125 - #2 Waters vs #3 Garrett
133 – Synon vs #15 Grey
141 – #6 Mayes vs David
149 – #4 Houdashelt vs #7 Villalonga (Doubtful)
157 – #10 Lavallee vs #9 Realbuto
165 – England vs #11 Palacio
174 – #7 Eblen vs George Pickett
184 – #14 Miklus vs #1 Dean
197 – #2 Cox vs #18 Bennett
HWY – #16 Mellon vs Aiken-Phillips
Another big time dual meet that will certainly have some national eyes on it and some potential bearing on NCAA seeds to be determined in March. It will be interesting to see if Waters and Garrett go again after having just met (suppose it depends on what weight class the meet starts at and status of the meet at that point). 149 is a big one as well. I imagine the outcome of this meet ends up being more about the matches where you have unranked opponents against ranked opponents and the bonus points that may ultimately be awarded. How are you feeling about the proceedings this weekend?
I was initially super excited about all the big time match ups but as the week has gone on I'm feeling more like you. I think we see England, Eblen, Mklus, Cox and Mellon and I dont know who else. Those guys are wrestling either really good, have just come back from injury, are in a new weight class or are working through some stuff. Theres not a ton of reasoning for Waters, Mayes & Houdashelt to wrestle, especially since Waters and Houda have wins over their Cornell counterparts already.
I think Smith goes for the dual win to keep the team seeding high and the record perfect, but he may have a limit to that and sit/rest a few guys for NCAA seeding purposes. Does any of that make sense to you?
It does, but I do think Smith goes full throttle here as long as his guys are healthy. Like I have talked about before (perhaps here, perhaps in threads elsewhere), the value of out of conference duals is a little on the lower side when all is said and done. One like this certainly has a bit more because of potential matchups which might have bearing later, but otherwise, they don’t always have as much value as in-season tournaments or conference dual meets (where the results have a bearing on Conference rankings which can have a bearing on the number of wrestlers who make it to NCAA based on MAC weight class allocations). However, coming off our finish in Tenn and with the pub we’ve received around the wrestling community for it, I think there is some value to going after this one and keeping the march going. So I don’t think he takes his foot off the gas unless somehow the dual breaks in a way where he can afford a forfeit or other result and not risk the outcome. And given how good Cornell is, I doubt that will be the case.
So, ready to make our stone-cold, lead-pipe, Beef-was-actually-kind-of-right-the-first-time-we-did-this picks?
Haha, lets go for it by weight class, I'll let you start off with the biggest match of the dual: Waters vs Garrett #2 (2nd time his year, 5th total meeting I believe, Waters with a 3-1 lifetime edge)
I believe you are right about the all-time edge, though the 1 from Garrett was the 3rd place match at the 2013 NCAA’s, so it had the most riding on it. A bit of a strange match last week, as they were scoreless through 1 and then Waters started on top in period 2. Garrett got out pretty quick, and no other action in the period. Period 3 had Waters on bottom, who not only achieved the reversal (to make it 2-1), but then rode Garrett out to get the riding time point (1:00+ of riding time). Strange to me only because it meant Waters did not do well to ride him in Period 2, but very much so did in the third. At any rate, hard to pick against someone who has not lost yet this season, and who just won a match over the same person. I take Waters in a low scoring bout, though I think he will get a takedown at some point in this one.
Yeah, that 3rd place match at the NCAAs was a part of maybe the worst day of results in Mizzou wreslting history, but lets not talk any further about that. I agree, I think Waters wins something like 5-2.
At 133 it looks like we'll see either Synon or Manley vs #15 Grey of Cornell. I dont know what to make of this weight class for Mizzou at this point. Matt Manley had been wrestling here and dropped a couple matches to some ranked opponents, but Synon filled in at the Scuffle. I'm not holding out much hope for team points from who ever matches up against Grey.
MUTigers.com is saying Synon in their preview, so I am going with the assumption it will be him. I believe this is one of those matches where the unranked opponent needs to control the outcome and not let the match get away from him to keep his team in the hunt.
