WOOD REPORT: MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY INDIVIDUAL TOP 100 RANKINGS
It’s back. The Wood Report returns for its second year on CITIUS MAG. It’s a little later than last year but never late is better.
For those who need a refresher on what is The Wood Report and who the heck is Isaac Wood…
I am the Director of Operations at BYU and previously served as a graduate assistant and coach at Florida State as well as BYU. I have been doing The Wood Report since 2012 and people seem to have loved reading it. In 2012, I kind of started getting a reputation among the team at BYU for being someone that was fairly good at predicting races, breaking down meets and predicting top finishers. I knew stats pretty well for most guys. Olympian Doug Padilla, who was the director of operations at BYU at the time, said to me, ‘Dude, you just have to put this into some sort of website and let the people know about it.’ That’s it. The Wood Report was born. It’s my idea of who the best 31 teams in the country are who are the best individuals. It’s obviously never perfect but in years past, it’s proved to be very decent and accurate. That’s why I kept doing it. If I stunk at it, then I would not have kept doing it. Here we are five years later.
How is it all put together? I mined through every team in the NCAA. I put all the information into a document and list out some personal bests. I give it a glance and then a rating to get an idea of where they fit among others. The ratings are a bit of my own concoction. At the moment it’s a number from 1 to 10 with one decimal point. I’d love to get to the point, where I rank runners a few more places beyond the decimal point, but we’re not there yet. I made up my own equivalency chart that I feel confident in. It’s more for me to see where this one runner fits among others in a fair fashion. Here’s an example of how it works: When you’re looking at some of these smaller conferences, you’re like ‘Oh this guys is pretty good.’ But, in all reality, just because you win the Patriot League – which is a good league and more solid than people realize – doesn’t mean that you’re as good as maybe someone in the top 10 of the Big 10. Probably not. So I give a rating that will give me an idea of where to put them in the conference, regional and national meet (if they qualify.) Cross country finishes and track personal bests are important and a nice combination. You have to find a balance of that. Some runners are really good on the track and not so great in cross country. You can kind of weed those guys out by looking at some 10K personal bests but then their conference finishes over the years. I use my noodle to determine where they belong in the grand scheme of things nationally.
One last thing, you’ll notice very quickly into the rankings that BYU is not included. As I mentioned above, I am the Director of Operations at BYU. Last year, I was on the fence about including BYU into the rankings. Eventually, it was clear that we could be contenders for the national title. Things didn’t go as planned as the NCAA Championships and so this year, the CITIUS MAG team has agreed to let me pull BYU from the published rankings.
Women’s rankings to come tomorrow!
You might have questions about the first set of rankings so when you’re done reading, check out the mailbag column that was just posted. These projections have taken performances from early-season invitationals into account.
Now that you get the idea, I think it’s time to unveil my Top 100 for 2018…
|95||Awet||Beraki||Stephen F. Austin||FR||8.688888889|
|79||Jose||Pina||San Jose St.||JR||8.8659595|
Thoughts? Send your compliments or hate mail over to me on Twitter: @Wood_Report or email me at [email protected]. Tell us if you’d like for The Wood Report to go audio version as well. We could tape a bi-weekly podcast in the lead up to the NCAA Cross Country National Championships.