Azuarc's pre-tournament commentaryEdit
This is the first year where the bracket has not been segregated into distinct decades. After six years of the old decades format becoming rather predictable, we finally have something different. More in the spirit of competitions from other stations, such as Y-100 or WYSP, both long gone now, where the tournaments were wildly mixed up and the results were therefore laughably predictable, it's wholly possible that some new trends will emerge from the MMR listenership. However, I suspect that unlike Y-100's Green Day vs Weezer perennial finals or WYSP's 80's Uber Alles, the MMR listeners will spread things around, at times going for the old classics and at times favoring the new. That is what makes MMR great, and let's hope for a great tournament.
Preston & Steve RegionEdit
Considering P&S got Tool rather than Jaxon, obviously the regions are merely nominal. However, Tool is always the purple elephant in the room. The #1 seed Foo Fighters will rule their fourpack easily, but they will be toast in round 3 when it becomes Tool Time, after U2 falls in round 2.
The more interesting portion of the P&S region is the lower half, where the top seed is (let's all laugh together now) The Rolling Stones. So basically (15) Stevie Ray Vaughn gets a first round bye? Or will the Stones finally show that they have some...well, you know. Barring their resurgence, this half is wide open. Van Halen would be the obvious choice at first, but smart money is on The Grateful Dead being there to greet them in round 3. Unfortunately, round 3's a night match, unlike their first two, so that's probably the end of the line for them. The *ONLY* thing that keeps me from simply saying "Tool wins and there's no questions about it" is that the division finals are at 11 am, which one would imagine is the most unfriendly timeslot available. Much as Pink Floyd dropped last year at 10 PM on a Friday night to Aerosmith, there is at least the glimmer of hope that Tool might not win against either STP or Van Halen. I'm thinking Van Halen wins that match and STP loses it, which makes their confrontation in round two of utmost importance.
Round one - Foo Fighters, Seether, Tool, U2, STP, Van Halen, The Grateful Dead, Stevie Ray Vaughn
Round two - Foo Fighters, Tool, STP, The Grateful Dead
Round three/four - Tool over Stone Temple Pilots
If the P&S region is Tool's stomping ground, this is Metallica's. Completing a one-two punch on the left side of the bracket, the question will be if either of those two bands blink before colliding in the semifinal. Queen will get to try avenge last year's loss in the division finals against Aerosmith if they both live long enough, but there are enough intriguing matches in the lower half that I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't both win their first match. Godsmack vs Bob Marley is going to be a treat, I think, especially at a 5 pm time slot where Marley seems strongest and one would expect that would also be Godsmack's peak time as well. Shinedown/Breaking Benjamin against The Who at 3 will be a good way to keep round two interesting. It will still be Metallica's day if the haters don't intervene. Well, unless Ozzy wins four straight coinflips, 'cause that's how his matches roll.
I don't actually think, in spite of their tournament win last year, that Aerosmith is really all that strong in the tournament. However, the way the bracket plays out, there is a very good chance they live to greet Metallica in round 4. IMHO, it hinges on whether Marley can still maintain good strength at 7 pm, because in the late afternoon he wins easily. And yeah, there's still Ozzy to deal with, who is much too unpredictable.
Round one - Metallica, The Offspring, Shinedown, The Who, Bob Marley, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Nine Inch Nails
Round two - Metallica, Shinedown, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne
Round three/four - Metallica over Aerosmith
The two main contenders here, Led Zeppelin and Rush, are both in the top half of the bracket. I'm suspecting Led Zeppelin wins this unless maybe Iron Maiden returns to their 2010 form where they very nearly schooled the 80's bracket...and then got absolutely destroyed by Rush. OK, never mind. Rush does probably have it in them to beat Zeppelin, who have at least proven in the past that they bleed, and therefore can be killed. They're still the favorites. What's more interesting to me about the top half of the region is how many newcomers there are! The entire left side of the bracket has a lone rookie, Avenged Sevenfold as a 16 seed. In a span of a few matches here we have Yes, Halestorm, and The Black Keys. I doubt any of them will live past round 1 -- especially Yes -- but their presence is intriguing nonetheless.
