Penn State closed out their dual meet season this weekend with a disappointing 26 - 16 loss to Minnesota. Penn State failed to generate any momentum going into the post season. They'll now have two weeks to prepare for the Big Ten tournament. Several of the individual losses in this bout could be costly when it comes to Big Ten seeding especially heavyweight.
125: Brad Pataky received a forfeit, I was really looking forward to this bout. Pataky could end up with the 3rd seed over Sanders at Big Tens since Sanders has wrestled so few Big Ten bouts. But not wrestling this bout could hurt Pataky since it will be over a month since he's wrestled a ranked wrestler going into the Big Tens. And it's not like he has a murderer's row of teammates to push him in practice.
133: I did make one mistake in my prediction Pearsall did win the first big ten match of the year against Illinois so Penn State did not go winless in the Big Ten at this weight. As expected Pearsall got pinned quickly by Ness, he likely has two more matches left as a Penn State starter.
141: Lynch saw all the momentum he had been building go right out the window after giving up a first period pin to Mike Thorn. I though Lynch would probably lose and the chance for a pin was definitely there but this was a disappointing result given the progress he has made in the past few weeks. If he's able to get back on track I think he still is very capable of qualifying for Nationals depending on how many automatic qualifiers the Big Ten gets at this weight.
149: Frank was able to beat Mario Mason somewhat convincingly but I wasn't overly impressed with Frank again this week. His riding was incredible and certainly nothing to scoff at. But on his feet he looked really sloppy this week. His shots were from way too far away and looked really sloppy. Most of he takedowns he got just using brute strength opposed to technique. He's got the strength to get away with that against Mason but it won't work against Ruschell, Palmer or Metcalf. I might be overly critical here but this is a tough weight and Frank is going to need to be incredibly sharp if he's going to have success in the post season.
157: The showcase bout of the evening was a bit of snoozer. Schlatter converted a first period takedown into a 4 0 win. Schlatter looks nothing like the guy who one a national title, which seems like it was about 10 years ago. He used to be incredibly active and aggressive, but now he seems to be looking to get one takedown and then trying to hang on to a win. Sanderson struggled to get out after the takedown and then was pretty much forced to take neutral when he had his choice. That is going to really hurt his chances in the post season. The takedown given up wasn't terrible but Sanderson really never got any offense going. Which is tough when the other guy is hanging on your head and moving backwards. Sanderson should get another shot at Schlatter in the Big Ten finals assuming he beats Kinser which he should. I knew this would be a tough match for Sanderson and I don't feel any worse about his chances after his loss. If I was a Schlatter fan I would be extremely concerned I'm never a fan of defensive conservative wrestling especially at NCAA's. Wrestling like that your setting yourself where one big move against you could beat you.
165: Vallimont looked pretty solid this week he looked very sharp from his feet which is important for him. Again he had very few problems getting out from bottom albeit against weak opposition. It was extremely disappointing to see Vallimont give up the escape with 1 second left. Especially since with no stall calls he could have just hung on to the ankle. He seems to be wrestling strong and will take some momentum into the Big Ten tournament.
174: Justin Ortega again showed very little offensively and was never really in this bout. He finishes the Big Ten season without a win, and likely has just two matches left at the tournament as a starter for Penn State. Who knows maybe without the heart issues things would have been different, but he never really showed much this year.
184: Erwin looked strong in this one, he looked much better than he has in recent weeks and was wrestling hard through the third period. He picked up a last second takedown in the 2nd, that proved to be the difference between a decision and a major decision. It was really nice to see Penn State on the right side of one of those for once. He should end up the 2nd seed at the Big Ten tournament with Pucillo losing to Keddy.
197: It looks to me like Crowell should be the starter the rest of the year for Penn State. Even still he didn't look all that impressive. Penn State finishes the year with 0 wins in the Big Ten between their two starters.
Hwt: What in the world happened to Cameron Wade, he had looked better in recent weeks. But against Minnesota he regressed all the way back to last years form. He looked terrible on his feet often standing with his feet planted and just reaching for a leg. On top he went from looking really effective in recent weeks to riding really high and giving up a costly reversal just like last year. This is the worst he's wrestled all year. And the effort wasn't exactly stellar either. Penn State's radio announcer summed up the final 30 seconds of the bout by saying Berhow simply wanted it more and watching it I couldn't agree more. Wade probably cost himself a few slots when it comes to Big Ten seeding which will only make things tougher for him.
In the end it was a little disappointing, Penn State had a chance to step up and make a statement this week and they failed to deliver. No one expected this team to compete well in dual meets so now is the time to see what the quality guys on this team can do.
The best news for Penn State came yesterday when Jack Spates announced that he will be releasing Jake Kemmerer from his letter of intent. This allows Jack to use this year as a redshirt year and next year he'll be able to compete as a redshirt Freshman as opposed to a Sophomore that's big for Penn State, and Jake.
Several guys were in action at the National Collegiate Open this weekend, that despite a lofty name was lacking of any real tough competition.
Penn State won 3 titles, David Taylor at 157, Quentin Wright at 184, Jared Platt at Heavyweight.
For the second week in a row Quentin Wright beat Ed Ruth in overtime, hopefully Penn State can get those two broken up into two different weights.
Big Ten Allocation
The NCAA automatic qualification allotments were announced today and our listed below.
Pataky should have no problem getting into the top 6 and moving on to the NCAAs.
No matter how many seeds the Big Ten got Pearsall isn't moving on to nationals.
This one should be interesting, Lynch probably sits around the 4-6 area so he'll need to have a strong tournament to move on.
Again no issues here for Molinaro he'll easily make Nationals.
Frankly I'm surprised the Big Ten got this many seeds at this weight, it's likely Schlatter, Sanderson, Kinser and Archuletta will move on here. Sanderson should be in good shape it would take a huge upset to not finish top 4. Even if that happened he'd likely qualify for a wild card birth anyway.
This seems like a rather small allotment the Big Ten is really strong in this weight. Vallimont should move on but in a very tough weight class if things fall the wrong way he could end up wrestling for 5 and a qualifying spot. Again he should be a candidate for an Automatic Bid if he fails to qualify at Big Tens.
Like 133 it's unlikely to matter but with 6 guys going Ortega would only probably need about 2 wins to get into the NCAAs. Of course that's two more than he had all year.
This seems like a pretty low number but Erwin as long as he keeps wrestling well should have no problem advancing to nationals.
Again this probably won't affect Penn State but it's a big number so Crowell or Steadman has a shot if they can get 1 or 2 upsets along the way.
This one could be interesting like Lynch, Wade is in the 4-6 range. One bad loss will likely end his tournament run.
I'll make my official predictions when the brackets are released late next week.