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First Coaches Panel Release & NCAA Allocations Update

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Qualifier numbers for the Big XII and Iowa State are starting to come in to focus

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A few weeks ago we took a look at the NCAA Allocation outlook for each of the ten weight classes. Since then we’ve had several duals and, more importantly, the release of the first Coaches Panel Rankings. With these extra data points the picture for both the chances of Cyclone wrestlers earning an allocation and the difficulty of punching a ticket to St. Louis is starting to come in to focus.

How Are Allocations Determined?

Twenty-nine spots total are allocated to the various conference tournaments at each weight by a selection committee. To earn an allocation for the Big XII conference tournament at their weight, a wrestler must meet two of the three criteria below.

Leg Criteria
Coaches Panel Ranking A ranking in the top 27 or so is generally enough to earn this leg
RPI 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.
Win Percentage 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

Note: To be eligible for an RPI a wrestler must have 17 matches against D-1 opponents.

In the terminology used by the selection committee, wrestlers who meet one of the qualifying legs are considered Bronze Standard wrestlers and do not earn allocations but are eligible for at large bids. Wrestlers who meet two qualifying legs are considered Silver Standard and earn an allocation. As do those who meet all three, who are considered to be Gold Standard. We’ll use the same terminology below.

As discussed in the last article about allocations, earning an allocation is only half the battle. Allocations are earned by individual wrestlers but are assigned to the conference. Wrestlers can steal a spot (or have a spot stolen from them) based on how they perform at Big XIIs. For example, if the Big XII earns two allocations at 184 pounds then the top two placewinners at 184 are going to St. Louis regardless of whether or not they were the two wrestlers who earned allocations for the conference. Any wrestler who earns a bid but fails to punch their ticket has to hope they can earn one of the 4 at large spots held back for post conference tournament invitations.

For the purposes of this article we’ll make the assumption that anyone currently ranked in the Coaches Panel is on track to reach at least Silver Standard. This won’t be completely accurate but RPI is not yet available and figuring out the D-1 win percentage for every wrestler in the country would be an extremely time intensive process. So we’ll make do with just being mostly accurate instead of 100%.

Where Do We Stand At Each Weight?

125: Markus Simmons

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 12-5 (0.706)/#20

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
5 Ethan Lizak Minnesota
12 Nicholas Piccininni Oklahoma St.
21 Christian Moody Oklahoma
29 Lorenzo Bentley Pittsburgh

What does Simmons Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

If allocations were released today Simmons would have one. He currently sits at Silver or Gold and just needs to keep doing what he’s doing. Now, regrettably, that seems to include "missing weight on a semi-regular basis" and per Monday’s press conference Simmons won’t be wrestling this weekend as he gets his weight under control for the last month of the season. So he really only has three matches left instead of five. To keep above the line for an allocation he needs to go 2-1 the remaining times he takes the mat. At 1-2 he might still make it depending on his RPI but it wouldn’t be a sure thing.

What Are The Chances Of Simmons Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
4 Joshua Rodriguez North Dakota St.
12 Nicholas Piccininni Oklahoma St.
14 Drew Templeman Wyoming
20 Markus Simmons Iowa St.
21 Christian Moody Oklahoma
28 Trey Andrews Northern Colo.

The Big XII is likely to get 5 or 6 allocations at 125. Depending on how he does the rest of the way Simmons could be anywhere from a 2 seed to a 5 seed at Big XIIs, any of which would put him in a solid spot to wrestle to seed or higher and secure a spot. And if for some reason Simmons did crash at Big XIIs his win over #10 Josh Terao of American would give him a solid argument for an at large selection. Right now Simmons probably has about an 80% chance of going to St. Louis.

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133: Earl Hall

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 16-6 (0.727)/#12

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
2 Kaid Brock Oklahoma St.
8 Dom Forys Pittsburgh
15 Mitch McKee Minnesota
30 Cory Stainbrook West Virginia

What Does Hall Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

Hall would have an allocation if they came out today. To stay above 0.700 he needs to go 3-2, which would mean beating everyone in front of him other than #2 Brock and #8 Forys. That would include a win over #15 McKee which would also be enough to make sure he stayed decently ranked. Despite his losses Hall has faced a number of quality wrestlers so is likely to have a good RPI even if he drops an extra match and goes 2-3 to fall under 0.700. At 1-4 things could get dicey.

