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And very minimal football, because we need this bye.

Iowa Okie State Brands Bros Callie Mitchell DI Callie Mitchell

Here we are, the bye week. Iowa football sits at 5-3, and has largely been a disappointment in a year that began with high expectations. Luckily another season is right around the corner and would you look at that — there are similar high expectations in Iowa City. We’re talking wrestling today, ladies and gents.

The last time we saw head coach Tom Brands and his team on the mat, it was to the tune of three losses in the NCAA Finals at Madison Square Garden. Thomas Gilman dropped a 6-3 decision to Nico Megaludis of Penn State at 125, Cory Clark lost to Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett by a point at 133 — a match that’s frustrating as all hell to think about — and Brandon Sorensen got majored by arguably the best wrestler in the country, Zain Retherford.

The Hawkeyes return five All-Americans (Alex Meyer and Sammy Brooks are the two not mentioned above) and have Flowrestling ranked grapplers at every weight with the exception of 141, 165, and 197 pounds. Iowa hasn’t been able to find a consistent 41-pounder since Montell Marion, an All-American at 165 since Ryan Morningstar, and All-American Nathan Burak left a hole at 97 with his graduation. Those three weights will likely merit their own post in the near future.

The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 3 overall preseason, with Oklahoma State and Ohio State holding the top two places, respectively. Virginia Tech and Mizzou round out the top five.

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below, as my expectations are on par with the previous couple years — the Hawks are very capable of winning a national title, given everyone does their job and some things fall into place. There’s plenty of talent on this roster, as there is every year. The question is can they use said talent to win matches when it matters most at season’s end in St. Louis?

NCAA Wrestling: Division I-Championship
Cory Clark lost in the 2015 and 2016 NCAA Finals. Please don’t let that happen again this year.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Brands, Brands and Company will rely heavily on the core of All-Americans mentioned above, as well as heavyweight Sam Stoll who had a promising freshman year in one of the Big Ten’s toughest weight classes. A quick side, Stoll’s Big Ten and National Tournament chances definitely aren’t be hurt given the medical redshirt of Michigan’s Adam Coon.

The last weight to touch on in this catch-all preview before we go more in-depth in the coming weeks is 157, where redshirt freshman Michael Kemerer sits as Flo’s preseason No. 6 at the weight.

The former Pennsylvania State Champion (and three-time runner up) from Franklin Regional did well, winning four smaller tournaments last season at 149, and placed fifth wrestling unattached at the Midlands. He dropped an 8-3 decision to third-seeded Alexander Richardson and lost 8-7 to fourth-seeded Jake Sueflohn to finish the tournament but recorded four bonus point victories — two majors, a tech fall, and a pin. Here’s what RossWB had to say following his commitment.

As mentioned above, we’ll have more wrestling stuff for your reading pleasure as we inch closer to the season, which begins Nov. 12 at the Luther Open. The Iowa City Duals are scheduled Nov. 18, and Iowa’s at Purdue Nov. 27. Media Day is scheduled a week from today.


It’s getting to the point where I may not go on on my laptop ever again. It’s near impossible for me to wrap my head why anyone who knows a lick about web design would make the navigation bar at the top of a page so egregiously big and build a page-consuming hidden dropdown menu inside of said egregiously nav bar. If you’d be so kind, allow yours truly to be mad online for a few sentences. If not, just skip the next few graphs and know this, that’s WAY too much space taken up at the top of the screen on that damn site.

For argument’s sake, let’s say a given student has a 13-inch Macbook and uses Chrome as their primary browser — which I’d be willing to guess represents a healthy portion of the campus population. Now, the site may not be totally geared towards that group of people due to the nuances of the Hawkeye fan base, but even then, students are arguably the most important demo to an athletic department’s success. My last qualifier — credit the mobile platform, which I have no complaints with other than the inconveniences mobile naturally brings to the table.

Back to the laptop-driven complaint at hand. At maximum, the developers are playing with around 600 pixels in that above described browser window, or maybe 150-200 more if you’re browsing in fullscreen mode. Why in the world would it be a good idea to burn 260 of those pixels with a nav bar and scoreboard at the top of the homepage page that shrinks to a more modest, but still large, 220 pixels when the viewer scrolls down? Those features are as subtle as being hit over the head with a 2x4, which is nice only because you can’t miss them, but eliminate the chance to see the featured content on every page, hence the infuriation you might still be reading.

For reference, the static nav bar is 105 pixels tall here on The Pants homepage. In a post on our site, the dynamic nav bar is 120 pixels at the top of a post, and shrinks to a lovely 57 in body with the aforementioned browser size.

I’m probably being too picky here or could be totally off my rocker with the intricacies of web design, but regardless, thank you for letting me get this off my chest.

If you’re still reading. End of rant.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Iowa
“I really want another Thorpe Award, boys and girls.”
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Congrats to football bright spot Desmond King for being named a Thorpe Award semifinalist. We’ll see two of King’s fellow semifinalists, Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis, in a few short weeks when Michigan comes to town.

Ohio State’s Malik Hooker — the final Big Ten player to make the cut — would appreciate a few picks from King on Nov. 12, as the Buckeyes will take all the help they can get in the Big Ten East race, despite the fact they’re still going to beat Michigan this season.