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The Big Ten dual season begins in earnest.

Not so many years ago, November and December counted as critical months in the collegiate wrestling calendar. Wrestlers might post 15 or 20 results before heading to “mid-season” tournaments like Midlands or the Scuffle. Of course, back then, guys wrestled 45 – 50 matches in a season, too. But in the words of the 1920’s comic strip, them days is gone forever.

Whatever your feelings on that shift, we can all rejoice that the calendar has flipped to January 2019. It’s officially Big Ten dual season, in earnest. And every weekend for the next two months, we’ll get to see some awesome competition. Let’s take a quick look around the conference, weight by weight, to see where things stand before the heavy hands start snapping necks.

Note: all rankings courtesy of our pals at WrestleStat.com

125 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 125 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 SO Rivera (JNW) 2 13-0 3-0 0-0 6
2 SO Lee (IOWA) 1 9-1 1-1 0-0 2
3 SR Russell (MINN) 6 16-2 4-0 0-0 3
4 SO Foley (MSU) 10 19-1 2-0 0-0 3
5 SO Mattin (MICH) 9 9-4 5-3 1-0 4
6 SR Moisey (NEB) 17 6-4 2-1 1-0 0
7 SO Brown (WISC) 16 9-3 3-2 1-1 2
8 JR Piotrowski (ILL) 18 7-5 1-3 0-0 1
9 SO Schroder (PUR) 36 13-6 3-2 1-0 0
10 SR Oliver (IND) 55 16-10 4-4 0-1 0
11 SO Cray (UMD) 58 4-7 0-1 0-0 0
12 SO Metzler (RUTG) 102 7-6 0-0 0-0 0
13 SO Mead (OHST) 107 4-6 0-2 0-1 0
14 SO Schnupp (PSU) 115 5-6 0-0 0-0 0

Northwestern’s Sebastian Rivera (JNW) used three – THREE! – takedowns in the Midlands final to knock off defending champ Spencer Lee (IOWA). A weight class that most figured to be a foregone conclusion got a lot more interesting.

Two past All-Americans joined the conference via transfer for their final go. Sean Russell went to Minnesota as part of the off-season fire sale at Edinboro, and Zeke Moisey went even farther west, to Nebraska. Pair them with young up-and-comers Drew Mattin (MICH), RayVon Foley (MSU), and Connor Brown (WISC), and 125lbs looks awfully tough in conference this season.

133 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 133 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 JR Micic (MICH) 3 5-0 1-0 1-0 0
2 JR Suriano (RUT) 2 13-0 1-0 1-0 3
3 JR Pletcher (OSU) 8 14-1 3-0 1-0 4
4 SR Lizak (MINN) 5 16-3 3-1 0-0 3
5 SO DeSanto (IOWA) 4 10-1 2-0 1-0 0
6 FR Bravo-Young (PSU) 6 12-1 0-0 0-0 2
7 SR Thornton (PUR) 31 12-3 0-1 0-1 0
8 SO Duncan (ILL) 37 8-4 1-2 0-0 0
9 FR Konrath (IND) 39 16-7 2-1 0-0 1
10 SR Tutulo (MSU) 47 12-8 1-1 0-1 0
11 SO Valdiviez (JNW) 54 10-7 5-2 1-0 0
12 SR Lantz (WISC) 104 9-8 1-3 1-1 0
13 FR Sjomeling (NEB) 107 12-5 2-3 0-2 1
14 FR Anderson (UMD) 81 3-8 0-1 0-0 0

Stevan Micic (MICH) and Luke Pletcher (OSU) were the top two in conference last year, finishing 2nd and 4th nationally. This year they’re joined by Nick Suriano (RUT) and Ethan Lizak (MINN), both of whom bump up here from 125 last season. Austin DeSanto finished last season yelling at his Drexel coaches after taking a bad blood round loss, and now joins the conference in an Iowa singlet. Your Nittany Lion true frosh Roman Bravo-Young does things that most humans cannot do. That’s pretty fun.

