As Jason Bryant noted on his outstanding podcast, Short Time Wrestling, Friday night gave us a bonanza of college wrestling. (And if you're not already listening to Jason's pods - yes, more than one - go to MatTalkOnline.com and start downloading. Listen; enjoy; thank me later.) Alan Waters survived Eddie Klimara. Brandon Sorensen knocked Jason Tsirtsis from the ranks of the unbeaten. Conor Medbery kept rolling with a win over Adam Coon. Isiah Martinez proved he's a title contender, beating James Green 2-0. Ike Jordan horsed Taylor Massa around the mat like a rag doll. And, if all of that wasn't enough, Penn State - Minnesota on Sunday was electric from start to finish.
We'll need to recover quickly from all of that action, because this Friday Iowa heads to The Barn, for a #1 vs. #2 showdown, live on BTN at 7pmET. We'll be running an open thread here to cover the action (concurrent with Penn State at Michigan). Let's get to the Big Ten standings, as of January 27th, 2015. We're only five weekends away from the Big Ten Championships.
1. Overall records reflect D1 matches only - same as for NCAA qualifying bids.
2. Conference totals reflect all matches against Big Ten opponents. This includes tournaments as well as bouts against reserves and 'unattached' wrestlers. It does not include intra-squad matches.
3. Conference duals is, wait for it, conference duals. Each Big Ten wrestler has a max of 9.
|Seed||Natl Rank||Wrestler||Skool||Overall||Conf Total||Conf.Duals||Bonus%|
Our Guy: Jordan's coming on at the right time. He has Youtsey on Friday night (Conaway just missed the MAJ last year, with a 9-4 win over Youtsey), and Sparty's Rogaliner on Sunday. Two wins will secure his current seed. Then, on 2/8, Jordan gets Iowa's Gilman at Bryce Jordan Center, with a chance to climb the rankings.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 5 (does not include Delgado since he won't have enough matches)
But that TruCoat: So JRob pulled Ethan Lizak's (Parkland) redshirt. From the sound of things, Brancale is done for the year because of a shoulder injury, and backup Jordan Bremer injured his back - that forced Goldy's hand. Ethan will need to wrestle well the rest of the way in order to bring a bid to Big Tens. It'll be tough sledding, though. Gilman and Tomasello are his next two matches. And shortly after that, Minnesota will be at National Duals. Not a lot of easy matches in the last month and change.
Our Guy: Jimmy came thiiiisss close to making 133 even more of a tangled pile of spaghetti. Up next is Michigan's #8 Rossi Bruno, whom Jimmy majored last year, 9-0.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 10 (wow)
But that TruCoat: I feel badly. Cory Clark is not a 6th seed. But at this juncture, (2-2) in duals is (2-2) in duals. The guy who could really ruin the seeding is Wisconsin's #10 Taylor. He's already (6-0), with only Rutgers (DelVecchio) and Illinois (Richards) remaining. And you know the Richards bout will be close.
Our Guy: Kade didn't have his best match Sunday. Friday and Sunday offer a great shot at a comeback. Kade needs two wins to creep towards the bottom edge of the seeding.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 6
But that TruCoat: Logan Stieber's wrestled just over 19 minutes in his last 7 matches. That's 1 forfeit, 1 tech, and 5 falls, coming against 6 Big Ten foes and Mizzou. So, yeah. In other news, Nebraska's Abidin scrambled past Ashnault on Friday for a big victory. And that's bad news for Ashnault - the guy I think is 2nd most talented here - because a 4-seed not only gives him a much stiffer quarterfinal match, but it also puts him on LogieBear's side of the bracket.
Our Guy: Zack gave up the first takedown Sunday, but really showed a lot of guts coming back for a big win over Goldy's Jake Short. This Friday is his biggest match of the season - against Michigan's #9 Pantaleo. What a great opportunity to make a statement.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 5
But that TruCoat: this will be a criminally tough weight class, particularly if the Big Ten only nets five NCAA bids. And if so, Zack will be squarely on the bubble, with a fight on his hands every round. You have to figure that Hunter Stieber is going to steal one of those (if he returns healthy - he's skipped the last two Buckeye duals). Langenderfer is a tough out. Lubeck and Nelsen both qualified last year. And all the way down in the "unseeded" category is Nebraska's (via Clarion) Justin Arthur, who made R12 in 2014.
