The Penn State wrestling schedule for next season has been officially announced and it's a tad on the disappointing side. To be fair it should be pointed out that the Big Ten schedule as always is an absolute meat grinder. So there will be plenty of tough matches on the schedule. But with a limited out of conference schedule to see only one big dual is disappointing. It's also a shame to see that there will not be a single two home match weekend this year. That makes it awfully tough on out of town fans to only get to see one match per weekend.
The schedule is as follows:
Fri. -- Nov. 12 -- at Bloomsburg -- 7 p.m. -- Bloomsburg, Pa.
Sun. -- Nov. 14 -- LEHIGH -- 2 p.m. -- Rec Hall
Sun. -- Nov. 21 -- at Sprawl and Brawl Duals -- TBA -- Binghamton, N.Y. (opponents TBA)
Sun. -- Dec. 5 -- Nittany Lion Open -- 8:30 a.m. -- Rec Hall
Sun. -- Dec. 12 -- LOCK HAVEN -- 2 p.m. -- Rec Hall
Sun. -- Dec. 19 -- *OHIO STATE -- 2 p.m. -- Rec Hall
Wed.-Thur. -- Dec. 29-30 -- at Southern Scuffle -- TBA -- Greensboro, N.C.
Fri.-Sat. -- Jan. 7-8 -- at Virginia Duals -- TBA -- Hampton, Va. (field TBA)
Fri. -- Jan. 21 -- PITTSBURGH -- 7 p.m. -- Rec Hall
Sun. -- Jan. 23 -- *at Indiana -- 1 p.m. -- Bloomington, Ind.
Sun. -- Jan. 30 -- *IOWA -- 2 p.m. -- Rec Hall
Fri. -- Feb. 4 -- *at Michigan State -- 7 p.m. -- East Lansing, Mich.
Sun. -- Feb. 6 -- *at Michigan -- 2 p.m. -- Ann Arbor, Mich.
Fri. -- Feb. 11 -- *ILLINOIS -- 7 p.m. -- Rec Hall
Sun. -- Feb. 13 -- *at Minnesota -- 3 p.m. -- Minneapolis, Minn.
Fri. -- Feb. 18 *WISCONSIN -- 7 p.m. -- Rec Hall
Sat.-Sun. -- March 5-6 -- 2011 Big Ten Championships at Purdue -- West Lafayette, Ind.
Thur.-Sat. -- March 17-19 -- 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships -- Philadelphia, Pa.
So in the out of conference slate you have Lehigh, Pittsburgh and Loch Haven at home, with Bloomsburg on the road. The bloomsburg road match is a bit of head scratcher especially after last years blow out at rec hall. The Loch Haven match will likely be a blow out but that match is always going to be on the schedule so you just have to deal with it. Pittsburgh and Lehigh should be solid opponents.
Having the Southern Scuffle on the schedule is a welcome change Penn State typically hasn't done many individual tournaments in the past and going to the scuffle should be a bit of an upgrade over Reno in my opinion.
To see Penn State headed to the Sprawl and Brawl duals and the Viriginia duals again is extremely disappointing. I understand why Penn State turned down the National Duals invite since it's loaded with Big Ten teams. But there is no question the talent at that tournament is far superior to what they'll see at Virginia the best hope at Virginia is that they manage to get both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, but outside of that the opposition could be weak. Especially with what should be a better team than what they took to the tournament last year. The Sprawl and Brawl duals has never impressed me, it's usually one good match with two other teams Penn State should handle. In fact the only reason it's been competitive in the past is because Penn State never seems to wrestle well there for one reason or another. I would have preferred to see Penn State entered in the new Hershey duals. The competition is probably about the same as the see in Binghamton but it would give Penn State the chance to wrestle in central PA. Which has been a hot bed of national recruits the past few years.
The Big Ten schedule is what you would expect and includes great home duals against Ohio State Iowa and Wisconsin. Those three could very well be the top teams in the Big Ten this year and they'll all be coming to rec hall. Which is great for the team and the fans. And then of course the season wraps up in Philadelphia with the NCAA tournament, where hopefully Penn State will put up a good showing in front of their home fans before the tournament heads back to the midwest.
With so many talented wrestlers set to hit the mat this year after red shirt seasons last year it should be an exciting year at Rec Hall. The young wrestlers will have a chance to make a big statement at Rec Hall in the Big Ten schedule.