141 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 141 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 SR McKenna (OSU) 3 11-0 2-0 1-0 2
2 SO Lee (PSU) 4 15-0 0-0 0-0 2
3 JR McKee (MINN) 7 9-1 2-0 1-0 1
4 FR Murin (IOWA) 8 9-2 2-0 1-0 1
5 SO Carr (ILL) 10 4-2 0-0 0-0 0
6 SO Storr (MICH) 29 15-1 5-0 1-0 4
7 SO Red (NEB) 27 14-5 1-1 1-0 0
8 JR Moran (WISC) 13 14-5 4-1 1-1 3
9 FR Thomas (JNW) 18 12-6 1-1 0-1 1
10 SR Weaver (IND) 44 3-4 1-1 1-1 0
11 JR Limmex (PUR) 62 12-7 1-1 0-1 0
12 SO Van Brill (RUT) 51 4-4 0-0 0-0 0
13 SO Duetsch (UMD) 31 8-6 1-0 0-0 1
14 SO Hrisopoulos (MSU) 71 12-7 1-1 0-0 0

Apart from the top two of Joey McKenna (OSU) and Nick Lee (PSU), this weight figures to be a complete mess all season. Kanen Storr (MICH) is the lone big name transfer, as part of Iowa State’s reshuffling a season ago. But you’ll no doubt note that Chad Red (NEB), who finished 8th last year at NCAAs, begins this dual season slotted 7th in conference. In other words, expect a lot of movement at this weight.

149 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 149 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 SR Ashnault (RUT) 3 13-0 3-0 1-0 3
2 SR Jordan (OSU) 1 13-1 3-1 1-0 3
3 JR Lugo (IOWA) 14 7-5 2-1 0-0 0
4 FR Berge (PSU) 17 12-1 1-0 0-0 2
5 SR Bannister (UMD) 30 9-3 1-0 0-0 1
6 SR Thorn (MINN) 34 9-6 2-1 0-1 0
7 JR Martin (WISC) 38 11-6 2-3 0-2 1
8 SR Amine (MICH) 63 6-3 1-0 1-0 0
9 JR Oster (JNW) 61 8-6 3-1 1-0 0
10 JR ILLINOIS 0-0 0-0 0
11 FR Filius (PUR) 39 8-8 1-1 0-1 0
12 JR Shearer (NEB) 122 6-3 2-3 0-1 0
13 FR Enriquez (MSU) 114 10-10 1-1 1-0 0
14 FR Bailey (IND) 89 5-9 0-2 0-1 0

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Zain Retherford’s graduation made 149lbs eminently more attractive for wrestlers around the nation. Micah Jordan (OSU) comes down from 157lbs last season. Anthony Ashnault (RUT), Tommy Thorn (MINN), and Shayne Oster (JNW) come up from 141 lbs. Pat Lugo left Edinboro for Iowa. Something about voids getting filled, water finding its level, or some such.

157 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 157 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 SR Nolf (PSU) 1 13-0 1-0 0-0 1
2 SR Berger (NEB) 4 14-1 4-1 2-0 4
3 SO Deakin (JNW) 2 16-1 4-1 0-1 3
4 SR Pantaleo (MICH) 13 7-4 3-2 0-0 0
5 JR Hayes (OSU) 5 13-3 2-2 0-0 2
6 SO Young (IOWA) 14 11-1 2-1 1-0 2
7 SR Bleise (MINN) 16 10-1 3-0 1-0 1
8 SO Parriott (PUR) 40 5-3 1-2 0-1 2
9 SR Van Brill (RUT) 17 11-7 0-3 0-1 0
10 JR Barone (ILL) 70 13-5 3-5 0-0 1
11 SO Wick (WISC) 75 7-5 2-0 1-0 0
12 SR Danishek (IND) 49 12-8 2-1 2-0 0
13 SO Tucker (MSU) 56 15-7 2-2 0-1 0
14 FR Jones (UMD) 94 5-4 0-0 0-0 0

Unfortunately for everyone not a fan of Dear Old State, Jason Nolf still wears a blue and white singlet. Consequently, everyone else must die and painful and humiliating death on the mat.