What Are The Chances Of Hall Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
2 Kaid Brock Oklahoma St.
6 Seth Gross South Dakota St.
12 Earl Hall Iowa St.
25 Cam Sykora North Dakota St.
30 Cory Stainbrook West Virginia

The Big XII is looking at around four allocations at 133 and baring any big upsets Hall will be the #3 seed at the conference tournament with a sharp dropoff between him and the #4 seed. And if for whatever reason Hall had a bad day in Oklahoma City his wins over #14 Morris of NC State and #16 Kelly of Ohio would likely put him near the front of the line for an at large selection. Baring injury, Hall has about a 99% chance of going to St. Louis.

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141: John Meeks

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 4-7 (0.364)/UR

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
1 Dean Heil Oklahoma St.
11 Thomas Thorn Minnesota
25 Mike Longo Oklahoma
31 Nick Zanetta Pittsburgh

What Does Meeks Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

He can’t. Even if he went 5-0 the rest of the reason he wouldn’t reach a 0.700 win percentage and with 16 matches he’d be one short of earning an RPI. Short of finding an open tournament to go to in order to pick up some matches Meeks’ only chance is to steal a spot. It is worth noting that Jackson has not totally ruled out Gabe Moreno for the rest of the reason, but based on Moreno’s results thus far even if he did ever take the mat he hasn’t shown he’d have any better results than we’re currently getting out of this weight and he would have the same problem with lack of matches.

What Are The Chances Of Meeks Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
1 Dean Heil Oklahoma St.
8 Bryce Meredith Wyoming
24 Timmy Box Northern Colo.
25 Mike Longo Oklahoma

Right now the Big XII is looking at four or so allocations at 141. And with two of them coming from wrestlers ranked in the mid twenties getting an upset isn’t totally out of the question. If Meeks is able to get a win over Longo of Oklahoma this weekend and another win in the West Virginia dual he should get a decent seed at Big XIIs and set him up for a realistic shot at stealing a spot by reaching the 3rd place match. With his subpar record and lack of any marquee wins that’s likely his only shot at ending his career as an NCAA qualifier. Right now Meeks probably has about a 25% chance of going to St. Louis.

T rex named Trix at Naturalis Museum of Leiden Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

149: Chase Straw

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 11-10 (0.524)/UR

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
2 Anthony Collica Oklahoma St.
13 Davion Jeffries Oklahoma
31 Mike Racciato Pittsburgh

What Does Straw Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

At 11-10 there’s no way for Straw to recover a 0.700 D-1 record. And a good chunk of those 10 losses are to unranked opponents, meaning he’d have to really turn it on to end the season to push his way in to the last coaches panel. To that end a 4-1 finish that included a win over #13 Jeffries of Oklahoma would probably be enough to push Straw in to the mid twenties and at that point he’d just have to cross his fingers and hope his RPI is good enough for him to hit the Silver Standard.

What Are The Chances Of Straw Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
2 Anthony Collica Oklahoma St.
13 Davion Jeffries Oklahoma
19 Alex Kocer South Dakota St.
20 Cole Mendenhall Wyoming

Right now the Big XII is looking at four allocations at 149. And the bad news is that Straw is 0-2 against lowest ranked wrestler of that group. In addition to that, Straw has taken a step back since the end of the first semester when those losses occurred. No one outside of Collica is totally unbeatable for Straw if he has a good day at Big XIIs, but his recent results don’t provide a lot of confidence that he’d be able to string together the wins he’d need to reach the third place match in Oklahoma City. If Straw does fail to steal a spot he likely would not be very competitive for an at large selection. Right now Straw probably has about a 15% chance of going to St. Louis.

T rex named Trix at Naturalis Museum of Leiden Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

157: Colston Diblasi

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 13-10 (0.565)/UR

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
5 Joseph Smith Oklahoma St.
10 Jake Short Minnesota
33 Taleb Rahmani Pittsburgh

What Does Diblasi Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

To be honest it was surprising not to see Diblasi show up near the tail end of the rankings in the first coaches panel. He has a win over #17 Colgan of Wyoming and has wrestled several top wrestlers close. Diblasi has no chance to reach a 0.700 D-1 win percentage but if he goes 3-2 with losses to the two top ten wrestlers on the schedule and convincing wins in his other three matches he just might be able to sneak in to a top 27 ranking and hope for a decent RPI. But if he can go 4-1 with a win over Smith or Short that would assure him a spot in the top 27 and also increase those RPI chances. Anything short of 3-2 and there’s no chance at all of an allocation.