Our Guy: Dylan just can't catch a break. After two shoulder surgeries, he wrestles 9 matches and dislocates his shoulder in the 10th. Rest up, Dylan. We hope to see you soon.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 8
But that TruCoat: I'm giving Martinez the 1-seed over Ness, because Ness sat out their anticipated bout with the flu. Also, because Martinez is just as fun to watch wrestle as Ness. In other news, returning All-American Anthony Perrotti, if our seeds and projections hold, will have to knock someone off in order to secure a trip to NCAAs at Big Tens. And that could make three title contending teams (PSU, tOSU, and Iowa) pucker during the consolations.
Our Guy: go right ahead and call me stupid, but I like Garett's chances in a rematch with Wanzek. And, I like his chances with Michigan's #10 ranked Massa on Friday. A big match for both of them. Two headlockers. Hopefully it's Massa that goes flying.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 8
But that TruCoat: with 8 bids and 9 guys listed in front of him, Garett has his work cut out for him. It's a tough deal when seven of the national top 10 are in your conference.
Our Guy: Hulk Hands beat Storley in a scramble. Not only that, Hulk Hands looked downright comfy in the scramble with Storley. That's huge. Gigantic. Sure, they'd wrestled 7 times before Sunday. But that scramble was Hulk Hands' first time coming out on top in a scramble. And that changes EVERYTHING. Said Hulk Hands post-match, unsolicited, "I've been working on scrambles with Coach Casey." Yes, indeed.
Estimated Bids: 7
But that TruCoat: Bob Kokesh isn't scheduled to wrestle any of Brown, Evans, or Storley the rest of the way. So, the next two weekends (Iowa at Minnesota, and Iowa at Penn State) will determine who is 4th, and which pair are 2nd and 3rd.
Our Guy: here's the good news - Mouse shot in, and scored the first takedown. Yes, somewhere in the late second period, it was as if a 'don't get majored' thought crept into Mouse's head. And Mouse, being a guy who never once in his life tried to "wrestle to not get majored", looked all out of sorts, and nearly got majored. So, whatever. I'm holding on to the "good", and couldn't care less about the rest of the match, because I doubt we ever see it again. Best of all, Mouse has an excellent chance to take out Michigan's #10 Abounader this Friday. I think he gets it done - and by Saturday, all the other BSDers will agree with my synopsis of the Pfarr match.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 7
But that TruCoat: can you believe that two-time qualifier John Rizqallah is hiding out down there in the "unseeded" section of this weight class? What are the chances that he pulls a surprise or two at Big Tens?
Our Guy: where did all of those shots come from, Morg? Nevermind - don't explain. Just keep them coming. You're awfully hard to beat when you wrestle like that.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 9
But that TruCoat: enjoy your week as the 1-seed, Nathan Burak. You very well could surprise me on Friday, but I have a hunch that Schiller won't be content to test out the Burak-last-second-takedown corollary. In other news, the top 8 guys here might all want to hope that this weight gets a 10th seed, so that the conference seeds the brackets to 12. Because a certain Mr. Campolattano is probably the most dangerous (1-4) wrestler in America, especially considering this weight's propensity towards one-takedown matches.
Our Guy: According to Cael, Jimmy is a "soft yes" as the starter. Fair enough. I'm eager to see LawDog against Coon on Friday night. If you can't tell by this point, that's going to be a great dual.
Estimated NCAA Bids: 8
But that TruCoat: the top 6 heavies are a combined 68-7. Michigan's Adam Coon is the only one to have lost out of conference (once each to Ty Walz and Austin Marsden). So, the top 6 are 68-2 against guys who are not them. That seems pretty good. Oh by the way - this weight class lost Tony Nelson, Adam Chalfant, and Mike McClure to graduation.