. Maybe both will crack the top 10, maybe neither. But I assure you this. If we make rankings next year, there will be no ties in the top 10.
**Top Challengers (in order of 2017 District Ranking Points)
We started writing a few sentences about each team, but they quickly started to sound like the same similar repetitive statements about each one. So we just wrote a blurb of the first thing that came to mind about each one. If you want to know more about each team, you should really just go to TBA. This is true for all teams, the Challengers, the teams in the top 10, and the teams not listed here. TBA tells a fairly accurate story. (TBA Stands for The Blue Alliance for you FRC newbs)
So to summarize the challengers, all of these teams have potential to possibly make worlds next year (less so now that there are only 21 spots). Most of them are Likelier to make DCMP than not. The district ranking points this year seem to have some correlation with where I would rank them in a top 25, but not really that much. They can all contend for a top 10 spot with a great season, but I don’t see any of them making the top 5 without some kind of miracle season. I starred the 5 I think have the strongest shot at top 10 next year.
Went to DCMP in 2017
*3941- 124 DRP (Seriously, Good job at 2017 NMD)
*6326- 124 DRP (Best rookie team this year and best team name in the state.)
2849- 122 DRP (And I thought you were totally going to select a DCMP alliance for a second. Would love to see them take that next step in performance.)
2199- 115 DRP (Captaining a finals run is no small feat)
*4541- 107 DRP (Strategy competence rivaling that of top MD teams)
*6239- 93 DRP (the old 5830 has potential. Why did you all change numbers again?)
5945- 88 DRP (Hackground is a better name than absolute control. But you be you.)
4514- 87 DRP (Wait, how did you not get picked at CMD? Crazy event I guess)
4464- 80 DRP (Yea, we’re totally not going to DCMP, even if we make it)
Missed DCMP in 2017
6584- 56 DRP (Rookies are hard to predict, but I see DCMP in your future)
*4505- 55 DRP (They were almost ranked last year. They can still be ranked next year. RIP NMD until they bring it back)
1719- 51 DRP (Hurt by 1727 revival if memory serves me correct)
1727- 50 DRP (Revived from the dead. Should be on the come up.)
686- 47 DRP (Pre Ranked #6 in 2016)
3389- 27 DRP (Pre Ranked #9 in 2016)
2819- 15 DRP (90% sure they are hosting the new southern MD.)