News Ticker

Rankings, Bracketology and Observations – UIL State Championships – Day1

by: Tom Dendy

For any of the news media and press out there getting tired of tripping over each other trying to get a glance of Mack Beggs, here is a bit of what you missed with the other 767 wrestlers in the tournament – and a a couple of the stories that are somehow being completely overlooked:

-There are two 6A boys within reach of their third straight title (Westlake’s Skudlarcyk @ 126lb and Allen’s Redlin @ 170lb)
– There are 2 defending state champions who will NOT win their second title, including one completely eliminated without placing
– There are 2 defending champions squaring off tomorrow morning in the 152lb 6A semi final, Allen’s Robinson and Vandegrift’s Jacobs
– Freshman AJ Ferrari (Allen, 160lb) is on his way to a title – likely the first of four – he may one day be viewed as the best wrestler in the State – EVER – and they say his 8th grade brother is even meaner and more aggressive.
– Allen Alumnus Bo Nickal is making huge headlines at Penn State, as a sophomore.
– Mack Beggs is NOT going to give you an interview, so you can stop chasing him across the arena floor as his family and coach shuttle him quickly out the back tunnel and beyond your reach after each match. And as much as you are banking on a made-for-TV drama, don’t expect any coaches or parents or other wrestlers giving up a forfeit in the State Meet. His semi-final opponent is coming off of an upset of the Region 3 Champion for a rematch of last week’s Region 2 semi finals v. Beggs.
– Allen has already locked up the boys title, but, as expected, the race for second and third is too close to call, slight edge to Southlake Carroll with the most wrestlers in the seminfinals.
– Want some drama – keep an eye on the 5A boys team sores.  Only 1.5 points separate the top three teams and six teams are within 11.5 points.  By comparison, if the 2nd-4th place 6A teams combined their scores (Carroll, Katy, Vandegrift), they would still be 10 points behind Allen.

Bracketology and Rankings

Few things get Ray amped up more than asking him about the justification for the weekly individual rankings.  And as one who assists in consolidating and sorting the data, I can assure you, there are no fancy computer algorithms or formula being employed.  Just a handful of experts pouring over whatever results and observations are available.  They seem to get it right most often with the wrestlers they’ve watched in person – the seasoned eye can just plain tell who has the greatest package of skill and athleticism.

But as we’ve said all week, it all gets settled on the mat.  Sure, there are three more rounds of settling yet to be done – but we are down to our final 8 – and we know 4 of our guaranteed placers in each bracket – so let’s look at how Ray and team did this year:

5A Girls,  admittedly, are some of the toughest to access – the smaller school are so spread out – and the raters see far fewer of them in person – relying on records and stats. However, each weight only has 2 or 3 girls ranked below 8th that are in the final 8 and only 3 of the 10 weight classes have one of the top 4 eliminated. 138lb is the closest hit with 1-4 in the semi’s and 5,9,11,12 in the back side.

6A Girls – All of the #1’s are still in, though 2 are in the consolations.  Two #2’s out – on average, 5 of top 8 ranked girls are still in the hunt.

5A Boys – A lot more of the same – Oddly enough – at 132lb, the top 8 are the 8 still standing – but 1 and 2 are in the consolation and 5, 6 and 8 are in the semis. 126 has 1-4 in semis and 5-7,12 in the consolation round. 113 also has 1-4 intact up top and there were a couple of 16th ranked boys still fighting their way through the consolation bracket.

6A Boys – 120, 126, 138 and 195 have 1-8 intact, We still have 1-7 at 285, 182, 106, and 152. So in 8 of the 14 weights, At least 7 of the top 8 are holding rank.  Needless to say, we all see more 6A boys events than others – but we are expanding our network every month.

Updated Brackets and team scores are posted here, and our favorite photos are continuing to be uploaded throughout the day  – posted here.

Boys weigh-ins start at 7 Saturday, with Semi-finals and third round consolation at 8:30AM, Girls weigh in at 9, with wrestling beginning right after the boys, at 10:30.