For the first time since December 2007, Penn State will make its way to Stillwater, OK, for a dual with college wrestling's most accomplished program. With 34 National Championships, Oklahoma State's taken more team titles than anyone else. But it's already been seven years since the Pokes won their last championship - and this season doesn't figure to stop the streak. Like our Lions, Oklahoma State fields one of the younger squads.
When: Sunday, Feb 15th, 3pm ET
Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, OK
Video: ($$) via Okie State's version of All Access
Audio: Ironhead on 20 local stations
Open Thread: you're looking at it.
125 LBS - Match of the Meet
#8 Jordan Conaway (Jr., New Oxford) vs. #9 Eddie Klimara (Jr., Joliett, IL)
We finally get to see this one. We all expected this to be a quarterfinal at the Southern Scuffle, but Jordan got upset by Cleveland State's Ben Willeford. So Joliett Jake - I mean, Eddie Klimara, wrestled (and beat) Willeford instead. This will be a tight one, and there's a chance, I suppose, that Oklahoma State's SBNation blog Cowboys Ride For Free's call to fan and "paddle people" action packs the arena, makes electricity, and that nudges Klimara to victory in a tight one. We, as PSU fans, certainly know what a strong crowd can do. But I like the way Jordan's fighting.
The Pick: Conaway by DEC. PSU 3-0
#5 Jimmy Gulibon (So, Derry Area) vs. Gary Wayne Harding (Fr., Collinsville, OK)
Don't be frightened off by Harding's serial killer sounding name. He's just a freshman. Talented, for sure, and tough. But, he probably does not have 50 corpses in a root cellar, or heads wrapped in plastic in a fridge.
The Pick: Jimmy by DEC. PSU 6-0
UR Kade Moss (Fr, South Jordan, UT) vs. #15 Dean Heil (Fr., St. Ed's, OH)
We saw this one at the Scuffle. It was great. Moss got in on a shot, Heil tried to funk roll. Moss kept his head and hips up, caught Heil, and decked him. Pretty sweet bonus win.
Before that pin, though, it was a tight match. I think we see a tight one on Sunday, start to finish.
The Pick: Kade by DEC. PSU 9-0
#18 Zack Beitz (So, Juniata) vs. #4 Josh Kindig (Sr., Blue Mountain)
It's a District 6 vs. District 11 match up. But it's 1,500 miles away from Hershey, that's all. Kindig had an up-and-down career in Stillwater until last March, when he ran to the national final as an 11-seed. And, other than some time off for an injury this year, he's stayed firmly switched "on". This is gonna be a tough one for Zack - though, Zack's been awfully, awfully close to knocking the top guys off.
The Pick: Kindig by DEC. PSU 9-3.
#8 Dylan Alton (Sr., Central Mountain) vs. #18 Anthony Collica (So., Solon, OH)
Dylan received medical clearance in the middle of last week, and could have gone against Iowa. He wanted to go, but the Sanderson boys wanted to play it safe. I think Dylan gets the call this Sunday, even though Collica is the kind of guy who, historically, has been a pain in the neck for Dylan - tall, skinny, funk-rolling scrambler. But, you know, Dylan also decked Collica at the Scuffle. And that's WHY YOU STICK TO BASE DEFENSE FIRST, KIDS!
The Pick: Dylan by DEC. PSU 12-3.
#18 Garett Hammond (Fr., Chambersburg) vs. #1 Alex Dieringer (Jr., Port Washington, WI)
Dieringer majored Garett at the Scuffle. He's the defending 157 champ, and, even up here at 165, he's still gigantic. I'm pretty sure that Dieringer is half ape. He's just a freaking horse.
The Pick: Dieringer by MAJOR. PSU 12-7
#2 Matt Brown (Sr., West Valley City, UT) vs. #11 Kyle Crutchmer (So., Tulsa, OK)
Speaking of genetic anomolies, Kyle Crutchmer will feel the power of Hulk Hands placed squarely on the back of his neck.
The Pick: Hulk Hands by MAJ. PSU 16-7
184 LBS - Match of the Meet #2
#19 Matt McCutcheon (Fr., Kiski Area) vs. #18 Nolan Boyd (So., Edmond, OK)
It was hilarious at last year's dual, watching Nolan Boyd so focused on avoiding the Ed Ruth low single (nope), avoiding Ed's two-on-one tilt (nope), and, of course, head held high to avoid Ed's far-side cradle (almost, but, nope).
This year's a different story. Boyd is talented, but Mouse is mentally tough, too. This should be an equally entertaining match as last year's, but for different reasons. The winner has an inside shot at landing a seed at NCAAs. As much as I want to pick Mouse, I've already given PSU two of the close matches. So I'll hand the Pokes this one, I guess.
The Pick: Boyd by DEC. PSU 16-10.
#4 Morgan McIntosh (Jr., Santa Ana, CA) vs. UR Luke Bean (So., Wichita, KS)
If the 184-lb match is a close, tense affair, then this should be your chance to unwind, put your feet up, and enjoy one guy beating on another without mercy.
The Pick: Morg by TECH. PSU 21-10.
#6 Jimmy Lawson (Sr., Toms River, NJ) vs. #5 Austin Marsden (Jr., Crystal Lake, IL)
Well, Jimmy, here's your chance. Maybe. Cael seemed displeased enough with Lawson's last match that Jon Gingrich might take the mat. Either way, it's time for a PSU heavy to win a close match, and show that they can score some points at Nationals. Or not.
The Pick: Marsden by DEC. PSU 21, Oklahoma State 13.