No, Not 28 Day Slater*
It's been a month since we did a wrestling update. When we last checked in with the squad, they had just dispatched the then-#12 Northwestern Wildcats. We speculated on whether Iowa could finish its Big Ten season undefeated, given the strength of the conference.
Well, they did.
Iowa won the Big 10 with a perfect 8-0 record. Not only did they go undefeated through the conference, but they did it in the most difficult way possible; the two BXI teams not on Iowa's schedule, Purdue and MSU, finished 10th and 11th in the conference. Since February 1, Iowa is 7-0 with wins over #8 Minnesota, #10 Illinois, and #11 Michigan. The Big Ten has 8 of the top 13 teams in the country, and Iowa beat them all. In fact, Iowa faced 11 of the top 13 teams in the most recent poll (they have not wrestled #2 Central Michigan or, you know, themselves) and were 11-1 in those matches, winning by a combined score of 264-157. Did you know there is wrestling RPI? Well, guess who is #1 in that?
Individually, Iowa has a wrestler ranked in nearly every weight class:
- Charlie Falck -- 30-2, #2 at 125 lbs.
- Joey Slaton -- 29-3, #4 at 133 lbs.
- Dan LeClere -- 24-8, #6 at 141 lbs.
- Brent Metcalf -- 30-1, #1 at 149 lbs.
- Ryan Morningstar -- 19-11, #16 at 157 lbs.
- Mark Perry -- 18-2, #1 at 165 lbs.
- Jay Borschel -- 28-5, #3 at 174 lbs.
- Phil Keddy -- 25-7, #7 at 184 lbs.
- Matt Fields -- 27-6, #6 at Hwt.
The best news of all? Of the nine ranked Iowa wrestlers, only two (Fields and Perry) are seniors. Make no mistake about it: The once-dominant Iowa wrestling program is back.
Iowa's regular season is now over. The Big Ten Championships are set to take place on March 8-9 in Minneapolis (and will be shown on the Big Ten Network). The NCAA Championships will be held in St. Louis March 20-22. Iowa will be a favorite in both.
* -- Of course, 28 Day Slater in an Iowa wrestling post is more than just a pun. A.C. Slater was set to wrestle at Iowa (despite hiding that fact from his dad by claiming to "owe-a Zack $10"). Nobody knows why he eventually gave up his scholarship -- and his dream -- to attend Cal U. Rumors of steroid-laced milkshakes at The Max were never confirmed.
By the way (SPOILER ALERT), Episode 3 includes Slater watching the pool scene from Showgirls (just about as NSFW as YouTube gets).