Monday, 18 September 2023

Power Rankings - W9

#BetweenTheSheets: Power Rankings - W9

The emergence of #TeamUpset?

If you are a loyal #TwineTime blog reader (and of course you are, right? 🤣), you are familiar with the #TeamUpset term.

The blog started the #TeamUpset reference years ago, previously noted as the "Dark Horse" in the preview posts.

A #TeamUpset is a team who is entered into an event, often ranked outside the Top 20 or 25, and is a team who may not be considered a title contender but a playoff challenger.

Fast forward to this past weekend and we are seeing those #TeamUpset challengers making deep playoffs runs and becoming tour title contenders.

If we look at last week's #TourLifePredictions post, there were some #TeamUpset identifiers who ended up turning some heads.

The first team to look at is Germany's Team Kapp. The two-time world junior silver medalists entered the weekend ranked #58 in the world and made a run to the final at the Alberta Curling Series Major in Beaumont. The team qualified A-side and knocked off some higher ranked teams along the way, including Netherlands' Team Gosgens (#15) twice, USA's Team Casper (#28) and #NextGen Team Tao (#45).

On the women's side, at the Mother Club Fall Curling Classic, Team Campbell made a similar run to the finals. While they may have come up short in the final vs. Team Strouse, it was still a "surprising" run for the new look team. Entering the weekend ranked #33 in the world, Campbell knocked off higher ranked Team Anderson (#30) twice and Team Martin (#32).

The Mother Club produced a #TeamUpset winner on the men's side though with #88 ranked Team Maeda from Japan picking up the tour title with a finals win over fellow #TeamUpset challenger Team McDonald (#74).

Speaking of Team Strouse, they entered the season with a ton of #TeamUpset buzz. And look at them now. 2 tour titles to their credit. They opened the season ranked #28 in the world. They are now sitting at #20, moving up towards a future #gsoc invite perhaps? And they are climbing the #PowerRankings mountain, but more on that below.

And what about the men's results at the KW Fall Classic? A final contested between #38 Team Stocker and #60 Team Champ, with the lower ranked Champ coming out on top to take their first title of the season. Who saw that coming?

If the blog goes back one month to the Season Preview posts, 5 teams were identified as #TeamUpset teams to watch this season.

For the women's teams, here is how they are looking:

🥌 Team Skrlik: #21 -> #22 - Won their opening event in Leduc, struggled in Edmonton. Consistency is what is needed this season to help them keep moving up.

🥌 Team E. Kim: #26 -> #23 - A QF and SF finish in their 2 events thus far have them moving up. Watch out!

🥌 Team Anderson: #30 -> #30 - 2 qualifiers out of 3 events is a good start to retain their ranking.

🥌 Team B. Peterson: #37 -> #36 - A tour title in their season opener but a tough TB loss this past weekend holds them from moving up the rankings more.

🥌 Team Han: #116 -> #147 - They haven't hit the ice yet this season but are entered to compete this upcoming weekend at the Alberta Curling Series Major in Beaumont.

On the men's side, the #TeamUpset teams were:

🥌 Team Knapp: #23 -> #32 - A drop in rankings only because they have yet to hit the ice this season.

🥌 Team Schneider: #28 -> #27 - Tough season opener was followed up with a finals appearance in Edmonton. A team on the rise.

🥌 Team Hartung: #37 -> #42 - Similar to Team Knapp, a drop not because of lack of results but rather waiting to see them hit the ice for the first time.

🥌 Team Karagoz: #58 -> #64 - Similar to Knapp and Hartung. Waiting for that first event of the season.

🥌 Team Park: #75 -> #53 - Korean champs reached a final in their first tour event at the beginning of August. They will be in Okotoks this upcoming weekend, opening against Team Koe.

In the early part of the season, we are seeing more of those #TeamUpset results where teams in the 30's or lower are knocking off teams ranked above them.

Thus far, we are seeing slightly more of those results in the women's game. Could this signal more parity?

Or, for the men's and women's game, does this just mean the division line between the Top 10/15 teams and "the rest" is growing?

We will have to see how the rest of the season plays out.

But if you love chaos and parity in sports, keep your eyes on those #TeamUpset challengers at tour events. You never know who the next "surprise" will be!

Also, note the blog brought back the old school "Rankings" logo image. This was the image used for the very first Power Rankings blog post back in September 2017.

Should the blog bring back an old classic?


🥌 KW Fall Classic (W) - Team McCarville (NOnt) def. Team Morrison (SCO): The Krista McCarville - Andrea Kelly new partnership got off to winning start as the new look Team McCarville won their season opener. McCarville went 3-1 to qualify and picked up playoff wins over Team Froud (QF) and last week's tour winner Team Ha (SF) to reach the final. Morrison, last week's runner-up, also went 3-1 in the RR and scored playoffs win over Team Galusha (QF) and Team E. Kim (SF).

