The NCAA Division I wrestling postseason is less than a month away and the first set of coaches rankings are already out. Given that the other two factors for NCAA qualifier allocation can be calculated, we thought we'd break down each weight class, who is in, who has work to do, and who needs matches to earn a spot for their conference. We calculated the top-33 RPIs at each weight class and added the D1 winning percentage for each wrestler as well. This data was pulled at the end of last week. It includes all matches wrestled through Sunday.
For those that may need a refresher, when the NCAA allocates qualifiers, they use this selection criteria. The short version is, a wrestler who meets the threshold level in two of the three categories, winning percentage, coaches ranking, and RPI, earns a bid for their conference assuming that wrestler competes at the conference tournament. The thresholds are a sliding scale used to select up to 30 wrestlers per weight class. The bottom line is, if you find yourself in the top-25 in both the coaches ranking and RPI, you're in great shape. If you're on the bubble in either but have a strong winning percentage, you're probably still ok. If a wrestler finds themselves outside the top-33 in both RPI and the coaches poll, they will probably have to steal a bid earned by another wrestler at the conference tournament.
To be eligible for the coaches ranking a wrestler needs just five matches against Division I competition at their post-season weight, including one in the past 30 days. To be eligible for a winning percentage, they need eight of those matches. For the RPI, you must have 17 matches. Because there is still time left in the season, we cut off the RPI measurement at anyone already having wrestled 12 eligible matches. Some of those may not make it in the end, but they still have time. Remember, any matches against Division I competition count. We could see some folks at the Edinboro Open this weekend trying to make sure they hit that number.
Please note: There are a few instances where we left two wrestlers from the same school in the RPI rankings to illustrate where each option stacks up. When the qualifier allocations are done, only one wrestler per school will be counted. The projected allocations account for that.
|Weight||Coaches Poll Ranking||First Name||Last Name||Team||League||RPI Rank||Matches At Weight||Win%|
|125||3||Nick||Suriano||Penn St.||Big Ten||2||14||.929|
|125||4||Joshua||Rodriguez||North Dakota St.||Big 12||11||14||.929|
|125||12||Nicholas||Piccininni||Oklahoma St.||Big 12||13||16||.688|
|125||19||Jose||Rodriguez||Ohio St.||Big Ten||15||16||.688|
|125||20||Markus||Simmons||Iowa St.||Big 12||UR||16||.688|
|125||28||Trey||Andrews||Northern Colo.||Big 12||UR||19||.474|
Wrestlers not ranked in the coaches poll that are in the top-33 in RPI:
|Weight||Coaches Poll Ranking||Name||Team||League||RPI Rank||Matches At Weight||Win%|
|125||UR||Travis Piotrowski||Illinois||Big 10||23||18||0.611|
|125||UR||Logan Griffin||Michigan State||Big 10||30||20||0.650|
|125||UR||Brandon Paetzell||Rutgers||Big 10||33||14||0.571|
With Markus Simmons (Iowa State) moving up to 141, that opens up another qualifying spot as does the injury to Austin Assad (Michigan). Conor Youtsey (Michigan) is a real threat to qualify in Assad's spot, but he has just three matches so far and is 2-1. With the Wolverines having, at most, four duals left, he won't earn a bid unless he makes an unscheduled stop. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa), Drew Templeman (Wyoming), Johnny Jiminez (Wisconsin), and Ibrahim Bunduka (George Mason) all look like they'll be short matches for the RPI as well, which means we should keep a close eye on their winning percentages. Jiminez could go to the Edinboro Open, it is on Wisconsin's schedule, and he needs to as his winning percentage is not competitive at this point. Trey Andrews (Northern Colorado) could be a problem for the Big 12. He is outside the top-33 in RPI and has a sub-.500 record in matches that count. It is extremely doubtful he earns an allocation, but he is good enough to steal a bid. That combined with Simmons moving up could make the Big 12 qualifying situation tight at 125.
Projected Allocations: ACC (4), Big 10 (7), Big 12 (4), EIWA (2), EWL (3), MAC (6), Pac 12 (1), SoCon (3)
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