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Off Mat Empire: At least we have Penn State?

After the past few weekends of outstanding matchups, we get to catch our breath. Except for you, Penn State...

“We could afford an effective compliance office, or we could afford a crew of litter bearers for the Lion...”
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m just not as excited about this weekends matchups as I was for the past few weeks. I think part of it has to do with the fact that it will be tough for anything to top Penn State-Iowa, or even Ohio State’s dual meets with Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. There are some big matchups, but between the fact that there just doesn’t seem to be as many fun, unpredictable matches this weekend (with one exception) and that the Gophers are going to be torn asunder by the Nittany Lions Sunday afternoon, I just can’t get into it. Oh well, let’s get to it and maybe see if a little joy creeps back over the next week. **checks schedule** “Minnesota at Iowa?” Aw hell.

Dual Meet of the Weekend: #4 wisconsin at #2 Penn State (Friday 8 PM, BTN)

In most years and in most sports, you could get pretty excited about a showdown between a pair of top 5 teams. But the gulf between PSU and wisconsin is probably about as massive as the one between Iowa and PSU. It really feels like the big competition at the NCAA Championships will be for 3rd, and that’s rather frustrating. So we need to take solace in the fact that we should get a few pretty good matchups from this one, like at 133 where #1 Seth Gross faces #2 Roman Bravo-Young and 165 where #1 Vincenzo Joseph gets #3 Evan Wick. But outside of these two and Trent Hilger, it should be a reasonably straightforward affair for the Nittany Lions. Of particular interest to me will be to see how 174 #2 Mark Hall bounces back after last weekend’s effort against Michael Kemerer.

Runner-up Dual Meet of the Weekend: #4 Penn State at #6 Minnesota (Sunday 1 PM, BTN)

If the gulf between wisconsin and PSU is massive, then the one between Minnesota and the Nittany Lions is akin to the Grand Canyon. But we get 141 #2 Nick Lee vs. #4 Mitch McKee and HWT #1 Gable Steveson vs. yet another overhyped Nevills brother. (Just under a year until Kerkvliet is eligible, PSU fans. Hang in there). If there’s nothing else to watch on Sunday, maybe consider having this on in the background while you do laundry.

Matchup of the Weekend: HWT #2 Mason Parris vs. #3 Tony Cassippi.

This is the only reason to check out the score from the Iowa-Michigan dual meet, and even this is tainted by the fact that they’re heavyweights. But these two are the best chance to stop Steveson, other than Steveson himself not being aggressive and settling for one takedown and trying to defend for a period and change. But I digress...

Other Dual Meets With Ranked Teams:

#7 Nebraska at #13 Purdue (Friday)

Michigan State at #14 Northwestern (Friday)

#1 Iowa at #19 Michigan (Saturday 7 PM, BTN)

#14 Northwestern at #3 Ohio State (Sunday)

Michigan State at #4 wisconsin (Sunday)

#7 Nebraska at Indiana (Sunday)