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WRESTLING: No. 1 Penn State at 2016 Southern Scuffle Preview

Penn State heads south to chase its sixth consecutive Scuffle title.

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.

Round Date, Time
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
Champ.Quarterfinals 1/2/16, 9am
Consi. Round 5 1/2/16, 11:30am
Champ.Semi Finals 1/2/16, 1:30pm
Consi. Quarterfinals 1/2/16, 3:30pm
Champ.Finals 1/2/16, 7pm

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...

125 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
4 Nico Megaludis Penn State
5 Eddie Klimara Oklahoma State
11 Chason Tolbert Utah Valley
13 Zeke Moisey West Virginia
16 Darian Cruz Lehigh
18 Dalton Macri Cornell
19 Connor Youtsey Michigan
20 Connor Schram Stanford
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.

133 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
1 Nahshon Garrett Cornell
4 George DiCamillo Virginia
6 Jordan Conaway Penn State
10 Kaid Brock Oklahoma State
15 Rossi Bruno Michigan
17 Mason Beckman Lehigh
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.

141 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
1 Dean Heil Oklahoma State
4 Joey McKenna Stanford
6 Jimmy Gulibon Penn State
11 Tommy Thorn Minnesota
13 Randy Cruz Lehigh
15 Bryce Meredith Wyoming
16 Zach Horan Central Michigan
NR Kevin Devoy Drexel
NR George Fisher Michigan
NR Mark Grey Cornell
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.

149 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
1 Zain Retherford Penn State
6 CJ Cobb Penn
7 Evan Henderson UNC
8 Colin Heffernan Central Michigan
9 Matt Cimato Drexel
10 Alex Pantaleo Michigan
11 Jake Short Minnesota
12 Anthony Collica Oklahoma State
18 Geordan Martinez Boise State
NR Joey Galasso Cornell

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.

157 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
3 Jason Nolf Penn State
5 Brian Murphy Michigan
8 Lucas Smith Central Michigan
10 Mitch Minotti Lehigh
12 Dylan Cotrell West Virginia
14 Russ Parsons Army
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
NR Chris Dowdy Cornell

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.

165 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
1 Alex Dieringer Oklahoma State
4 Ethan Ramos UNC
5 Jim Wilson Stanford
13 Duke Pickett Cornell
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.

174 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
1 Brian Realbuto Cornell
2 Kyle Crutchmer Oklahoma State
5 Bo Nickal Penn State
10 Mike Ottinger Central Michigan
14 Jadaen Bernstein Navy
16 Ben Stroh Wyoming
18 Brian Harvey Army
19 Davonte Mahomes Michigan
20 Elliot Riddick Lehigh
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.

184 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
1 Gabe Dean Cornell
4 Nathaniel Brown Lehigh
6 Lorenzo Thomas Penn
10 Dominic Abounader Michigan
13 Matt McCutcheon Penn State
15 Matt Miller Navy
18 Nolan Boyd Oklahoma State
19 Alex Utley UNC
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).

197 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
1 Morgan McIntosh Penn State
3 Conner Hartmann Duke
5 Brett Pfarr Minnesota
7 Max Huntley Michigan
8 Jake Smith West Virginia
10 Zach Nye Virginia
15 John Bolich Lehigh
18 Scott Boykin UTC
20 Derek Thomas Utah Valley
NR Austin Shafer Oklahoma State
NR Jake Taylor Cornell

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.

285 LBS

Rank Wrestler School
3 Adam Coon Michigan
4 Austin Marsden Oklahoma State
7 Michael Kroells Minnesota
8 Riley Shaw Cleveland State
12 Denzel Dejournette Appalachian State
13 Jared Johnson UTC
17 Max Wessell Lehigh
18 Nathan Butler Stanford
NR Jan Johnson Penn State
NR Jeramy Sweany Cornell

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.


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)