Long Big Ten wrestling preview incoming. This weekend the Big Ten wrestling season continues as almost all of the teams take the mat to compete. Penn State is making their season debut after having previous dual meets postponed. Let’s get right into the preview with all rankings provided below coming from InterMat
Ohio State vs Michigan State Wrestling Preview
The Buckeyes will travel to East Lansing to take on the Spartans in a top 25 dual starting at 4pm. Ohio State with a record of 2-1 in duals led by Sammy Sasso will look to make it three straight wins against the 1-1 Spartans. This dual features 6 duals with wrestlers in the top 25 squaring off. The best head to head bout will be at 125 pounds most likely with #12 Malik Heinselman facing #10 Rayvon Foley. Another good head to head will come at 184 pounds with #16 Rocky Jordan wrestling #13 Lance Malczewski
Prediction: Ohio State wins 7 out of 10 head to head matches and takes the dual over the home team.
Penn State travels to Northwestern to Take on Wildcats and Hooisers – Tri-Meet Wrestling Preview
Penn State will wrestle two dual meets on Saturday, the first against Indiana University at 12 pm and then the host school Northwestern at 3 pm. Indiana is unranked and currently winless as a team. The featured bout in Penn State vs. Indiana might come at 125 pounds, where Indiana has their lone ranked wrestler, #16 Brock Hudkins. Penn State hasn’t had the most success at this weight class since NCAA champion Nico Megaludis graduated in 2016. This could change with Robert Howard, the freshman out of New Jersey is in the lineup for the Nittany Lions.
Prediction: Penn State rolls over Indiana winning 8 out of 10 head to heads minimum.
Penn State will wrestle host #16 Northwestern a few hours after competing. The Wildcats lead by #1 Ryan Deakin are 1-2 in dual meets and are trying to get back to .500. Wildcats have four other wrestlers ranked by Intermat with the next highest ranked wrestler being #8 at 125 pounds. Deakin will most likely take on #11 Brady Berge in the final match before the dual intermission.
Prediction: Penn State will win, but should be a smaller margin of victory for the Nittany Lions. Penn State will win 6 head to head matches, with bonus points being the difference makers on the scoreboard.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs Illinois Illini Wrestling Preview
The final day of January will have the best dual meet for this weekends slate of matches. The undefeated teams will wrestle Sunday afternoon with a bunch of great head to head matches taking place.
There will be 5 bouts with top 25 wrestlers squaring off, with 3 top 10 matches. Those matches will be at 149 pounds with # 7 Mike Carr for the Illini taking on #6 Max Murin for the Hawkeyes. The #8 ranked wrestler Zac Braunagel for the Illini taking on #9 Nelson Brands for Iowa at 184 pounds. The heavyweight class will also feature #6 Luke Luffman taking on #3 Tony Cassioppi in the final bout of the dual meet.
Prediction: The Iowa Hawkeyes are the team to beat this year, and that will not change this weekend, Iowa will win behind bonus point wins from their top guys like Spencer Lee and Alex Marinelli. I do see an upset coming for the FIghting Illini, most likely at 149 pounds with Carr beating Murin, but it will not be enough to upset the #1 ranked team in the nation.
Rutgers Hosts Tri-Meet with Purdue and Minnesota
Rutgers will wrestle the Boilermakers and Golden Gophers in New Jersey on Sunday. The #12 Golden Gophers will wrestle the first match of the meet at 9 am against #18 Boilermakers. That dual could have 3 top 25 ranked wrestlers squaring off and two top 10 matchups. The feature matches will be at 125 pounds with #9 Patrick McKee taking on #6 Devin Schroeder. Brayton Lee, the number 7 ranked wrestler at 157 pounds will square off with #5 Kendall Coleman of Purdue.
Prediction: Minnesota will get back on track after losing last weekend to Iowa. Golden Gopher’s will win being led by Gable Steveson. Matches could go an even 5-5 head to head so bonus points will be the deciding factor.
Rutgers will wrestle Minnesota following that dual, and the #17 ranked Scarlet Knights are looking to get their first win of the season. Rutger’s line up is different than it has looked in the past, after losing two NCAA finalists to graduation, Sebastian Rivera transferred from Northwestern to Jersey to wrestle at the RAC. The only ranked matchup will be at 125 pounds where #9 Patrick McKee will wrestle #15 Nic Aguilar for Rutgers.
Prediction: Rutgers wins just one head to head match out of the 10, and will still be looking for their first dual meet win for the season.
Stay tuned for something big coming from me in the future, going to be doing some new content that covers a wide variety of topics.