If you go solely by points gained over performances in San Antonio last week, it might seem that few corps put on much of an increase in points in one week. Granted, it's almost impossible to compare scores from different shows with different judges, but an average score gain of 1.91 from each corps' final performance at last weekend's DCI San Antonio event is by all accounts a relatively small increase in one week. All corps except Blue Stars went up in score compared to the numbers from San Antonio, Colts went up an impressive 3.825 with Southwind going up 3.325 and Pioneer 3.175. Phantom Regiment added 2.575 and Spirit from JSU 2.1, followed by Madison Scouts at 1.975. Blue Devils added 1.2 with some new changes in the show and Boston added 1.1, with the Cavaliers putting an additional 1.025 on the board. Blue Stars scored .6 less than the corps did in San Antonio. Such a brutally straight numbers analysis is quite possibly not fair, but as the season approaches its end, it's next to impossible to not start looking at such numbers in search of meaning. Blue Devils (1st-92.55) continued to edge the Cavaliers (2nd-91.95), largely on the basis of a .45 spread in music captions. Blue Devils weren't lower than second in any caption, with a single third place in one sub-caption, Brass Musicianship, and that being only .2 under Phantom Regiment (accounting for only .1 once, one remembers to divide that in half as one must do with all captions and sub-captions that aren't located under the General Effect (GE) banner). Blue Devils took GE Music, Visual Performance, Music Ensemble and Percussion tonight, with the Cavaliers taking the GE Visual, Visual Ensemble and Color Guard captions. Phantom Regiment (3rd-89.95) took Music Brass but placed third in Music Ensemble, also taking third place across the board in both General Effect captions and all three visual captions, the latter accounting for .85 of the corps' deficiency to its cross-state rivals. Most of the rest of the spread between Phantom and Cavaliers came in the .8 gain Cavaliers had in General Effect Visual. Phantom's winning spread in Music Brass of .1 over Blue Devils and .2 over Cavaliers (remember to divide those caption scores in half for the exact contribution made to the overall score) wasn't enough to create any serious movement upward. It's simple to analyze how Boston Crusaders (4th-85.60) did on the sheets. The corps took fourth place in every caption. Colts (5th-82.65) added 1.5 in one week to the corps' fifth place overall GE score. (All captions were fifth place except for sixth place finishes in Visual Performance and Music Percussion.) The corps gained 1.3 in Visual, mostly in Performance and Ensemble categories. The corps' music scores improved by 1.025 – all the gains accounting for the corps' 3.825 improvement over the evening show in San Antonio last Saturday. Spirit from JSU (6th-81.30) took fifth in Visual Performance and Music Percussion, seventh in Music Ensemble, eighth in Music Brass and sixth in everything else. Just going by raw scores, perhaps the most interesting story of the night was the .6 overall drop by Blue Stars (7th-79.45). Sixth place in Music Ensemble, eighth in GE Visual and Visual Performance and seventh in all other captions, the corps took a massive hit (since last week's San Antonio afternoon show) in General Effect Music, dropping a full 1.3 in that caption alone and more than accounting for the .6 move backward. The corps also experienced a .2 drop in General Effect Visual. With the exception of Music Visual and Percussion (each coming in .2 under the corps' San Antonio score (again remember to divide by two for overall contribution to the final score), every other corps' caption went up. Visual Ensemble even went up by .9 (adding .45 to the total score), so that 1.3 drop in GE Music was a killer, accounting for much of the corps' 1.85 scoring deficiency to Spirit from JSU. (Last week at San Antonio prelims, Blue Stars beat Spirit by .85.) The bright spot for the Madison Scouts (8th-78.60) was sixth place in Music Brass. GE Visual and Visual Performance captions took seventh and all else took eighth. The group made a .9 gain over last weekend's San Antonio afternoon event in GE Visual, muted by a .4 drop in GE Music. The visual captions increased overall by .95. Just .85 under Blue Stars in Indianapolis, the corps gained 1.725 on its cross-state rivals in one week. Southwind (9th-76.10) was ninth in every caption, but again, picking up 3.325 since San Antonio in the process. Pioneer (10th-72.25) was 10th in every caption while picking up 3.175 in one week. Since there was only one corps in each the Division II and Division III parts of the competition, there is nothing to compare between corps. Colt Cadets (1st-74.65) took the honors in Division II and Capital Sound (1st-74.45) did the same in Division III. As of the time of this writing, corps were still competing in Denver, Colo. An even more fascinating exercise will come from trying to compare scores from two different shows under two different sets of judges. It may not make total sense, but hey, what else are we to do with our time heading into the last two weeks of the season?
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