BSD took Pants honcho and wrestling prognosticator extraordinaire RossWB
to a nice steak dinner and never called him again traded thoughts with BSD on the upcoming Big Ten Wrestling Championships. Below you'll find 165 thru Big Boys. The first half is also found somewhere on BSD and/or BHGP. So, uh, go look for it. After you've read this one, I mean. Hope you enjoy.
1) The Top 10 at this weight all made the final Coaches Poll. Would you have guessed that from watching the duals this year?
RossWB: I would not, but I think it really just points out the weakness of this weight at a national level. It ain't like the B1G is overflowing with really good 197ers this year. There's Q and Schiller and maybe Gonzalez and... uh... yeah. On the other hand, this gives me hope that the Big Ten guys can do some real damage at this weight at the NCAA Tournament in a few weeks.
BSCAFF: It's astounding. Michigan State's Luke Jones, who split time with McDiarmid, went 1-2 in the Big Ten (and didn't look good doing it), finished 18-8 on the season, ranked #32. This weight brings as many qualifiers - eight - as the loaded 174lbs class. It makes no sense.
2) Wright's the obvious favorite. Who can take him out?
RossWB: Gonzalez fluked his way to a Big Ten title last year mainly because Sonny Yawn got upset in an earlier round. Unless the same thing happens to Q this year (pretty please?), I don't exactly like his repeat hopes. I think Schiller is the only guy who has a realistic shot at upsetting Q, but I don't think he has the offense to do it.
BSCAFF: Campolattano has the athleticism to do it; I just don't know if he has the offense, yet. Gonzalez is athletic as well, and is the returning champ; but he hasn't looked too hot lately. And then there's Goldy's Schiller. Schiller gave Q a good match at the Southern Scuffle, losing by a tight 9-5 score. But I don't see any of them taking him out. Quentin's undefeated, which is unusual. He's been wrestling loose and happy all season long, pinning guys with youth wrestling moves for the heck of it. I hope he keeps it up for his last 10 or so matches.
3) Can Burak make a run, and is it necessary for him to make one for Iowa to win the team title?
RossWB: I guess you'd have to define "make a run." Make the finals? Eh, that's might be a bit too much to hope for out of Burak. Finish above his seed? That seems doable. He's the 6-seed, but I don't think there are five 197ers definitely better than him. I can see him making a nice run in the consolation bracket and finishing 4th or 5th. Of course, to do that he's going to actually have finish some takedowns, which he's struggled with at times this year.
As far as Iowa needing him to make a run... I think you're right. Iowa needs points out of unexpected sources and of all the Iowa guys not seeded to make the finals, he probably has the best shot to throw a monkeywrench in things (other than Ballweg, but a #3 beating a #2 is not exactly a Cinderella story). Moore, Lofthouse, and Telford are all on the same side as the #1 seeds in their respective brackets and any upsets they pull would be legendary (moreso for Moore and Lofthouse than Telford, obviously). It's unlikely that Burak pulls a run like that... but it's also not impossible.
BSCAFF: Burak's on a losing streak - but yes, he could make a run. Nebraska's Kolb wrestles like a heavy. I think Kolb has three takedowns all year long (unconfirmed). Then he'd likely see Gonzalez again. Gonzalez looks ripe for an upset to me. If Burak pulls that one off, then he gets a rubber match with Schiller. Burak got blowed out at National Duals, but he probably should have won their first meeting. And there you go - some good wrestling with a tiny bit of luck, and the Herman Munster of 197-lbers is in the final. And the Hawkeye contingent is probably smiling.
1) So - how happy are you that Nelson and Telford are on the same side of the bracket?
RossWB: I hate it, but I knew it was going to happen. Bobby's been behind the 8-ball ever since he dropped that stupid loss to Capone and was too sick to wrestle at Michigan and Michigan State. He didn't have a chance to wrestle either Medberry or McMullan, but I think with a 7-1 record and his past accomplishments (B1G runner-up last year) he would have bumped one of them for a 2/3 seed and been on the opposite side of the bracket from Tony Nelson and his Spiral Ride of Stalltastic Doom. Maybe this will finally be the match where Bobby figures out how to beat Nelson. (NOTE: not holding my breath.)
BSCAFF: I'm super pleased. First, only one of them can make the final (by my math). That's nice. And it also means I won't have to watch Nelson spiral ride Telford for six and a half minutes as the capstone to a great tournament. We're all winners, in that regard.
2) Most dangerous heavy not named Nelson is.....
RossWB: Brock Lesnar. I mean, can you imagine him F5-ing one of these losers and -- oh. You meant in the Big Ten. Um. Medbery sounds like the real deal, but it's tough for freshmen heavies to make a big impact (I was stunned at what Telford did last year, honestly). I'm gonna go with McMullan from Northwestern. He schooled Medbery (9-3) when they met earlier this year.
BSCAFF: Connor Medberry. Oh sure, he looks fat, slow and plodding like a Badger offensive guard - but he isn't. He's probably more naturally athletic than some of the CrossFit wonders like McClure and Chalfant. The best part about Medberry? He takes leg shots, and converts some of them. That's really cool.
3) Where does your guy finish?
RossWB: I think good ol' Bobert finishes 3rd. I have no confidence in him getting by Nelson in the semis, but I think he bounces back on Sunday and finishes 3rd, just above his seed.
BSCAFF: Seventh seed Jimmy Lawson. I'd like to project a run for him. I'd like to put him in the final, actually. All it takes at this weight is 3-points per match. That's not asking for much. But Jimmy's got a rough rode to hoe, with 2-seed McMullan and 3-seed Medberry to get there. I'm not that much of a homer, though I'll still put Jimmy at 5th or 6th. Wrestling above seed with this group, where there are no easy matches after the prelims, ain't too shabby.
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