Originally Posted by Carmac
Really the only thing that can be used to make much of a prediction is the Mathman ratings (Slammers, Sting and Stars are statistically even) -- head to head (I think only the Slammers and Sting have played and yes it has been pretty even between them) -- and then cross competition (Slammers, Sting and Stars have been fairly dominant in their regions and when Region 1 teams the Stars have beat have faced the Slammers - PDA and Delco - they have been beaten). The Indiana team is a real unknown, they are significantly lower on the mathman ratings and have played very little outside of their region. Maybe they are a team that got lucky at regionals and will be in over their head in Dallas. However, they may be a very strong team that is now poised to do well on a national stage. It is impossible to know. Assuming they are much stronger than their rating this is anybody's tournament and will depend on those little intangiables that are impossible to predict. Stars cerrtainly can play at this level and with some breaks can certainly be succesful.
Just so everyone understands this clearly: I think the ratings of teams from each the four regions have been normalized pretty well amongst teams in the same region, but not necessarily interregionally. I don't think they are too far off, but I will be using Nationals to adjust the ratings of the Regions as a whole. That is, if the team from one Region drops, or gains, lots of ratings points, I will adjust the ratings of all teams in that Region.
It is also important to understand that when the ratings of three teams are as close as Sting, Slammers, and Stars (6 points separates the three teams), the ratings predict that teams are as likely to win as to lose, and as likely to win by 2 goals as to lose by 2. It does *not* predict a tie, to the extent that it predicts anything. There's a 1 in 4 chance that one of the S's will lose to the other two. Not good betting odds.
I would respectfully disagree that Slammers have been pretty dominant in Region IV. They finished second in their league to Arsenal, tieing them once, and losing to them 3-1. In League Cup, they were knocked out in the quarterfinals, and in the Region IV finals, went to PKs with Arsenal.
And one fly in the ointment is that I have heard that Slammers will be getting back from Europe (their reward for winning the Manchester Cup) the day before Nationals start, so who knows what will happen?