|Team||Round One||Round Two||Connecting Wall||Missing Vowels||Total||Opposition||Winning margin|
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.