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Mock Trial Power Rankings Dissecting GAMTI 2014

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  • Mock Trial Power Rankings Dissecting GAMTI 2014

    Given that Perjuries has been rather dead as of late and given that we're well into the invitational season, I thought I'd open up some new fun with a mock trial "power rankings" list using recent head-to-head results at GAMTI last weekend. Obviously any estimation of comparison at this stage in the year is difficult at best, but it's going to be interesting to see how teams move themselves up (or down) in the rankings at Beach Party, NYU's Downtown, and on through Regionals and ORCS...

    A cursory look at GAMTI's tab summary would show you that several teams did very well (Harvard, Georgia, Tufts, Duke, Furman, Rhodes, NYU, and Yale) while some "traditionally great" teams seemed to fall short (Miami and UVA). However, when one digs a little deeper and looks at exactly who each of these teams were hitting, it becomes clear that we shouldn't be so quick to cry out at the failings of established programs. UVA, for instance, may have finished with only two trial wins, but one of those wins came against Duke (the team that finished second at the tournament) and their losses came against Georgia and NYU, two teams that were nearly perfect throughout the weekend.

    Point is: if AMTA worked anything like college football or the NFL, we'd be looking not only at how many ballots teams are picking up but also who they're beating in the process. At the end of the day, clearly it won't matter how high a team's CS is in Cincinnati if that squad is beating every team that it hits with three ballots. But, for the sake of some AMTA fun, it's interesting to consider what might happen if we had a rankings system that worked akin to the BCS and took into consideration not only whether a team was winning but also the quality of its opponents.

    So... without further ado, the November 2014 AMTA power rankings based on GAMTI results:

    Tier One With impressive wins and close splits amongst each other, these nine teams were the cream of the crop in D.C. last weekend, and we should expect to see them dominate their respective fields down the stretch.

    1. Harvard There's just no way around their dominating performance at GAMTI. Harvard cruised to an 11-0-1 record despite hitting four teams which all landed themselves in the top ten at the end of the weekend (and onto this list of nine). They beat Miami, Rhodes, Georgia, and Tufts (including a +53 point 3-0 win against Georgia, who landed themselves in the number 2 position on this list). This resulted in the highest CS at the tournament for Harvard, as well as an impressive +104 tournament point differential which sat well above the rest of the field. Given their dominating 10-2 run at nationals last year, this sort of performance early in the season should be an impressive marker of Harvard's potential in the months to come. Award watch: Zach Fields (A) and Lyla Wasz-Piper (W)

    2. Georgia Georgia had a perfect tournament without their loss to Harvard, putting them squarely in position #2 here. They defeated UVA, Penn State, and American in the process and ended with an impressive third place finish at GAMTI 2014. They didn't live up to the hype in Orlando in April, but Georgia's cool demeanor and nice-guy/girl swagger works in the South and GAMTI showed that once again. Especially interesting on Georgia's performance at GAMTI was a 30-point destruction of UVA on Sunday afternoon.

    3. Duke Fitting into a mix of top-tier teams which all defeated each other, Duke had an impressive win against Miami (+13, +4, +5) after a strange (to say the least) split/loss to UVA (+20, -17, -3). They also rolled past Yale and Columbia to get to a 9-3 record with a +75 total point differential on the weekend. Watch out for the Blue Devils as the season wears on, they've been at the top every season since 2011-12 and they don't look to be going away anytime soon. Given their win against Miami and their loss against UVA, they're the first team in this four-way tie. Award watch: Rebecca Blair (W)

    3. NYU While they had an impressive win against UVA (+7, +16, +2) in round one to start out their weekend, NYU followed it up with a devastating 0-3 loss to Miami in round two (-4, -18, -14). No one should be surprised by their continued reign toward the top of AMTA's long list of teams after their Downtown win in January; NYU is well-coached, incredibly talented, and combine polish with creativity in a way that few teams can match. Award watch: Deeana Oliver (A) **out of her normal role as witness all-star, Deeana still pulled out another award... it'll be interesting to see how her attorney role changes NYU's style through the season

    3. Miami Miami had the sort of performance at GAMTI that leaves one confounded at the very least... while they had dominating 3-0 wins against UCLA and NYU (the aforementioned +4, +18, +14), they also had crushing 0-3 losses to Harvard (-14, -1, -6) and Duke (-13, -4, -5). What's more, the ballot distribution matched the side of the case: Miami's defense was 6-0 where their plaintiff ran 0-6. Could it be that their arguments just aren't working? Is their lineup less balanced on the P? Are they running (gasp!) an NPS case theory? Given their win against NYU and their loss against Duke, they fit into this four-way tie. Award watch (4!): Monika Mudd (W), Najeeb Ahmed (W), John Spear (A), and Matthew Meeks (A)

    3. UVA I fully recognize that justifying a 3rd-place tie for a team that went 5-7 is dubious at best. But consider who those losses came against: UVA dropped rounds to NYU and Georgia, two teams who ran nearly perfect weekends and two teams which find themselves squarely in the top tier of teams here. What's more, UVA beat Duke to keep them in their second-place position by the end of GAMTI 2014. They had the second-highest CS of the weekend, indicative of an absolutely brutal schedule. UVA may not be headed back to Charlottesville with the GAMTI trophy for the first time in several years, but they shouldn't be ashamed of their performance either. The Duke win speaks volumes and, when paired with a tournament victory in Atlanta just a few weeks prior, it bodes well for UVA's chances as the year wears on.