(14) Sublime could stun (3) The Boss, but (2) AC/DC will not be surrendering their first round to Nickelback. Or their second round to Incubus/Nirvana. Given Nirvana's tournament history, that one would go either way, the band of the 90's (if you had asked anyone DURING the 90's) has not aged well and long since relinquished their title to Pearl Jam. They certainly would be fodder for The Thunder Down Under. Thus, AC/DC only has one dangerous match, most likely against Tom Petty, who has proven in the past he can be a giantkiller, and an 8 pm match is probably in Tom's favor.
Round one - Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Alice in Chains, Rush, [[Tom Petty], Bruce Springsteen, Incubus, AC/DC
Round two - Led Zeppelin, Rush, Tom Petty, AC/DC
Round three/four - Led Zeppelin over Tom Petty
Overall, this appears to be the most entertaining region. ZZ Top won last year as a 16 seed, but that was against (everyone laugh together now) The Rolling Stones. Pink Floyd is the complete opposite end of the spectrum as a 1 seed, and will leave beard paste on the wall before confronting Lynyrd Skynyrd, who poses at least a small threat, having been able to take out Led Zeppelin in the past -- the one year Pink Floyd didn't. (Well, ok, and the Aerosmith bandwagon last year.)
Linkin Park and Green Day should win easily, and clash in a 5pm round two match that could be won by either, but history would favor Linkin Park even if the two have never directly met. Somehow I doubt Linkin Park is up to the task of defeating Pink Floyd, but they did beat Metallica last year in the semis, so don't count that out. Still, it's pretty remote at what would be a 6pm match. Then again, I also wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility for Cage the Elephant to upset them at 11 am in round 1.
The lower half of the bracket also features two very successful MMRch Madness players, both of whom simply could not get out of their region on account of another band that would whoop them every single year. You better believe Bon Jovi and Pearl Jam are looking ahead in the bracket to round 3, but while Pearl Jam should win this, (especially at the dreaded 10 pm Friday time,) it very well could be the Chili Peppers they draw instead, considering BJ vs RHCP is at 9 pm. If you thought time-of-match doesn't affect things, be prepared to be proven wrong in dramatic fashion. (See: Grateful Dead.)
Round one - Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Linkin Park, Green Day, Bon Jovi, RHCP, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam
Round two - Pink Floyd, Linkin Park, RHCP, Pearl Jam
Round three/four - Pink Floyd over Pearl Jam
Unfortunately, my favorite four is laughably predictable, and consists strictly of past winners. Tool, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. If we went from past history, Metallica would beat Tool and Floyd would beat Zeppelin, setting up a rematch of the 2006 semifinal that led to Pink Floyd being crowned the first winner (after beating Pearl Jam in the finals, who they would have to go through this year to get there.) I generally consider wagering on Pink Floyd a safe bet, but not if they have to beat Tool. And, since every single year since they've been included (if you label PJ the winner in '07 rather than BB,) the road to the championship has gone through Tool. Seriously, I do not talk about Tool for no reason, and Tool fans know DARN WELL that the only band that beats them fairly unconditionally in a head-to-head is Metallica.
So what else could happen?
Tool's greatest challenge is in round four, facing either STP or Van Halen. I outlined this earlier, but the only reason this match is even dangerous is because of the timeslot. Van Halen could win that, though probably not any later than 2 pm. But it's at 11 am, so it's wholly possible Van Halen could win the P&S region. If they do, it's unlikely they would carry through to the championship unless some other strange shenanigans happened, but strange shenanigans are how we ended up with a winner of Breaking Benjamin one year, who probably isn't even getting out of round one this year.
Metallica's greatest challenge is dealing with haters. There isn't any one particular match that I could point to and say Metallica looks vulnerable there. They shouldn't lose to the Beastie Boys, but then again, they also shouldn't have lost to The Clash in 2010. Similarly, though decent in their own regard, The Offspring should be a non-issue in round 2, and any of their prospective round 3 opponents. I don't think a noon start helps anyone in the division finals except maybe Queen, who has too long and fraught a road to make it that far. If Metallica loses, it's not going to be because anyone expects it. They're going to lose simply because it was meant to be, as willed by the voters, and they'll probably lose early if it happens. At that point, who wins the region is anyone's guess, but they won't beat Tool. No, not even Aerosmith. Not unless Steven Tyler calls again this year, and has Joe Perry on the line with him.