Moving on to 141, I was excited/relieved to see Mayes grind his way through a winnable bracket and win it at the Scuffle. I FEEL like he is a little over-ranked at this point, but hopefully he is what his ranking says he is. What do you think he does this weekend?
This is very much one of those duals for a highly ranked guy where you want him to do the following in some order: win, get bonus team points, stay healthy, work on your game. I think hes young enough to still be working on stuff but I really haven't seen him go for the jugular and turn a 5-1 match into an MD like Houdashelt does almost every single time. I think this is as good a chance to not just win, but win big.
149 has another big matchup possible with Drake Houdashelt vs Cornell's Chris Villalonga who is ranked 7th. This is only a possibility as Villalonga has been out of competition for a few weeks and it appears that hey may still be out this weekend. If he is out, Houdashelt will face Taylor Simaz, whom he just beat this past weekend. A bit of a drag if we dont get to see the two top 10 wrestlers go at it.
True, though a Houda/Simaz match might tip the dual in our favor. We shall see.
Man…I am really hoping Lavallee breaks through for a big win. Is this the weekend?
I don't know. I think he deserves it but he did just lose to Realbuto 7-1 at the Scuffle. Is a week and change enough time to get his mind right and go back out there and beat a guy on his home mat? I wouldn't bet on Lavallee, but I hope he proves me wrong.
I could however seeing this as a bit of a breakthrough meet for England at his new weight. Hes had the extra time to get his weight in check in a better manner, hopefully will have more energy and hes going up against an underclassmen. Can England earn a pretty good upset that would certainly put things in a better direction heading towards the MACs?
I think the move of England down to 165 will ultimately help the team a bit at MAC’s/NCAA’s, but that is because he’s better than what we had going at 165. I think he is someone who SHOULD make the NCAA’s, and I’d be real pleased with him going 2-2 and earning a couple of points. Against the #11 wrestler a few weeks into the move? A little too much to ask.
However, it was QUITE the debut for Mr. Eblen at 174. How pumped are you?
Extremely excited not just that we have another wrestler that is a possible AA candidate, but also that a Sr. is going to get the chance to wrestle out his final year helping the team. We were both a bit surprised by Miklus's taking over of Eblen earlier in the year, but that could really end up being that difference we keep talking about between a top 7 finish and a top 5 finish for the team. These guys work so hard for their entire collegiate careers to get this sort of an opportunity and I don't think it will be a wasted one.
Speaking of Miklus, he has the least enviable task of the group. He faces top seeded super soph Gabe Dean, Miklus was able to keep their matchup at the Scuffle close (6-3), and I think thats gotta be his goal for this dual as well. Can he do it?
I think he can keep it tight, but after his initial upset of Dechow of ODU, I think he has tailed off just a bit. Not saying Dean is the person to do that against, but I am hoping that he can start to build some consistency into February.
So…J’Den…winning by how much?
Having watched Coxs interview after the Scuffle I think hes getting frustrated with how some guys are wrestling him and he said flat out that he wants to get out there and get team points and go for pins. I like hearing that. I think he wins by MD or Fall.
What about Mellon? He has had a solid return from his academic woes. Does he keep on truckin?
I would love to see Mellon keep on trucking, because a relatively fresh Mellon is someone who might be on the cusp of an AA round, or at least winning 3-4 matches before bowing out.
So, let’s recount it here…I will go with the following
125 – Waters (dec): 3-0
133 – Grey (MD): 3-4
141 – Mayes (dec): 6-4
149 – Houda (over Simaz…MD): 10-4
157 – Realbuto (dec): 10-7
165 – Palacio (MD): 10-11
174 – Eblen (MD): 14-11
184 – Dean (MD): 14-15
197 – Cox (dec): 17-15
HWY – Mellon (dec): 20-15
6 wins over 4 from Cornell. What say you?
I think its 20-14, I believe Miklus goes in a big stronger knowing he kept it close with Dean before and only loses a decision but we are on the same page everywhere else. Now just have those guys head out there and do it
And speaking of doing it, that does it for us. More to come next week as we wrap up the Cornell dual and look ahead to an important in-conference tilt against Central Michigan and an out of conference match against NC State (which will feature a GREAT opportunity for Devin Mellon to see how he stacks up)