As the pre-season rankings continue to pour in it is a lot of fun to see how the teams are starting to shape up, and more importantly the team race (and duals for Big Ten season). We here at Bloodround took the rankings from Flowrestling to give a glimpse at how the Big Ten is looking. Of course, these are pre-season rankings. They are just ideas from guys behind computers on how the season is going to go. Ranking (or not ranking) true freshmen and guys off of redshirt is always debatable. For this exercise we are using the numbers to give a snapshot.
Most believe there is a top tier of six teams who all have a legitimate shot at the team championship and four of those are in the Big Ten (Minnesota, Penn State, Iowa, and Ohio State). After Penn State has graduated David Taylor & Ed Ruth (two sure national champs who never lost a Big Ten match), Minnesota has been tabbed as the pre-season favorite. The Gophers have two #1's, a #2, a #3, and a #4. With this firepower of seven ranked guys and five all-americans (ranked in top 8 for this exercise), you can see what the excitement is about in the land of the lakes.
Looking at the numbers though, Iowa may be the favorite. The Hawkeyes lead the way in ranked guys (9) and all-americans (8). That's a lot of firepower and point scorers come tournament time, and a very solid top to bottom dual team. Are we possibly sleeping on Iowa?
Penn State, of course, isn't going anywhere soon. They have eight wrestlers ranked with five in the top eight. Ohio State has only four in the top eight, but they do have nine guys ranked (the one guy that isn't is heralded true freshman thoroughbred Kyle Snyder at 197). Don't sleep on Michigan with seven guys ranked (not sure how Max Huntley isn't) and five guys in the top eight. If Massa & Coon put themselves in to position for Big Ten and NCAA titles the Wolverines will be scoring a lot of points in March.
Here are the numbers (Ranked/Top 8) in order of most top 8 guys:
Penn State 8/5
Ohio State 9/4
Michigan State 1/0