    7. Tufts Admittedly, Tufts is a tough team to rank given that we just have almost no data on their performance at top-tier tournaments in the recent past. At nationals last year, they ran to a 5-7 finish after close losses to incredible teams (UVA and Miami), and in their first appearance at GAMTI in recent memory, Tufts was certainly a force to be reckoned with. That said, their wins came against relatively unsuccessful teams by the end of the weekend (Illinois, Penn State, and UNM) and they lost in their last round 0-3 to Harvard. Until there's more evidence that they can match up against and defeat other top-tier teams like the four tied for 3rd place above, this position at #7 seems most fair. Watch out for them, if MTC vignettes are any indicator of their strength, Tufts is going to beat some unsuspecting opponents down the stretch. Award watch (4!): Anna Lyons (A), Ben Kurland (A), Mandy Xu (W), Anna Lyons (W)

    8. Yale Yale had a tough first round defeat against Duke to start their weekend (-14, -5, -12), but they moved on with poise and ended the weekend with an impressive 8-4 finish after wins against Princeton, Northwood, and Wash U StL. Competing now without the stellar Nayak, it'll be interesting to see how Yale follows up this performance at tournaments to come. Award watch: Josh Young (W), Joe Li (A)

    9. Rhodes Despite a seemingly impressive 8-4 finish, Rhodes' two wins came against relatively unimpressive opponents with Wash U StL and UVA's B team, two teams which both find themselves toward the bottom of the list. Rhodes had an early loss to Harvard (though they tied a ballot there to prevent the Crimson from reaching 12-0), but it's their tie with Princeton (+7, 0, -12) that really speaks volumes. After a number of graduations took their high-powered counsel table from last year, we should watch closely to see if Rhodes can keep up their dominance of old. Award watch: Amelia Yeomelakis(A/A)

    Tier Two
    This next tier of teams includes splits and losses galore. Where UNM beat Princeton 2-1, it lost to Michigan 1-2. Princeton beat Columbia, tied Rhodes, and lost to UNM. Columbia beat Furman yet lost to Princeton. Furman had impressive wins against lower-ranked teams yet lost to Columbia. Illinois beat Michigan despite big losses to NYU and Tufts. In the interest of fairness between this cohort of six teams, they all find themselves in the second tier tied at tenth. Disagree on the placement? Critique away!

    10. UNM
    10. Princeton
    10. Columbia

    10. Furman Award watch: Shannon Cherney (W) and Chandler Jackson (A)
    10. Illinois
    10. Michigan
    Award watch: Joseph Moeller (W)

    Tier Three Rounding out the list of the "top teams" in AMTA is this third tier from GAMTI. Here, there's a bit more consistency in the head-to-head results which makes direct ranking more intuitive. UCLA beat Northwood, who beat Wash U StL, who beat UVA's B team, who (along with Georgetown and Penn State) beat American. These teams are good teams, make no mistake, and the fact that they fell against opponents near the top of this list doesn't mean that this last bunch won't also cruise to 8-0 finishes at regionals at ORCS.

    16. UCLA Award watch: Kyle DeCamp (W)
    17. Northwood
    18. Wash U
    19. UVA B
    20. Georgetown
    20. Penn State
    22. American

  • #2
    Thanks for doing this — it's nice to see Perjuries getting some action.


    • #3
      Originally posted by ErikaLee
      Great rankings. It's only fair for teams to be tied this early in the season.
      It's a shame we won't see Tufts in Irvine (likely). Harvards bound to be primed and ready to go.
      The teams going to Irvine are listed on this thread. Looks like Harvard isn't.


      • #4
        Mock Trial Power Rankings – Dissecting GAMTI 2014

        What's the point of calling them "mock trial" power rankings if all you did was take the teams that went to GAMTI and arbitrarily re-rank them? I say "arbitrarily" because while normally I buy into your argument about the importance of past performance, you left the national champions down at #16.


        • #5
          Anyone going to arbitrarily rerank teams after the results of Beach Party come out?


          • #6
            Don't underestimate the teams that aren't yet stacked. AU rarely does well at GAMTI, but they consistently do well in the Spring, once stacked.


            • #7
              The comment about these teams going 8-0 at regionals is interesting given WashU STL didnt make it out of their regional. Do we know of any other teams who went to gamti but are done for the year after regionals?