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Big Ten by the Weights

One of my favorite things to do a few times a year is to check out the rankings by weight for the Big Ten and try to see some things that jump out. Rankings this early are really for entertainment purposes, but just because it's not December yet does not mean we can't talk some wrestling. 

I'm using Intermat rankings....not sure exactly why. As with all rankings, there are some I agree with and some that just down right confuse me. Rankings are just rankings though. 

125- This weight has 5 really tough top guys and makes for a top heavy weight. Interesting that the top 5 teams have the top 5 guys. 

1)    Tomasello (Ohio State)
2)    Gilman (Iowa)
4) Megaludis (Penn State)
11) Youtsey (Michigan)
12) Lambert (Nebraska)

133- Another year and another deep Big Ten 133 bracket. 7 guys in the top 11 in the country make for some great wrestling and wide team point swings. 

2) Clark (Iowa)
3) Taylor (Wisconsin)
5) DiJulius (Ohio State)
6) Bruno (Michigan)
8) Conaway (Penn State)
10) Montoya (Nebraska)
11) Richards (Illinois)
17) Giraldo (Rutgers)
18) Goodwin (Maryland)

141- I don't see anyone challenging Ashnault. Team wise, there are points here to be had if Iowa & Michigan can get something going in each weight.  

3) Ashnault (Rutgers)
6) Gulibon (Penn State)
9) Thorn (Minnesota)
13) Abidin (Nebraska)
17) Jordan (Ohio State)
20) Sabatello (Purdue)

149- It'd be incredibly interesting if Hunter Steiber returned as anything resembling his former self to throw in to this fray. It would be some points that the Buckeyes would love as well. We still have lots of great wrestling to watch here especially if Pantaleo makes a sophomore leap. 

1) Tsirtsis (Northwestern)
2) Retherford (Penn State)
3) Sorensen (Iowa)
5) Sueflohn (Nebraska)
14) Pantaleo (Michigan)
19) Langenderfer (Illinois)
20) Griffin (Purdue)

157- Of course, Imar seems invincible. Iowa has to think they have somebody to compete for 4th or 5th here and possibly necessary to have a chance. If Murphy is hurt, things could be even more wide open after Imar. 

1) Martinez (Illinois)
3) Nolf (Penn State)
5) Murphy (Michigan)
11) Berger (Nebraska)
12) Welch (Purdue)
16) Ryan (Ohio State)

165- Isaac Jordan is very tough and shouldn't be challenged. Looking at this wide open weight after him, does it change Michigan's idea of redshirting Logan Massa? It's a lot of points to have a finalist. 

2) Jordan (Wisconsin)
4) Wilson (Nebraska)
9) Perrotti (Rutgers)
15) Sutton (Michigan)
16) Rodrigues (Illinois)
19) Rasheed (Penn State)

174- There's a lot of fun wrestlers to watch here. If Bo Jordan is going to be as successful up a weight, there are plenty of capable guys to make him prove it here. 

1) Jordan (Ohio State)
4) Meyer (Iowa)
7) Nickal (Penn State)
9) Brunson (Illinois)
12) Jackson (Indiana)
15) Barnes (Nebraska)
19) Robertson (Wisconsin)
20) Mahomes (Michigan)

184- Kenny Courts being ranked so high after one successful tournament is ridiculous. Abounader is defending his title and is healthy entering the season for the first time in his career. Brooks and Dudley are off to hot starts and both look really good. Big points for the team race here. 

4) Courts (Ohio State)
7) Dudley (Nebraska)
12) Brooks (Iowa)
13) Abounader (Michigan)
14) McCutcheon (Penn State)
18) Koepke (Illinois)

197- I don't know what would change here between now and March. 

1) McIntosh (Penn State)
4) Burak (Iowa)
5) Huntley (Michigan)
6) Pfarr (Minnesota)
15) Studebaker (Nebraska)
16) Martin (Ohio State)

285- Coon shouldn't be challenged. After him, it's an interesting race for 2nd and 3rd seeds and then who can perform at the tournament. It's a big opportunity for Iowa's Stoll especially with Penn State throwing out the undersized Johnson. 

3) Coon (Michigan)
7) Smith (Rutgers)
9) Kroells (Minnesota)
13) Jensen (Nebraska)
14) Black (Illinois)
18) Tavanello (Ohio State)

1) Penn State
3) Iowa
4) Ohio State
7) Michigan
9) Nebraska
13) Wisconsin
14) Illinois
16) Rutgers
21) Northwestern
23) Minnesota

Finalists: having a guy in the finals is huge in individual scoring. You need those top performers. Penn State & Iowa have the firepower and it's likely why they'll be the top two teams in March in Iowa City. However, don't sleep on the Buckeyes for this reason. Tomasello & Bo Jordan could very well win their brackets meaning, with help from the youngsters, they are a threat to defend their title.

4: Penn St, Iowa
3: Ohio St
2: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Rutgers
1: Michigan, Northwestern, Illinois

Top 4: Michigan's top to bottom strength has been widely lauded, but the previous stat shows a weakness of top point scorers after Coon. Maybe Abounader defends his crown and Logan Massa storms the 165 bracket which combined with the other weights puts them battling for the top spot on Sunday. It's a lot of "what if's" because Penn St and Iowa have 6 guys ranked in the top 4 themselves. 

7: Michigan
6: Penn St, Iowa, Nebraska
4: Ohio St
3: Rutgers, Minnesota
2: Wisconsin, Illinois
1: Northwestern

Conclusion: It does appear that Penn State & Iowa are a 2-headed race at this point but it is only November. The holes they have in their lineups make the possibility for Ohio State & Michigan to have good tournaments and maybe a couple surprises to challenge for a title. Nebraska is a tough team themselves that seems to be overlooked. After all, it's why they wrestle the matches. I'm very thankful that championships are not decided by rankings or 32-year old guys typing on a computer.