Penn State travels to Chattanooga, TN to begin its pursuit of a sixth consecutive Southern Scuffle championship. This year's field is a bit thinner than past seasons, but the challenge remains very stiff. It figures to be a three-team race, between PSU, Oklahoma State, and Cornell. This one could come down to the final matches on Saturday, January 2nd.
WHAT: Southern Scuffle
WHERE: Chattanooga, TN
WHEN: It's a two-day tournament. We need a table to illustrate all of the awesome fight action.
|Champ. Round 1||1/1/16, 9am|
|Champ. Round 2||1/1/16, Noon|
|Consi. Round 2||1/1/16, 3pm|
|Champ. Round 3||1/1/16, 5:45pm|
|Go to bed||1/1/16, 10pm|
|Consi. Round 5||1/2/16, 11:30am|
|Champ.Semi Finals||1/2/16, 1:30pm|
|Consi. Quarterfinals||1/2/16, 3:30pm|
How To Watch
GoPSUSports has us covered with free audio, featuring everyone's favorite wrestling announcer, Jeff "Ironhead" Byers. The video feed is presented by FloWrestling, but it'll cost you a couple of dollars. (It's worth it.)
And, of course, you can always swing by BSD to follow along with your innernets friends (that's us). We'll be running open threads of the live action throughout the tournament.
To the preview...
|4||Nico Megaludis||Penn State|
|5||Eddie Klimara||Oklahoma State|
|11||Chason Tolbert||Utah Valley|
|13||Zeke Moisey||West Virginia|
|NR||Kenny Yanovich||Penn State|
At first glance this weight looks like a two-man race, between Nico and Okie State's Eddie Klimara - which is another way of saying that Penn State's Nico Megaludis will roll to the Scuffle title. However, #13 Moisey (national runner-up last year), #16 Cruz (2014 All-American) and #18 Macri can pull upsets. The funny part - five of the eight ranked entrants at this weight - Nico, Moisey, Cruz, Macri, and Schram - hold PIAA state titles.
|6||Jordan Conaway||Penn State|
|10||Kaid Brock||Oklahoma State|
|19||Josh Martinez||Air Force|
|NR||Jared Cortez||Penn State|
|NR||Gary Wayne Harding||Oklahoma State|
Cornell's Garrett is the heavy favorite, but this will be a very interesting weight. PSU's Jared Cortez is redshirting and won't count towards the Lions' point scoring - but he's worthy of a top 4 seed (that he likely won't get). No.19 Josh Martinez isn't our favorite, but he's earned a top 8 seed at nationals previously, so he can clearly wrestle. No.17 Beckman
is always a tough out (update: he's wrestling at Midlands even though his teammates headed south) , and is himself a past All-American. All of this is to note two things: 1) prepare for upsets; and 2) Jordan Conaway and Okie State's true frosh Kaid Brock figure prominently into the team race. An early upset loss vs. a deep run in the championship bracket might stand as the difference between a 6th straight team title for PSU, and second place.
|1||Dean Heil||Oklahoma State|
|6||Jimmy Gulibon||Penn State|
|16||Zach Horan||Central Michigan|
|NR||Kade Moss||Penn State|
|NR||Gary Dinmore||Penn State|
We're not sold - yet - on Okie State's Dean Heil as a #1 ranked guy, though he's likely to receive the top seed. However, there are a lot of places to lose along the way. Cruz, Meredith, Horan, Devoy, Fisher, Grey - all have won matches at nationals. And Penn State's Kade Moss pinned Heil at last year's Scuffle. For our money, McKenna is the favorite - he looked dominant in his win over Gulibon a few weeks ago. Like 133lbs, this weight will factor heavily into the team race. Seeing Jimmy make a run to the final - like he did two years ago, upsetting two All-Americans in the process - would make us Penn Staters feel a lot better.
|1||Zain Retherford||Penn State|
|8||Colin Heffernan||Central Michigan|
|12||Anthony Collica||Oklahoma State|
|18||Geordan Martinez||Boise State|
UNC's Evan Henderson - the pre-season #1 at 141lbs - is rumored to be bumping up here, so we've slotted him into the mix. The weight class needs it. Expect Zain to run through the field.
|3||Jason Nolf||Penn State|
|8||Lucas Smith||Central Michigan|
|12||Dylan Cotrell||West Virginia|
|NR||Zach Beitz||Penn State|
|NR||Vincenzo Joseph||Penn State|
|NR||Chance Marsteller||Oklahoma State|
|NR||Joe Smith||Oklahoma State|
|NR||Ryan Blees||Oklahoma State|
This should be a lot of fun. First, because Jason Nolf likely wins the title, scoring a whole lotta team points for Penn State in the process. But also because we get to see a pair of true freshmen - Cenzo and Jo Jo - mix it up with the college veterans. The fascinating storyline - if you're looking for one - is how well Joe Smith, son of Okie State head coach John Smith, wrestles in this tournament. And, consequently, whether John Smith chooses the role of "father" or "coach" in deciding to keep Jo Jo in a redshirt (best for son), or pull his shirt and stick him in the lineup (best for team). This, of course, assumes that Jo Jo out-wrestles his two highly regarded teammates, Chance Marsteller and Ryan Blees. No certain thing. But, it looks likely at this point of the year.
