Just for the hell of it, I'm going to estimate the current probability that there will be an undefeated NCAA champ at each weight class. Because this is unavoidably subjective and because of injuries, I will be more conservative than I actually believe.
125- If Robles gets the #1 seed then he has about a 40% chance to win it all. If he gets the #2 seed behind the Big Ten champ then let's say he has a 20% chance. I don't think Nicholson has much of a chance. So let's say there's a 70% chance that 125 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ.
133- Oliver will be undefeated entering NCAAs as the #1 seed as there is no one in the Big 5 to challenge him. I think he's a very heavy favorite to win it all, but let's say he has a 50% chance. I don't think Mike Grey has enough of a shot to factor him in. 50% chance that 133 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 35% it won't happen at the first two weights.
141- The reality is that Kellen Russell's matches with Alton, Thorn, Kennedy, etc can no longer be considered 50/50 just because they're close when he's winning them every single time. Russell is a master at winning the close ones. Marion will be his biggest threat at Big 10's and NCAAs which is probably a toss-up match. Let's say he has a 40% to win Big 10's and a 40% to win NCAAs. 85% chance that 141 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 30% it won't happen at the first three weights.
149- Darrion Caldwell is by far the best wrestler at this weight, especially with Kyle Dake not performing nearly as consistently as last season and having some conditioning issues. If we could rely on him to be 80+% healthy by NCAAs then he would have at least a 70% to win the NCAA title with his skills (he's literally better in all three positions than anyone else at the weight). For the sake of being conservative, let's cut that number in half because of injury concerns even though he's been competing since January 4th. 35% chance Caldwell wins, 65% chance 149 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 20% chance it won't happen at the first four weights.
157- Barring the unexpected return of 2008 form Bubba Jenkins (who hasn't competed since January 8th btw), it's a safe bet that this weight will have an undefeated champ. Maybe Hall, Taylor or Fittery will be upset before the semifinals, but it won't happen to all three. I think it's being very conservative to estimate there's an 80% chance that Fittery, Taylor or Hall will win. 20% chance that 157 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 4% chance it won't happen at the first five weights.
165- Tyler Caldwell is very tough, Andrew Howe is off-the-charts tough, but Burroughs is the best wrestler in college and has the fortune of competing at 100% health as opposed to Howe. At least a 90% chance that he wins Big 12's after beating Caldwell convincingly last time. Then he'll be the #1 seed at NCAAs so I'd give him a 90% chance to make the finals. If we assume that he faces Howe who is hitting on all cylinders then let's say there's at least a 60% that he wins. That rounds to a 50% chance for Burroughs, which seems way too low for me, but crazy things happen at NCAAs. So, 50% that 165 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 2% chance it won't happen at the first six weights.
174- It's safe to assume that Reader will make the NCAA semifinals as the undefeated #1 seed, I can't think of anyone who can give him a competitive match but let's say 90% chance b/c of injuries and defensive falls, etc. Conservatively, I would give him at least a 60% chance against Henrich in the semis because he has just looked much better this year. Then, let's give him a 50% chance against whoever comes out of the bottom bracket. That rounds to a 25% chance that Henrich wins, 75% chance that 174 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 1.5% chance it won't happen at the first seven weights.
184- Chris Honeycutt is an excellent wrestler, especially when he competes like he did in 7-2 win over Bosak, and he also has the benefit of no challenging matches until NCAAs. However, 184 is a very deep weight with many wrestlers capable of winning the whole thing. He may be the most likely champ, but I wouldn't give him more than a 25-30% chance. For the sake of being conservative and in case he gets injured, let's say there's a 15 chance that he wins. So, 85% that 184 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 1.2% chance it won't happen at the first eight weights.
197- Clayton Foster has the benefit of no more challenging matches before NCAAs, while Brandvold may have a tough time winning Big 10's against Yohn and Lofthouse. I think that Simaz is the favorite, but Foster has been on a tear recently and has the skills to win it all. They're also both seniors as opposed to Simaz and Kilgore, so could be particularly motivated. Conservatively, there's maybe a 5% chance that Brandvold wins and a 15% chance that Foster wins (depending on seeding of guys like Kilgore). So, 80% chance that 197 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 1% chance it won't happen at the first nine weights.
285- Similarly to Kellen Russell, Zach Rey may win close matches but they can no longer be considered toss-ups. He's vulnerable winning like that, but he's about as good as they come at pulling out the tight ones. This weight does not have someone like Montell Marion who has proven himself to be right there with Rey. I would give him at least a 50% chance to win it all. So, 50% chance that 285 won't have an undefeated NCAA champ, 0.5% it won't happen at any weight.
The probability is more like 0.1% or less (obviously we all think that Oliver and Burroughs have a better chance than a coin flip to win), but even while being very conservative I wanted to show how unlikely this is in a given year. We will have multiple undefeated NCAA champs this year, that I can guarantee, and will gladly sig bet on it.
Robles wins and is undefeated.
Oliver wins and is undefeated.
Caldwell is injured and will not get thru the NCAAs undefeated although he would if he were not injured.
One of the 3, and I think it is Taylor gets thru undefeated.
Reader is going to lose.
Hunidcutt isn't going to win it all.
Brandvold isn't going to win it all
Rey........maybe, but I wouldn't bet the house on it
Burroughs wins it and therefore....
4 undefeated Champions!
Oh, I suppose that I could be full of it, I guess.................
The Art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
Great post, bwh.
OK - your extensive statistics have convinced me - I'm going to switch my prediction to (2). I'm still going out on a limb here, but it's a shorter, stouter one.
Zach Rey drops a 4-2 decision in OT to Flores at EIWA...