Comparing the D1 NCAA wrestling rankings of 01.05.16

I already had the 1/5/16 rankings from Flo, Intermat, the Open Mat and Wrestling Report in a pivot table so I decided to dig deeper and see how how all the rankers compared to each other (ditto for the teams).

Narrowed it down to 6 contending programs. No slight intended to any teams not included (or rankers). And this analysis uses actual ranks, not the point system I typically use.

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125: Incredible consistency. Just a tiny variance for Mizzou’s McGee at the fringes of the top 10, but otherwise places 1 through 5 are all set. No need to bother with the NCAAs I guess, we got the paper champs right here! (haha jk, obvs)

133: Everyone agrees Clark will be Iowa’s second finalist (but not champ). Slight discrepancies elsewhere but nothing too noteworthy, except that TOM seems to have presciently left Kaid Brock unranked, he being the talented Cowpoke frosh that appears to have unfortunately suffered an injury at the Scuffle that will keep him out of the line up for a while.

141: Ah, finally some serious discombobulation. Everyone’s waiting to see if Grothus can make 141 and solve that weight for Iowa, and everyone agrees Heil is the favorite (for now), and that Micah Jordan is top 6 or 7, but then: CHAOS UNLEASHED. Manley with a spread of 5 betwixt the rankers, and the twin enigmas of Solomon Chisko and Jimmy Guilibon with table-high spreads of 8 (with one special exception, who we’ll get to later). Don’t ask for my opinion how this weight should be ranked, it is and shall remain a mystery.

149: Order is restored and the terror of the unknown subsides. Retherford and Sorenson will be finalists; Mayes a contender. Collica is a sturdy competitor who has not yet turned the corner and VA Tech and Ohio State await the returned of the injured starters. Moving right along.

157: Is Edwin Cooper Jr a top 20 157 pounder? Only 50% of our rankers agree. WR also holds Brascetta out of the rankings due to inaction. Otherwise he is a consensus top 5, along with RS freshman phenom Nolf. John Smith still hasn’t removed his prodigious progeny’s redshirt yet, and no one expects Chance Martseller to match his lofty high school expectations.

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165: It’s the Ringer and BoJo Show! After that? Pretty much no idea. Lewis, McFadden and Morelli have been all over the map (but usually in that order). McFadden doing especially impressive work as a true frosh at a monstrously competitive weight. I was undefeated in 4 years wrestling his high school 15+ years ago, no big deal, not tryna brag, just sayin.

174: A new favored challenger has emerged from holiday tournament wreckage. Bo Nickal is the unanimous number one following his Oh-Double-You performance at the Southern Scuffle. The rest of the picks are remarkably stable, and all 6 contending team have a potential All American at what will surely be a pivotal weight class at MSG come March.

184: This weight is owned by the EIWA and several other non-traditional powers, though all our six teams are represented in the top 20 by all four services. TOM switches Brooks and Miklus’ ranks, contrary to their peers. Otherwise a very stable weight.

197: 30 Helens agree, PSU, Mizzou and Iowa will take this weight class 1, 2, 3, in that order, respectively. Intermat is slightly higher Jared Haught than the rest of the lists, and no one thinks anyone from Oklahoma State or Ohio State will reach the podium this year at 197.

285: Where to rank the returning 2nd place  finisher (at 197 pounds) and reigning World Champion (in freestyle at 97 kilograms)? Flo & Intermat say 2nd. The Open Mat says 17th and Wrestling Report says it is too soon to rank young master Snyder, and therein lies the biggest spread of the survey. Beyond that puzzler (and I can offer no guidance, myself), there is very close agreement on Walz, Marsden & Stoll being All Americans of varying placement. Also at 285? 2X NCAA Champ Gwiazdowski. WHO DARES CLAIM HEAVYWEIGHT IS BORING?

Overall takeaways? PSU is the proverbial Team to Beat. If their 3 favorites claim titles and 3 more guys AA, as the current rankings suggest, the Nifty Lions should run away with it. Amazing that 4 of their top ranked guys were redshirting last year. If JoJo Smith redhsirts and Kaid Brock can’t go then Okie State is unlikely to compete for a title. Iowa will need some luck and over-performances to challenge Penn State, whereas Ohio State  will rely on Hunter Stieber’s health and Snyder’s ability to bump up to 285 and transition back to folkstyle.

Regarding the rankings, there is indeed incredible consistency between these independent services. More often then not, the discrepancy is whether or not to include a wrestler due to inactivity. Probably would’ve been more instructive to conduct this exercise at the beginning of the season before the actual wrestling on the mat helped sort everything out. Either way, nice to see so many reliable, publicly available sources.

Should be a fun rest of the NCAA season. Thanks to anyone who managed to read to the end of the entire post and apologies for the typos!

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