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Wrestling is here! A look at the non-con schedule

The events to watch out for as we gear up for another Big Ten wrestling season!

Syndication: HawkCentral
He’s a bad, bad man
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

That’s right, folks, it’s just about wrestling season. Now, nobody here has the time to talk about your team, and why this year will be special, and who’s gonna start and who’s gonna all-American and who’s gonna win a title. But, being a Big Ten blog, we can give you a little look at the important things to watch out for in the conference this year. Today, we’re gonna look at the non-conference schedule. Action starts this Friday with a pair of duals, and continues through the weekend as most teams in the Big Ten will compete in the next seven days. Let’s walk through the important dates and events.

Nov 4-6

There’s only one good dual this weekend, if you ask me, but as noted above, this is important because it’s where the 2022-23 season starts. Everybody but Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State, and Rutgers kicks off action, though mostly in boring JV open tournaments like the MSU Open and the Clarion Open. Indiana, Maryland, and Nebraska all have duals, but the biggest one to watch is probably #9 Wisconsin vs #14 Iowa State in Jacksonville, Florida, at the Battle in the River City. This one is available via Rokfin, along with Wisconsin’s duals against Chattanooga and Buffalo and Iowa State’s vs Little Rock and Campbell.

Nov 11-13

Duals by Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State, and Purdue go down this weekend but are all pretty mundane. Punctuating the stretch are #4 Ohio State hosting #15 Virginia Tech on Friday; #10 Nebraska facing #17 NC State and Rutgers facing #3 Arizona State in Bethlehem, PA, at Wranglemania on Saturday; and #6 Michigan’s trip to Chapel Hill on Sunday to face #19 North Carolina. Journeyman Wrestling is hosting Wranglemania, which features ten duals between eleven schools, and that will be broadcast on Rokfin (who’s starting to look like a big player this year). I can’t find broadcast info for the other two. If you can, leave it in the comments! I imagine Flo will have some of these or the following must-watches.

Nov 18-20

I do want to take a second to mention that Iowa is going on the road to wrestle Army, Buffalo, and Sacred Heart, partly as a gesture of thanks to Army for stepping in at the last minute last year. However, I do not recommend you watch it, as it shouldn’t be close. Three good duals take place during this stretch, starting with #24 Illinois going on the road to face #17 NC State in Albany, NY, on Friday, followed by Wisconsin going to Ithaca to face #7 Cornell on Saturday, and finally Ohio State following Michigan to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina. You’ll notice a trend: some schools are more ambitious with their non-con scheduling than others. That Wisconsin dual will be on ESPN+.

Nov 22

On November 22nd, Cliff Keen is bringing back the NWCA All-Star Classic, presented by FloWrestling. It will be in Austin, Texas, and will have a match at each weight between two top collegiate wrestlers. Pat McKee (MN), Lucas Byrd (ILL), Real Woods (IA), Sammy Sasso (OSU), Austin Gomez (WI), Will Lewan (MI), Dean Hamiti (WI), Carter Starocci (PSU), Aaron Brooks (PSU), Jacob Warner (IA), Tony Cassioppi (IA), and Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) will all be competing. There will also be at least two women’s matches. Also, despite being pretty near Austin, I will not be able to attend this, as I will be flying back to Iowa that week for Thanksgiving. D’oh!

Dec 2-4

#24 Illinois hosts #15 Pittsburgh, #2 Iowa hosts #14 Iowa State, #1 Penn State visits Rider and #26 Lehigh, and #9 Wisconsin and Rutgers battle Penn and Drexel in Newark, but the big event this weekend is the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas, presented by FloWrestling. Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Purdue will be sending wrestlers to compete is the first national non-conference tournament of the year.

Dec 9-11

Rutgers goes on the road to face #11 Princeton in what could be a good match, but otherwise there’s a lot of nothing this week. Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, and Minnesota are all wrestling, but none of those duals should be close. In lieu of a really competitive dual, I’d like to acknowledge the Wisconsin Wrestling Showcase, in which Wisconsin will wrestle Drexel, but also play host to Division II and Division III duals in the UW Field House. Parkside will wrestle McKendree for the DII show, and La Crosse will face off against Cornell College from Iowa at the DIII level. If you’re in the area, go buy tickets! That feels like a fun event.

Dec 19-20

Here’s an event I will be at! Following a mundane weekend, the Collegiate Duals are back for the second consecutive year, this time in New Orleans! Again the event will be broadcasted by Rokfin, and again it will feature two representatives from the Big Ten. This year Ohio State steps in for Iowa, while Penn State returns as the other Big Ten squad. The Buckeyes will face Lock Haven and #18 Northern Iowa while the Nittany Lions will get Central Michigan and #19 North Carolina. The championship rounds could see #17 NC State, #26 Lehigh, or Cal Poly face off with Ohio State, while Penn State could face #7 Cornell, #14 Iowa State, or Oregon State.

Dec 29-30

After some shenanigans last year, the Ken Kraft Midlands return to the Chicagoland area in the second big national non-conference tournament of the year. Illinois, Indiana, Rutgers, Wisconsin, and host Northwestern all have this one on the schedule, while Iowa is notably absent.

Iowa attempted to host their own tournament after Midlands was canceled last year, but never got it off the ground. They’ll be trying again this year, calling it the Soldier Salute and hosting it on the same days as Midlands. It will include Iowa, Army, Wyoming, Northern Iowa, and others on the men’s side, and a full slate of women’s wrestling to accompany it. It will be available on BTN+. I don’t know if it’s going to be any good, but I do know I’ll be tuning in, if for nothing else than to see what the women’s collegiate scene looks like in the last year before Iowa turns it upside-down.

Jan 1-2

And finally, the last big non-con tournament, the Southern Scuffle will take place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on January 1st and 2nd. Maryland, Minnesota, and Purdue will be attending, and it’s possible that individuals from other Big Ten institutions attend on their own (Iowa sent a handful of unattached guys last year). FloWrestling will be broadcasting this one.

Jan 6

And here begins the Big Ten season. Indiana hosts Ohio State in the first dual of the night, followed by Penn State visiting Wisconsin, both on the Big Ten Network. Iowa will host Illinois as well, on BTN+. There will be some non-con duals, but I don’t care, for at long last, we will have Big Ten wrestling back.

So let me know, what are you most excited for, from your team and in general? Did I miss anything big? Are you going to purchase BTN+, FloWrestling, or Rokfin? Sound off in the comments. We’ll have more preview content throughout the non-con schedule.


Best non-con event

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    (13 votes)
  • 9%
    Southern Scuffle
    (3 votes)
  • 12%
    All-Star Classic
    (4 votes)
  • 19%
    Collegiate Duals
    (6 votes)
  • 16%
    Something else!
    (5 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now