Week 1 didn’t have a lot of noteworthy action as most B1G teams eased into competition. There were a couple of duals, including one that I even gave a crap about, and a decent open tournament at East Lansing.
Let’s start with the one good dual, shall we?
Ohio State 23 - University of North Carolina 12 (aka U of Cheaters who don’t actually go to School)
Ohio State had a decent opponent travel to Columbus to open the season for the Buckeyes. OSU began the season ranked 8th and UNC 15th. The dual started at 165# and an OSU got their first taste of blue chip Carson Kharcla. Kharcla missed last year with a torn ACL (apparently, he’s no Spencer Lee, but who is) and entered the year ranked #10 and won a nice 10-2 major decision. Other ranked matchups included #6 Ethan Smith (who bumped up from 165 to 174 to make room for Kharcla in the lineup) in the most entertaining match of the night, secured a 16-10 win over #21 Gavin Kane. My personal favorite weight class, 184, kicked off the WHEEL of CHAOS with #17 Rocky Jordan taking a tight 4-1 match from #20 Clay Lautt. OSU took the next three matches to build up a 20-0 lead. Ranked UNC grapplers took the next two matches in close decisions to narrow the gap to 20-6. Next up, #1 (yawn) Oklahoma State wrestler Sammy Sasso adhflkajsdfh;sfh;jksdf;asldjkf Sorry, I must’ve nodded off there. Anyway, #1 Sammy Sasso did what he does and won 4-1 over #5 Zach Sherman. In the last match, with the dual out of reach, #2 Austin O’Conner made quick work of Jashon Hubbard, pinning him in the second period to end the dual at 23-12.
Wisconsin Badgers vs Buffalo Buffalo
Wisconsin begins the season ranked 18th, which sounds great, but means they are projected to finish 9th in the B1G. Buffalo came into Madison with a team boasting of zero ranked wrestlers and it showed. Wisconsin won 9/10 matches and the only thing of note was the debut of All-World 197#er Braxton Amos was a rather pedestrian 8-2 decision win. Wisconsin was only able to earn three bonus points against Buffalo, but one of those three came from the other freshman making his debut, 165# Dean Hamiti came close to the Tech Fall winning 18-5. The final score was 30-3.
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Drexel/Rider
Purdue began the season with tri-dual meet. They coasted past Rider 33-3, but had an uncomfortably close dual with Drexel, wining 29-18. Purdue comes in ranked 21st, good for 11th place in the B1G. Rider had a couple ranked wrestlers coming in, but they all four lost. Rider’s sole win came at 165# where Joe Casey beat enigma Emil Soehnlen. Emil at times looks really good and other times, not so much. Boiler19274093109 and other Purdue wrestling fans would love to see more consistent performance from him.
So, against Drexel, Purdue lost four matches in a row including one by injury default and one by fall and trailed 18-14. Amongst those losses was #9 Kendall Coleman, who would be the first of my dark horse B1G champion picks to lose in a major upset over the weekend. Coleman lost to #29 ranked Parker Kropman (with a name like that, how is he not at Northwestern?) 6-1. From that 18-14 juncture, PU scored 15 straight to end the night.
Rutgers vs Eastern Schools I’ve Never Heard Of.
Rutgers blew through a season open quad-dual beating something called Binghamton 34-9, Cleveland State (which isn’t even really a state although I’m sure Ohio doesn’t want to claim it) 35-3 and New Jersey City University (which isn’t even a city! WTF people?) 48-0.
Michigan State Open
This would’ve been a really great open tournament if anyone had brought their full teams, but there were some great matches to digest. Oklahoma University 133# Tony Madrigal had a great tournament. The #20 ranked Sooner beat #6 All American Lucas Byrd and #12 Rayvon Foley. That’s having yourself a tournament. Cam Caffey was another dark horse champion pick I made who had TWO losses. Coming in #13 for MSU, but had the #1 ranked 197 hairdo. He lost to #10 Jacob Woodley of Oklahoma and followed that up with a baffling loss to Illinois Fighting Illini Matt Wroblewski, who had already lost to Caffey’s backup. Former Badger Evan Wick won the 165# bracket for Cal Poly. Fat Boy Lucas Davison and 174# Troy Fisher took titles for the Northwestern Wildcats. Michigan Wolverine Chance Lamer took gold at 141 and his cross-state rival Chase Saldate won the 157 pound class.
Indiana Hoosiers and Maryland Terrapins have wrestling teams but I don’t care.