Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!
Already a subscriber? Log In
With only two weekends before we wrap up dual meet season, the conference and NCAA tournaments will be here before we know it. Indeed the whirlwind that is the NCAA D1 wrestling season has nearly blown right by.
But before we dive headfirst into the Championship Previews, we can take a snapshot of where things stand now with regards to the conferences and make some reasonable forecasts as to what the field will look like in Minneapolis. Using our own NCAA D1 Top 25 as well as the second coaches' poll, we can get a fairly accurate idea of how each conference will do at the big dance.
But before we get to the most recent ranking and coaches' poll (which both came out after week 15 of 17), let's set the stage by going all the way back to week one. Below is a table of tournament points per conference for all ten weight classes based on FloWrestling's rankings from week one.
No surprise that the Big Ten Conference was the front runner heading into the season. Now let's see how that compares to the same table but drawing from the most recent set of rankings.
The Big Ten has only strengthened their case as the frontrunner, mostly at the expense of the Big 12 and the MAC, which are now expected to score fewer points at the NCAA than they were at the start of the season. The EIWA boosted their stock, while the ACC, Pac-12 and SoCon remained fairly stable.
To get an idea of how many All-Americans each conference can expect, we can look at the number of wrestlers ranked in the top 12 in each conference, broken out by weight class. That table is below.
By including competitors ranked 9-12, we've added 40 more people than there are spots on the podium come March, but we wanted to give a better sense of where conferences had their best shot at placing by including the next four guys. Because as we all know, rankings are not predictions, so they likeliest octet of All-Americans may not be the same people who are ranked 1-8 in the top 25.
The second coaches' poll also came out after week 15. The coaches' poll is one of the main factors that determine both the conference automatic qualifiers as well as the eventual NCAA seeds, so it's kind of important. Below are the expected tournament points (excluding bonus points), broken down by conference and weight class.
The second coaches' poll looks an awful lot like our rankings, with the Big Ten expected to claim the lion's share of the tournament points in all the divisions except 184-pounds, which has oddly enough been the Big Ten's weakest weight for a couple of years now.
The number of top 12 wrestlers per weight per conference in the second coaches' poll resembles the table representing the same things from our most recent top 25, but we will reproduce that table below anyway, mostly because we already took the time to make and don't want it to go to waste.
The coaches poll ranks all the out to 33, which is, of course, the number of wrestlers in each NCAA bracket. We can use that to forecast the number of NCAA qualifiers each conference will have, with the caveat that each conference is guaranteed at least one representative per weight class, so the SoCon will have someone in Minneapolis at 197-pounds, regardless of whether or not the coaches rank anyone from that conference in their top 33. That table can be found by scrolling down and observing the pixels on your screen.
And finally, because we have the power to make one, and honestly we wish we had been publishing them more often, here is a table of NCAA tournament points of the top 12 teams according to our top 25 individual NCAA rankings, broken down by weight class.
But these are all just numbers in a computer. They don't dictate results and don't affect what happens on the mat. That's up to the coaches and wrestlers. Lucky for us that we get to watch everyone try and prove the numbers wrong!