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Compubookie's Buggy Predictions 2009

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It’s that time again, Buggy lovers young and old. Carnival is upon us. It has been a year of innovation, as seven different teams have come out with new buggies this year. Some look fast, some not so fast. Some old organizations look rejuvenated, and some of the up-and-coming organizations are making more progress. The weather has done all it can to stifle freerolls this spring, but organizations are coming out and looking competitive nonetheless. Last year, I got back on track, picking the men’s and women’s champions; I’m confident in a repeat performance this year. Without further ado, the women’s races look to end up as follows:

Sig Ep’s women will get their buggy across the finish line in under three minutes, which should be good for a sixth-place finish and a Day 2 showing. Sig Nu has a fast new buggy that may just be light enough for women to get through the course. They’ll finish fifth, at the back of a pack in the 2:40–2:50 range. Right there with them will be the women of SPIRIT, fast as ever (if only they had a buggy to match). They’ll finish fourth. Nearing the 2:40 threshold will be Fringe’s A-team women, pushing one of Fringe’s garage-full of fast, light buggies.

The top two teams will likely hold steady from last year. PiKA and SDC seem to have made a technological leap past Fringe last year, and that advantage should keep them on top of the women’s races. PiKA will come in second with a weaker push team. Nobody will match the speed of SDC’s women, who are really only competing with last year’s record. A year of experience for those girls should mean flirting with another sub-2:30 time, but a new record would require quite a few stars to align.

The men’s teams have a familiar feel. The powerhouses of Fringe, PiKA, and SDC are rolling fast again, but SPIRIT and Sigma Nu are back in the game, while Sig Ep and KDR seem to be closing the technology gap. All in all, the men’s competition is shaping up to be competitive and exciting again this year. While I don’t see any new records coming through the chute this time around, the men’s teams will still put on a great show. After crunching the numbers, I’ve settled on a men’s top 10:

Beta Theta Pi is back out on the course this year with as good a push team as anyone. Though I haven’t seen them out often, they could be competitive with better technology. As it is, they’ll round out the top 10 and make a Day 2 appearance on push team strength alone. Coming in ninth place should be Fringe’s solid B team with a speedy downhill time. Eighth place will find another B team, this one from PiKA. It looks like their push team depth is starting to wear itself out, as they will be lucky to have two buggies make Day 2.

When mentioning rejuvenated old organizations, I'll refer to none other than SPIRIT and Sigma Nu. Zoo alumni wouldn’t stand for two years out of the top 10, and they won’t have to. As long as their new buggy doesn’t experience a loss of mass from its newspaper-mâché hatch, the zoo will have a great downhill and a lacking push team; enough for a seventh-place finish. The six spot will go to KDR. They are getting better at building and rolling their buggies, but those push teams that put them in the sub-2:15 range are missing from the equation.

Sneaking into the top five, and taking second place among the Greeks, will be Sig Ep. The men still seem a bit booth-heavy, but seem to be making strides in buggy construction and wheel technology. With one of the largest houses around to field a push team, they’ll roll the course in under 2:15. SPIRIT is also making a comeback, with a rebuilt buggy from their glory days and dedication out at rolls. Look for them to repeat their fourth-place performance from last year, but going sub-2:10 again will prove difficult, especially if they aren’t chasing on the back hills.

The top three will look familiar once again, as Fringe, PiKA, and SDC have all the fastest times I’ve seen this spring. Fringe is sure going to miss those big Beta pushers this year, especially since it looks like their fastest buggy hasn’t been their A-team one. Without Banyan getting the same freeroll times as their other buggies, Fringe has their work cut out for them on the back hills. It will prove difficult enough for them just to hold off SPIRIT's A-team speedsters for third place.

Coming down to the finish, we have the familiar record-breaking pair from last year: PiKA and SDC. They provided us with one of the most exciting race days ever last year, and both look quick again. PiKA had a mishap with the hay bales this fall, but they have looked strong in the spring. However, they will watch a superior push team and technology pass them up on race day. Finally breaking the PiKA streak this year will be the speedy new SDC buggy. White wheels and a black buggy look like a winning combination. If The dorms can keep their back axle far enough away from the hay bales, their track team back hills will sprint to a championship.

Well, there you have it: another year of predictions. Good luck to all the teams. As always, I’ll be there on race day, well hidden in plain sight.

-Compubookie

Buggy Predictions:

Women's
6 - SigEp A
5 - Sigma Nu A
4 - SPIRIT A
3 - Fringe A
2 - PiKA A
1 - SDC A

Men's
10 - Beta Theta Pi
9 - Fringe B
8 - PiKA B
7 - Sigma Nu A
6 - KDR A
5 - Sig Ep A
4 - SPIRIT A
3 - Fringe A
2 - PiKA A
1 - SDC A

The Field

AEPi — The chosen people... chosen to finish last.

Beta — How many Betas does it take to build a fast buggy? Apparently more than 80.

CIA — Don’t set the bar too low; it may never come back up.

Fringe — Beta in the race creates a Problem Child for your push team.

KDR — Is Theta doing your pre-race make-up?

PiKA — Your streak will come crashing to a halt, like your buggy.

Pioneers — Discover some uncharted territory. It’s called Day 2.

SAE — Practice like you perform: one day per weekend.

SDC — Catch the push bar, keep your axles together, and you will break out with a win.

SPIRIT — SPIRIT Buggy ’09: YES WE CAN.

Sig Ep — Race day is always your time of the month, isn’t it?

Sigma Nu — High everywhere but on the leader board.

Phi Kap — So irrelevant, I almost forgot to write this.