OSU wrestling: 8 Cowboys ranked in second 2020 coaches’ panel, first RPI rankings

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Travis Wittlake is the top-ranked wrestler at 165 pounds in RPI.

The second NCAA wrestling coaches’ panel and first Rating Percentage Index (RPI) rankings of the season were released Thursday, with eight Oklahoma State wrestlers appearing in both. The final rankings will be part of the criteria used as part of the selection process to determine qualifiers and seeding for the NCAA Championships, which are March 19-21 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The coaches’ panel rankings are determined by a vote from 14 coaches in each weight class with two head coaches from each of the seven conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, EIWA, MAC, Pac-12 and SoCon). Coaches only consider wrestlers designated as a starter and those that have competed within the past 30 days. Winning percentage, RPI, head-to-head competition, quality wins and results against common opponents also factor into the coaches’ rankings.

RPI is a calculation that considers a wrestler’s winning percentage, opponent winning percentage (strength of schedule) and opponent’s opponent winning percentage (opponent’s strength of schedule). Only matches against Division I opponents at the designated weight class count toward RPI and a wrestler needs to have wrestled 15 matches to be ranked.

At 125 pounds, Nick Piccininni is the highest ranked Cowboy in both polls at No. 4 in the coaches’ panel and No. 2 in RPI. Princeton’s Pat Glory, who defeated Piccininni 9-4 in December, holds the RPI’s top spot.

Reece Witcraft is No. 21 in coaches’ panel and No. 16 in RPI at 133. He moved up four spots in the coaches’ panel. At 141, Dusty Hone is down one spot in the coaches’ panel to No. 15 and is No. 19 in RPI.

Boo Lewallen fell two spots in the coaches’ panel and is No. 3 in RPI at 149 after his undefeated run this season ended. He’s No. 3 in RPI, behind Iowa’s Pat Lugo and North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor but ahead of Missouri’s Brock Mauller, who defeated Lewallan 5-3 in sudden victory earlier this month.

At 157, Wyatt Sheets moved up two spots to No. 20 in the coaches’ panel and landed at No. 11 in RPI. Travis Wittlake shifted up to No. 8 in the coaches’ panel and is No. 1 in RPI at 165.

Anthony Montalvo saw the biggest jump in the coaches’ panel as he jumped six spots to No. 14 at 184, and his No. 7 in RPI. At 197, Dakota Geer moved down three spots to No. 13 in the coaches’ panel and found himself at No. 10 in RPI.

Joe Smith, who was not the starter at 174 for the first coaches’ panel, was ranked No. 10 but was not ranked in RPI.

The next ranking in the coaches and RPI polls will be released Feb. 27.

OSU in coaches’ panel rankings

125: Nick Piccininni (No. 4) — no change

133: Reece Witcraft (No. 21) — up four spots

141: Dusty Hone (No. 15) — down one spot

149: Boo Lewallen (No. 5) — down two spots

157: Wyatt Sheets (No. 20) — up two spots

165: Travis Wittlake (No. 8) — up one spot

174: Joe Smith (No. 10) — previously unranked

184: Anthony Montalvo (No. 14) — up six spots

197: Dakota Geer (No. 13) — down three spots

OSU in RPI rankings

125: Nick Piccininni (No. 2)

133: Reece Witcraft (No. 16)

141: Dusty Hone (No. 19)

149: Boo Lewallen (No. 3)

157: Wyatt Sheets (No. 11)

165: Travis Wittlake (No. 1)

184: Anthony Montalvo (No. 7)

197: Dakota Geer (No. 10)

Source: Cowboys Ride For Free