2017 PCH Power Rankings

If you recall, before the 2017 season began, we did a fun little pre-season power poll of the best FRC teams going into the season. While the survey was a bit of a popularity contest, it turned out rather well and produced a very strong list of the top 10 teams going into SteamWorks.

However, now that all of the 2017 PCH qualifiers have come to an end, we decided to run another power poll before the upcoming PCH District Championship. The results are as follows:

Rankings
1. 1746 - Otto - 266 Points
2. 4188 - Columbus Space Program - 256 Points
3. 2974 - Walton Robotics - 220 Points
4. 2415 - Wiredcats - 195 Points
5. 4941 - Robobibb - 131 Points
6. 1648 - G3 Robotics - 114 Points
7. 4910 - East Cobb Robotics - 97 Points
8. 4468 - Fernbank Links - 70 Points
9. 1683 - Technotitans - 52 Points
10. 6340 - Marist Screaming Eagles - 36 Points

Full rankings and aggregate raw data can be viewed by clicking here.

From our perspective, we think the rankings are, once again, pretty solid. The creme de la creme of the district have risen to the top and deservedly so. We’re also pretty happy to see the middle tier of the district is joined by some new faces, notably team 4941 from Macon and rookie team 6340. However, there are a few good teams, such as 6705 and 1002, who didn’t seem to make the cut. Whether it was a true lack of performance or perhaps lack of name recognition that left some teams out of the top 10, everyone will be playing on an even field at the PCH DCMP.

Expert Opinions
As a fun little addition to these rankings, we reached out to members in the community to provide their opinions about the 2017 power rankings, and they have shared their insights below:

“The rankings look reasonably solid to me. Most of the best teams in the state right now are shown in the poll in some order. However, I think 6340's ranking is particularly low. While they may not provide the strongest gearing and may not have the fastest climber, their low goal scoring in autonomous provides an added dimension for an alliance that has yet to truly be matched in the district. Two teams that stick out as being ranked a little TOO high to me seem to be 4941 and 1648. While both teams have been strong, neither has truly executed to the level of a couple of the other teams on that list, particularly 1648 at Columbus. In terms of teams missing from the top 10, there's no doubt in my mind 6705 is the biggest team missing, which can probably be attributed to an earlier-than-expected exit at Dalton and a long break between then and now. “ - Trevor Davidson, 1648 Mentor

“Any power ranking in Georgia right now runs into an interesting issue; the teams sort into ‘tiers,’ in which, with exception of the top tier, robots are basically interchangeable.  The top four teams, making up that top tier, have each done something unique to stand out and are candidates to compete at the World Championship level.  The next eleven will be competitive at the State Championship level, and will almost certainly be alliance captains or first picks, but will need exceptional strategy or luck to be able to beat out that top tier.  In that second tier, though, a few things could be rearranged.  The Marist Screaming Eagles, 6340, and East Cobb Robotics, 4910, could be ranked higher.  They've taken out alliances featuring strong competitors like 1683, 2415, 4188, and 1746, and if there are any teams that could steal the show at States, 6340 and 4910 are shaping up to be the kind of teams that could do it.  The shocker for me with this list is the absence of 4080.  After an early exit at Dalton to the future winners, they made a splash at the, admittedly weaker, Albany event. They sustained a six-round brawl in the semifinals, and came within a few climbs of a win over 4188 and 2974.  Expect them to make a strong appearance at the State Championship.  In the end, Georgia will likely come down to a climb or two, and the tightness of this second tier foreshadows an exciting playoff tournament.” - Brandon Zalinsky, GA FIRST MC

