Ten Reasons to Watch B1G Wrestling
If you are completely new to the sport, Black Heart, Gold Pants made a nice primer that will teach you the basics in about ten minutes. As much as I hate to say nice things about Iowegians, this is really good work.
Ok. On to the list of the Top Ten Reasons to watch B1G Wrestling
1. Iowa Hawkeyes It’s fun to win natties! Plus, unlike basketball, you can watch a team that has people that play defense and unlike football, your team scores a lot of points. But especially because Spencer Lee is having perhaps the best collegiate season of any wrestler since Cael Sanderson.
2. Michigan Wolverines Your coach keeps his shirt on and hasn’t stopped caring. You definitely can beat OSU at this sport. You have four wrestlers that are favored to make national finals. You have three other wrestlers in the top eight and two more in the top 20!
3 Penn State Nittany Lions Ok, look. You aren’t going to win it all this year, but you didn’t start the season 0-5 either. There’s an amazing crop of young talent that will definitely win multiple titles before they leave. Get on the bandwagon (again) before it gets too crowded.
4. Nebraska Cornhuskers You went to school or live in Nebraska so clearly, you’re easily entertained. Fred hasn’t figured out how to Nebrasketball good yet. Enjoy watching a winning team with 2 legit title contenders and should have several more All Americans. Seriously, watch Chad Red and Taylor Venz right now. These guys are fun and two of my favorite non-Illini wrestlers to watch.
5. Illinois Fighting Illini I wrote a fanpost over at The Champaign Room about why to watch this team. Six sophomores start for a team deep with quality competitors and they rarely get out-worked. There are no title contenders, but you’ll see 7-9 national qualifiers and six All American candidates.
6. Ohio State University Unfortunately, your wrestling team didn’t chicken out like the football team and was upset by Illinois to start the year. On the bright side, Alabama doesn’t have a wrestling team. Sammy Sasso will likely win at least one title and maybe more before he graduates. Check him out.
7. Minnesota Gophers If you don’t love watching Gable Steveson, a mountain of man who moves like a middleweight, I don’t know what to tell you. Guys like him don’t come around often. He is the only guy on the same planet talent-wise as Spencer Lee right now and he’s only a junior plus he’s a bit of showman. Watch this guy while you can. Here he is pinning a #6 ranked wrestler. Blink and you’ll miss it. I know I’ll be there.
8. Purdue Boilermakers Boiler fans, if you’re looking for more opportunities to whine about B1G officiating, here’s your chance. Seriously, though, Purdue is Illinois-Lite this year. A deep team with lots of national qualifiers, but no title contenders. Devin Schroder would be in a normal year, but unless you can manage to get Spencer Lee and Jeff Giloolly in the same room, it’s not happening. (and Lee would probably pin Giloolly in the first period) You have two sophomores, Kendall Coleman (157) and Thomas Penola (197) that will win a bunch in the next three years.
9. Michigan State Look at you, MSU! You might not think 9th in conference is that great, but this is the best team in 20 years that’s stepped on the mat for Sparty. And 9th in the B1G would be top three in nearly every other conference. Rayvon Foley looks to repeat as an All American and Cam Caffey is a title contender at 197. It’s worth tuning in just for the hair.
11. Wisconsin Badgers It’s been a rough start for Wisconsin. You hate to see it.
12. Northwestern Wildcats Your only senior is the favorite to win the title at 157. Yahya Thomas, Lucas Davison, Chris Cannon, and Michael DeAugustino are good young wrestlers that should do good things for Evanston’s Big Ten Team.
13. Rutgers You’re 0-4, but you get Maryland next so sturger boys won’t be shut out for the dual season. 2019 saw Rutgers first national title in wrestling by Anthony Ashnault, but it won’t be the last. Sammy Alvarez and Sebastian (SeaBass) Rivera are contenders at 133 and 141. Who doesn’t want to yell, “Kick his Ass, Seabass!!!” at your TV. Plus, he was the last guy to beat Spencer Lee, way back in 2019, but still worth a look.
14. Maryland Terrapins Umm. You get to watch B1G quality wrestling. From the other team, but whatever.
Teams were listed in order of current B1G standings with ties broken by Intermat rankings.