🥌 KW Fall Classic (M) - Team Champ (ONT) def. Team Stocker (SUI): The #TeamUpset Battle for the Title! Sometimes the #CSideGrind life can make for a long weekend but yield a positive ending. For Alex Champ and his team from Toronto, that was the case. They needed to grind out back-to-back C-side games to reach the playoffs. Once there, they knocked off A-side qualifier Team Craik (QF) and B-side qualifier Team Dickie (SF) to make the final. The path was much shorter for Stocker, qualifying out of the A-side and winning playoffs games against Team MacEwan (QF) and Team Asselin (SF) to reach the final with an undefeated record.

🥌 Womens Masters Basel (W) - Team Tirinzoni (SUI) def. Team Hasselborg (SWE): The delayed start to the season did not slow down the defending world champs, including score a 6 in the final to bring out handshakes and secure the win. Tirinzoni went perfect on their season opening weekend, scoring a 4-0 RR record before playoff victories over Norway's Team Roervik (QF, rematch of last year's world final) and Denmark's Team Dupont (SF, rematch of last year's Euro final won by Dupont). For Hasselborg, they also entered the final undefeated after posted an identical 4-0 RR record and playoff wins over Team Swedish rival Team Wrana (QF) and Italy's Team Constantini (SF).

🥌 Alberta Curling Series Major (M) - Team Sluchinski (AB) def. Team Kapp (GER): A final worthy of two A-qualifiers, entering with undefeated records. A game of two different ends with Kapp dominating early and Sluchinski owning the second half. The difference was the Alberta squad scoring 4 in 7 to take their first lead. Sluchinski poured it on in the second half of the game to take control and pick up the title. Qualifying A-side meant both teams had byes to Monday morning's SF round with Sluchinski defeated Switzerland's Team Brunner and Kapp knocking off Netherlands' Team Gosgens. Both teams entered their SF games on Monday morning with more than 24hrs off in between their A-qualifier wins Saturday afternoon. 

🥌 Mother Club Fall Curling Classic (W) - Team Strouse (USA) def. Team Campbell (MB): Say goodbye to the #TeamUpset tag for Team Strouse as they pick up their 2nd tour title of the season. And they did so in undefeated fashion! They posted a 4-0 record in the RR and knocked off Japan's Team Tabata (QF) and #Fav Team Cameron (SF) in the playoffs. For new look Team Campbell, their first event of the season saw them post a 3-1 RR record, avoid any of the three TB round games, and playoffs wins over USA's Team Anderson (QF) and Team Martin (SF).

🥌 Mother Club Fall Curling Classic (M) - Team Maeda (JPN) def. Team McDonald (MB): After a SF appearance last weekend, Japan's Team Maeda went one round deeper and picked up the big win to claim their 1st title of the season. The #86 ranked team in the world qualified for the playoffs via the B-side bracket and picked up playoff wins over fellow B-side qualifier Team Walter (QF) and A-side qualifier Team Wiebe (SF). For Team McDonald, they reached the playoffs via the A-side qualifier and scored playoff wins over C-side qualifier from USA Team Sampson (QF) and B-side qualifier Team Wendling (SF) to enter the final undefeated.

Time to check out how last week's #TourLifePredictions went and hand out the weekly grade. Here is the summary:

🥌 KW Fall Classic (W) - 7 of 8 playoff qualifiers, including predicting the runner-up.

🥌 KW Fall Classic (M) - 3 of 8 qualifiers. #Yikes

🥌 Womens Masters Basel (W) - 7 of 8 qualifiers, including predicting a finalist.

🥌 Alberta Curling Series Major (M) - 5 of 6 qualifiers (although I did think this was an 8-team qualifier so my bad!), including predicting a finalist.

🥌 Mother Club Fall Curling Classic (W) - 8 of 8 qualifiers (although I did think this was a 12-team qualifier).

🥌 Mother Club Fall Curling Classic (M) - 5 of 8 qualifiers, including predicting a finalist.

Overall, the predictions went 35 of 46 qualifiers and 4 finalists.

This is an average week of predictions and I should downgrade myself for incorrectly predicting how many qualifiers were allocated in 2 of the events.

I think this is a C+ week rockheads. So far the worst week of the season. Ugh!

And, for complete transparency, the blog will show a summary of the grades received for the predictions.

W8 - C+

Well, that was a rough week. Ouch!

Lets head to the mountain and see if the results caused a shake up once again this week.

Remember the parenthesis number behind each team is where they were ranked in last week's Power Rankings post.



1. Team Mouat (LW: 1)

Last Week: Did Not Compete (DNC)

The only way a team can take over the top spot right now on the men's mountain is to be entered into the same event as Team Mouat and defeat them. Even then, if it is the playoffs, it might not be enough. Yes, their grip at #1 is that firm right now.

