Yeah Iowa is #2 but 1 & 2 is up for grabs. tOSU is fighting for 3rd in a crowded field. And 3rd is far back from 2nd.
2x champ Yianni taking a red shirt opened up this weight. Pletcher is as good as anyone and proved that with his win over Demas.
I heard aboout Decatur too from a few on the forums since I declared he wasn't going down. Shows how much I know. Decatur going down and Quinner at 133 could be key to tOSU pulling away from the pack in the race for 3rd, and could close the gap between tOSU and the front runners. I still don't think we can catch Iowa or PSU, but pull Kharch's RS, get Hoffman back on track and we close the gap considerably.
I agree with you on great storylines this year - how great is the new talent like Sasso (I think we know), Quinner, Decatur, and Hoffman (if he can get going), can Pletcher and/or Moore get a title in their last year, does Kharch pull the RS, can Hayes finally get his AA (at 157), and others. I know you will keep us consumed, Andy. Thank you for your work.
My guess on Decatur is that he may be banged up. tOSU sent multiple wrestlers at several weights, so no reason to hold him back if healthy. And I don't think he can cut to 125. Just my guess.
As usual, great write up, Andy. 11W continues to be the best spot for Buckeye wrestling thanks to you. I posted the following on another site and thought I'd share it here. And I'll start by apologizing for being long-winded.
After sleeping on the results last night, I woke up and realized I could go back to sleep longer b/c of DST. Here are my quick reactions. And take in mind that it's one day into the season and I reserve the right to change all my opinions and pretend I never said them.
125 I thought Heinselman should have taken a RS last year to grow into the weight and get a taste of D1 wrestling in Opens. But I did think that after a year, RS or not, he'd be able to compete for a spot on the podium - not a top 4 but maybe a 5-8. And then he did yesterday what he did all last year. He lost to low level ranked guys who are all a stretch to get to the podium. Little Decatur certainly isn't ready yet, but I don't see an AA in Heinselman's future (at least not this year).
133 Quinner made a surprise appearance at 133, after losing the 141 spot to Pletcher. Not sure where Decatur was, but he probably needs a RS anyway. Quinner lost a close bout to #4 Phillipi PIT, before losing the 3rd place match to UR Piotrowski ILL. I'm not ready to put him on the podium yet, but I think he has a lot of potential here.
141 Pletcher proved he can be just as good, maybe better, at 141 as he was at 133. Beating #1 Demas probably gets him the #1 or 2 rank next week. Either way, he's a contender for a title come March (with Yianni taking an OLY/RS).
149 The battle for 149 b/t Hayes and Sasso did not materialize, as Hayes lost early and often. Sasso looked as good as anyone hoped, destroying the field (somewhat weak). Hayes' career at tOSU, unfortunately, has been sidelined by injuries and being forced to wrestle at weights that were not his choice. And he lost his last match, for 6th, due to injury DF. If he gets healthy, 157 might be his chance to get into the lineup, b/c he doesn't appear likely to beat Sasso. Sasso will be a contender for a title at this weight.
157 Neither Mattox nor Cleary placed in what is less than a loaded weight class. Either will be a bubble to get to NCAAs as a Q. Maybe Hayes will get this weight if healthy. He isn't a likely placer, but could be a solid performer.
165 Smith got 3rd after an early loss, and Kharch won it all. Kharch is reportedly RSing, but he's clearly the best here. 6 of the top 8 ranked 165s are seniors this year in a loaded weight class. IMO he'd be smart to keep on the shirt.
174 Rocky looked like anything but a Jordan. OK, it's not fair to compare him to 2 legendary Buckeyes, but Romero, in spite of his wrestle-off loss, looked like the better option. He won a weak weight while Jordan took 6th, but did win none the less. As with Hayes at 157, I see no podium but do see a solid performer.
184 Hoffman continues to amaze me, not in a good way. He's a guy I had penciled in as a contender before Zahid went up. He lost yesterday to 2 nobodies, along with 1 win. All this after losing his wrestle-off. I'm not sure where Steiner was, but either looks like NCAA Q bubbles at best.
197 Moore looked solid b/f the finals when he needed OT to win over #18 Woodley OK. We've seen this b/f from Moore, but he typically gets close bouts out of his system after a month or so.
285 With Kerk gone, it's all up to Singletary (absent here). He did make R16, but I don't think he gets much higher than that. Maybe he'll surprise me.
Who knows where #1 Ferrari (projected 197/285) and #2 Amos (projected 184/197) end up. I'd say that Amos (has trained at the ORTC) is more likely to end up a Buckeye than Ferrari. Ferrari has true frosh Captain Kerk at 285 while either could fit in at 197 with Moore being a senior. Already on the roster in the upper weights are true frosh and former #1 Captain Kerk at 285, RS soph and former #6 Singletary (NCAA Q) at 285 or 197, RS frosh and former top 5 Hoffman at 184, and of course senior 3x AA Moore. Schumate at 197 could be a problem unless either he or Amos can go 184 when Hoffman is done. Amos is wrestling 220 this year, so 184 seems like a stretch for him. And Schumate wrestled 195 as a HS frosh, begging the question of whether or not he'll grow a little bit. There's been logjams before in the lineup and Ryan seems to make it work out.
