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The Morning Line – Tacoma Round 1
The Morning Line – Tacoma Round 1

Cannon Cravens on 247 Red Dawn:

Cravens rode this bull at a lower level event in Jackson, Wyoming, last summer for 81.5 points. That’s an unusually low score for Red Dawn, who has been ridden 10 times, with four of those going for round wins. This isn’t the easiest bull in the round, but he’s a great draw at the UTB level.

Cody Teel on Y1 Crazy Days:

Crazy Days may be a decent draw for Teel, but in general terms he’s not. This is a bull with short round-level difficulty, but we don’t see often see him in short rounds because he typically doesn’t produce short round-level scores.

There are two primary measurables worth looking at for bulls at the highest level of competition: their performance level (what kind of bull scores and ride scores they produce), and an index of their performance plus their difficulty (how hard they are to ride for average and high-level riders). Performance and difficulty do not necessarily correlate in bulls, but both are important. Bulls with low performance are excluded from UTB level events, but is possible to for a bull to have world class difficulty and unacceptably low performance. Such a bull would score low in the index, and the reason for assessing difficulty with the index is that it paints a clearer picture of what a bull is about and what round he might belong in. Most UTB bulls look the same in both numbers. Long round caliber bulls usually look like long round bulls in both straight performance numbers and index score.

If we look at Crazy Days using these two measurables, his performance makes him look like an average long round bull with ~42-point bull scores who produces 84-87 point rides. The index has him as a low-level short round bull, but you can see that the reason for his high index is mostly his difficulty. His difficulty comes from the fact that doesn’t really have a set pattern, and he can be heavy. His performance is lower because of his lack of speed and athleticism. He’s a defensive lineman kind of bull. While he’s not the best draw in this round, Teel is a good enough rider to overcome whatever this bull throws at him.

Dakota Buttar on 33 The Hangman:

Buttar was 89.25 on this bull to win second in the short round in Glendale about a year ago. What you see is what you get with Hangman. He’s a solid long round performer, and his difficulty index has him as a solid long round bull as well. He’s ridden way more often by left-handed riders.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on 342 Pound Sand:

This should be a slam dunk for Vieira. Pound Sand is 5-8 against lefty riders. He’s a by-the-book spinner who goes to the left and has great timing. On top of that, Vieira is 2-for-2 against him over the past couple of seasons. This may not be enough bull to win the round, but Vieira will almost certainly get a score here.

Derek Kolbaba on 315 Fist City:

Fist City is 20-5 in his career, but he’s 3-4 against left-handed riders. He can put up big numbers at times, but he may also be just average. If he has his best day here and Kolbaba does too, this could be a round win, but nothing is certain in this matchup.

Kaique Pacheco on 400 Morning Wish:

This matchup will be a big deal for this bull. Morning Wish has been ridden five times in nine career outs, but Pacheco will be the best rider he’s ever faced by a mile. This kind of matchup between and newer bull who has proven rideable at the lower levels and a PBR Top 5-caliber rider happens reasonably often and almost always goes the rider’s way.

Stetson Lawrence on 110 Suspicious Minds:

If you compare this bull to Crazy Days, they have a similar performance level, but Suspicious Minds is far easier to ride, particularly for left-handed riders. He doesn’t often give up round wins, but Rubens Barbosa won round two in Nampa on him last fall.

Marco Eguchi on 05 Humberto:

This is a good draw for Eguchi, and he should at least get a qualified ride here. Humberto is just good enough to be here in terms of performance, but his difficulty index is well below the UTB average even for long round bulls.

Ruger Piva on B719 Golden:

This is one of the better bulls to have in this round, especially for Piva. Although Golden has only 22 career outs, Piva has been on him twice and rode him both times. They met at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo last summer, where Piva won second in the short round. In November they met again at a PBR event in New Town, North Dakota, where Piva was 88 points in the short round.

Joe Frost on 436 Midnight Rain:

Midnight Rain is 12-1 in his career and 5-0 at the UTB level. The one ride came by Sean Willingham, and that that is significant. Frost has a lot in common with Willingham and in some sense he’s a better version of Willingham. This won’t be an easy bull to ride, but this could be good for Frost.

Chase Outlaw on 16B Budakon:

This is clearly the marquee matchup in this round. Budakon is a tweener who appears in short rounds pretty often, but he’s in a long round here. He’s capable of 44 to 45-point bull scores and he’s consistently difficult to ride. Outlaw is at the top of the world standings right now, and he didn’t get there by falling off bulls. Both bull and rider will be tested here.

35 facts about the Top 35 from the summer run
The Morning Line – Billings Round 3