2. Team Whyte (2)

Last Week: DNC

The Scottish 1-2 Punch retains their spots atop the world curling mountain. Whyte could get another shot at their rivals this weekend at the Shorty Jenkins Classic.

3. Team Gushue (3)

Last Week: DNC

The Canadian champs finally make their season debut this upcoming weekend at the Shorty Jenkins Classic.

4. Team Retornaz (4)

Last Week: DNC

Similar to the Top 3 teams above them, the Italian Stallions will be back on the ice this weekend in Cornwall as well. The Top 4 teams on the mountain all competing at the same event? This could get interesting.

5. Team Dunstone (5)

Last Week: DNC

The Sheriff will have his guns ablaze this weekend in Okotoks as the team kicks off their season.

6. Team Bottcher (6)

Last Week: DNC

After a tour title last weekend, Bottcher took the weekend off to clean some hardware and prepare for another trophy run this weekend in Okotoks.

7. Team Schwaller (7)

Last Week: DNC

The Swiss enjoy some time off...but will they retain their spot while their competition hits the ice?

8. Team Sluchinski (NR)

Last Week: Alberta Curling Series Major - Champions

3 tour events for the season. 3 qualifiers. 2 titles. Yup, about time the mountain acknowledges the Alberta boys and moves them into the Top 10. Are they the early favourites for the Boston Pizza Cup?

9. Team Hoesli (8)

Last Week: DNC

See above with Swiss counterparts Team Schwaller. Hoesli is not scheduled to compete again until the Stu Sells Tankard at the beginning of October.

10. Team Edin (9)

Last Week: DNC

The King makes his return to Canadian curling ice this upcoming weekend in Cornwall at the Shorty Jenkins. He may be from Sweden but you know he will be a huge crowd favourite.

Honourable Mention: Team Brunner, Team Schneider, Team Kleiter, Team Bryce, Team Waddell 


1. Team Homan (LW: 1)

Last Week: Did Not Compete (DNC)

The team made their climb to #1 last week and are enjoying their stay atop the mountain. But for how long?

2. Team Einarson (2)

Last Week: DNC

After losing top spot, the Canadian champs are plotting their revenge to overtake their main rivals.

3. Team Hasselborg (4)

Last Week: Womens Masters Basel - Finalist

And the Swedish Vikings continue their climb, following up a tour win a few weeks ago with a run to the finals this past weekend. The "old" Team Hasselborg looks to be back on the ice. Competitors watch out!

4. Team Wrana (5)

Last Week: Womens Masters Basel - QF

Another strong weekend of curling play. Another playoff loss to rivals Hasselborg. But the results keep them moving up...yet still behind their Swedish counterparts.

5. Team Fujisawa (3)

Last Week: DNC

The Japanese champs enjoyed some time off. But watch out for them in Beaumont this upcoming weekend.

6. Team Strouse (7)

Last Week: Mother Club Fall Curling Classic - Champions

And the climb up the mountain continues for the young US team. Chalk up another tour title and they are pushing for a spot among the Top 5.

7. Team Tirinzoni (NR)

Last Week: Womens Masters Basel - Champions

Well that is how you kick start your new season, picking up huge wins over strong European rivals and taking home the title on home nation ice. Welcome back to the Top 10 for the world champions. The blog never forgot about you. 😉

8. Team Jones (6)

Last Week: DNC

Only a drop due to Team Strouse picking up their 2nd tour title and Tirinzoni picking up their 1st in their season opener against a strong European field. Jones is back on the ice this weekend at the Shorty Jenkins.

9. Team Morrison (HM)

Last Week: KW Fall Classic - Finalist

Back-to-back tour finals and qualifying in all 3 tour events played this season earns Scotland's Team Morrison a much deserving spot in the Top 10. And no rest for the wicked either as they are entered in the Shorty Jenkins field this upcoming weekend. Their first game....vs. Tirinzoni!

10. Team Gray-Withers (8)

Last Week: DNC

The mountain is not ready to dust off the #NextGen champions. Their spot among the Top 10 is on loose gravel right now though as top teams are coming for their spot on the mountain as well.

Honourable Mention: Team Ha, Team McCarville, Team Roervik, Team Cameron, Team Gim

Agree? Disagree? What would YOUR Top 10 look like?

Share your thoughts with the #PowerRankings and reveal your Top 10 mountain on social media or in the comment section below.


There are some big tour events hitting the schedule this week, including the Shorty Jenkins Classic, ATB Okotoks Classic, Rick Rowsell Classic, the women's Alberta Curling Series Major and many others.

If the blog can survive the work week, it will return later in the week to break down all the action.

Can #TeamUpset prevail once again?

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