[eDebate] Oklahoma's record in historical context...

spmancuso at aol.com spmancuso
Fri Feb 16 15:04:58 CST 2007

 Oklahoma's accomplishments this year are truly fantastic. I congratulate the guys and Jackie for their tremendous year-long performance. It is really difficult to win major tournaments. It's especially difficult to sustain a great year like this at a new program, with very few debaters, and a relatively small coaching staff. 
 The discussion of their Copeland-worthiness got me thinking about historical examples and it didn't take me long to remember two teams I coached with records similar to Oklahoma's this year who did not win the Copeland Award. In fact, neither ended up rated first or second.
 My 1987-88 Michigan team of Mike Green (junior) and Andrew Schrank (sophomore) won Kentucky, Harvard, Dartmouth (a strong open tournament then), and Northwestern, and were in the finals of Wake Forest - and they were ranked #3. The two teams ahead of us were quite good - Dartmouth (Shawn Martin and Rob Wick) and Northwestern (Gordon Mitchell and Ben Attias) - and from established programs, whereas we were in our third year of existence.
 My 1990-91 Michigan sophomore team of Matt Shors and Colin Kahl won Kentucky, Miami (strong national circuit tournament then), Dartmouth and Northwestern, semis of Wake, and ended up ranked #3 - behind Redlands (Marc Rubenstein and Rodger Cole) and Dartmouth (Neal Katyal of Hamdan fame, and Mark Weinhardt).
 I remember that in both of these cases we thought the ultimate rankings were deserved. All four of the teams ahead of us had records our equal or better. Not that we would have turned the award down... ;-)
 Steve Mancuso
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