165 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 165 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 JR Joseph (PSU) 1 13-0 0-0 0-0 2
2 SO Marinelli (IOWA) 11 11-0 3-0 1-0 2
3 SO Wick (WISC) 2 18-1 2-1 2-0 3
4 JR Massa (MICH) 4 8-3 2-1 1-0 1
5 JR White (NEB) 8 9-3 4-1 1-1 3
6 FR Romero (OSU) 31 6-3 1-1 0-0 0
7 JR Gunther (ILL) 46 15-6 4-2 0-0 0
8 JR Brolsma (MINN) 84 13-4 3-0 1-0 0
9 SR Martin (IND) 53 12-6 2-1 1-1 0
10 JR Ritchie (MSU) 97 8-9 1-1 0-1 0
11 FR Glasgow (RUT) 64 5-3 0-1 0-1 0
12 FR Morland (JNW) 44 0-2 0-1 0-1 0
13 FR Spadafora (UMD) 71 9-8 1-1 0-0 0
14 JR Wysocki (PUR) 128 7-11 1-3 0-1 0

Cael said it, as did many of the BSD wrestling gang within the comments. And it’s a weird thing to say, even though it’s objectively true: two-time national champion Vincenzo Joseph got a lot better this summer.

Elsewhere, Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez graduated, but 165 in the B1G remains a meat grinder.

174 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 174 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 JR Hall (PSU) 1 13-0 0-0 0-0 5
2 JR Amine (MICH) 5 10-1 2-0 1-0 2
3 FR Labriola (NEB) 11 15-2 3-2 1-1 2
4 SR Campbell (OSU) 12 7-2 0-1 0-0 0
5 JR Lydy (PUR) 24 14-4 2-0 1-0 2
6 JR Skatzka (MINN) 17 16-5 2-2 1-0 0
7 JR Hughes (MSU) 28 16-6 2-0 1-0 0
8 SR Christiansen (WISC) 25 14-5 1-2 1-1 2
9 JR Sebastian (JNW) 20 4-3 0-2 0-1 0
10 SO Covaciu (IND) 21 9-3 3-1 0-0 0
11 SR Bowman (IOWA) 73 4-2 1-1 1-0 0
12 SO Grello (RUT) 26 8-4 0-2 0-1 0
13 JR Ugalde (UMD) 70 2-6 1-0 0-0 1
14 JR James (ILL) 126 7-5 0-0 0-0 0

The top two at this weight are very likely to remain the top two at this weight throughout this season. Behind them comes District XI favorite Mikey Labriola, wearing Cornhusker red. Indiana’s Devin Skatzka transferred to Minnesota, and gets instant eligibility. Michigan State’s Drew Hughes comes off redshirt after an impressive true frosh season featuring tons of leg riding.

184 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 184 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 SR Martin (OSU) 1 8-0 2-0 1-0 3
2 SR Rasheed (PSU) 2 13-0 0-0 0-0 1
3 SR Parker (ILL) 10 7-0 2-0 0-0 0
4 SO Venz (NEB) 13 11-3 2-1 2-0 1
5 FR Caffey (MSU) 15 18-1 1-0 1-0 0
6 SR Gravina (RUT) 18 2-0 1-0 1-0 2
7 JR Wilcke (IOWA) 24 10-2 3-0 1-0 0
8 FR Embree (MICH) 11 9-3 2-0 1-0 0
9 SR Krone (MINN) 66 4-6 0-1 0-1 0
10 JR Reinhardt (WISC) 40 14-7 2-3 0-2 0
11 SO Lyon (PUR) 50 13-7 0-1 0-1 0
12 FR Jasenski (UMD) 76 9-5 0-2 0-0 0
13 JR Conley (IND) 86 12-9 1-2 0-2 0
14 FR Devine (JNW) 217 0-10 0-1 0-1 0

After three years as the underdog, Ohio State’s Myles Martin gets a full season with the bullseye on his back. To this point, it’s caused him zero sleepless nights. Behind Martin, though, there’s a lot of talented wrestlers. This weight could be very interesting.