Here's the top 10 from 2015 (http://d1collegewrestling.net), this year's senior class (if no one redshirted). Five of this group AA'ed this year (all except Anthony Valencia, Massa, Kemmerer, Brock and Benick).
1. Anthony Valencia Bellflower CA 174 Arizona State
2. Logan Massa St. John's MI 165 Michigan
3. Zahid Valencia Bellflower CA 184 Arizona State
4. Myles Martin Penns Grove NJ 184 Ohio State
5. Vincenzo Joseph Pittsburgh PA 149 Penn State
6. Matt Kolodzik Bellbrook OH 141 Princeton
7. Nick Piccinnini East Setauket NY 125 Oklahoma State
8. Michael Kemerer Murrysville PA 149 Iowa
9. Kaid Brock Stillwater OK 133 Oklahoma State
10. Lance Benick Fridley MN 197 Arizona State
And you'll note that due to redshirts and injuries, these are not all seniors, affirming that my assumptions are not accurate. But this does give an example of a top 10 group and how difficult it is to AA. Benick, BTW, left AZST and went to a DIII college.
For example, if you look at one year (2019) and one category (Top 10), 25 of the 80 AA's were top 10 recruits in their class. If you assume that four classes cycle thru each NCAA tourney, and that the rankings were evenly distributed by weight class, then 62.5% of the 40 top 10 recruits (2015-2018) AA'ed in 2019. The problem is the assumptions I laid out are not accurate. The rankings are not evenly distributed by weight class, and there likely are wrestlers from the class of 2014 or even 2013 in the 2019 AA's.
But let's pretend that these assumptions are accurate. This three-year sample averaged out, would suggest that 56% of top 10 recruits would AA, 42% of top 20 recruits would AA, 34% of the top 30 recruits would AA, and 16% of top 100 recruits would AA.
I've seen a few of these analyses, but the article referenced above (https://intermatwrestle.com/articles/21874) provides this info:
"When looking at the All-Americans from the last three NCAA tournaments, here is the ratio of All-Americans based on top recruiting rankings:
Top 10: (2017) 19/80 (2018) 23/80 (2019) 25/80
Top 20: (2017) 33/80 (2018) 32/80 (2019) 35/80
Top 30: (2107) 40/80 (2018) 38/80 (2019) 45/80
Top 100: (2017) 60/80 (2018) 63/80 (2019) 67/80"
It's nice to hear some confirmation of my "off the cuffs" remarks (from someone who might have insider info). I have no insider info, but just throw out my thoughts as an avid Buckeye fan.
"PSU recruiting was 21st in 2015, then 2nd, 5th and 1st before this latest ranking (22nd) came out."
By comparison, tOSU's recruiting over this same time span was 6th, 10th, 7th, 2nd and 1st (this year).
You can pay at the door. If they're wrestling someone like Iowa, there may be a line, but most of the time you shouldn't have too much of a wait. PSU and MICH should both be away this year.
Good to have you back, Andy. PSU's recruiting this year did take a step back, but depending on 6th year eligibility, redshirts, greyshirts, and Olympic redshirts, you don't need to hit every year, just most years. In a normal situation, with one extra year built in, this year's teams will be from the 2015-2019 classes. PSU recruiting was 21st in 2015, then 2nd, 5th and 1st before this latest ranking (22nd) came out. And they survived that 21st ranking in 2015 just fine, winning 4 straight NCAA championships. This year's preseason predictions are less certain than normal, with Olympic redshirts in play along with PSU asking for three 6th year waivers (AA Rasheed, NCAA champ Cassar, and Kent St transfer, Conel, also an AA). I think PSU'll be tough to beat if all the 6th years play out (and they probably will). Iowa is probably in the best position to challenge them. However, after PSU loses 2x NCAA champ Joseph, NCAA champ Hall and their three 6th year guys, they suddenly seem challengable. They'll still have some good young guys coming up the system, but I believe tOSU is right there with them in 2021 and beyond, perhaps even a step ahead. Last year's class, #2 overall, along with a #1 class this year will set the stage for success. From the class of 2018 - I think Sasso can challenge for a title next year, and I see Hoffman as an AA his freshman year. I think Heinselman will AA next year as he hits the weights and grows into 125. And I think Mattox could challenge for an AA at 157. This year's group includes #1 overall, Kerkvliet, who could AA whenever he steps on the mat (not sure if he redshirts), as could #3 overall Kharchla. I think Hayes will shrink to 141 next year and be a top 4 guy there. While he wrestled 157 this year, just two seasons ago he challenged McKenna for the 141 spot before challenging Jordan for the 149 spot last year. Other veterans like 3x AA Moore and 2x AA Pletcher will position tOSU to be in the conversation next year, but our best days may come in 2021.
