#1 Penn State Nittany Lions at #5 Ohio State, Friday at 6PM on the Big Ten Network
Kind of...: Rankings notwithstanding, this probably won’t be close. PSU will give up points at 125 and probably at 149, too, as Shayne Van Ness doesn’t yet seem to be at Sammy Sasso’s lever. There are some close matchups on paper, but OSU would basically have to shoot the moon to win the dual. The upset bid would like require four of the following five matchups to go their way: #9 Jesse Mendez over #1 Roman Bravo-Young at 133 (quite unlikely); #19 Dylan D’Emilio over #5 Beau Bartlett at 141 (just unlikely); #12 Carson Kharchla over #8 Alex Facundo at 165 (I’d actually make Kharchla the slight favorite); #7 Ethan Smith over #1 Carter Starocci at 174 (very unlikely); #5 Kaleb Romero over #1 Aaron Brooks at 184 (quite unlikely).
Maybe winning three of those, and finding more bonus points than PSU, can happen, but I really doubt it. I’ll give Kharchla this win, and say it will be 10-10 after 165, then PSU will do their thing and win 23-10.
#6 Michigan Wolverines at #12 Oklahoma State (in Arlington, TX), Friday at 7PM on Rokfin
Kind of...: You probably don’t have Rofkin, and both teams are a bit down this year, but Wrestlestat has this as a tossup, so if you’re bored watching PSU stomp OSU into paste, maybe see if there’s a free trial option and give this a look?
Jack Medley (Mich., 125) and Daton Fix (Okie St., 133) are likely to cancel each other out, and 141 (#22 Carter Young, Okie St. vs. #25 Cole Mattin, Mich.) will loom large. Let’s give it to Young in some bullshit edge wrestling way. Chance Lamer is a slight favorite for Michigan at 149, Kaden Gfeller is a slight favorite for Okie St. at 157, and Cameron Amine is a clear favorite (but Wyatt Sheets can be dangerous) at 165, so we may well be looking at 9-9 after 165. Okie State’s Dustin Plott should win at 174, and might grab a crucial bonus point. Michigan likely needs #9 Matt Finesilver to come through against #11 Travis Wittlake at 184, especially since Brendin Yatooma may well surrender a bonus point to Okie State’s Luke Surber at 197. #1 HWT Mason Parris will be a huge favorite for Michigan, but he may need a fall to wind the dual, and that’s never a sure thing at that weight. I’m going with 19-13 Oklahoma State (yuck) behind a minor upset from Wittlake at 184, but it should be a compelling dual.
#2 Iowa Hawkeyes at #11 Minnesota Gophers, Friday at 8PM on the Big Ten Network
Atinat: Arguably Minnesota's best wrestler is #6 Patrick McKee, who will certainly find himself on his back against Spencer Lee. There are a couple good matches to watch here, though. #17 Brody Teske draws #15 Aaron Nagao, though both have alternates listed in the probables. #15 Cobe Siebrecht gets #17 Brayton Lee at 157 pounds, and it's crazy to see the All-American that low after going 17-2 prior to injury last season. Nelson Brands, ranked 16th, will face #11 Bailee O'Reilly. There's also a chance that Abe Assad and Isaiah Salazar meet, but Iowa lists 184 as "TBA." Let's give Minnesota three matches and Iowa some bonus points for a 26-9 victory.
#23 Rutgers Scarlet Knights at #28 Maryland Terrapins, Saturday at 1PM on the Big Ten Network
Atinat: This is a totally winnable dual for Maryland. There's like 6 tossups! Will they win it? Of course not! Rutgers 20-12.
#18 Illinois Fighting Illini at #27 Michigan State, Sunday at 1PM on the Big Ten Network
HWAHSQB: Illinois should win this, but there are some paths to victory for MSU. Easily my favorite matchup of the day will be at 133, where #10 Lucas Byrd takes on #18 Rayvon Foley. Both of these guys will try to get to their offense and they will both score if you let your guard down. Byrd won their previous meeting 5-2 and I see him as having a slight edge again. 157 could be another good one with #12 Mikey Carr for Illinois and #13 Chase Saldate who is on a tear. He’s won 9 in a row including beating Brayton Lee and Will Lewan who are tough customers. If he wins this matchup, we could easily see this dual come down to bonus points or criteria. If Saldate wins, Illinois has to pick up a win at 197, where #10 Zac Braunagel takes on #21 Cameron Caffey. Caffey has won 2 of 3 previous meetings, but Braunagel has looked really good up at 197 and I think he gets this one and that leads to a final score of 18-12 Illinois.
#10 Nebraska Corn huskers at #18 Illinois, Friday at 7PM on BTN+
HWAHSQB: Wrestlestat predicts a one point win for the Illini. However, wrestlestat also predicted a five point win for Illinois against Minnesota and that was a 15 point drubbing so take that for what it is worth. To get to that Illinois win, they predict Edmond Ruth knocking off Mikey Labriola and Kevon Davenport picking up the first major conference win of his career. I personally see this as a fairly easy Nebraska win. We do have three potential excellent matchups that I’m really looking forward to. At 141, #16 Danny Pucino looks to bounce back against #6 Brock Hardy has the potential to be good. (bROCK HARDy is also my porn name) At 157, #13 Mikey Carr against #1 Peyton Robb will be fun if Carr goes. Carr has the skillset to beat Robb, but he hasn’t wrestled two matches in one weekend yet this year and I’m guessing they save him for MSU Sunday, but fingers crossed that we get to see this one. At 174, #12 Edmond Ruth will be looking to start another winning streak against #2 Labriola for the Huskers. Ruth has the athleticism and defensive skillset to keep it close, but I’m still picking the Cornhusker. Illinois should pick up wins at 133, 165, and 197 en route to another 24-9 loss.
#1 Penn State at #22 Indiana Hoosiers, Sunday at 1PM on BTN+
HWAHSQB: Hahahaha! Yeah, Indiana, you better hope Jacob Moran gets a win at 125 because otherwise, your ass is getting shut out. I mean, Donnell Washington is the only active wrestler who has beaten Carter Starocci, but lightning isn’t likely to strike twice there. 39-3 rocky cats is my call.
#4 Ohio State at #14 Northwestern Wildcats, Sunday at 2PM on BTN+
HWAHSQB: These are two good experienced teams facing off here. When you have two experienced teams, you get lots of previous matches and they mostly all favor the Bucknuts. I think Northwestern will pick up three wins starting with #8 Michael DeAugustino against #10 Malik Heinselman at 125. The Wildcat has won 2 of 3 previous matches. On the big boy side, I like #4 Lucas Davison against #18 Tate Orndorff at HWT. Davison won their only previous meeting and Chumley at 157 should handle Paddy Gallagher again. Other than that, give me all the Buckeyes and a 21-10 victory.
#10 Nebraska at Purdue Boilermakers, Sunday at 3PM on BTN+
Atinat: By Intermat's rankings, Purdue is the only unranked team in the Big Ten. Give me the Huskers by a lot. In interesting matches, there's two: #3 Matt Ramos of Purdue vs #5 Liam Cronin of Nebraska at 125 pounds, and #1 Peyton Robb for the Huskers vs #6 Kendall Coleman in the black and gold. Lose both of those, and Purdue will be shut out.