State tournament predictions and other certifiable tripe
August 13th, 2020| Written by: Editor

The Louisiana Wrestling News Editors¹ Picks to Win Team Titles in 2021

Division I
St. Paul Wolves
Division II
Archbishop Shaw Eagles
Division III
Basile Bearcats

Division I Predictions Division II Predictions Division III Predictions Certifiable Tripe

¹ Punctuation error, or did I ask my mother's opinion?

I am putting my signature on this early to emphasize that the predictions herein were solely calculated by me  (and approved by my mother by default to keep the punctuation above correct) using all of the mathematics I vaguely remember, and that I will be using the first-person singular (if only because I do not have a tapeworm, which prohibits using the editorial "we"). 

I wanted to find some prosaic way to describe mathematics, which I honestly used to give a semblance of credulity to my predictions but one of the first quotes I saw was the one below by my University of Texas at Austin graduate wrestling teammate Neil DeGrasse Tyson - you know, the guy who bitch-slapped Pluto out of the realm of planets.  The others were by guys like Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton, and others who opine that equines cannot do calculus because "one cannot put Descartes before de horse."  Instead of searching for something perfect, I will use Neil's quote as just an opener.

"Somehow it’s OK for people to chuckle about not being good at math. Yet if I said, ‘I never learned to read,” they’d say I was an illiterate dolt.” –Neil Degrasse Tyson (1983 Photo: standing far left)

I used about all of the math I learned in ELHI and college.  OK, I skipped using the circles and intermeshing circles of sets and subsets from the lower grades.  I mainly used basic functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Adding some Algebra I was easy, by just  using the standard multiplication sign...x...and italicizing voila...a variable!  When geometry was needed, a simple equals sign...=...serves quite nicely as parallel lines.  I often use Algebra II or trigonometry when I go off on inane tangents.  Calculus symbols lack intrinsic beauty, except perhaps the integral symbol (which looks like something that should hang on a math geek's Christmas tree).   I derived nothing from calculus, and never will.  I firmly believe calculus should stop at the concepts of limits, which would have enabled this erstwhile student to spend less money on textbooks and classes and more on harmless college debauchery.  (As seniors, several of us took "A.P. Debauchery" at St. Martin's.)

I did the math for about 80 teams.  It involved the number of wrestlers that are eligible to return from the 2020 state tournament team.  Using those wrestlers, I determined an average point score for each and multiplied it by 14.  Some of the wrestlers may have scored 30 points, some none at all.  Regardless, the points scored by all were used in determining a team's "average."  The numbers actually seemed to make sense.  By "make sense" I mean the top three predicted teams in each division are really one win or loss away from going up or down a notch.  And that generally means that the teams whose wrestlers do not get to the finals go deep into the consolation rounds, and just as important in the champions and consolations rounds, the number of bonus points scored via falls, technical falls and major decisions.

I am predicting the top 10 placing teams in each division but may only provide specifics for the top-five I pick.  As I am sure many readers already know, much of the year has been spent binging on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or renting movies from VUDU, so finding the time to do the research I needed has been fleeting.

Each division really has only three viable contenders for the team championships.  What differentiates them in these predictions, and no doubt will decide who wins a chalice, a plaque or a free ride home, are the wrestlers who score more bonus points (for falls, technical falls and major decisions), and those who win matches but may not place (as in depth in the consolation brackets).  Some "guestimated" points may look strange based on how many wrestlers might come back and how many points they scored in the 2020 tournament.  But some state champions score more overall points than do others.  Returning wrestlers who did not score any points will hurt these estimates.  No flagrant errors arose save one.

Sorry Yellowjackets fans, but I cannot fathom how C.E. Byrd, with only four returning wrestlers of which only one was on the 2020 podium in sixth-place, gets a higher prediction than St. Amant or Live Oak, whose returning wrestlers and placers consist of 10 and 3, and 9 and 1, respectively.  I could go over that a few more times, get a migraine, OD on Advil and spend a few nights at Ochsner - or I can just let it go.  Mark Yawn is doing a heckuva job at Byrd, and his 2021 team may prove me correct.

State championship experience is another factor that comes into play.  In 2017 Brother Martin started twelve wrestlers with no state championship experience after losing 12 to graduation or relocation after their 2016 championship season.  In a year, the Crusaders went from winning by 36.5 points over Jesuit (and 66 points over third-place Holy Cross) to placing third in 2017, behind Jesuit by 21.5 points and champion Holy Cross by 28 points.  But for teams like Brother Martin the best competition some wrestlers will find might be in the practice room.  In 2017 senior Paul-Stephen Schmidt, with no state tournament experience and seeded fourth, was a runner-up, as was the Crusaders' Riley Horvath, who had never been in a state tournament and placed second when seeded third in 2020.  So, tournament experience is not something one can necessarily rely upon, particularly for the larger programs.

Last Year's Predictions

Before you take these predictions to the OTB you should know how well my 2020 predictions worked. 

In Division I the editor correctly predicted the teams that finished first, second and sixth.  I was off by only one on the placing of three other teams, but my mean difference was 2.3, as in overall I missed a team's predicted place by 2.3 spots.  When looking at what I predicted and the actual results, the 2.3 becomes a lot less impressive than I thought at first.

In Division II I did surprisingly well.  While I only nailed the teams that placed fifth, sixth and seventh, I was off by only one for six other teams.  That mean difference was 1.3, which I think is pretty good.

I nailed four in Division III - first, second, third and 10th.  First, second and third were pretty easy to predict, though.  As for the rest, well, the mean difference was not so good at 2.4.

Back to Top

©  2020-21 by Louisiana Wrestling News

You may not make electronic copies of these copyrighted materials nor redistribute them to 3rd parties in any form without written permission.