The Hawks have pushed their record to a perfect 10-0 on year with three duals remaining. Over the course of three days we exorcised the demons and mounted a dramatic comeback against #2 PSU, prevailing 19-17. Two days later we hit the road and traveled to East Lansing, MI where we thoroughly thumped The Spartans, 32-3.
The PSU dual could’ve had drastic implications on the rankings, but we were able to hold serve and outside of the DeSanto injury and subsequent loss, we were actually able to improve upon our positioning heading into the home stretch to close out the season.
Starting next week I will try to incorporate the NWCA Coaches Poll into the individual and team rankings. Those are the official rankings that help determine post season seedings and thus are far more important.
American hero, Spencer Lee, continues his 2020 death tour with a tech fall and a pin over the weekend and remains the unanimous #1 across all major rankings.
Even with Austin DeSanto’s injury, he remains fixed in the top three. If he had taken that medical forfeit against anyone other than Roman Bravo-Young (PSU), Seth Gross (Wisc), or even Sebastain Rivera (NW), he would’ve definitely tumbled. However, Flowrestling doesn’t take injury defaults into account when they build their rankings. I’m not sure how much I agree with it, but it is what it is, and ADS remains in prime positioning.
We’re still waiting for news on his potential return, but I’d be surprised if we see him before the Big Tens. Gross and RBY are scheduled to go at it this Friday, which should decide the #1 seed heading into the postseason. Rivera has been out since the Midlands in late December, so Austin should be a shoe-in for the #3 seed… but that’s if he is able to come back. Only time will tell.
Even though Max Murin hasn’t wrestled in a few weeks, he holds par. Pat Lugo has climbed back up to #2 thanks to the former #1, Boo Lewallen (OKST), losing to the now #4 ranked, Brock Mueller (MIZZOU).
Kaleb Young, Jacob Warner, and Tony Cassioppi all notched two wins over the weekend and remain steady as well. However, Cassioppi is set to face #2 Mason Parris this Saturday, Feb. 8, followed by #1 Gable Steveson on Feb. 15. This will be Big Cass’ best and only chance to improve his positioning/ seeding heading into March. With wins he will undoubtedly jump to #1, but as long as he doesn’t take a bad loss, he shouldn’t drop lower than what he’s already at.
Alex Marinelli lost his lone match to #1 Vincenzo Joseph (PSU) and holds onto his #2 ranking, as he should.
The biggest rise of the weekend belongs to our new #1 ranked 174lber: Michael Kemerer. Kemdog put the world on notice when he upended 3x finalist and former Champ and now FORMER #1, Mark Hall, 11-6. This was easily the match of the year so far and we’re all looking forward to potentially two more battles between these guys before this season is decided. But for now, let’s enjoy Kemerer’s first time sitting on top. Kemerer was also named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week.
Abe Assad dropped both matches this weekend and subsequently slid a couple positions across the board. Currently, Trackwrestling is the only source that still has him trending towards that All-American status. Had Assad beaten Aaron Brooks (PSU) and Cameron Caffey (MSU) he potentially could have locked up the #1 seed going into the Big Tens… now he’s eyeing a 3 or 4, but he needs to win out. Brooks, Taylor Venz (NEB), and Caffey all still have some big matches coming up, so it’s not impossible for Assad to get himself back into this thing, but he has to take care of business on his end.
For the most part, everything has stayed the same since the Hawkeyes took over the #1 position a couple months back. Iowa and NC State are still the only two undefeated teams left standing. Iowa has Michigan, #6 Minnesota, and #13 Oklahoma St coming up. Whereas, NC State’s biggest threats are #20 North Carolina and #16 Virginia Tech (both aren’t listed in our graphic).
Nebraska captured a season defining win when #5 Isaiah White cradled and stacked #13 Ethan Smith, as time expired no less, in the final match of the night and won 19-14. Flowrestling continues to give the Cornhuskers little respect in the rankings, but they could continue to climb if they can take care of business against #7 Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, and #6 Minnesota to close out their season.
In addition to the satisfaction of seeing #2 Penn State with two losses on the season, there’s a possibility of adding to that negative column. We can only hope, yeah? They’re entering a brutal stretch run and still have #4 Wisconsin, #6 Minnesota, and #3 Ohio State on the slate. All wrestling fans should be tuning into these duals if they can, they’re going to great.
To close things out, Northern Iowa reentered the top 15, sliding into that 15th position after they trashed OKST and Oklahoma in back-to-back duals. All three Iowa teams appear in the rankings again. Life is good and it’s even better when you’re a Hawkeye fan. GO HAWKS!!!
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