(photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Like last week, we are in for some slim pickings this week, but after this Sunday, we head into the sprint to the finish in what will be the halfway point for the collegiate wrestling season.
The coming weeks until February will be trying and strenuous for you as the #FantasyCollegeWrestling Coach since duals (and some tournaments) will be STARTING on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Week 8 article will actually be posted soon, which will have the Collegiate Wrestling Duals and the smattering of regular duals as well, with a preface to a holiday theme and tradition that is close to my heart.
But, let's talk about those Collegiate Wrestling Duals. For some reason, this is a very polarizing topic with the fanbase, and I think a lot of it comes from maybe misinterpreting or maybe not quite explaining the finer points to whatever argument they have. Let Tony give his two cents:
Alex Steen came out with an awesome article back in April on InterMat about how to possibly fold a "D1 National Collegiate Dual"-esque format into the regular season, much like high school has. His example used the previous year's NCAA March Tournament placement, adjusted with graduated or non-returning wrestlers to those respective teams.
While I love that idea, and Alex obviously used great data points to craft his proposal, I have been workshopping a different idea/approach on how to proceed with a similar format. Alex's proposal still emphasizes the individual March Tournament as the key driver to entry. My idea is to have the regular season play the main factor in qualifying.
And again, this is a rough draft because it hasn't been done at this level and there would most likely be monetary and logistical issues out the wazoo to contend with, but just go with me here:
Much like the format of the UEFA Champions League, but without the group stage aspect, teams would compete in their normal conference dual schedule. Based on a factor to be determined later (maybe conference standings at the NCAA Tournament in that regard), the final standings of the team within their conference would be the qualifier into the National Team Dual Tournament.
Conferences like the Big Ten, Big XII, and EIWA could remain intact or could potentially be split into East/West, Ivy/Patriot, etc., groupings for this consideration. A total of 16 teams would qualify for the tournament, which would be bracketed. How would it be bracketed? That's a good question that I think could go to some of our sport's more creative groups, but to just spitball an idea, each conference winner gets seeded and 1 through 7, with the 8th seed being the highest of the remaining teams. Others would be randomly drawn in or seeded as well.
Example: Campbell finishes the 2021-2022 season as the top team in the dual standings for SoCon. They get an automatic bid into the National Team Dual Tournament. They would be inserted as a top 7 seed in the bracket, while Michigan, who finished 3rd in the Big Ten but was able to grab an auto qualifier spot, would be drawn in and could face Cambell in the first round.
The only downside to this is and the first-year team would have to be the time the band-aid that gets ripped off, is that the qualifier counts for NEXT YEAR. So in that same example from above, if Campbell wins the 2021-2022 SoCon Conference, then they would be qualified and seeded for the 2022-2023 National Team Dual Tournament. This could be a recruiting tool ("hey, we qualified for National Team Duals") and would give coaches another opportunity to go to their AD with positives about the program. The downside is that the dynamic and exciting Senior wrestler doesn't get to be showcased in the Tournament he helped the team qualify for.
Now, how would the Tournament be run? Most likely, it would have to be over the course of the season (remember I said logistical and money issues?), where maybe the first round could be held in one of four locations across the country (perhaps the highest seed of that grouping/quarter of the bracket?) that could accommodate the teams in one day. Then maybe a month or so later, the next round, then a month or so later after that, a two-day set for the Semis and Finals (losing teams would compete for 3rd place, and could be the prelim match to the Finals).
Oh, and based on final placing, there would be monetary winnings. That way, even if you qualify and lose in the first round, your program still gets rewarded for taking the regular season seriously and winning/placing high in your conference. Much like the Journeyman system in place for this coming Collegiate Wrestling Duals, but maybe some tweaks to how the PPV and funds are obtained and dispersed.
And just to be clear, the results of this tournament (outside of the individual matches), hold no bearing on the NCAA Tournament in March. No added points, no extra qualifier, etc. This is a separate and storybuilding event.
