2021-22 NCAA DI Rankings
This Little Piggy Wentzel Market
This division prompted the most rancorous internal debates of all the weight classes, thanks to defending national champ Shane Griffith's plan to move up to 174. If Griffith moves back down (remember, all weight categories are provisional), he'll return to the number one spot in the weight.
But thanks to Griffith's absence and Evan Wick's return (now at Cal Poly), we have a conundrum at the top between Wick, Marinelli, and Wentzel.
Wentzel's two losses last season were to Griffith and Thomas Bullard. Marinelli's lone loss was Griffith. Additionally, the Bull beat Thomas Bullard, so he would seemingly have the advantage over Wentzel. But Marinelli's best win is Ethan Smith (who we expect up at 174 this season), who Wentzel also beat. Wentzel also beat Keegan O'Toole. Thus, Wentzel is back ahead of Marinelli.
Originally, we then had Wick ahead of Wentzel and in the #1 spot, as Wick has an overall better resume than Wentzel. But after closer examination, Marinelli's resume compares at least as favorably as Wick's, and though Wick has placed higher than Marinelli at NCAAs, Alex has defeated Evan the last four times they've wrestled.
As such, we have Wentzel one, Marinelli two, and Wick three, where they will stay until the result of a match causes them to be reshuffled.
UPDATE: Fresh intelligence has revealed that Griffith is staying at 165. That has rendered moot much of the consternation about the specific ranking of the weight class, but we're leaving all the analysis in the explanation anyway. Also keeping the headline for the weight class because we are proud of the wordplay.
Elsewhere, we have Demetrius Romero taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility and moving down a weight division to try and earn his second All-American honor. Because he was injured for almost all of the 2020-21 season, we don't have many common opponents to help us place Romero in the rankings. He's certainly capable of moving up than he is now.
We also have Carson Kharchla as the projected started for the Buckeyes making his ranking debut on the strength of his sterling 16-0 record as an unattached freshman in 2019-20 season that included a win over 2021 All-American Cam Amine.
Phil Conigliaro also returns to the mat after missing the year due to the Ivy league's covid cancelation, as does Tanner Cook, who makes his return after a year on the mend from an injury.
Do you have questions or comments for the rankers? We welcome and encourage your feedback. Hit up Andrew Spey (email: Andrew.Spey@flosports.tv; Twitter: @SpeyWrestle) and JD Rader (email: email@example.com; Twitter: @rader_jd)
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