Per Weak Ankles post in the GP thread:
Anyway, I was sort of reluctant to do this because I don't want to start another flame war, but I thought this would be a great study since there is a control (U.S. Nationals judging) and it involves two very awesome free skates.
So I present to you: Winning at COP, an academic case study. Again the purpose is to discuss the scoring/strategy. No slamming either of the skaters. No conspiracy theory. Just looking at the protocols.
So here are the two programs we'll be
Jason Brown FS, 2014 U.S. Nationals (182.61; 89.27/93.34)
Jeremy Abbott FS 2012 U.S. Nationals FS (183.35; 88.29/95.06)
I picked these two programs because they were the winning skates for that year's segment. The scores are nearly identical. Also there is a distinct difference. Jeremy got a ratified quad; Jason did not.
In addition, this discussion will strictly be on the TES side of the board. PCS is hard to compare because it is two competition. TES isn't perfect either, but at least we can look at BV and get a general idea of how they stacked up.
* The overall base value was nearly identical. Jason edged out with 72.87 v. 72.08 for Jeremy (-0.79)
* Jeremy had a higher jump base value, 58.21 vs. 56.77 for Jason (-1.44 points)
* But Jason also had a higher BV as far as jumps after the halfway mark, 34.87 v. 32.81 (-2.09 points) for Jeremy. That is due to Jeremy making two mistakes - doubling a 3S, and underrotating a 3L -- in his second half. That narrowed the difference in jumps BV.
* Those two errors from Jeremy resulted in a loss of 4.87 points in BV. Jason's UR 3A in the first resulted in a loss of 2.5 points.
* Jason had a higher BV in non-jump elements, 16.10 vs. 13.90 (-2.20 points) for Jeremy. Both had level 4 footwork, but Jason had all level 4 spins, while Jeremy got all level 3s.
* Jason had the highest + GOE overall by a hair with 16.40 vs. 16.21 for Jeremy (-0.19)
* Jeremy had the highest +GOE in jumps with +9.42 vs. 8.27 for Jason (-1.15)
* Jason had the highest +GOE in non-jump elements with 8.13 vs. 6.75 for Jeremy (-1.38), which led to the overall edging.
* Both had negative GOE. Jason lost -1.00 in GOE due to the UR 3A. Jeremy lost 0.90 due to UR 3L.
* Jason edged out Jeremy in overall TES, but only by a hair (+0.98 point)
* Jeremy received higher PCS (+1.72 points) enabling him to get the overall total segment score, again by a hair. (+.74 points)
* Between the lost BV/GOE on two errors (doubled jump/UR loop), he left 5.77 points on the table. Jason on the other hand lost 3.5 points with one jump error.
* Jason also made up some the jump deficiency for not having the quad, by having a strong second half and also by maximizing his points in non-jump elements. However this strategy requires him to skate a clean or nearly clean program. If he botches both axels, he's toast.
* For Jeremy, a quad and two solid 3A, including one in the second half, gave him breathing room for a few mistakes. However, if he makes too many mistakes on other jumps, he loses any advantage he has with the quad/second-half 3A.
So there you have it folks, two different strategies that when implemented well can have similar results (winning the FS at U.S. Nationals). I hope this sheds some useful light for everyone.
I think this also shows the different strengths and qualities of both skaters and why both should be considered great as well.
And finally, what happens when combine those two strategies? (a quad + a strong, clean second half?) Here you go.