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A Week of Wrestling Is Winding Down the Dual Season

A Week of Wrestling is one fanboy’s thoughts on the wrestling week that was and those that will be.

This is Kung Fu Panda’s Master Oogway, founder of the Valley of Peace. He’s wearing a custom singlet crafted by Penn State alumnus Ross Bendik of The Foundation for Wrestling Art & Innovation, to bring awareness to the multitude of ways that Wrestling embodies both modern creators and ancient wisdom. You can also follow Ross’ fun work on twitter @WrestleChicago.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

There have been many versions of this quote throughout history, but as a huge Kung Fu Panda fan, I like to attribute it to the venerated founder of The Valley of Peace, Master Oogway. In the first movie, he introduces the quote with a brief admonishment to Po which is deeply related to a popular wrestling concept of ‘surrendering the outcome’: “you are too concerned with what is and what will be.” I figure it provides a fun framework for blogging about wrestling.

Yesterday is History

Nittany Lion Duals

Penn State continued along its expected road, and extended its Dual Meet Win Streak to 43.

#1 Penn State 33, #23 Rutgers 8

RBY didn’t make the trip to Piscataway, but the rest of the lineup made up for his absence with 7 Bonus Point wins, and rolled up 38 takedowns to Rutgers’ 14.

Bonus, bonus, bonus. There’s no doubt this squad continues to push themselves to get better technically in the wrestling room, but in these duals it’s all about scoring. It’s especially nice to see guys working on getting turns and scoring from top as it’s a much easier way to build a lead than through a series of takedowns. I can’t wait to see what Beau, Van Ness, Haines and Facundo can do deeper in tournaments when guys are getting worn down and they’re still fresh. It’s going to be a fun tournament season.

#1 Penn State 44, #28 Maryland 3

Back at home in Rec Hall, the coaches rested Aaron Brooks, but the rest of the lineup skunked the turtles in the takedown column: 41-0.

This was complete domination with only 2 of Penn State’s victories being by regular decision. 3 pins, a forfeit, 2 tech falls and a major despite backups wrestling at 2 weights. If iron sharpens iron, I don’t even know what to consider what’s happening in the Lions wrestling room right now, with so many guys coming into peak form. Unlike previous years where Penn State didn’t have the strongest showing in the B1G tournament, I think we’re going to be surprised by how well this squad does in the conference tournament this year. And it’s only going to get better in the NCAA tournament. Not only are many of the young guns contending for All American status, they’re going to put up bonus all along the way. We’ve been so spoiled as a fan base seeing the likes of Taylor, Ruth, Retherford, Nolf and Nickal. And yet I can’t think of another roster that had this much collective potential. But don’t get used to it, because once Taylor and Ruth graduate we’ll be brought back to earth.

Fyre Duals

#6 NC State 23, #17 Pitt 9

via Trackwrestling

Pitt’s surprising beatdown of Virginia Tech on 1/27 (a 7-3 / 26-12 Panther W) had them in the driver’s seat for king of the ACC, but this trip to Raleigh fell apart late. I think Track has an error at 285; Pitt’s wrestler was actually freshman phenom Dayton Pitzer, who was unable to build off the momentum of Nino’s sudden victory win at 197. Camacho & Phillippi followed that with losses of their own, and the result is a 3-way tie atop the ACC to conclude the dual season:

via Mat Talk Online

#3 Iowa State at #14 Northern Iowa

via Trackwrestling

UNI wrestled well, but even if Biscoglia had been able to pull his bout out in overtime, David Carr’s Bonus at 165 would have still solidified the Cyclone win. Iowa State’s a team against which you need to win at least 6 bouts to win a dual (see vs Pitt on 2/4/23).

Or ...

#11 Missouri 23, #3 Iowa State 12

via Trackwrestling

You could win 6 bouts and have 2 of them also be big 6-point pins.

Check out the time of that 149-pound Brock Mauller pin! Yes, that occurred with 15 seconds left in the sudden victory neutral position.

This is Kevin Dresser’s 6th season in Ames, and the improvements have been steady. This year’s lineup has been challenged by injuries at 125 (on their 3rd wrestler now), 141 & 285 (Casey Swiderski & Sam Schuyler missed a few duals, including against PSU at Collegiate Duals on 12/20/22, but both are back & competing now, however healthy). He’s juggled in-room competition at 133, has stacked his coaching staff with former Iowa studs Brent Metcalf & Derek St. John, and they have an absolutely massive room of backups and redshirting Freshmen. I count 47 athletes on their WrestleStat roster, and next year they only lose Coleman & Schuyler. They’re a fascinating program, clearly on the rise.

On Wednesday in Columbia, though, Mizzou won tight Decisions at 174, 197 & 157; didn’t allow Bonus at 184 or 133, and clocked the big pins at 125 & 149, clinching the dual win ahead of the final showdown at 165. In that bout between National Champions, Iowa State’s David Carr (1st at 157 in 2021) put on an absolute clinic in controlling Missouri’s very funky Keegan O’Toole (1st at 165 in 2022). Positioning, counter-attacks, and steady elevation of captured legs neutralized O’Toole and, with apologies to Stanford’s Shane Griffith, declared David Carr the man to beat at 165 this year.

Dual Rankings

There have been no changes to the mid-major rankings, but the complete D1 Top-25 rankings have shifted a bit. Note that these came out on 2/14, a day before the big Mizzou - Iowa State dual on Wednesday.

2/14/23 rankings via

The most glaring change from last week is a result of Nebraska’s 7-3 / 25-16 win over an Ohio State lineup missing Carson Kharchla, Kaleb Romero & Gavin Hoffman. That jumped the Huskers into the 7-spot, and they’re a Big Ten opponent that Penn State missed in this year’s dual schedule.

Nebraska is 11-3, with early-season losses to North Dakota State & NC State (both without now-starters Bubba Wilson (165) & Lenny Pinto (184)) & a blowout loss to Iowa on 1/23/22 (an 8-2 / 34-6 Hawkeye mauling). But they’ve got multiple Top-10 wrestlers, including undefeated #1 Peyton Robb at 157, and are 3rd in Intermat’s Tourney Rankings. They should be a treat for many of our Lions to compete against at B1Gs in Ann Arbor in a few weeks.

Yesterday’s History Links

Tomorrow is a Mystery

A few of my favorite duals this weekend...

Saturday, February 18:

#4 Cornell vs #8 Ohio State

This dual has 3 Top-5 matchups! 133’s Arujau & Jesse Mendez have never met in college. Yianni is 2-0 career against Sasso at 149, but has never scored more than 6pts, and Ethan Smith - Chris Foca at 174 should also be excellent.

Sunday, February 19:

#6 Oklahoma State at #2 Iowa

Today is a Gift

Postseason wrestling has begun in a number of High Schools around the country and is fast-approaching in others and in college. It’s a good time to remind ourselves (wrestlers, coaches, parents and fans), to do our best to practice good sportsmanship.

Here’s to following the example of this young Iowa wrestler, Antonio Loving from Southeast Polk, and to exhibit sportsmanship on the mats, from the corners, in the stands and, yes, also online.

Be well, and take care of each other, wrestling friends.

As always, I invite feedback of all flavors. Please feel free to engage in the comments below or on twitter @JpPearson71. Also please consider bookmarking this link to BSD Wrestle’s Home.