Here we are Iowa fans, on the back end of December gearing up for a tough stretch of opposition in the coming months. But before we dive into the Big Ten schedule we have two tough rounds of grappling that we must throttle. 1: The Midlands next weekend and 2: The Journeyman Collegiate Duals that start today, Monday Dec. 20!
In years past this would have been your typical tournament style dual setup, but this year marks some interesting changes with the addition of #1 Iowa and #2 Penn State. Since these two powerhouses collide on Jan. 28, it’s seems likely that Journeyman, Iowa/ PSU or the B1G OR TV rights in general, were wanting to avoid another conference dual. Either way we spin it, the field of 12 teams have been split into two pools: Red and Blue. The mini-tourney stands for each pool, but there are no cross-over duals or matches. Alas, there will be no #1 vs #2 this weekend in college wrestling. Anywho, let’s take a quick dive into the pools shall we?
Our Hawks are in the Blue Pool so let’s meet those teams: #1 Iowa, Binghamton University, Central Michigan, #17 Lehigh, #10 Missouri, and #5 NC State.
#2 Penn State, #6 Arizona St., #11 Cornell, Hofstra, #22 UNI, and #8 Virginia Tech
The Hawkeyes will first duke it out with CMU at 6PM CT followed by #17 Lehigh around 9PM, both tonight exclusively on Rokfin.
Should Iowa take care of business tonight (and we will) we’ll face either Missouri or NC State tomorrow, which will be straight fireworks.
The Chippewas are 1-0 on their short season following a victory over Rider, 24-12, a couple weeks back. They currently have three ranked wrestlers, #7 Dresden Simon (141lbs), #19 Johnny Lovett (157lbs), and #9 Matt Stencel (285lbs). While they may not have the all-around team depth to match pace with Iowa, these 3 are formidable opponents that could make things interesting in their respective matches.
The Mountain Hawks are 3-2 on the season following solid wins Oregon State and #15 Pittsburgh. They recently fell to PSU 23-16, albeit the Nittany Lions were wrestling a handful of backups. Either way, it was a spirited display that proves that Lehigh was game inside Rec Hall when the lights were the brightest.
Lehigh has a bit more firepower than our 1st rounders, featuring #11 Jaret Lane (125lbs), #24 Malyke Hines (133lbs), #10 Josh Humphreys (157lbs), and #8 Jordan Wood (285lbs) all inside Intermat’s top 25.
We’re undefeated on the season following our beatdown over Iowa State, 23-11, but I don’t think anyone has been particularly impressed with our efforts to date. Not to say our stars haven’t showed up and propelled us to victory, but the consistency hasn’t quite been there yet.
Spencer Lee still hasn’t wrestled a match, though he is listed on the depth chart for this weekend, so perhaps we’re starting to round the corner for his return. However, #2 Michael Kemerer remains ominously absent. It’s not uncommon for him to miss a match or two, but to miss major action a month into the season is becoming worrisome to say the least.
Though, it doesn’t hold him back from appearing in some fine-ass bank commercials dropping dimes. It’s nice to see him on the court again... but there needs to be a mat on top of it.
Either way we slice this diddy, we’re still short staffed, but it does look like Max Murin and Jacob Warner will continue to suit up. We’re inching closer to that 100% threshold!
Speaking of Warner, he fell last week to to ISU’s Yonger Bastida coming off a recent injury. I’m not going to list him in my key matchups because he should take care of business this weekend. But it was a painful loss to witness, regardless. We all need to see how he responds to that bombshell that was dropped on him. A couple bonus point wins will go a long way to refueling his confidence.
125lbs: I’m simply throwing this weight in in anticipation for Lee to finally take the mat. Should he go, I highly expect completely and utter destruction of any and all that stand in front of him. However, it’s a big IF at this point.
CMU shouldn’t prove to be much of a struggle for Lee, but let’s keep our eye on #11 Jaret Lane from Lehigh. Lane is 7-0 on the season with 4 coming back bonus, including 3 falls. While he doesn’t have any wins over high ranked opposition, he has been throttling anyone he’s squaring off against and that’s all he can do. Lane is looking for a career win, so let’s see how Spencer does in potentially his 2nd match back from a lengthy layoff.
157lbs: The brutal start to the season continues for KY as he runs into two more ranked opponents. He’s 5-2, but wins tonight can go a long way towards seeding in March. These two have wrestled once before back in 2019, which KY took, 4-1.
