Same deal as last post, only this time, instead of individuals I tracked entire teams and conferences.
Here’s the table and graph of the top 10 team performances. I split the graph up in two as plotting all 10 teams at once resulted in a big unintelligible mess.
The quick and dirty point scale I used gives way more points to lower finishes and nothing for bonus points, so the NCAA final team scores were quite a bit different. Ohio State won their title with two champs, 4 top 3 finishes and tech falls and pins from Logiebear and BoJo. That kind of production from 4 wrestlers is enough to take the crown. Iowa had more guys in the top 16 but with only 1 finalist, they didn’t get enough NCAA points to match the Buckeyes.
Okie State and Penn State had pretty stellar results for what were ‘reloading’ seasons for both of them. And tough to tell from the numbers here but Missouri also put together quite a season despite coming up tantalizingly short.
Minnesota fans were punished by a pretty steep decline at the tournament from their regular season peak. Injuries and just under performance stymied an otherwise historic senior class’s final season. Edinboro and Cornell both showed once again how you can create perennial contenders with limited resources. VA Tech and Nebraska round out the top 10.
Looks like PSU and OKSt are the preseason favorites this year. I might be leaning Nidknee Lion at the moment but its close, and will likely come down to which team is the healthiest come tournament time. Or we could get a surprise from a dark horse, which would be fun for everyone but Penn State and Oklahoma State.
And here is the table and graphs for conference performances.
I left the Big Ten out of the graphs because they skewed everything with their ridiculously high point totals. We are a looooong way from conference parity. After the B1G there is a pretty clear split between 2 tiers of conferences.
The ACC, MAC & EIWA all started out bunched very tightly together but then separated and cooled off slightly as the season went on. The Big 12 (minus 8) closed the gap by midseason and then drifted down a skosh. All four conferences look to be in rude health going into the 2015-16 season.
Our final four conferences represent a motley collection of programs. The WWC has recently been swallowed by the Big 12, in a attempt to create a proper conference qualifying tournament and to mitigate a blatant affront to math. It is unclear if the accretion of prestige the WWC teams will obtain from the merger will be worth forfeiting the automatic qualifier they previously enjoyed as a separate conference.
The EWL appears to be in the best shape going forward but that is almost entirely due to Edinboro’s outsized production. The hope of the entire wrestling community is that several other resource poor EWL programs can similarly punch above their weight in the upcoming seasons and secure administration support from their respective institutions of higher learning. Cleveland State came perilously close to folding their program this past season.
The Pac-12 is nominally a Power 5 conference but their numbers are swelled by mid majors or straight up minors. The SoCon is entirely populated by minnows with a geographic footprint wholly outside the traditional wrestling belt. I will be rooting for all teams in these conferences to do well.
That’s all I got on the 2014-15 season for now. The first practices of the 2015-16 season just started today so I’d say my timing is perfect!