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  1. Below are Computer Ratings for International Men's Freestyle Nations. These ratings were compiled by considering all individual matches wrestled in the three World Championships, the Olympic finals, and the four regional Olympic qualifying tournaments held during the last 4 seasons (2011-2014). Each individual match was considered as a "team" occurrence. Each team's performance was then run through an algorithm that isolates its true performance level within the context of the quality of opponents faced. --The teams below represent the nations who competed in 75% or more of the 29 World or Olympic (qualifying or finals) weight classes in the last 4 years. The only exceptions are Cuba (62%), Puerto Rico (52%), and North Korea (38%). They were included for their quality level and/or the regional interest for U.S. fans. --The rating represents double the expected winning percentage for an average wrestler from a given nation against an average level opponent from the below-listed teams. --The "raw rating" is the performance of each nation, regardless of participation rate in all weight classes. The "rating" calculates each nation's comprehensive rating when we assume its non-participating weight classes were wrestled at half of the quality level of that team's actual competed weights. --Each nation had an average of 75 individual matches that contributed to its rating --A composite rating for all nations other than the 28 listed here is shown as "all others" Rank Nation Rating Raw Rating 1 Russia 169 169 2 Iran 162 162 3 Azerbaijan 141 141 4 USA 136 136 5 Georgia 132 132 6 Turkey 126 126 7 Cuba 121 133 8 Kazakhstan 117 117 9 Ukraine 117 117 10 Belarus 116 116 11 Uzbekistan 114 116 12 Japan 113 113 13 Bulgaria 100 102 14 India 98 98 15 Mongolia 95 95 16 Armenia 93 97 17 North Korea 88 114 18 Kyrgyzstan 83 86 19 Puerto Rico 81 94 20 Moldova 81 81 21 Canada 80 81 22 Romania 79 82 23 Hungary 78 83 24 Poland 70 76 25 China 69 70 26 Germany 67 69 27 South Korea 55 56 28 Venezuela 47 51 All Others 34
  2. Why Seeding Matters Every year, there is a lot of confusion as to how conference tournaments and NCAAs are seeded. Many coaches and athletes will tell you, "seeds don't matter" because what happens on the mat determines who advances, and to win it all you need to beat whoever's in your path. But in reality, seeds (and also rankings throughout the season in general) matter A LOT for at least four important reasons: 1. Because fans are entertained so much by rankings, they are automatically critical to the sport. Rankings and seeding (which is just a subset of rankings) are instrumental to drawing fan interest to any sport. I'd go as far as to say no other topic is debated more consistently and with as much fervor by fans as seeding/rankings--and this is for most major sports, not just wrestling. Rankings and in particular seeding make it easier for the average fan to follow the sport, are often used as the basis for making predictions (which is the thing fans most like to do), and are a key input for bookmakers setting betting odds. 2. Rankings give major media outlets a general sense of which matches and athletes to cover to maximize fan interest. Conference tournaments and NCAAs are among the hardest sporting events of any kind for media to follow. While it's nice that ESPN now covers the entire NCAA tournament online, a tiny percentage of fans see even 1/4 of that action. How the fan base broadly perceives the events is defined first and foremost by how the media covers these events. 3. Seeds provide an important incentive for teams and athletes to excel during the regular season. Admittedly, this can be a double-edged sword, since every year, several coaches make line-up decisions by giving at least partial consideration to how rankings/seeding will be impacted, which can lead to "seed protection." But more often, there is a strong incentive to wrestle so as to build a body of work to maximize your chances for a high seed. 4. Not everyone is Logan Stieber or Alex Dieringer. The notion of an "easier path" to the finals absolutely exists in reality. Not all the time, not for every weight, but to think otherwise is foolish. Not having to wrestle a pigtail, getting a bye, wrestling weaker guys to start the tournament with an easier early match (paritcularly important for the big weight cutters), being on the opposite side of the guys who are bad match-ups, etc. all matter. Also, not everyone's goal is to be an NCAA champion. I know Gable would skewer me for saying this, but there are LOTS of wrestlers who would absolutely "sign on the dotted line" for an 8th place finish before nationals. I certainly would've back in the day. How Seeding Works Unfortunately, seeding is one of the big mysteries of the sport. Given its importance, it should not be. This thread is an attempt to lay out the objective criteria so we can get a sense of how fairly seeding will be done this year. Here's what I know about seeding. I hope others will add to it. Seeding works differently for conference tournaments and for NCAAs. I'll start with the B1G and NCAAs, the two most important tournaments. I'm using the following sources to start the discussion: 2/29/2012 article from The Collegian, PSU 2/27/2014 article from NCAA.org B1G Seeding 1. Seeds are based strictly on the coaches’ vote. 2. The B1G sends each coach every conference team's record so coaches can use that information to submit their rankings. Every coach gets to submit a ballot. 