As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, we all believed the wrestling schedule would fail to launch, yet again. For weeks, the Big Ten brass fed us lies saying, “Don’t you worry little ones, the schedule is on its way,” but week after week nothing materialized.
Then in the wanning hours of a shitty year, just as we were rearing back to kick 2020 in the ass and slam the door, the unthinkable happened.
About damn time, amirite or am I right?!
Now the actual wrestling season, it its entirety, can officially launch and we can officially look ahead to the Iowa Hawkeyes 2021 tour de conquest.
But why did this take so long?
By comparison, Iowa State released theirs on Dec. 10 along with their fellow Big 12 brethren. Also, ISU has 14 duals slotted while we have, I slowly count from the above picture, nine duals… Well that meets the B1G minimum requirement of nine in-conference duals, but nothing else. Boy, it sure would’ve been swell to get this out earlier so the coaches could work some magic and add some more dates to an already freakishly low total. However, we’re now stuck with this pandemic-shortened season with absolutely no wiggle room, for better or worse. I’m convinced this was by design to regulate a conference only schedule.
It’s rather interesting that B1G men’s basketball is averaging right around 26 games per team, including six or seven out-of-conference affairs. If they didn’t suffocate the wrestling season this post should’ve been about other than the delayed release of a schedule.
Regardless of the Big Ten shuffling their feet a wrestling season would’ve happened, but no one and I mean NO ONE was going to get behind it until we entered the fray. And now we have.
Our Hawkeyes are set to open the season at home against #6 Nebraska on Jan. 15, so mark thy calendars and get yourselves ready. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll dive into our weight previews, team outlook, and expectations.
And now for a sweet sneak peak, let’s prime the excitement button and take a glimpse of what’s to come.
Our Hawkeyes return nine of the ten All-Americans from last season, with the lone graduate Pat Lugo, departing for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club. Though he is immediately replaced in the lineup by the 3x AA transfer from Missouri, Jaydin Eierman.
With our stacked starting lineup, we debut as the #1 team in the land in the Wrestlestat Rankings. Followed by #2 Michigan, #3 Oklahoma State, #4 North Carolina State, and #5 Penn State to round out the top 5.
All ten of our guys appear in Wrestlestat’s top 10, with three of them checking in at #1 and two more inside the top 2, led by the #1 overall p4p wrestler in the country and returning Hodge Trophy and the AAU Sullivan Award Winner, Spencer Freakin’ Lee.
Expected starting Lineup:
125: #1 Spencer Lee
133: #2 Austin DeSanto
141: #2 Jaydin Eierman
149: #5 Max Murin
157: #10 Kaleb Young
165: #1 Alex Marinelli
174: #1 Michael Kemerer
184: #8 Abe Assad
197: #5 Jacob Warner
285: #4 Tony Cassioppi
1/15: #5 Nebraska
1/22: @ #12 Minnesota
1/31: Illinois / #2 Michigan
2/07: @ #23 Purdue // #8 Ohio State
2/12: @ #5 Penn State
2/19: #20 Northwestern
2/21: @ Wisconsin
Over the previous couple of seasons I’ve bounced around between rankings, but during this shortened year, I’m going utilize Wrestlestat, primarily because it’s free and all users can access it, but more importantly, because it’s a fantastic reference source. Please dive into and check out, it’s quite resourceful.
Last year covid-19 denied us of our 24th NCAA title team and first in a decade. Now Tom and Terry Brands can shift their collective focus to 2021 and prepare to bring the elusive trophy back to Iowa City where it belongs.
Enjoy the hype video and get ready. The 2021 Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling season is finally here!!!