We hoped the NCAA / NWCA would release a fresh set of Coaches Rankings and RPI, so we’d have a better picture of the auto-qualifying bids. Alas, no such luck. We’re on our own in the wilderness of data grids.
But first, let’s check in with the Wrestling BCS / Dual Championship Series standings.
the Wrestling BCS / Dual Championship Series standings
|National Championship||#1 Oklahoma State (12-0)||#2 Penn State (11-0)|
|[[ORANGE]] Bowl||#6 Virginia Tech (15-1)||#3 Iowa (10-2)|
|Average Officials Bowl||#7 NC State (12-1)||#4 Ohio State (9-2)|
|OmahaSteaks.com Bowl||#8 Missouri (10-3)||#5 Nebraska (12-1)|
|Wish We Were Ivy Bowl||#9 Cornell (10-2)||#13 Michigan (8-5)|
|Central NJ Up For Bids Bowl||#14 Lehigh (8-4)||#11 Rutgers (11-4)|
|Hinterlands Bowl||#15 South Dakota State (12-3)||#19 Wisconsin (3-5)|
|YOUR AD HERE Bowl||#17 Appalachian State (12-2)||#16 Oklahoma (9-5)|
Both #1 Okie State and #2 Penn State have just two regular season duals remaining: Wyoming and #16 Oklahoma (both at home) for the Pokes; #10 Illinois and Maryland (both at home) for Dear Old State. In other words, we’ll likely get a massive championship tilt at Stillwater, OK in 3 weeks, between the only 2 unblemished squads, for all the marbles.
On to the individual Big Ten standings.
|B1G Rank||125 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
The shine came off the Conor Youtsey comeback this weekend, as he went 0-2, including a loss to Michigan State’s Mitch Rogaliner - Mitch’s first conference win of the year. So, not a good sign for picking up a qualifying bid there. But the intriguing aspect to this weight - despite the lack of credentials - is how dangerous the field remains at the bottom. It’s not often that you see the 11th - 13th guys in the conference with quality wins. There may not be a ton of bids for this weight at Big Tens, but there won’t be many easy matches, either.
Guesstimated NCAA Bids: 7
|B1G Rank||133 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
Iowa’s Clark and Nebraska’s Montoya will face off this week - if Clark gets the start. He’s been getting occasional rest for his bad shoulder as the Brands brothers try to nurse the senior to NCAAs. Other than that, not a lot of movement at the top of the heap, and it doesn’t appear there’ll be much to keep Tomasello from the top seed.
Guesstimated Bids: 10
|B1G Rank||141 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
The muddy 141 picture has come into focus, and - surprise - our guy Jimmy Gulibon is pert-near a lock for the 3-seed. As a reminder, Jim sat around 8th a few weeks back. But when you beat (9)-Martin, (6)-Carton, (5)-Thorn, and (4)-Pletcher consecutively, you climb the standings quickly. Jim finishes the conference meat grinder with (13)-Jodeh, and (14)-Simmons, which is more like grandma forming a hamburger patty, than going into a hand-crank sausage maker.
Guesstimated Bids: 8
|B1G Rank||149 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
We probably need to take Michigan’s Hall and Illinois’ Ervin out of the grid. Neither has wrestled in 2017, as I recall. Another beef might be sticking 2-conference dual loss Mickey Jordan ahead of 1-conference loss Alfred “Baby J” Bannister. If you want to argue that, be my guest, though I don’t expect I’ll find many takers.
Guesstimated Bids: 6
|B1G Rank||157 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
|8||Van Brill (RUT)||14||17-8||3-3||3-3||1|
With heads and arms in close proximity, choke outs are part of wrestling. Sometimes it’s intentional. See Clarion’s two-time AA James Fleming for doctoral level work in this area. Occasionally, it’s a “whoops, sorry about making you lose consciousness” situation. What Jason Nolf did to the poor kid from Ohio State was the later.
First, there’s not really a name - that I’m aware of - for the move Nolf made. It was “sort of” a cradle at first. Then it was “sort of” an extended neck wrench, aka reverse head lock - except that the kid was already flat. So, I dunno. But if there’s not a name for it, then it’s accidental, in my opinion. I do, though, know all about the way the kid’s head hit the mat after the ref slapped the mat and Nolf let go. That, friends, is a grand, ‘yuge relief. “Ahhh, I can breathe again.”
