The first coaches’ panel ranking of the top 33 D1 NCAA wrestlers in each weight class (according to the coaches anyway) was released earlier today. So lets take a closer look at the rankings with our friend, the trusty pivot table.
What should we examine? How about the number ranked wrestlers each school has? Great idea, here you go – apologies for the sloppy formatting.
Nebraska looking beastly. Also Rutgers and Lehigh sneaking in 9 a piece is not too shabby. A couple of well balanced line ups there. 70 different teams had at least 1 wrestler make the rankings. A pretty good number I think, though I don’t have any historical data on that.
OK but what about sorting the ranked wrestlers by conference, since these will be used to assign NCAA tournament spots upon the 4th iteration of said poll? Sure, that chart is below.
B1G dominating as usual, although a pretty strong showing by the EIWA, showing off a little more depth than usual (at least I think, again, no historical data here, just memory). Only the EWL fails to have at least 1 ranked wrestler in every weight class. Time to step it up EWL!
That got me thinking about the old Western Conference. Before it merged with the Big 12, it benefited from the automatic qualifier rule that the winner of each conference received a tourney bid no matter what. They basically gave up that advantage when they all become associate members of the much stronger Big 12. To see how that move impacted the original Western teams, I sorted by just top 29 wrestlers for those 6 teams.
So if AQs were determined tomorrow from just the 1st coaches’ poll, 1 wrestler from those 6 six schools at 149, 165 and 174 would have made the trip to the NCAAs, but now won’t because they gave up the AQ to merge with the remnants of the Big 12 minus 2. But probably it was still worth it? Eh, beats me.
Anyway, what else? How about the point system, where being ranked 33rd gets you 1 point and 1st gets your 33 points, etc, sorted by conference? Yes, wonderful, see below:
No surprises. The B1G’s strength is even more pronounced now, as their wrestlers take up more up the top spots. Also the EWL may get less qualifiers than the SoCon, but their wrestlers may also end up with better tournaments.
No lets check out the same deal but with individual teams.
Cut the chart off at the top 25 teams. Pretty much what was expected, no? I did notice Ohio State pretty far down the pack, so I went back to confirm that the rankings didn’t include Hunter Stieber 149 and Kyle Snyder at 285. It did not. It also strangely left out Bo Jordan from both 165 and 174. Not sure what’s up with that. In any event, plug those 3 guys in at the top of their potential and you’ve got a very different score for the Buckeyes.
Bold mid season prediction: It’s Penn State’s championship to lose, with Okie St, Ohio St, Iowa and Missouri having outside shots. Maybe Nebraska too if everyone wrestles lights out.
Below is a look at the same chart but with the original rankings plugged back in.
And then I threw this list of number of top 8 predicted finishes (so number of All Americans, obvi).
K – that’s all I got for now. Hooray for my friend, the pivot table!