Just an idea…
On to Week 7
One tournament shines in this lackluster competition week, the Reno Tournament of Champions. While the entry list has yet to officially be seen, I have my inklings, but don't want to post anything until I get at least some confidence in actual potential participants. Keep those alerts on for @FantasyD1Wrestl and when I do give an update, you can be the first to know and hit the Transfer Portal to win the week!
It's going to be another scrappy week, hang in there!
Wrestlers I Like This Week
Wrestler (School)- competition for the week [Proj Score]
*organized by projected score first, then by school name*
Trevor Mastrogiovanni (Oklahoma State)- @ Air Force, @ Wyoming [+7]
Micah Roes (Binghamton)- @ Sacred Heart [+4]
Daton Fix (Oklahoma State)- @ Air Force, @ Wyoming [+9]
Gio Disabato (Ohio)- Vs Campbell, Vs Gardner-Webb, Vs George Mason [+9]
Codi Russell (Appalachian State)- Vs North Carolina, @ Bellarmine [+8]
Derek Spann (Buffalo)- Vs Bucknell, Vs Lock Haven (@BUCK) [+7]
Anthony Sobotker (Binghamton)- @ Sacred Heart [+4]
Chance Rich (CSU Bakersfield)- @ Little Rock [+3]
Kaden Cassidy (George Mason)- Vs Davidson, Vs Gardner-Webb, Vs Ohio [+9]
Kizhan Clarke (North Carolina)- @ Appalachian State [+3]
Josh Finesilver (Duke)- Vs Bloomsburg, Vs The Citadel, Vs Presbyterian [+10]
Alex Madrigal (George Mason)- Vs Davidson, Vs Gardner-Webb, Vs Ohio [+9]
Josh Heil (Campbell)- Vs Gardner-Webb, Vs Ohio [+7]
Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma State)- @ Air Force, @ Wyoming [+7]
Nick Lombard (Binghamton)- @ Sacred Heart [+4]
Ian Parker (Iowa State)- Vs Purdue [+4]
Jordan Slivka (Ohio)- Vs Campbell, Vs Gardner-Webb, Vs George Mason [+11]
Dazjon Casto (The Citadel)- Vs Bloomsburg, Vs Duke (@DUKE) [+6]
Austin O'Connor (North Carolina)- @ Appalachian State [+4]
David Carr (Iowa State)- Vs Purdue [+4]
Nick Palumbo (Sacred Heart)- Vs Binghamton [+3]
Roderick Mosley (Gardner-Webb)- Vs Campbell, Vs George Mason, Vs Ohio [+9]
Zach Hartman (Bucknell)- Vs Buffalo, Vs Lock Haven [+8]
Travis Wittlake (Oklahoma State)- @ Air Force, @ Wyoming [+7]
Selwyn Porter (The Citadel)- Vs Bloomsburg, Vs Duke (@DUKE) [+6]
Izzak Olejnik (Northern Illinois)- Vs Kent State [+4]
Matt Finesilver (Duke)- Vs Bloomsburg, Vs The Citadel, Vs Presbyterian [+12]
Logan Messer (George Mason)- Vs Davidson, Vs Gardner-Webb, Vs Ohio [+11]
Vincent Baker (Duke)- Vs Bloomsburg, Vs The Citadel, Vs Presbyterian [+11]
Dakota Geer (Oklahoma State)- @ Air Force, @ Wyoming [+8]
Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois)- Vs Kent State [+4]
Kaden Russell (Duke)- Vs Bloomsburg, Vs The Citadel, Vs Presbyterian [+15]
AJ Ferrari (Oklahoma State)- @ Air Force, @ Wyoming [+7]
Lou DePrez (Binghamton)- @ Sacred Heart [+4]
Taye Ghadiali (Campbell)- Vs Gardner-Webb, Vs Ohio [+7]
Michael McAleavey (The Citadel)- Vs Bloomsburg, Vs Duke (@DUKE) [+7]
Joe Doyle (Binghamton)- @ Sacred Heart [+4]
Josiah Hill (Little Rock)- Vs CSU Bakersfield [+4]
Think I missed someone? Disagree with someone on the list or their projection? Want to know our thoughts on a matchup? Let me know!
Win the week!