Photo Courtesy of Chattanooga Wrestling
This week’s Stat Corner powered by WrestleStat circles back to one of our favorite themes, bonus points. We’ve looked at how last year’s top teams compared to each other, who has the longest running bonus point streaks, and who the Division I pin leaders were in the early going. We’re going to keep harping on bonus points for two reasons. One, it can make a big difference in how teams finish at the national tournament. Two, wrestlers and teams who are consistently working for bonus make our sport exciting and more fun to watch.
Today we are going to look at how Division I teams are performing this season when it comes to getting bonus points. Without further ado, here are the top-20 teams based on tournament bonus points, one for a major, one and a half for a tech, two for pins, forfeits, disqualifications, per match.
|Name||Bonus Points||Matches||Avg Per Match|
|North Dakota State||69||99||0.697|
|South Dakota State||55||92||0.598|
|North Carolina State||66.5||113||0.588|
There is another metric to consider here. If we want to isolate those teams that go for bonus as much as they can from the teams that do so and also win a lot, it is enlightening to look at bonus points per win. This way, there is no penalty for those teams that lose a little more than the top dogs. Here are the top-20 teams based on tournament bonus points per win.As you can see, this metric skews heavily to the teams that win a high percentage of their matches because there is no opportunity to score bonus in a loss. Still, it gives us a good comparison of the top teams. Penn State has separated from the rest of the field which probably isn’t surprising. The other preseason title contenders are lined up behind them, though there is a drop from Penn State to Iowa and another from Ohio State to Oklahoma State. It is interesting to note how few matches Oklahoma State’s starters have wrestled compared to the others. Another notable finding here is that Missouri and Virginia Tech, largely considered the next two teams after the big four, are well behind when it comes to this metric. Missouri is 12th and Virginia Tech, who struggled with bonus last season as well, is 33rd.
|Name||Bonus Points||Wins||Avg Per Win|
|North Dakota State||69||75||0.920|
|Southern Illinois Edwardsville||57.5||64||0.898|
|South Dakota State||55||62||0.887|
Certainly, these numbers, especially in December, are only part of the equation. Strength of schedule can play a large factor in how many bonus points a team scores. Having strong wrestlers missing time, especially when they are bonus point machines, can also hurt when the sample size is a little lower. Still, this is another piece of the puzzle. When Penn State keeps finishing on top of these measures and others keep finishing down the charts, we can start to draw conclusions.Penn State is still number one thanks to Zain Retherford and Bo Nickal pinning almost everyone and the rest of the lineup scoring bonus at a high rate. However, Chattanooga finds their way into second place with an impressive 1.108 bonus points per win. Teams like Cleveland State, Northern Colorado, SIU-Edwardsville, and Sacred Heart may not win as often as they’d like, but it is clear from these numbers that they work for bonus when they can.