The Oklahoma State wrestling team is ranked No. 1 in WIN magazine's 2016-17 Preseason Tournament Power Index, the publication announced Thursday.
The TPI is based on the team's wrestlers who are rated in WIN's individual rankings, predicting possible All-American candidates at the 2017 NCAA Championships, which will be March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
WIN's TPI point totals are broken down as follows: 1st - 20 (16 AA points + 4 advancement points); 2nd - 16 (12+4); 3rd - 13.5 (10+3.5); 4th - 12.5 (9+3.5); 5th - 10 (7+3); 6th - 9 (6+3); 7th - 6.5 (4+2.5); 8th - 5.5 (3+2.5). Additional points for other rankings include: 9th/12th - 2; 13th/16th - 1.5; 17th-20th - 1. TPI points will be lower than the final actual NCAA tournament points because it does not include bonus points.
The Cowboys have eight wrestlers featured in the top eight in their weight class for a 87.5 TPI points total. The group is led by 141-pound defending national champion Dean Heil and three returning All-Americans: Anthony Collica (149), Joe Smith (157) and Nolan Boyd (184). Chandler Rogers (165) and Preston Weigel (197) were ranked No. 8 in their respective weight classes after falling short of the round of 16 at last year’s NCAAs.
Kaid Brock (133) and Kyle Crutchmer (174) also are in the group after missing last postseason with injuries. Brock suffered a season-ending injury during the semifinals of the Southern Scuffle, while Crutchmer broke his right foot in two places during the Bedlam dual Feb. 5.
OSU, who has a NCAA program-best 34 team championships, will look to make room for another team title in its trophy case for the first time since 2006.
OSU is a 3.5-point favorite over No. 2 Virginia Tech, who have six returning All-Americans. Iowa, Ohio State and Missouri round out the top 5. Michigan is ranked No. 6, followed by defending team champion Penn State and Cornell. Nebraska and Illinois are No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.
Three other Big 12 schools made the list: No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 17 Iowa State and No. 21 Wyoming.
The Cyclones feature two wrestlers in the top eight: Returning All-American Earl Hall at No. 5 (133) and No. 7 Tanner Weatherman (174). Oklahoma and Wyoming each have one wrestler in the top eight. Returning All-American Ryan Millhof is No. 4 at 125 pounds for the Sooners, while NCAA runner-up Bryce Meredith is No. 2 at 141 for Wyoming.
|133||Kaid Brock (So.)||6|
|141||Dean Heil (Jr.)||1|
|149||Anthony Collica (Sr.)||4|
|157||Joe Smith (So.)||3|
|165||Chandler Rogers (So.)||8|
|174||Kyle Crutchmer (Sr.)||4|
|184||Nolan Boyd (Sr.)||6|
|197||Preston Weigel (So.)||8|