PSU was #1 last year and tOSU #2. This is from Intermat.
1. Penn State
Top 100 recruits: No. 6 Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), No. 10 Joe Lee (Evansville Mater Dei, Ind./NLWC), No. 12 Michael Beard (Malvern Prep, Pa.), No. 14 Aaron Brooks (North Hagerstown, Md.), No. 15 Roman Bravo-Young (Sunnyside, Ariz.), No. 20 Gavin Teasdale (Jefferson-Morgan, Pa.), and No. 37 Brody Teske (Fort Dodge, Iowa)
Just last season he batted McKenna for that spot, the loser getting 149. This year he couldn’t beat Jordan so he goes 157. I think he goes 141.
First off, great NCAA coverage, Andy. No one covers the Buckeye wrestlers like you. Next year will be a strange one to predict. It's an Olympic year, so some wrestlers may choose to take an Olympic redshirt (RS). You have to qualify for this, but Kollin Moore and Hoffman are eligible even tho they have already taken a normal RS. All the top teams have guys like this that may or may not take an Olympic RS next year. Snyder broke the mold in 2016 and wrestled only 6 matches during the regular season prior to B10s. Instead, he was traveling the world beating the best in the world. He is the first NCAA wrestler that did this. The question is, will others follow his lead.
The other big issue is the 6th year factor. Normally there's a guy here or there spread out across the country that qualifies for a 6th year due to the loss of 2 years of wrestling b/c of injuries. Not a lot of these are granted, but 3 AAs got them this year, including NCAA champ Ashnault. PSU has three that are applying for a 6th year for next season, NCAA champ Cassar, 2018 AA Rasheed and transfer Conel (from Kent St), an AA in 2018. If they get those three 6th year guys, to go along with former NCAA champs Hall and Joseph, and AAs RBY and Lee, no one's going to beat them next year.
The question is, what will tOSU do with RSs. Will they sit a bunch of guys? The list of guys eligible for either a normal RS or Olympic RS includes Heinselman, Pletcher, Hoffman, Moore, plus all incoming freshmen. Others could qualify this summer, So does tOSU sit a bunch and look to 2021 or go for broke and put the best team on the mat (Kharch, Kerk, etc)?
I don't think PSU looks beatable w/ 3 6th year guys. But in 2021 they come back to the field (tOSU, OKST and IOWA). And this year's recruiting class, Kharch, Kerk and Jordan Decatur, along with this year's group of Heinselman, Sasso and Hoffman will set the table for titles once again. These guys remind me of freshmen like NaTo, Bo and Snyder. There is a bright future as a Buckeye fan.
And I'm sorry this was so long. I've been absent for a while and needed to vent.
I think he's probably two years away, but Heinselman may be tough to bump out of the lineup. I thought he was too small this year, but after a year in the weight room, I think he'll be a solid 125 next year, and will hopefully get on the podium.
Yes, I know Andy wrote calendar year. I just thought that the whole season was a better barometer of his status. He's obviously not a top 5 this year, but in play for a 6-8 spot on the podium IMO. And 157 is not really his ideal weight. He lost out to Micah for the 149 spot (and perhaps McKenna for 141) and bumped up.
"The loss that will bother the staff to some extent is Ke-Shawn Hayes' loss to No. 3 Ryan Deakin at 157 pounds. Hayes falls to 15-5 on the season – which is still a strong record – he is now 1 for 4 against ranked opponents in calendar year 2019."
Actually Hayes is 4-5 against ranked opponents this season having beat (Flo rankings) #8 Barone, ILL, #15 Pagdilao, AZST, #16 Rahmani, PITT, and #17 Van Brill, RUT to go with 5 losses vs #2, #3, #4 #5 and #8. If you're talking calendar year and not season, then he's 1-3. And he's facing #1 Nolf this weekend.
He’s had some decent wins but right now is appropriately ranked 17.
The wrestling program does have an elite strength and conditioning program. Perhaps Heinselman hasn’t been around long enough to benefit from it yet. But he will.
To be fair to Iowa, the B10 determines the schedule and not all 14 teams wrestle each other each year. I think there's some kind of rotating schedule. They do wrestle OKST every year, which is probably the 4th best team in the NCAAs. And I think tOSU and PSU rarely wrestle this traditional powerhouse. Back in the good ol days, OKST was the best in the land, and Iowa St, Iowa and OK were all chasing them while the rest of the schools in the NCAAs rarely took the crown. That all changed in the late 70s when Dan Gable took the helm at Iowa, and dominated the NCAAs for close to 20 years. OKST has remained one of the top programs, but has not won it all since 2006 when they won their 3rd straight.
I stand corrected (tho actually I am sitting). I follow six polls and four of those six do tournament team rankings while all six do individual rankings. The four that do team rankings are Flowrestling, Intermat, Wrestler Insider Magazine and The Open Mat. The first three all have tOSU in the 2nd spot, closely followed by Iowa, while The Open Mat has Iowa in 2nd closely followed by tOSU.