What's the third largest crop produced in Iowa, behind corn and soybeans? Cauliflower (ear). And that, besides the fact that he's smart and funny, is the reason we keep talking wrestling with man of The Pants, RossWB. You can check out 125 - 157 over at Black Heart Gold Pants. Below you'll find 165 - fatties. Enjoy.
1. Can Yates, Caldwell or Monk ruin ESPN's grand finale?
BSCAFF: I have witnessed exactly zero Steven Monk matches in my lifetime, though his 33-2 record suggests he's an ass kicker. I have seen Taylor-Yates. Yates is tough. It took Taylor nearly the full 7 minutes to tech fall him. I've seen Taylor-Caldwell. Caldwell held him to a 10-2 major. And I've seen Dake-Caldwell. I think those two could wrestle for 3 hours, and I'm not sure Caldwell could get a takedown.
ROSS: No, no, and no. I have also never seen a Steven Monk match -- I'm not even sure they have the interwebs in North Dakota, frankly -- but nothing about the resumes of these guys suggests that they can hang with Dake and Taylor. Taylor already beat both of them and as far as Dake goes... every single thing Caldwell does, Dake does better. Yates is fun to watch, but I don't see him getting through Dake's defense. The only chance Dake or Taylor get beat before the finals is if they get Bubba Jenkins'd by someone and get caught in a freak pinning predicament.
2. How great would it be if Conrad Polz wrestled 157, or Jesse Dong wrestled 165, and these two made the finals against each other?
BSCAFF: Especially if ESPN staggered the draw so that they went last. I can hear Tim Johnson laughing through his call now. Penn State's radio announcer, Jeff 'Ironhead' Byers, would be the best, though.
3. First round upsets - who you got?
BSCAFF: True story - Rider's Ramon Santiago had a takedown and a 2-point lead against Taylor a couple of weeks ago. The match didn't finish that way, of course, but #7 Conrad Polz needs to be ready. And #12 Massa could pretty easily drop his match against the younger Wilps. One more? How about #8 Sulzer vs. Lewandowski.
4. If Dake wins, does the Iowa crowd boo him? Or do they have enough distaste for Taylor that it would outweigh last year's antics?
BSCAFF: Even though he and Taylor respect each other quite a bit, I can't picture Dake reacting with humility. Ten bucks says Dake pulls some sort of dickish move if he wins. Double the wager if he loses. And that's not cool among Iowans, unless your dickish move is in response to the other guy's dickish move, ala Metcalf - Caldwell.
BSCAFF: As a reminder, Ed Ruth tech falled everyone here last year. That's not really relevant to the question, but I did want it entered as part of the record. But with that out of the way, I'm with you on the chaos, dog and cats living together...mass hysteria notion. This weight has 10 - 12 very good competitors who, to a certain degree, are all seemingly content to win a match 3-2. I don't think any one of them is head-and-shoulders better at a certain aspect than the others, except for Nick Heflin at stalling. Gonna be a lot of tight matches.
BSCAFF: I don't like Nathaniel too much. But I'll give you two, for first round noise, at least. Bakersfield's Bryce Hammond vs. #6 Storley, and freaking Todd Porter vs. #2 Brown (that's some mother **&^!!%&%&*^, right there). Storley better be more ready for Hammond than he was for Dan Yates 10 days ago, or he's bouncing to the loser bracket pretty quickly. And though Brown handled Porter earlier this year without too much difficulty, Brown can also, at times, look like he's been on a Morman Mission for 2 of the last 3 years, instead of in a wrestling room.
BSCAFF: Yates over Asper is a nice pick. But I'm keeping Asper on the podium. I might even put him in the final over Kokesh and Perry. Probably not. But whatever. Asper and Perry prevent the Big Ten from hogging the entire podium.
BSCAFF: I think Storley's going down, and not just because of his crap-tastic Big Tens. He piled up a statistically improbable amount of razor thin victories in the regular season. Time for that shit to even itself out, and the Big Tens only took him about 60% of the way there. I'm taking Hulk Hands to win, because he can, on occasion, actually take and convert shots from neutral. And except for Bob Kokesh (and not when he's wrestling Evans), Matt Brown probably does it more consistently than much of the field. Plus, I'll allow myself at least one total homer pick.
1. Is this the Edward Ruth, So Fresh So Clean show?
BSCAFF: Yes. Yes it is. He's wrestled #3 Hamlin twice, and is 2-0. He wrestled #4 Bosak at the Southern Scuffle and cruised to a 4 or 5 point win. He had a tough one against #5 Herr Steinhaus at Big Tens, but was never in danger. And in 2011, he pinned #2 Bennett during wrestlebacks in 47 seconds. Granted, that was a while ago. But that works both ways, too. Ruth's a lot better than in 2011, which is the last time he's ever lost (a whopping twice that season).
2. Give me someone from #6 or lower who breaks into that Top 5.
BSCAFF: I like #7 Jimmy Sheptock. JEBUS - I look back over my answers and I think I've picked every low seeded PA prep but Mitchell Port in response to this type of question. So scratch Sheptock (not really). Also give me #11 Mike Larson. I actually like #12 Lofthouse the Younger, and #8 Ihnen better than Larson - but they get to wrestle Herr Steinhouse and Ruth in the second round, instead of a slightly gimpy Vermonster.
BSCAFF: I have to default on this question since I asked it. So instead, I'll talk to myself about Stone Brewing Company. They're based near San Diego, which is probably the coolest place in the world to live, assuming you could weather the taxes. They make an 'oaked' Arrogant Bastard Ale that is pure heaven. Plus, with its high ABV, you can go Molly Brown after less than a 12-pack. So that's a great benefit.
BSCAFF: It certainly wouldn't hurt their chances, and I don't think it's that much of a stretch. Assuming he drops his 12,000th match to Steinhaus in the second round, he can easily bounce back to the Round of 12. There he's probably staring at a Bennett-Sheptock loser. But that's not an impossibility. If he clears that hurdle he could just as easily make the consolation semis (though, Steinhaus/Bosak are both probably a bridge too far).
But tomorrow it starts!
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