The NCAA released the 2nd of four Coaches Panel rankings this afternoon. Cyclone Wrestlers made the cut at 8 of the ten weight classes of the coaches pane. I had been expecting an RPI to be released as well but that was not included.
Why does this matter?
As I wrote when the first coaches panel was released a few weeks ago, earning an allocation is especially important this season due to politic infighting between the NCAA and the Big XII that has resulted in the Big XII tournament being stripped of its status as a normal qualifier for NCAAs. With no ability to "steal" a spot at the tournament like in years past, the only way for a Big XII wrestler to get to St. Louis this season is to earn it on their own.
To earn a pre-allocated spot, a wrestler needs to meet at least two of the three legs of NCAA qualification, described below.
|Coaches Panel Ranking||
A ranking in the top 27 or so is generally enough to earn this leg
Just like the RPI the Basketball Committee uses. Again, having a top 27 or so RPI is generally enough to earn this leg. Only matches against Division 1 wrestlers count for RPI.
A win percentage of ~0.700 against Division 1 competition is required to earn this leg. The exact value can vary a small amount to reach 29 allocations
Where do we stand?
Here's how our line up stacks up in the two criteria that are available
|Weight||Wrestler||Coaches Panel Ranking||D1 Win Percentage|
Eight Cyclones received a ranking in the latest coaches panel, though Larson's 31st wouldn't be high enough to earn him that qualification leg. I'm not sure why Goettl dropped out of the ranking. He went 1-2 since the last panel came out but both losses were to guys ranked in the top twenty.
Division 1 Win Percentage
This one is easy. We have five wrestlers (Hall, Gabe Moreno, Micheal Moreno, Weatherspoon, Gadson) who meet this criteria right now. We have two more (Rodriguez, Weatherman) who can reach it with a 3-0 finish to the dual season. And we have three (Larson, Goettl, Smith) for whom the >0.700 D1 record is out of reach given the number of matches they have remaining.
How many Cyclones are going to earn a spot to NCAAs?
,We meet at least two of the criteria today at 133, 149, 165, 184, & 197. Those five guys have their spots secure as long as they don't melt down to end the season. Additionally, I'm reasonably confident that Weatherman's RPI will be good enough to consider him a lock.
So what about the other four weights?
125: Since Larson is out of the running for win percentage, his only shot is to get the coaches panel and RPI legs. Right now he is in the coaches panel right now but to low to meet that criteria. I believe his RPI will be respectable, so his one shot to earn an allocation to St. Louis is to knock of #5 Dylan Peters of UNI on Sunday.
141: Dante controls his own destiny for qualification. He can punch his ticket for sure by going 3-0 to finish out the regular season and reaching both the rankings and win percentage legs, regardless of what his RPI ends up being.
157: Like Larson, right now Goettl is on the outside looking in. But his challenge isn't quite as intimidating. He'll get #29 Pierce of Arizona State on Friday evening and #28 Jensen of UNI on Sunday afternoon. If he beats both of those wrestlers and doesn't stumble against Wisconsin on Senior Night, Goettl might just be able to sneak his way into one of the last NCAA spots.
HWT: Given his resume to date, I think the only way Smith has a chance at a spot is if he manages to go 2-1 to end the regular season with a win over at least one of the two top ten wrestlers left on his schedule.
After the first coaches panel came out I wrote that we had six guys in for sure but would likely end up with seven or eight in St. Louis. Right now I think we seem to be settling on seven, with Rodriguez replacing Larson as our most likely 7th qualifier. Not all is lost for our other wrestlers though,. With a little luck and help from people losing elsewhere, Goettl still has a slight chance to squeeze himself into an allocation in these last few duals. Smith & Larson are in weaker positions and likely need a upset win or two to push themselves into contention.
What's the rest of the Big XII looking like?
|Weight||Oklahoma State Wrestler||Coaches Panel Ranking||D1 Win Percentage|
|133||Gary Wayne Harding||31st||0.667|
If allocations came out based only on the two legs available, Oklahoma State would qualify six wrestlers. Klimara, Heil, Kindig, Dieringer, Boyd, and Marsden. But I'm guessing that once RPI is released Collica and Crutchmer will be added to that list for eight Cowboys heading to St. Louis.
|Weight||Oklahoma Wrestler||Coaches Panel Ranking||D1 Win Percentage|
|125||Ryan Millhof||31st||Not Available|
|133||Cody Brewer||3rd||Not Available|
|141||Trae Blackwell||UR||Not Available|
|149||Shayne Tucker||UR||Not Available|
|157||Justin DeAngelis||16th||Not Available|
|165||Clark Glass||30th||Not Available|
|174||Matt Reed||18th||Not Available|
|184||Brook Climmons||UR||Not Available|
|197||Andrew Dixon||UR||Not Available|
|HWT||Ross Larson||9th||Not Available|
Oklahoma doesn't have match-by match results anywhere on their website that I could find (their "statistics" page hasn't been updated since 2012), so I couldn't calculate their D1 win percentages. If allocations came out today, they'd have Brewer and Larson in for sure (their overall win percentages are high enough that I'm confident they are above .700 in D1) . Once RPI is included I think they get at least two more in DeAngelis and Reed.
|Weight||West Virginia Wrestler||Coaches Panel Ranking||D1 Win Percentage|
If allocations came out today, the only Mountaineer that would be in for sure in Morales at 141. But once the dust has settled and RPIs are included I think they get Moisey in for sure and a possible third qualifier in Smith.
What happens next?
The RPI & Coaches Panel will be updated on February 25th, with a list of qualifier allocations for each conference released the next day. There has been no official announcement about how things will work for the Big XII since it is no longer an recognized qualifying event. But the expectation is that any Big XII wrestler who meets the necessary qualification criteria will result in a corresponding increase in the number of at large spots available. So instead of there being the normal 4 at large spots available at each weight, there will instead be four spots plus however many Big XII wrestlers meet criteria at that weight. Once conference tournaments are finished, wrestlers will receive an updated RPI & coaches Panel ranking. At that point, all wrestlers who didn't cement a spot at their conference tournament, which will include all Big XII wrestlers, will go into the pool for at large selections. I will go over the process for that in a later article. At Large Selections will be announced on March 12th.