What Are The Chances Of Diblasi Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
5 Joseph Smith Oklahoma St.
8 Clayton Ream North Dakota St.
17 Archie Colgan Wyoming

The Big XII is looking at only three allocations at 157 and that puts Diblasi in a tough spot. He does have a win against the likely #3 seed Colgan but to steal a spot he’d have to avenge at least one early season loss and repeat his upset win over Colgan. Not an insurmountable task, but also not a likely one. However, that early win over Colgan would at least give Diblasi a shot at an at large spot, though not a very strong one. Right now Diblasi probably has about a 25% chance of going to St. Louis.

T rex named Trix at Naturalis Museum of Leiden Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

165: Logan Breitenbach/Dane Pestano

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 1-4 (0.200)/UR//5-6(.455)/UR

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
5 Chandler Rogers Oklahoma St.
9 Dylan Cottrell West Virginia
11 Te`Shan Campbell Pittsburgh
12 Nicholas Wanzek Minnesota
18 Yoanse Mejias Oklahoma

What Do Breitenbach or Pestano Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

Neither of these guys could reach 0.700 even if they wrestled and won all five remaining matches. And with every remaining opponent sitting in the top twenty of the coaches panel, even getting a single win at this weight might be out of the question. Whichever one of these two gets the call at Big XIIs, their only opportunity is to steal a spot.

What Are The Chances Of Breitenbach or Pestano Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
5 Chandler Rogers Oklahoma St.
9 Dylan Cottrell West Virginia
13 Branson Ashworth Wyoming
17 Luke Zilverberg South Dakota St.
18 Yoanse Mejias Oklahoma
20 Andrew Fogarty North Dakota St.
25 Keilan Torres Northern Colo.
31 Alexandre Lopouchanski Air Force

Despite the poor record out of this weight, Logan or Dane will have an excellent chance to steal a trip to NCAAs. The Big XII is looking at 7, possibly even 8 allocations at 165. It still isn’t a sure thing - Pestano is 0-2 against the likely #7 seed. But needing a single win (or possibly no wins at all depending on seeding) to get to the 7th place match is a lot easier than needing to make a run to the top half of the podium like most of the rest of the team would need to do. However, if Dane/Logan fail to steal a spot they are unlikely to even be eligible for an at large selection. Right now Logan or Dane probably have about a 25% chance of going to St. Louis. That percentage could go up to more like 40% if Lopouchanski from Air Force continues to win and moves up a few spots in the rankings to secure that 8th allocation.

T rex named Trix at Naturalis Museum of Leiden Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

174: Lelund Weatherspoon

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 15-7 (0.682)/#7

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
4 Kyle Crutchmer Oklahoma St.
29 Matt Reed Oklahoma

What Does Weatherspoon Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

Like Simmons and Hall, Weatherspoon just needs to keep doing what he’s doing. His win percentage is a little short right now but with only one highly ranked wrestler left on the schedule there’s no reason Lelund can’t go 4-1 to finish 19-8 and break above 0.700. And even if he does drop a match where he is favored he has faced a pretty brutal schedule this season and is a lock for having a good RPI. He might be able to even afford 2 bad losses before things start to get a little sketchy, though that would start to have impacts on his seeding for both Big XIIs and NCAAs.

What Are The Chances Of Weatherspoon Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
4 Kyle Crutchmer Oklahoma St.
7 Lelund Weatherspoon Iowa St.
14 David Kocer South Dakota St.
29 Matt Reed Oklahoma
31 Kimball Bastian Utah Valley

The Big XII is probably looking at 3 or 4 allocations at 174, with Lelund being the 3 seed for the Big XII tournament. So Lelund wouldn’t have a lot of breathing room for a bad loss at the Big XII tournament if he wants to secure an automatic bid to NCAAs. But with wins over #10 Lujan and #12 Meyer and all of his losses this season coming to wrestlers ranked in the top 14, Lelund would be a lock for an at large selection even if he crashed and burned in Oklahoma City. Baring injury, Lelund has a 99% chance of going to St. Louis.

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184: Pat Downey

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 4-0 (1.000)/UR*

*Note: Downey did not meet the 5 match minimum for a ranking, but will surely be ranked in the next panel

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
6 Nolan Boyd Oklahoma St.