KY is coming off a beatdown thanks to #1 David Carr - it’s time for him to shake off the rust and get back to the grind. This will be a tough weekend for KY, especially if we mix in the potential matchups with NC State/ Missouri, but it’s a great opportunity for our guy to get back in the hunt and regain some lost ground.
184lbs: Myles Wilson or Abe Assad? Abe Assad or Myles Wilson? I don’t know and neither do Tom and Terry Brands. I highly believe Assad has the higher ceiling, but something is going on behind those practice rooms doors that’s keeping him off the mat. I love what Wilson brings to the mat, he’s an absolute warrior, but we know what we have at this point in his career. Assad needs to do what he must and regain control of this weight and get hyper-focused. We need him not only this weekend, but more importantly, in March. Time to step up and get to work.
So, let’s see if he actually sees the mat this weekend and if he does? what how does he handle it?
285lbs: Big Cass has two big rivalry matches and I’m 100% here for it! Cass was hit hard in the rankings after his fluke pin to kick off the season. He tumbled from #3 to #7. An ugly loss will do that to ya, but there’s NO ONE that truly believes the 3 to 4 guys above him in the rankings legitimately should be there. The only way to gain that ground is knock off some ranked guys and Cass as that opportunity this weekend.
Cass is 1-1 vs #9 Matt Stencel. He fell to him via pinslay in the 2019 Midlands, but exacted his revenge with a 5-1 decision in the 2020 version.
Likewise, #8 Jordan Wood represents another challenge for our big man. While they’ve never wrestled collegiately, they do have a past on the freestyle circuit, with Cass teching him 11-0 in the semis of the Junior World Team Trials.
Wood is a goer. While he failed to find the podium last season he did place 4th at Nationals in 2019.
PROBABLE LINEUPS: Iowa vs CMU
125lbs: #1 Spencer Lee // Jesse Ybarra vs Brock Bergelin
133lbs: #3 Austin DeSanto vs Vince Perez
141lbs: #2 Jaydin Eierman vs #7 Dresden Simon
149lbs: #8 Max Murin // Cobe Siebrecht vs Corbyn Munson
157lbs: #8 Kaleb Young vs #19 Johnny Lovett
165lbs: #1 Alex Marinelli vs Tracy Hubbard
174lbs: #13 Nelson Brands vs Bret Fedewa
184lbs: #28 Myles Wilson // Abe Assad vs Ben Cushman
197lbs: #7 Jacob Warner vs Aaron Bolo
285: #6 Tony Cassioppi vs #9 Matt Stencel
PROBABLE LINEUPS: Iowa vs Lehigh
125lbs: #1 Spencer Lee // Jesse Ybarra vs #11 Jaret Lane
133lbs: #3 Austin DeSanto vs #24 Malyke Hines
141lbs: #2 Jaydin Eierman vs Connor McGonagle
149lbs: #8 Max Murin // Cobe Siebrecht vs #30 Manzona Bryant
157lbs: #8 Kaleb Young vs #10 Josh Humphreys
165lbs: #1 Alex Marinelli vs #19 Brian Meyer
174lbs: Nelson Brands vs Jake Logan
184lbs: #28 Myles Wilson // Abe Assad vs AJ Burkhart
197lbs: #7 Jacob Warner vs JT Davis
285: #6 Tony Cassioppi vs #8 Jordan Wood
Opponent: CMU & Lehigh
Dual time: 6:00PM & 8:00PM GT (Central) // Monday, Dec. 20 2021
Location: Northwestern Florida College // Niceville, FL
TV/ Online: Rokfin ($$$)
A quick note about this, you must have a Rokfin subscription AND pay for the PPV ($10).
The easiest and cheapest way is to subscribe monthly, pay for the event, then cancel.
I went ahead and bought the year pass in hopes that I can dive into their articles and enjoy any future broadcasts they may have.
TBH- the layout is rough around the edges and hard to navigate. The link above should take you straight to the event page and if it doesn’t, drop a note in the comments and I’ll get it sorted.
Unfortunately, there is not a Rokfin app on the Roku, but there is in the android store. You can either watch via mobile device, android TV, or connect your PC to your tv with an HDMI cable.
That’s a lot of work to get this dual up and running, hopefully Rokfin learns from this and makes access easier moving foward.