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South Central Preview - Southern Fried Smackdown

This Friday will mark the beginning of the third WFTDA regional, set in Atlanta, GA appropriately named the Southern Fried Smackdown. What may not be appropriately named is the region, South Central. What exactly is central about Florida? No one knows. Anyway, after the quality of competition, at least on the scorecard, of the North Central Region last week, I'm not so sure this region will live up to the elevated expectations. After the East, the South Central has the widest gap from top to bottom in terms of team rank.

The top two seeds are squarely the focus of this weekend's action, as Texas has had an exceptional season thus far with their only loss being an 8-point neutral track showdown with Gotham in Connecticut. Kansas City's two losses also come to teams at the top of the East with a 101-point blowout at the hands of Philly at the ECE and a 20-point heartbreaker at home to Charm City in a game where the Roller Warriors couldn't get Charm's power jams in check. Since then, Kansas City has been on a role with a 69-point win over Houston and most notably, a 100-point domination of Duke City. The same Duke City squad that ended the defense of Kansas City's 2007 national championship in 2008 Western Regionals 132-117 keeping the Warriors out of the national tournament. The last time Texas and Kansas City met was a few months before that Duke loss when the hometown Roller Warriors won in a comeback 1-point instant classic which happened to be Kansas City's first win ever over their big sisters from the south. Could the championship game have more storylines going into it if the top two seeds meet?

1: Texas Rollergirls (#4, 6-1)
2: Kansas City Roller Warriors (#8, 6-2)
3: Houston Roller Derby (#19, 3-1)
4: Dallas Derby Devils (#28, 6-1)
5: Atlanta Rollergirls (#21, 6-7)
6: Nashville Rollergirls (#31, 6-2)
7: Tampa Bay Derby Darlins (#27, 2-4)
8: West Texas Roller Dollz (#53, 2-2)
9: No Coast Derby Girls (#51, 3-6)
10: Memphis Roller Derby (#42, 4-2)

Champion: Texas. The originators of the modern game seem to be too strong for the rest of the region. The Austin ladies have shown no weaknesses this season and have solidified themselves as one of the top 5 teams in the country.

Ticket-punchers: Texas, Kansas City, and Houston. Kansas City is the decisive second team in this region especially after the 145-76 win over the 3-seed Houston in August. 3rd place is where arguments for a few teams could be made from the 3-seed down to the 6-seed but the Derbytron and WFTDA agree that Houston is the third best team in this region.

Team most likely to play above their seed: Atlanta. Last week's North Central dark horse was easy to pick, the 10-seed Burning River seemed to be much better than the 7-seed Grand Raggidy and they proved themselves to be just that with a 130-66 win. This week, however, no one seems to stick out, despite the large number of discrepincies between the WFTDA ranks and the Derbytron ranks. The way the matchups work out with the tournament structure, there don't seem to be a lot of opportunities for the lower seeded teams. However, 5-seed Atlanta will matchup with 4-seed Dallas in both teams' first game. Atlanta is ranked 7 spots higher than Dallas in the Derbytron rankings and have a good opportunity to keep themselves in the nationals race.

Predicted finish:
1: Texas
2: Kansas City
3: Houston
4: Atlanta
5: Dallas
6: Nashville
7: Tampa Bay
8: No Coast
9: Memphis
10: West Texas

Update: The predicted finish of No Coast and West Texas has changed due to the updated standings after adding two No Coast wins from earlier this season. The Assassination City and Northwest Arkansas games were inexplicably left out. This was realized after reading DNN's South Central Preview.

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