With the Mizzou Wrestling schedule’s release and the season starting in the coming days, let’s dive into the week-to-week matchups and see how the Tigers have fared in years past during the Brian Smith Era (1998 - Present).
Per usual, the wrestling team opens the season with the Black and Gold Meet. In quick summation, these are the Tiger Style roster matchups that decide who will represent each weight division throughout the season. A large part of these weight classes are mostly decided with a majority of the roster from the previous season returning for the new year. However, there could be some exciting roster battles at the 133lbs weight class as well as the 184lbs weight class. Beyond these two classes, it will be a competition with few surprises as guys will look to become the next man up in a reserve role or spot start situation. With that, we jump to the home opener!
November 6, 2022: Mizzou vs. Lindenwood
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 4-0
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 160 - Lindenwood: 28
Dual Features: 2 All-Americans - 7 NCAA Qualifiers
Moving into the start of the regular season, Brian Smith and his squad will open the season at Mizzou Softball Stadium. A chilly 1:00pm matchup awaits with temperatures set in the 60s (for now anyways), and Mizzou looks to heat things up early with a familiar foe. The Lindenwood Lions, while stepping into the lights of Division-I Wrestling for the first time, are no stranger to the Tigers, who they’ve faced five times head-to-head. It will be a great opportunity to both teams to wrestle someone other than their own teammates.
November 27, 2022: Mizzou at Arizona State
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 2-1 (2021 match-up canceled)
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 62 - Arizona State: 47
Dual Features: 7 All-Americans - 14 NCAA Qualifiers
Mizzou Wrestling will make its first business trip of the season, heading out to Tempe, Ariz. to take on the Sun Devils. An early test for the Tigers, Arizona State is coming off an impressive finish to the 2021-22 season which saw them go 9-4 in duals, take the PAC-12 Conference title, and finish fourth as a team at the 2022 NCAA Championships.
December 2, 2022: Mizzou vs. West Virginia
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 2-0
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 51 - West Virginia: 31
Dual Features: 3 All-Americans - 11 NCAA Qualifiers
Hitting the stretch run of events before the holidays and end-of-year break, the Tigers will welcome in the West Virginia Mountaineers. The first head-to-head Big 12 conference matchup for Brian Smith should be a good chance to get out to an early jump on the conference in dual meet standings (it’s not a real thing but should be). This will be Mizzou’s first matchup of the season at Hearnes Center and will allow them to showcase its team while honoring its Tiger Style alumni.
December 20, 2022: Mizzou vs. North Dakota State
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 5-0
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 159 - North Dakota State: 31
Dual Features: 3 All-Americans - 11 NCAA Qualifiers
In the final match-up of the 2022 calendar year, the Tigers will host the North Dakota State Bison. The second Big 12 battle for Head Coach Brian Smith should be another mark in the “Win” column. This meeting will feature some special guests as Mizzou will pay its respects to those who are or have represented and defended our country for Military Night!
January 8, 2023: Mizzou vs. Northern Iowa
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 11-4
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 348 - Northern Iowa: 221
Dual Features: 3 All-Americans - 14 NCAA Qualifiers
Coming off one of the tougher Division I tournaments in the nation, the Southern Scuffle, Mizzou will be jumping right back into a conference matchup. The first home dual of the new year goes to a familiar competitor, the Panthers of Northern Iowa. In the past five matchups against UNI, Coach Smith is 4-1. If you plan to attend this event, don’t forget to wear your gold for Gold Rush Night!
January 13, 2023: Mizzou at Air Force
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 1-0
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 39 - Air Force: 3
Dual Features: 3 All-Americans - 8 NCAA Qualifiers
A trip to Colorado Springs will open up a four-dual road streak for the Tigers. Mizzou has had just one lone head-to-head against the Falcons. This should not be much of a bump in the road on their way to another conference victory.
January 14, 2023: Mizzou at Wyoming
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 6-1
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 178 - Wyoming: 76
Dual Features: 3 All-Americans - 10 NCAA Qualifiers
Mizzou then makes a 3.5-hour trip north to Laramie, Wyo. to take on Wyoming for the eighth time in the Brian Smith Era. In the past three meetings, Mizzou has outscored them 81-19 and will look to continue their dominance over the Cowboys.
February 3, 2023: Mizzou at Oklahoma
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 12-9
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 372 - Oklahoma: 384
Dual Features: 2 All-Americans - 14 NCAA Qualifiers
The next few duals have a bit more of a storied history behind them as there is history dating back to the old Big 12 days. Coach Smith got off to a slow start in his early years at Mizzou going 1-4 in the Tigers’ first five matchups against the Sooners. They’ve recently flipped the script, though, going 4-1 in the most recent head-to-head duals while outscoring the Sooners, 117 - 74.
February 5, 2023: Mizzou at Oklahoma State
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 8-17-1
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 341 - Oklahoma State: 590
Dual Features: 4 All-Americans - 14 NCAA Qualifiers
Continuing on from the Big 12 glory days, Oklahoma State has had Mizzou’s number over the years. It is very understandable given the leader behind the Cowboy’s success, John Smith. The ‘Battle of the Smiths’ began the first year Brian Smith set foot on Mizzou’s campus, and over the years it has been a fairly lopsided contest between the two universities with Oklahoma State leading the way. Last year’s match-up was a thriller, so expect more fireworks again this year.
February 15, 2023: Mizzou vs. Iowa State
Brian Smith Record vs. Opponent: 9-9
Total Match Points: Mizzou: 338 - Iowa State: 314
Dual Features: 5 All-Americans - 15 NCAA Qualifiers
Despite the overall record setting at .500, it does not explain the dominance of Mizzou over the Cyclones in recent years. Dating back to 2011, the Tigers have outscored Iowa State 152-77 while going 6-1. The most recent contest is Tiger Style’s lone loss in that time span so Mizzou will be looking to get back into the win column moving into their final conference matchup of the season. Being the final home competition of the season, this will also serve as the Tigers’ Senior Recognition Night.
Record: 60-41-1 (.588)
Match Points: Mizzou: 2048 - Opponents: 1733
Dual Features: 15 All-Americans - 55 NCAA Qualifiers
At the culmination of the regular season, Mizzou will have wrestled a moderately difficult dual schedule. Facing off against the top schools within the conference and having match-ups against guys they will meet at the NCAAs are valuable moving into the postseason. Finding the ability to go outside of the conference to find heavy hitters is a difficult task as others have to agree to face off against the Tigers.
Brian Smith has a growing resume within the wrestling world, and continues to build on his achievements year in and out. Getting these athletes productive mat time and tough competition will help push them to where they want and need to be.
Get your tickets! And see you November 6!