Above is our podcast which we sort of dubbed our annual "homer episode". Kevin & I are huge Michigan fans and we each year go through the lineup.
Long story short, can Michigan win the national title this year? There of course is a lot of wrestling to be had, but Michigan appears to be as capable as anybody. Barring any injury, all ten weight classes have very capable guys who will be all ranked in the top 15 in a hurry. That's top to bottom strength to go with the five returning All-Americans plus a Big Ten champ.
FloWrestling and Intermat both have Michigan starting the year at #4 in the country. Intermat's rankings only have the Wolverines three points behind Iowa for 3rd.
Michigan's potential lineup looks as follows (Intermat/Flowrestling ranking)
125- Conor Youtsey (5/6)
133- Rossi Bruno (9/8)
141- George Fisher / Zac Hall (NR)
149- Alec Pantaleo (11/9)
157- Brian Murphy (4/5)
165- Garret Sutton / Logan Massa (17/NR)
174- Davonte Mahomes / Taylor Massa (11/12)
184- Dominic Abounader (12/12)
197- Max Huntley (5/5)
285- Adam Coon (2/2)
I know we are homers here, but we aren't just wishing for a top 5 ranking. When Michigan wrestles Penn State, Michigan will have the advantage at 157, 165, 174, 184, and 285. I know those aren't all gimmie's by any stretch but Bruno can also beat Conaway at 133.
Unfortunately Michigan does not wrestle Iowa this season. Michigan would likely be favored at 141, 157, 165, and 285 with some toss ups at 174 & 184. It's really disappointing not having the chance to beat Iowa this year and also the match-ups look really entertaining.
Of course, Big Ten and National Champioships are determined by individual scoring. Michigan does not lack the firepower there. Whoever wins the spots at 141 & 165 will quickly climb the rankings. Also, Abounader being ranked 12th is just because of one disappointing tournament last season. He'll be moving up as well. Eight guys ranked in the top 12 to start the season is hard to complain about. Six or seven All-Americans put you in the hunt at NCAA's and Michigan appears to have the lineup to do it. A National Championship is the goal for this season in Ann Arbor.