197 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 197 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 SR Nickal (PSU) 1 12-0 0-0 0-0 3
2 JR Moore (OSU) 3 8-0 3-0 1-0 2
3 FR Warner (IOWA) 7 5-2 2-0 0-0 1
4 FR Schultz (NEB) 35 13-5 6-1 2-0 0
5 JR Brunner (PUR) 24 10-5 0-2 0-1 0
6 JR Striggow (MICH) 21 8-4 2-1 1-0 0
7 SO Correntti (RUT) 43 10-6 1-0 1-0 0
8 JR Whisler (UMD) 69 3-3 0-0 0-0 0
9 SO Breske (WISC) 25 3-2 0-1 0-0 0
10 JR Streifel (MINN) 58 6-5 1-3 0-1 0
11 SR Lee (ILL) 101 14-6 1-1 0-0 0
12 JR Chakonis (JNW) 82 2-10 0-1 0-1 0
13 SO Kleimola (IND) 129 8-9 1-2 0-2 0
14 SO May (MSU) 111 10-7 0-0 0-0 0

Remember when Kollin Moore finished 3rd as a freshman, and looked for all the world like he’d win three straight titles at 197lbs? Well he’s a junior now, with zero national titles, and is a prohibitive underdog this season, too, because Bo Nickal pins everyone. Worse, apart from those two, this weight looks like a disaster, both within the conference, and nationally. Don’t figure on a ton of suspense to keep you entertained.

285 LBS

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B1G Rank YR 285 LBS WRESTLESTAT Overall Conf. Conf.Duals Quality Wins
1 FR Steveson (MINN) 1 20-0 5-0 1-0 6
2 SR Stoll (IOWA) 7 3-0 0-0 0-0 0
3 SR Cassar (PSU) 13 11-1 1-0 0-0 4
4 FR Parris (MICH) 3 19-3 3-2 0-0 3
5 SR Hemida (UMD) 16 4-1 0-1 0-0 0
6 FR Hillger (WISC) 20 15-1 3-1 2-0 1
7 FR Singletary (OSU) 19 14-3 3-1 0-1 1
8 SR Jennings (JNW) 23 9-5 2-2 0-1 0
9 JR Jensen (NEB) 51 10-0 2-0 1-0 1
10 SO Streck (PUR) UN 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
11 JR Colucci (RUT) 49 9-5 0-2 0-1 0
12 SO Rebottaro (MSU) 109 10-8 0-1 0-1 0
13 SR Miller (IND) 68 2-0 2-0 2-0 0
14 SR Rachel (ILL) 81 7-8 1-1 0-0 0

What 197 lacks, 285 makes up for it. Here you get a true frosh phenom murdering his elders, in Gable Steveson (MINN). You get a gigantic shaved bear who shot himself in the knee this off season, in Sam Stoll (IOWA). You get a squating, bench pressing, bulked up Adonis in Tony Cassar (PSU). And you get a 4-star linebacker croot who picked wrestling over the foosball, in Mason Parris (MICH). That’s just the top 4 in conference, mind you. There’s also a returning AA – from Maryland, no less – in Youssif Hemida, plus a guy who thinks he’s Thor (Trent Hillger, WISC), and a 6’7”, 285lb lead-footed sasquatch named Conan (Jennings, JNW). That’s his real name, too, not a nickname. Conan.

All of that’s without mentioning our personal favorite, Deuce Rachel of Illinois, who goes about 5’8”, 260lbs, and tries to lateral drop everyone.

Has 285 ever been this entertaining? I submit that it has not.

Team Projections

It sure looks like Penn State’s gonna murder everyone. Should be a fun season.

Original Source

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