|1||Alex Dieringer||Oklahoma State|
|19||Geno Morelli||Penn State|
|19||Shakur Rasheed||Penn State|
|19||Garett Hammond||Penn State|
Dieringer is as sure of a bet as exists in college wrestling this year. He's half ape, and no one has come close to threatening him since Dylan Alton had him on the ropes in a late February 2013 dual, down at 157lbs. The real fun to this weight class is how our three Nittany Lions perform. The early season went to Shakur. Then Geno won the Nittany Lion Open, and nearly took out Wisconsin's highly ranked Ike Jordan in a dual. And oh by the way, Garett Hammond can roll, too. Ideally, at least one of them makes a run into the semi-finals, and separates himself from his teammates to secure the spot in the lineup.
|2||Kyle Crutchmer||Oklahoma State|
|5||Bo Nickal||Penn State|
|10||Mike Ottinger||Central Michigan|
|NR||Chandler Rogers||Oklahoma State|
This should be fun. More than likely, we'll see Bo paired on Crutchmer's side of the bracket, setting up a decisive semi-final match. Crutchmer is the returning AA, but we like Bo to win that one - and then, to take the title, and leave Chattanooga as the top ranked 174lber in the nation.
|13||Matt McCutcheon||Penn State|
|18||Nolan Boyd||Oklahoma State|
|NR||Jordan Rogers||Oklahoma State|
Both of last year's national finalists lead a field that also includes another AA (Thomas) and last year's Big Ten champ (Abounader). This will be a stiff test for Mouse, who's nursing a back injury (and those are not fun).
|1||Morgan McIntosh||Penn State|
|8||Jake Smith||West Virginia|
|20||Derek Thomas||Utah Valley|
|NR||Austin Shafer||Oklahoma State|
Six of the national top-10 pepper the field - but this figures to be Morg's first Scuffle title. His stiffest test will be Duke's Hartmann, who knocked Morg out of the NCAAs last year. He's legit. But none of us expect a repeat of that.
|4||Austin Marsden||Oklahoma State|
|8||Riley Shaw||Cleveland State|
|12||Denzel Dejournette||Appalachian State|
|NR||Jan Johnson||Penn State|
The fatties have a pretty clear strata, and Michigan's Coon is at the top of it. But if you're looking for a darkhorse, you could worse than Stanford's Nathan Butler. This should also be a fun experience for PSU's Jan Johnson. Let it rip, young man.
MIDLANDS UPDATE (12/29/15)
David Taylor is pinning and tech falling everyone. But we expected that. Here are some actual upsets:
Emilio Saavedra (ODU) 4-2 SV1 #17 Mason Beckman (LEH)
Saavedra (ODU) DEC 5-4 #14 Eric Montoya (NEB)
Anthony Giraldo (RUT) DEC 5-4 #5 Earl Hall (ISU)
Ronnie Perry (LHU) DEC 3-2 #3 Chris Mecate (ODU)
Danny Sabatello (PUR) MAJ 15-4 #17 Anthony Abidin (NEB)
Matt Kolodzik (PRIN) DEC 11-4 #2 Anthony Ashnault (RUT)
Kolodzik (PRIN) DEC 6-3 #19 Rick Durso (F&M)
Steve Bleise (N.IL) 4-2SV1 #5 Kevin Jack (NCSt)
Bryce Steiert (UNI) DEC 6-4 #18 Tyler Berger (NEB)
Chad Walsh (RID) WBF 6:21 #15 Lou Mascola (UMD)
Adam Fierro (CSUB) DEC 6-4 #10 Anthony Perrotti (RUT)
Mitch Wightman (AU) DEC 8-4 #11 Austin Wilson (NEB)
Jacob Holschlag (N.IL) DEC 5-2 #16 Matt Reed (OU)
#16 Abe Ayala (PRIN) DEC 8-7 #3 Jack Dechow (ODU)
Derek White (NEB) DEC 5-3 #12 Nate Rotert (SDSU)
White (NEB) DEC 7-4 #11 Phil Wellington (Ohio)
Josh DaSilveira (ASU) DEC 9-7 #6 Reuben Franklin (CSUB)
Tanner Hall (ASU) DEC 6-5 #5 Amarveer Dhesi (ORST)