Breathing - now there’s something too many people take for granted. Imagine how much nicer the world would be, how much more respectful and humble, if we all had Jason Nolf to choke us out from time to time. I think it’s safe to say we’d all complain and argue a lot less.
Guesstimated Bids: 8
|B1G Rank||165 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
Cenzo has nothing to lose this Friday in his match against I-Mar. He already owns head-to-head wins over the three guys immediately below him. He’s not falling below the 4-seed at B1Gs. But if he wins, there’s an ever-so-slight chance that he could sneak into the 3-spot. No, probably not. But maybe. There’s a decent argument, at least.
The surprise, sort of, was Iowa’s Gunther beating Minny’s Wanzek. Actually, the biggest surprise was Iowa’s Gunther taking an offensive shot. But he did - two or three times, actually - and scored. Incredible. We’ve known that Gunther strong-like-bull. But if he’s going to score offensive shots, then he’s a whole ‘nother critter in this bracket (maybe).
Guesstimated Bids: 7
|B1G Rank||174 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
Look, friends - this is a Penn State blog. Pennsyl-freaking-vania wrestling, okay? It’s called a cement job, or cement mixer. If I see another “alligator roll” or “gator roll” description of Mark Hall’s Friday pin - I mean, who calls it that?!? Are you from Florida or something? It’s a freaking Don Rohn, District 11, Northampton konkrete kids cement job.
Now then, I toyed with the idea of dropping Bo Jordan from the top spot out of spite. Ultimately I reconsidered, because that would be stupid. Not that I’m not stupid, mind you. I most certainly am. But I’m “good” stupid. And that woulda been “bad” stupid. So Bo stays where he’s at.
Mark Hall gets one more chance to move up on Friday, though - assuming Mark Perry doesn’t sit Zach Brunson. That’d be an awfully nice win in the conference standings. Could reasonably lift Hall as high as the 2-seed.
Guesstimated Bids: maybe only 5 or 6, actually. Which is crazy.
|B1G Rank||184 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
Bo Nickal can pin you from anywhere. Myles Martin’s smart enough to know that. Bo came inches away from hitting the same pin-you-from-bottom move that he hit against Gravina a few weeks ago. But Martin - credit to him - felt the “weird-ness”, I guess, and bailed out, giving up only a reversal.
Martin, despite the 8-2 loss to Bo, looks like he’s getting more comfortable at 184 at just the right time. He gave Bo a serious fight, and then laid it on Rutgers’ Gravina Monday, 9-2. Look out above, misters Jackson, Brooks, and Dudley.
Guesstimated Bids: 8
|B1G Rank||197 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
Ohio State’s Kollin Moore looks like a future stud here at 197. He’s full-sized, and he’s pretty clearly been picking up a few setups and takedowns from Kyle Snyder. Probably doesn’t get it done this year, because the mat game is...well, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of “top”. But with J’Den Cox, Brett Pfarr, and Studebaker clearing out after this season, Moore figures to wear the crown before too much longer. He gets both Pfarr and Studebaker this weekend. Maybe he’ll take it sooner rather than later.
Mouse put up a whale of an effort. A couple of mistakes - but in fairness, they were “forced” errors (by Moore), not goofy-ness. With Illinois’ Lee and Maryland’s Whisler up next, Mouse appears locked in as the 4-seed. That’d mean a semi-final rematch with Pfarr, which, despite the rankings, is a winnable match. There have been a lot bigger upsets than that in wrestling.
Guesstimated Bids: 7
|B1G Rank||285 LBS||Coaches (1/20)||Overall||Conf.||Conf.Duals||Quality Wins|
I guess Kyle Snyder is pretty good, huh? Apparently the two World and Olympic gold medals are not a joke.
In any event, another big test for our guy Nick this Friday. Beat Illinois’ Brooks Black, and Nick keeps the 3-seed, which is on the opposite side of the bracket from Snyder (that’s good). And Nick ought to beat Brooks. Just don’t take any bad shots, is all. Because Brooks isn’t going to score without Nick’s help. I’ll be surprised if Brooks even attempts an offensive shot, as far as that goes. Score one takedown, don’t do anything crazy like dive for ankle, and Nick will win - and avenge a painful loss at B1Gs last year.
Guesstimated Bids: 6