Led Zeppelin's greatest challenge is Rush. However, unlike the previous two sections, I don't think Led Zeppelin is such an ironclad lock to win their region that it couldn't happen elsewhere. AC/DC tends to fold in the face of a quality opponent, but they certainly have the popularity to stand up to Zep. I think either Rush or AC/DC could put a hurting on Pink Floyd, at which point we would have a legitimate contender for "new winner," since we are definitely flirting with our first repeat. Steven Tyler saved us that disgrace last year (because Tool would have won,) so I'd like to think we can bring in somebody new without outright retiring the past winners.
But that task might fall to Pearl Jam, who is Pink Floyd's greatest challenge. As dominant as I believe Pink Floyd is, there is a SMALL chance of them losing to either Skynyrd or Linkin Park. While Pink Floyd has annually dominated the 70's region, they have decidedly not done well after the regionals, excluding their 2006 victory. If Pearl Jam wins the Matt region, which would be highly appropriate, I'm skeptical if they convince enough listeners to also vote them over Led Zeppelin. Folks are too tired of Pearl Jam to take them at the top. 2007 should have been their year.
A Repeat Champion is InevitableEdit
Given the analysis preceding this, you should be already seeing the writing on the wall, but let me spell it out:
Not counting the two bandwagon winners, there are four champions of MMRch Madness: Floyd, Zeppelin, Metallica, and Tool. Each one is in a different region. Each stomps everything they face into the ground, except each other. So in order to get out of your own region, you will have to deal with one. Then you will face a second one from your neighboring region in the semis. If you're still alive at that point, you'll get a third in the finals. It's like facing three massive bosses in a row at the end of a video game. The only one of those that a band might be relinquished of is the semifinal match, because it's inevitable you'll clash with your own Regional Master before somebody else can beat them. (Besides, who's gonna do it for you?) The final will definitely be one of the two on the opposing side, because they aren't BOTH going to lose prematurely -- you'll probably face whichever killed the other one off. The only reprieve you'll get is your sister region, and that's fairly long odds. I'd bet good money on all four being in the semis.
Basically, the ONLY way I can see a new champion happening, and these are LONG odds, is if Rush beats Led Zeppelin. Rush would then have to win one more match before facing the winner of the Matt region. Rush actually might not have a terrible match-up against Pink Floyd, but I think they still lose, so they need either Linkin Park or Pearl Jam to take them out. At that point, if Rush can hold on until the finals, they get either Tool or Metallica. In four straight tries, Rush has gotten stomped on by Metallica; they BARELY lost their lone outing against Tool. If Tool is the other finalist, Rush might have a chance to beat them, especially since Tool will come with the stigma of being a previous winner and an absolutely terrible A-Z recipient. But short of something crazy happening that builds a bandwagon, I don't think anyone else can win all six matches along the way. I'd put Rush's odds at less than 1%, and everyone else's at almost exactly zero.
But never fear, the Rolling Stones will save us! *gigglesnort*
Got your own predictions? Put them here! By all means, let's get some differing viewpoints for a change.
Ben H's AnalysisEdit
Alright, before I make a fool of myself for these predictions, first I must say great job Azuarc for keeping this wiki up and all you do here. I go over the top every year with WMMR's mmarch maddness and this wikia has the stats and analysis just how I'd like.
Also: this is the first year without Audioslave. Sad to see them fall away out of the public eye over these years.
Azuarc's note: Thanks for the analysis, man! It's nice to know there's somebody else out there looking at this site. I hope you're right about the Foos, because it's one of the few realistic avenues we have to a new winner. Feel free to stick around and help with some of the other pages if you like. If not, simply great to have somebody else on board for analysis.
Azuarc's post contest note: It looks like you are a better predictor than I, sir. My hat is off to you. You nailed that final, and probably would have picked Zeppelin too if you weren't looking for an excuse to avoid all #1 seeds. Curiously, you picked exactly what Matt Kord did, which let him win the in-house office pool at WMMR, or so he claimed when the A-Z began.