MAC Announces Second January Wrestling Rankings

Updated 1/23/2014


Northern Iowa vaults over Missouri as favorite in narrow Conference rankings
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference wrestling coaches announced the second of two January weight class individual rankings in conjunction with the league office today.  Based on the individual rankings, the Northern Iowa Panthers have moved ahead of the Missouri Tigers for the top spot and were selected first overall in the Conference and will look to defeat the defending MAC tournament champions, Missouri.
The second January rankings were very close as only four points separated the top four spots within the Conference rankings.  First place Northern Iowa (20.0 points) led the way and Missouri (18.5 points) ranked second, while Ohio (17.0 points) came in third and Central Michigan (16.0 points) as fourth. 
Coming off a successful 2012-13 wrestling season that witnessed a Conference-best 11 All-Americans and 40 wrestlers seeded in the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championship, the momentum for MAC wrestling continues to rise as the Conference welcomes affiliate members Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion for the 2013-14 regular season and 2014 MAC Wrestling Tournament.
In the fall of 2012, the MAC announced the addition of Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion as affiliate members in the sport of wrestling.  All three universities joined the MAC with five-year agreements, as Missouri and Northern Iowa joined the MAC for the 2013 conference tournament and then to participate in regular season and tournament action for the next four consecutive years (2013-14 season thru 2016-17 academic season).  Old Dominion joins the MAC for the regular season and tournament action this season through the 2017-18 academic season.
The rankings will be released each month throughout the season, with one additional ranking system (two total) in January and February.  The 2014 rankings, voted on by the league’s head coaches in an open forum are as follows:
2013-14 MAC Weight Class:  Second January Rankings:
125 – 1. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa, Freshman); 2. Corey Keener (Central Michigan, Freshman); 3. Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 4. Brandon Jeske (Old Dominion, Freshman).
133 – 1. Joe Colon (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Joe Roth (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Mac McGuire (Kent State, Sophomore); t4. Vinnie Pizzuto (Eastern Michigan, Sophomore); t4. Matt Manley (Missouri, Redshirt Freshman).
141 – 1. Chris Mecate (Old Dominion, Sophomore); 2. Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa, Senior); 3. Zach Horan (Central Michigan, Sophomore); 4. Tyler Small (Kent State, Junior).
149 – 1. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri, Junior); 2. Tywan Claxton (Ohio, Junior); 3. Michael DePalma (Kent State, Sophomore); 4. Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion, Sophomore). 
157 – 1. Ian Miller (Kent State, Sophomore); 2. Luke Smith (Central Michigan, Sophomore); 3. Tristan Warner (Old Dominion, Junior); 4. Spartak Chino (Ohio, Sophomore).
165 – 1. Zach Toal (Missouri, Senior); 2. Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa, Freshman); 3. Harrison Hightower (Ohio, Junior); 4. Nick Becker (Central Michigan, Freshman).
174 – 1. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan, Junior); 2. Cody Walters (Ohio, Sophomore); 3. Mikey England (Missouri, Junior); 4. Cody Caldwell (Northern Iowa, Sophomore).
184 – 1. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Sam Wheeler (Kent State, Sophomore); 3. Johnny Eblen (Missouri, Junior); 4. Phillip Joseph (Eastern Michigan, Senior). 
197 – 1. Phil Wellington (Ohio, Sophomore); 2. J’den Cox (Missouri, Freshman); 3. Nick Whitenburg (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 4. Cole Baxter (Kent State, Sophomore).
HWT – 1. Jeremy Johnson (Ohio, Senior); 2. Devin Mellon (Missouri, Junior); 3. Jared Torrence (Northern Illinois, Senior); 4. Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa, Sophomore).
The team rankings were also decided in the same forum.  The nine schools were ranked based on the number of first through fourth-place votes that were earned in the individual voting system.  A first-place vote was worth four team points; a second-place vote earned three team points; third-seeded votes were worth two team points, while a fourth-place tally earned one point in the team ranking system.  The November team rankings for the MAC are as follows:
2013-14 MAC Rankings Poll – Second January Rankings 
1. Northern Iowa (20.0)
2. Missouri (18.5)
3. Ohio (17.0)
4. Central Michigan (16.0)
5. Kent State (13.0)
6. Old Dominion (8.0)
7. Eastern Michigan (5.5)
8. Northern Illinois (2.0)
9. Buffalo (0.0)
The 2014 MAC Wrestling Championships will be held March 8-9 and hosted by Kent State University. 
Last year, Missouri ended Central Michigan’s eleven-year run as Conference Tournament Champions.  Missouri finished with 136 points, followed by second-place Central Michigan (88 points) and third-place Northern Iowa (83 points).