3. Every coach gets to see every submitted ballot. This prevents foul play, e.g. someone seeding their entire line-up #1 at each weight. 4. In the seeding meeting days before the tournament, any coach with a gripe gets to make his case. A re-voting can then ensue if the gripe has enough merit (though this is rarely done). 5. National rankings of any kind are not supposed to be factor. Rather B1G conference records are the key criteria. NCAA Seeding This is not as clear cut for me, but I'll take a first stab at it. Maybe SetonHallPirate, who is uniquely qualified to discuss this, will weigh in. 1. A seeding committee (don't know its exact composition this year) is selected with an attempt to minimize conflicts of interest (of course, since coaches are involved, this is impossible to eliminate completely) 2. Unlike B1G seeding, the NCAA seeding committee only includes a few coaches. [EDIT: See SHP's post below for committee members' names.] 3. All weights consists of 33 wrestlers. That means there are 330 NCAA participants. 4. 290 of the 330 participants get determined by the results of conference tournaments. 5. 40 of the 330 are determined on an "at-large" basis, i.e. they are handpicked in spite of conference tournament results by the D1 Wrestling Committee. [For 4 and 5: see SHP's post below, B12 bids all go to at-large pool this year and every B12 wrestler has to earn an at-large bid.] 6. Each year, how many qualifiers each conference gets automatically (290 of the 330 slots) is determined by three equally weighted criteria: winning percentage, coaches' ranking, and RPI [EDIT: thanks for this correction, SHP]. For example, here are the allocations for last season: B1G 74, EIWA 47, MAC 41, ACC 34, B12 24, EWL 22, PAC12 17, SoCon 16, West Regional 15 (total: 290). 7. The eight (8) criteria used for the at-large selections are: (i) head-to-head competition; (ii) qualifying event placement; (iii) quality wins; (iv) results against common opponents; (v) winning percentage; (vi) RPI; (vii) coaches' ranking and (viii) the number of matches contested at that weight class. Since the D1 Wrestling Committee deems the criteria set forth in bullet #7 as key for at-large selections, I have to imagine the same criteria are used to seed NCAAs. Of note, the following criteria do not factor in: prior year (or past) performance, number of pins or bonus wins, national rankings from any source other than RPI, NWCA All-Star meet results. The eight criteria from #7 minimizes but does not eliminate subjectivity because coaches' ranking is a factor and coaches are both biased and human. Therefore, criteria such as past performance, bonus wins, etc. that are not listed can absolutely have a psychological effect and, in my opinion, often do. Some Questions For B1G seeding, on which criteria, if any, does the B1G require individual coaches to base their voting? How do other conferences do their seeding? Similar to B1G? For NCAA seeding, since the "coaches' ranking" criterion does not itself have any published guidelines, on what are coaches supposed to base their ranking? Are there some unpublished criteria? Is it their own judgment? For NCAAs, how are pigtails and byes determined? Does seeding have an impact? Is it completely random?
  3. Check out the Missouri High School State Rankings here: Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 If you are interested in talking about them with other Missouri wrestling fans, you can visit our message boards!
  4. http://flipswrestling.com/blog/?p=76 For me, SIDs using tournament rankings when promoting dual meets is my biggest pet peeve. Nothing worse than marketing your program as a top program and then when some people show up for the first time you lose the dual handily to a not ranked team. It makes your program look worse, in my opinion.
  5. The Associated Wrestling Press has released updated pound for pound rankings for the Class of 2015 (Top Seniors) and 2016 (Top Juniors). 2017 and 2018 are coming later this week! Links below... http://www.associatedwrestlingpress.com/news_article/show/411090?referrer_id=1023868 http://www.associatedwrestlingpress.com/news_article/show/411494?referrer_id=1023868
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