MAC Announces February Wrestling Rankings

Updated 2/6/2014


Northern Iowa maintains lead over Ohio and Missouri as favorite in narrow Conference rankings
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference wrestling coaches announced the February weight class individual rankings in conjunction with the league office today.  Based on the individual rankings, the Northern Iowa Panthers remain in the top spot ahead of Ohio and Missouri and were selected first overall in the Conference and will look to defeat the defending MAC tournament champions, Missouri.
The February rankings were very close as four points separated first-place Northern Iowa (22.0 points) and second-place Ohio (18.0 points).  Within the Conference rankings, only eight points separated the top five positions as Missouri (15.0 points) ranked third and both Central Michigan (14.0 points) and Kent State (14.0 points) were tied for fourth place.
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:
2014 MAC Weight Class:  February Rankings:
125 – 1. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa, Freshman); 2. Brandon Jeske (Old Dominion, Freshman); 3. Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 4. Corey Keener (Central Michigan, Freshman).
133 – 1. Joe Colon (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Joe Roth (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Mac McGuire (Kent State, Sophomore); 4. Vinnie Pizzuto (Eastern Michigan, Sophomore).
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. Tywan Claxton (Ohio, Junior); 2. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri, 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. Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa, Freshman); 2. Zach Toal (Missouri, Senior); 3. Harrison Hightower (Ohio, Junior); 4. Nick Becker (Central Michigan, Freshman).
174 – 1. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan, Junior); 2. Cody Walters (Ohio, Sophomore); 3. Cody Caldwell (Northern Iowa, Sophomore); 3. Mikey England (Missouri, Junior).
184 – 1. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Sam Wheeler (Kent State, Sophomore); 3. Johnny Eblen (Missouri, Junior); 4. Jack Dechow (Old Dominion, Redshirt Freshman). 
197 – 1. Phil Wellington (Ohio, Sophomore); 2. J’den Cox (Missouri, Freshman); 3. Cole Baxter (Kent State, Sophomore); 4. Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion, Redshirt Freshman). 
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 team rankings for the MAC are as follows:
2013-14 MAC Rankings Poll – February Rankings 
1. Northern Iowa (22.0)
2. Ohio (18.0)
3. Missouri (15.0)
t4. Central Michigan (14.0)
t4. Kent State (14.0)
6. Old Dominion (12.0)
7. Eastern Michigan (3.0)
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).