What Does Downey Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

Downey won’t come close to the 17 match minimum for RPI but his win over #14 Foster on Friday, plus his win over #8 ranked Rotert at 197 earlier this season, means he should be solidly in the top 27 even if he loses to Boyd this weekend and drops a match elsewhere. That 3-2 or better record would also keep his record above 0.700 and secure him Silver Standard. At 2-3 or worse he’d be below 0.700 and not have an RPI so wouldn’t be eligible for an allocation.

What Are The Chances Of Downey Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
6 Nolan Boyd Oklahoma St.
20 Dylan Gabel Northern Colo.

The Big XII is currently only looking at three allocations at 184, which doesn’t give Downey a whole lot of room for error. But as long as he stays healthy and keeps his conditioning up there aren’t many 184 pounders in the conference other than Boyd that are cause for a lot of concern. And if he does stumble his win over Foster and a high overall win percentage should make him competitive for an at large spot. Baring injury Downey has about a 95% chance of going to St. Louis. The only reason he’s a little lower than Hall and Weatherspoon is because his low number of matches could be held against him if he gets sent to the at large pool.

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197: Marcus Harrington

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 2-6 (0.250)/UR

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
2 Brett Pfarr Minnesota
4 Preston Weigel Oklahoma St.
6 Jacob Smith West Virginia
18 Brad Johnson Oklahoma

What Does Harrington Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

Like Meeks, Harrington can’t earn an allocation. Even if he goes 5-0 to end the season he’ll be below 0.700 and four matches short of being eligible for an RPI. The only way Harrington is getting a ticket to St. Louis is if he steals it.

What Are The Chances Of Harrington Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
4 Preston Weigel Oklahoma St.
6 Jacob Smith West Virginia
8 Nate Rotert South Dakota St.
18 Brad Johnson Oklahoma
24 Tanner Orndorff Utah Valley
29 Anthony McLaughlin Air Force

The Big XII is looking at 5, possibly 6 allocations at 197. For Harrington’s sake, hopefully it ends up being 6. Nothing Marcus has shown this season indicates he can take out a top twenty wrestler but he might be able to put things together and get the 1-2 wins he would need to make it to the 5th place match. And if there are 6 allocations just making it to that match is all he needs to do. If there are only five then he has to win it and things get a fair bit more difficult. Regardless of which it is though, Harrington will need to have better results than he’s had so far. Right now Harrington probably has about a 10% chance of going to St. Louis.

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HWT: Quean Smith

D-1 Record/Coaches Panel Ranking: 7-6 (0.538)/#29

Remaining Ranked Opponents
Rank Wrestler Team
7 Austin Schafer Oklahoma St.
8 Michael Kroells Minnesota
19 Ryan Solomon Pittsburgh
20 Ross Larson Oklahoma

What Does Smith Need To Do To Earn An Allocation?

Even if he goes 5-0 to finish the season, Smith can’t hit the 0.700 allocation leg. And sitting at the #29 spot (plus already eating a loss since the rankings came out) he has little margin if he wants to move up a few spots in the rankings to the top 27. Most likely he needs to go 3-2 to be sure of a ranking and to feel reasonably confident about RPI. That would include at least two top twenty wins and no bad losses. Any more losses than that and he’s probably going to have to steal somebody’s allocation.

What Are The Chances Of Going To St. Louis?

Big XII Wrestlers In The Coaches Panel
Rank Wrestler Team
7 Austin Schafer Oklahoma St.
20 Ross Larson Oklahoma
25 Benjamin Tynan North Dakota St.
29 Quean Smith Iowa St.

Smith has wrestled pretty decently this year and there’s no reason to think he can’t pick up a win over at least one of Larson or Solomon, but it might be a reach to think he can get both and earn an allocation of his own. So the Big XII will probably only have three allocations at 285. If Smith wrestles at the Big XIIs like he did in Vegas he can probably take one of those spots. I he wrestles like he did at Midlands he’ll be hoping for an at large allocation. Which he will be competitive for as long as he does get a win over either Larson and/or Solomon. Right now Smith probably has about a 40% chance of earning an allocation.

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Overall Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I said we’d probably have 8 qualifiers. Since then we’ve had a couple of guys (Straw, Diblasi) regress and others fail to pick up needed wins. So I’m adjusting that number to six. Simmons, Hall, Weatherspoon, Downey, and two of Meeks, Diblasi, Breitenbach/Pestano, and Smith.

What’s Next?

We’ll update our projections for both allocations and qualifiers when the second Coaches Panel Ranking and first RPI is released in early February.