Domination is spelled I-O-W-A

22 02 2010

I understand that not everyone that reads this is a wrestling fan. And by wrestling, I mean ACTUAL wrestling, NCAA wrestling, not WWE or whatever the hell they call that stuff on TV nowadays.

For those not in-the-know, the University of Iowa has one of the most impressive wrestling programs in the world. The program holds 22 National Championships, second-most in the country and twice as many as the next program on the list. Iowa wrestling has produced some of the greatest wrestlers of all time, including individual national champions and Olympic gold medalists.

The current season ended last night, with an Iowa victory over Wisconsin. This was the fourth season under Coach Tom Brands, a former Hawkeye himself. Since Brands’ second year holding the reins, Iowa has completely dominated the sport, winning back-to-back National Championships in the last two years, and spending the entirety of this season ranked #1 in the country. This season has been more of the same.

Last night’s win over Wisconsin was the Hawkeyes 61st-straight dual victory, and cemented their third-straight Big Ten regular season championship. Iowa went undefeated throughout the regular season for the second season in a row. Pretty damn impressive.

Four of the squads members had individual undefeated seasons, including: Jay Borschel (28-0), Brent Metcalf (29-0), Dan Erekson(8-0, since he missed a majority of the season due to injury), and Matt McDonough (29-0).

The Hawkeyes head to Ann Arbor, MI in 12 days for the Big Ten Championships. I have no doubt that it will be just the first step to a Big Ten championship, and (hopefully) a third consecutive National Championship.

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2 responses

23 02 2010
Tim Carlson

Thanks for the update on Iowa wrestling. With exception to the gathering of nearly 500 of your closest friends at the Other Place on football Saturdays, living in KC you are well out of any mainstream Big 10 news and the lone presence of Hawk Nation are the many tigerhawk logoed front license plates or back plate borders.

I am curious to get your perspective as to how far off Cael Sanderson is away building the Penn State program to being a sustainable, competitive program, or has his name been tarnished within the closeknit wrestling community by chasing the dollars versus loyalty to ISU? Seems that no programs have been able to consistently compete with Iowa, and that within the Big Ten it seems to rotate (Minnesota then Ohio State) .

Omaha will be rocking as it hosts the Nationals and I trust the Black and Gold will be well represented…

24 02 2010
LawHawk

I think the “Sanderson Situation” is tricky.

When Penn State came to Carver this year, the night was filled with chants of “Cael’s for Sale” and “Cael’s no Gable.” Obviously, Iowa fans are going to be anti-Sanderson after his time with ISU, but I think other wrestling fans share similar sentiments regarding him right now. Immediately after a move like this, only the receiving school is really going to embrace the change. It takes time for other people to get accustomed Sanderson stalking the Penn State mats.

As far as building Penn State into a continually competitive program, I think it’s a waiting game. After a few years of Sanderson bringing in his own recruits, we will start to get a look at his ability to build a program. He had success at ISU, on the mat and as a coach. When you are talking to a recruit it’s easier to tell them that the school you coach at made you an Olympic gold medalist. He won’t be able to do that with PSU. And while Pennsylvania is a fairly strong wrestling state, he doesn’t have the hometown connection with Pennsylvania recruits like he would in Iowa. Plus, in my opinion, leaving your alma mater to chase the $$$ doesn’t exactly instill a sense of loyalty. Who’s to say he won’t bolt again?

Kevin Jackson is what, 50+ years old? If ISU’s program continues to be successful, I can see Jackson staying there for a while (similar to how I don’t see Tom Brands going anywhere else for a long time). But, if ISU starts to drop off or under-perform in the next 5 years? I would not at all be surprised to see Sanderson’s name back in the mix.

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