Compubookie 2023

Editor’s Note: Compubookie’s predictions do not reflect the opinion of the BAA. Looking for the predictions from Mecha Jockey? You’ll find them in the 2023 Raceday Preview, which you can get with your membership!

Greetings, Buggy lovers. Spring is in the air, unlike last year, when all that was in the air was that virus I passed to all of you on the hills. This year, spring smells foul. It’s coming from one particular truck… oh, that’s Fringe’s new build, aptly named after the smell of rotting garbage and gas leaks. The only surprise from this team would be if they make it the whole weekend without a fire safety violation. Likewise, SigEp is doing nothing of note, and it would be foolish to expect their brakes to be good enough to pass drops. And DG is participating again, this time with a slightly newer Fringe buggy. At this rate they’ll be rolling Banyan by 2025! Regardless, they’re rumored to be working on a build of their own.

The biggest news this year is that Raceday will be run without defending champions SDC. In a stroke of mustache-twirling genius, Sweepstakes disqualified all of SDC for undermining the credibility of a fabricated cheating accusation. Cue the old laughing Republicans meme! Andrew Carnegie would be proud. The rest of us, fortunately, get to enjoy an actual race for the first time in a decade, at the low price of a small asterisk. Although it seems SDC has been saved from the embarrassment of a spectacular failure, with their buggies of late equally likely to eject a wheel or drive straight across the Schenley Bridge.

Also missing this year is SAE, who might be gone for good. The last buggy news out of their house was something about square wheels and an attempt to link themselves to Michael Jackson. These are not signs of good decision making.

Congrats to Robobuggy on merging with Atlas and acquiring a curb-smashing stroller. Here’s an idea: go find MECHAJOCKEY, strap it to that pile of scrap, and shove it off the Panther Hollow bridge. The lone surviving robotic entrant has been seen navigating the course autonomously this year, heralding the coming singularity we all deserve.

SigNu has a sleek new trike this year, their first since the alumni who run their team were students. It’s the fastest new build on the course, but paired with your typical SigNu push team, the only excitement it offers will be a pass in the chute during finals.

Apex, with the “this shouldn’t be impressive” award as the only org to run more than two teams last year and not DQ any of them, is out again with another new trike. They’re sticking to the fire theme despite the obvious shortage of good names and paint jobs. It’s an improvement on their previous build, but they still can’t build anything as fast as Firefly, despite six years of trying. This is the year for them to best their org record, but it won’t be enough for a top three finish yet.

On the topic of DQs (it’s a theme), last year’s “cuts both ways” award goes to Spirit, whose third fastest women won first place with the slowest time since ‘99, but whose men DQed with a fourth place time. Hey Spirit: maybe you should spend less time analyzing Lane’s lines and more time thinking about lane lines. It’s unclear how they intend for their $20,000 alumni fundraiser to pay off, as they appear to have nothing to show for it but even bigger truck speakers. Even so, the field is slow enough that they should be good for a top three finish on both sides, and a top-tier dance party before, during, and after the races.

PiKA, whose last win came under the Bush administration, finally has a clear opening to shoot for the cup. Unfortunately, their organization is held together by naught but black duct tape and an upside down tent, and Banshee continues to post slower times down the hill with each passing year. This year would have been theirs, but with mediocre speeds across all splits, they’re once again in line for their typical second and third place trophies.

CIA, as large, weird, and obnoxiously yellow as ever, has so many pushers that they created an entirely new all-gender racing division just so they could have a ninth team. Their buggies are equal parts fast and bizarre. It’s too bad they botched their new build’s layups so badly it had to be taken out back and put down, because we all love to see what laughs the “funhouse mirror” design philosophy spews out next. They are a shoo-in for the women’s title, and will barely eke out a win on the men’s side, thanks to petitions to thin out the competition and their typical helping of pusher bribery.

And that, buggy fans, is your definitive look at Raceday 2023. The field is slow but tight this year, so it will be an exciting event decided by mere fractions of a second. I can’t wait to see this year’s races, but you’ll never notice me.

Men’s:

  1. CIA A
  2. Spirit A
  3. PiKA A
  4. Apex A
  5. SigNu A
  6. SigEp A

Women’s:

  1. CIA A
  2. PiKA A
  3. Spirit A
  4. CIA B
  5. Fringe A
  6. Apex A

All Gender:

  1. Five good people finally being offered basic human dignity
  2. The construct of gender, looming like a spectre over college sports
  3. Icarus, inexplicably painted green white and red
  4. A pink “Fringe” buggy pursued by a police officer Ken doll
  5. The Pirates Pierogies
  6. Apex B

The Field

Apex – Tires, try-hards, and trikes
CIA – How many teams can your chair DQ this year?
DG – Are all your sisters on the same team, or does PiKA still get first pick?
Fringe – The buggies you’re loaning DG are better than the ones you’re building
PiKA – Chute vomit to gatekeep rolls from other teams is a hell of a strategy
SAE – Too much dealing, not enough wheeling
SDC – Surely your regularly scheduled org DQ will make you friendlier
SigEp – Solid monopoly on the non-competitive fraternity team niche
SigNu – Buggy’s first Ohio-based team
Spirit – Didn’t you promise your alumni bankroll a new build?
Robobuggy – It’s 2023, a buggy driving itself isn’t impressive anymore. WeinerGPT, anyone?
Sweepstakes – Elections have consequences.

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