Well, well, well, The Magic Eight Ball was right. The 2018-2019 wrestling schedule is finally here and what a dandy it is! In case you missed it, which you probably did and shame on you, I inaccurately predicted the upcoming schedule a few days ago. I’d say you should go back and read it, but there’s no point. Though you should because, well just look at it here.
Without further ado, feast your eyes and soak up all its glory!
11/9: @ Cal-State Bakersfield and Kent State, at Kent State
12/1: Iowa State
12/29-30: Midlands Championships, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
1/13: @ Minnesota
1/25: @ Illinois
1/27: @ Northwestern
2/3: @ Nebraska
2/17: @ Wisconsin
2/24: @ Oklahoma State
2/9-10: Big Ten Championships, in Minneapolis
2/21-23: NCAA Championships, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
This kinda isn’t good, yeah? Wish we had some better competition, especially at home yeah?
Yeah, me too. I was spot on that we would miss out on Ohio St., Penn St., and Michigan. I was spot on about visiting Oklahoma St. And I was spot on about Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana coming to Carver. But I was wildly off on the dates, and this does question our ability to build upon the 12 year attendance record too. Somehow we roped Cal-State Bakersfield (I didn’t know they still had a team) and Princeton into a showdown at Kent St. It’s a bit disappointing, but better than nothing. Do we need one more in Iowa City?
Thankfully a very tough Lehigh answered the call and we got one more.
So what does this mean for us? It’s means this is a soft schedule. It means our toughest opponent in the first few weeks will be our own wrestle-offs. Without facing 3 of the top teams (excluding us) in the country, our margin for error is slim to none. Every year, every team’s goal is to go undefeated into March, but it’s even more crucial this season. We simply don’t have the big duals to rebound from an early season miscue if it were to happen.
There are a handful of common opponents sprinkled in there, Wiscy, Purdue, Minn, etc, but without those heads-up battles, it will be hard to keep a high ranking with a loss. I’d hate to see one of our boys have an early season misstep to CSU Bakersfield and have it screw their seeding come March.
At least Tom Brands secured us that very good #7 Lehigh squad Dec. 8, right before the Midlands. And if I’m being honest, this is the dual that scares me the most. Iowa has only faced them once in the last 40 odd years and that was back in 2014. They burned their house down to a 31-6 score. This is by far away and the best home dual we have all season, so mark it on your calendar, because I’m damn sure they’ve marked it on theirs.
This is D1 wrestling. Every kid that steps onto the mat is deserving of being there. Everyone can pin anyone at any given time. But with that being said, there is no reason why we can’t run this schedule and be 15-0 entering into the B1G tourney.
Over the next several weeks I’ll be breaking down the schedule, outlining our potential matchups, and exploring the expectations I have already unjustly put on our shoulders. Sadly, this does dampen the excitement just a bit, but at least:
The Iowa Hawkeye 2018-2019 Death Tour is here!!!