The upcoming NCAA season may only seem like a distant ship's smoke on the horizon during these long summer days, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start speculating about the 2017-18 season. But to start speculating, we'll need some information first. Just the basic facts.
To get a better idea of what we might see next season, we took a look back at the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships. We compared all the Division I programs by how many team points were earned by their underclassmen to see who will be returning the most firepower for the 2018 tournament.
But you get it. You don't need to be taught that anymore. So, hey, teachers? Leave these readers alone.
Teams 11-20 | No. 10 Virginia Tech | No. 9 Lehigh | No. 8 Iowa | No. 7 Minnesota | No. 6 Arizona State | No. 5 Missouri | No. 4 Michigan | No. 3 Oklahoma State
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes: 110.5 PointsA staggering amount of points returns to the Buckeyes lineup next year. Scoring 110.5 team points may have been enough to win team titles in seasons past, but next year it is likely only good for being just another brick in the wall.
That team total is also half a point more than what Ohio State earned in St. Louis: The Buckeyes lost Jose Rodriguez's 2.5 points at 125 due to his transfer out, but they gained TeShan Campbell's three points when he transferred to OSU in March.
Ohio State also added a junior college national champion transfer in Dayton Racer, who is expected to fill in at 157, complementing an already stacked lineup.
The big question in Columbus, Ohio, is if three-time All-American Nathan Tomasello will be back at 133 pounds or if he will go down to 125, where he won an NCAA championship his freshman year.
If NaTo goes down a weight, expect to see true sophomore Luke Pletcher move down from 141, opening up a spot for Ke-Shawn Hayes. If NaTo stays up at 133, we'll probably see Brendan Fitzgerald at 125 and either Pletcher or Hayes at 141, although Pletcher has a redshirt to burn.
Two-year starter Jake Ryan will challenge Racer at 157, but the rest of the lineup looks pretty well set, as the Buckeyes have no worse than a fourth-place finish at every other weight. Micah Jordan placed fourth in St. Louis, and Bo Jordan placed second. Myles Martin "only" placed fifth in 2017 but won the whole tournament the year before. And Kollin Moore placed third in St. Louis at his first NCAA tournament.
Team leader Kyle Snyder (you may have heard of him), is coming off his third straight NCAA finals appearance and his second straight title.
You can watch Snyder win his second NCAA title over fellow man-mountain Connor Medbery of Wisconsin in the video below.
The Buckeyes will have three NCAA champions on their squad next year, which should leave most spectators tongue-tied and twisted in awe. But compared to the No. 1 team on our countdown, they are mere earthbound misfits.
The final entry in our country obviously features Penn State, and you don't want to miss it. Until then, stay comfortable but not necessarily numb, as our final entry in our countdown will be on the way directly.