Saturday, 20 October 2012

Only Connect - Quarter Final Preview

It’s traditional for us to cast a glance over the performances of the 8 first round winners, and see what conclusions we can draw from it going into the quarter finals. Let’s begin with the raw figures: -

The Details

Team Round OneRound TwoConnecting WallMissing VowelsTotalOppositionWinning margin
Wintonians7 10107341816
TEFL Teachers257822193

Well, as we all know , figures only tell a part of the story. They tell you little about the strength of the opposition for one thing. Looking at the table we see the Draughtsmen languish in the bottom half of the table. Indeed, if you were to rank the teams according to the size of their margin of victory, then they would be at the bottom of said table. Yet this is due in no small part to the fact that they were playing against an excellent team in their own right, the Joinees. The losing teams in the last two or three heats just weren’t quite of that calibre.

So if we can only draw so much from the raw figures, what is it that we can actually draw from them ? One thing which does stick out to me is the Wordsmiths’ total on their vowels round. Maybe they just had bad luck on their round, but judging their figures against the other 7 teams, they cannot reckon on having a winning lead after the third round. They have to be underdogs. All of the other teams scored at least 6 in the vowels, so all of them seem to be good ‘vowels’ teams, which means that it looks less likely that any team is going to come from way behind to win in the quarters. Conversely the TEFL teachers’ scores in the first 2 rounds suggest that maybe their general knowledge isn’t quite good enough to make it likely that they will go much further.

There are things to consider which you wouldn’t get from the table above. It’s a fact that no series of Only Connect has yet been won by a team without some serious quiz – and TV quiz – previous experience. All five champion teams have very serious quiz pedigree. Now, quite a few of the teams in the quarters do have some previous TV form, but in particular I look here towards the Footballers, the Cinephiles, and The Draughtsmen. Except for the fact that we at LAM already know that the Cinephiles and Footballers play against each other in this round. On paper it looks cut and dried. However one thing you have to consider is that the Footballers had a bad round on the wall, otherwise their score would have been quite a bit higher. If poked with a stick I’d still place the Clark 50p on the Cinephiles, but a Footballers win certainly wouldn’t be an upset of Foinavon proportions. Whichever of the other teams has to play the Draughtsmen will be up against it, I should think. The Scribes look handy, but they did rely heavily on their captain Dom Tait in their heat. If he is not totally on his game they could struggle. The surprise package of the first round was the Wintonians. I find it difficult to pick a weakness in their performance in their heat . The possibility remains that this performance was just a flash in the pan, but if they perform to this level throughout the competition, then the sky’s the limit for them. Time will tell. Good luck to all 8 teams remaining.


davidbod said...

To help you out, the draw is:
Draughtsmen vs Numerists
Cinephiles vs Footballers
TEFL Teachers vs Scribes
Wordsmiths vs Wintonians

I believe the usual Children in Need special will air between quarters 3 and 4.

dxdtdemon said...

As a Scottish American, I'm torn between rooting for the Draughtsmen and the Cinephiles. But good luck to Nancy and all the remaining Scottish people.

Unknown said...

It's testament to the discretion of all involved that the results never seem to get leaked onto the interweb, enabling us to indulge in pleasant speculation. I've certainly never got an inkling from posts participants have made on blogs or facebook, so thank you all.

Londinius said...

Thanks all

Cheers David. Hmm - pick the winners from that lot !

Hi dxdtdemon - I'm of scottish ancestry myself, and so I tend to have a foot in the camps of English, Welsh and Scottish players. All of which seems to mean I have three feet. Not to mention rooting for quiz friends as well.

Hi Watergrass Jon.

Agreed !

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, great blog.

Is it just a coincidence or does the draw look seeded from your table?

5 v 4
2 v 8
6 v 3
7 v 1

Not quite a perfect 'fixed' draw, but there certainly looks like some sort of logic to it.

dxdtdemon said...

Regardless what nationality you are, one great thing about Only Connect is that it seems that every contestant is interesting, likeable, and intelligent.

Londinius said...

Hi Michael

Thanks for your kind words - welcome to LAM. I couldn't say how the draw for the quarter finals is made, but I don't think it's a simple case of highest against lowest .

Hi dxdtdemon
Speaking as a former contestant - thank you very much !