“At first glance, the teams I see in this year's top 10 are pretty much as I expected. Many of the same familiar team numbers we see dominating the state are still running strong, but it's awesome to see a rookie team, 6340, breaking into the top 10 as well, after finishing a powerful season as Dalton Finalists and Winners at Columbus. Another new team appearing in the top 10 this season is 4941, who came so close to winning their first blue banner but came just shy at Albany Finals, and saw a close Semifinals exit as the #1 alliance captain at Gainesville. 2415, 1746, 4910, 1648, and 1683 have all shown that they have what it takes to compete at a high level in Georgia, and all have brought very strong machines to the table for FIRST Steamworks. This may be slightly biased, but I actually would have placed 4188 and 2974 as the top 2 competitors of the year thus far, followed by 1746. Walton has 3 wins out of 3 events, including their dominant "visitor" showing at the NC Asheville event, where they seeded #1 and charged to yet another blue banner, representing the Peachtree District well. Columbus Space Program started the season off a bit slow; they were the #1 overall pick at Gainesville, but fell in Semis to the eventual winners, and lost by just 3 points in Columbus Finals. However, they ended the regular season out strong with a #1 seed and Winner banner at Albany, and are hungry for more at State. CSP also happens to be the only team in GA to hold one medal of each color: blue (Winner), red (Finalists), and orange  (Engineering Inspiration). Judging solely on their performances at 2017 events, I would not have placed 4468 in the top 10. While they do have an efficient gear-scoring robot and an experienced driver, they did not get the finishes they were hoping for this season. I would have placed 4026 just inside the top 10. They have a very strong robot this season and although they came just shy of winning at Gainesville, they are owners of one of the very few effective shooters in Georgia as well as a unique active gear mechanism, and could compliment a good alliance at State. It also would have been no surprise to see another strong rookie team, 6705, crack the  top 10 this season in the PCH Power Rankings.” - Brandon King, 4188 Mentor

 

“In aggregate I think the rankings are pretty accurate. My top three votes aligned with the top 3 results (alright, maybe I had a slight bias towards the 1 rank) and just about every other top 10 finisher was on my list somewhere. It seems like the top 10 here represents a good mix of teams who have consistently been top performers in the district this year. Every team on this list (and many who just barely missed the cut) deserve to be here and are working towards making PCH a more competitive district.

Conversely, that doesn’t mean I think every ranking was perfect. There were several teams who missed the cut who have performed very solidly, and there are teams within the top 10 that I think were under or overrated. To begin, while I believe 4188 has a slightly stronger robot than 2974 I am a bit surprised that 2974 was only ranked 3rd. After 3 event wins and 4 blue banners, 2974 is tied for most event wins and most blue banners of the season. They are certainly no slouch and might have deserved to be a spot or two higher. I am also a bit confused as to how 6340 was only ranked 10th. After a trip to the finals at Dalton and a win in Columbus, this rookie team looks like they are going to be a contender for years to come. (I might also have a sore spot after their 10 ball, low goal auto was ultimately what kept 1746 from their second blue banner at Columbus). Additionally, I am pretty shocked 6705 didn’t crack the top ten, after a really strong initial showing at Gainesville and a near repeat at Dalton 6705 showed they were ready to come out swinging as a rookie team. Also noticeably missing: 5293. In my opinion, they had strong showings at both Gainesville and Dalton seeding 2nd then 1st. I wonder if their week 1 and two 2 performances were just too early in the season to be fresh in people's minds.

On the flip side, I think 1746’s ranking might be a little inflated. Don’t mix my words, though; I am confident that 1746 is ready to own that top ranking at DCMP and Half Champs. However, I am surprised that they were able to clinch the top spot despite a rocky first few qual matches at Gainesville before finding their stride.  

From everything I can see these top teams are going to make 4 rotors a common occurrence (and maybe we'll even see some 40 kpa matches) in Athens; and I for one am excited to see who will ultimately deserve to be in the top 10.” - Trent Callen, 1746 Mentor

 

“The rankings are fairly accurate, but some teams seem to have been placed unnecessarily high due to wins (2974 ranked 3 and 1648 ranked 6), while other teams are underrated (2415 ranked 4, 1683 ranked 10, and 4189 ranked 13). Granted, we haven’t seen fuel become extremely useful in the PCH district yet, which will most like change come State Championships when the only way to break ties will be fouls and fuel.

At the point where fuel is used, teams such as 1648, 2974, and 1746 (already ranked #1) will prove their worth an eliminations alliance moving them to the top of that list. Though they will definitely remain useful, teams that only gear (4188, 2415, and 4941) will most likely fall below those top tier teams, but hold the backbone of the alliances. I just think it’s important to keep in mind that these rankings are only based on the performance of teams prior to the realization that they will need fuel to win elimination matches, and as a result certain teams become over or underrated. Also just because a team get’s lucky doesn’t mean they are good and should place high on a leaderboard. There are definitely teams on the list that deserve banners for their performance.” - Gabe Kupersmith, 4941 Mentor