I pretty much agree with Tom. Have the duals first and then when tournament time comes transfer the scores over and wrestle it out there. Basically combine the scores.
But, as Spider noted, it's all about money. I guess they figure by having several different duals that would mean more actual tickets sold? I'm just guessing what their thought process was. I know ESPN is offering the really big money but I honestly don't see what's in it for them. This format will not bring more fans to the tv screen. I'm really confused by ESPN and how this will make them more money. But I am not against it if they would combine scores.
Isn't this mostly a push from the coaches who want to promote the sport? Maybe in the end it is allabout money (not that I believe there is a lot to be made from wrestling) but anyhting that is making money from wrestling is a good thing for the sport.
My uninformed sense of the situation is that the national tournament has been a massive financial success, both for the NCAA and for ESPN. They are trying to replicate that by putting emphasis on the duals, with the knowledge that despite all the moaning and groaning of some fans, making the national title the team title isn't going to put much of a dent in attendance for the NCAA tourney.
Generally speaking I am in favor of this change, as I think putting more emphasis on the team competition is going to add even more excitement to the season. However I do also feel that its a shame they couldn't find some way to keep the individual tournament relevant to the overall team title.
Lost as always the voice of reason.
I like following the team race at the individual national championships, I understand that lots of people here like following the team race at the individual national championships. What I think is missing from this discussion is that, usually, is only interesting/exciting for people who follow the tournament closely for 3 days. I imagine that most people who tune in for the finals are only watching the finals and the team race is usually over by then. So taking the team championships from the individual tournament isn't going to make a difference to most of the people watching the tournament.
Having ESPN involved with a dual meet tournament means more wrestling coverage on TV. More wrestling coverage on TV means more casual fans watching wrestling. The more fans watch the sport the better off the sport is.
I also think that duals are more fan friendly than tournaments (especially for casual fans). If you're a fan of a team every match involves a guy on your team. If you're bringing your kids or the kids you coach who have short attention spans an hour and a half long dual is going to be much more fun for them than an all day tournament. A dual tournament also adds meaning to a lot more regular season duals, I think casual fans/students are more likely to go to a dual to see their team try to qualify for the national tournament than would be otherwise. A multi-weekend dual tournament also gives buzz a chance to build about 'Cinderella' teams.
Okay, so do we want:
1. the National Champion team to be determined by the NCAA individual tournament format, or
2. the National Champion team to be determined by the Duals format, or
3. two different National Championship definitions with possibly two different National Champion teams?
Option 1 retains the importance of the NCAA Tournament and caps off the season with its premier event.
Option 2 severely diminishes the significance of the NCAA Tournament, but gives college wrestling more exposure, more money, and probably a wider audience.
Option 3, in my opinion, confuses the issue and is not viable.
My vote is for option 1, but I'm an old guy who values tradition and resists change.
I also like the change and I think that it will be positive for our sport. As has been said it is easy for a casual fan to watch a dual meet and know who to cheer for or get excited about. It was difficult to explain to my wife in the past why I'm cheering for somebody from a school I don't cheer for to beat someone else just so that Oregon State will finish ahead of them in the team race. Also most fans don't want to sit through ONE full day of tournament wrestling let alone two or three. The posters here are obviously an exception, we're all big wrestling fans or else we wouldn't argue about things online, the vast majority though would rather a dual meet.
I do wish that the NCAA would have had two different titles, a tournament title and a dual meet title, but I think that this step is a good move, and anytime that ESPN wants to showcase another event for us I'm happy about it.
I'm coming to the party a little late, but I have a couple thoughts to add:
Most of the "individual" sports that crown a team champion have a different qualifying procedure. In Cross country, tennis, and golf (maybe others) your entire team can go to the tournament if their combined score is high enough. So the top teams get to take the whole team regardless of how the individuals did. Then of course, the top additional individuals can qualify as well, but they have no hope at the team title. This way, if you are in the team hunt, you have your whole team at the tourney (or race...). Obviously, wrestling has not done this, which I think benefits the strongest few, thereby consolidating the power at the top.
In addition, I do like the idea of formalizing the dual champions. There was a comment earlier that Iowa HS doesn't see good competition for their dual championship. PA does it early enough that those matches are the real deal, so it definitely can be done. Maybe Iowa wrestlers aren't tough enough to wrestle that much, or maybe they are much more interested in individual glory and don't care about the team. There isn't an I in team, but there sure is in Iowa... :innocent:
If this happens, I would like to see a tournament trophy created for the team with the most points at the end of the individual tournament. They keep team scores just like before, and the winner gets.....The Gable Trophy. You can't really name it after anyone else, unless maybe you want to dig deep into Greek history and go with Milo. There are plenty of random trophies in college football - this is one that I think would have real meaning.