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The Midlands Are Coming

On December 18th, The Midlands announced its "Top Contestants" list. A lot will be on the line for the Midlands and the Southern Scuffle as a lot has yet to be learned so far in the 2015-16 collegiate wrestling season.

The big story over the Christmas weekend is David Taylor joining the fray. He weighed in at 189 in Vegas so we aren't sure what weight he will be at, but you can imagine he'll be an overwhelming favorite.  

Iowa will look to prove they have the firepower to compete for a Big Ten and National Championship this season. Iowa fans will look to feel better about the situations at 141, 157, 165, and 285. Strong performances in this tournament could make the Hawkeye faithful feel a lot better. 

North Carolina State is undefeated in duals this year with wins over Oklahoma State, Minnesota, and Old Dominion. The Midlands give the Wolfpack an opportunity to show individual scoring firepower that makes them a contender to be a top 5 team in March. 

It's a great tournament to not only improve your ranking but to really improve your seed in March before conference duals may cause you not to see these guys again till NCAA's in some cases. The team race may not be close but each weight will be fun to watch. 

125: This is probably Gilman's to lose. Lambert is a long shot here who is still looking to AA for the first time, but has always been right "there". 

#2 Thomas Gilman (Iowa)
#6 Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State)
#7 Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa)
#10 Tim Lambert (Nebraska)
#9 David Terao (American)
#15 Ryan Millhof (Oklahoma)
#14 Josh Rodriguez (North Dakota State)
#17 Sean McCabe (Rutgers)
133: After Brewer's two very public losses it'll be interesting to see how he responds. Him and Clark is an interesting matchup if it happens as this weight class is deep.  Taylor was the 2 seed at NCAA's rightfully so last year. Of course, Hall & Richards have been known to beat anyone at times as well. This will be fun. 

#2 Cory Clark (Iowa)
#3 Cody Brewer (Oklahoma)
#9 Zane Richards (Illinois)
#7 Ryan Taylor (Wisconsin)
#5 Earl Hall (Iowa State)
#14 Eric Montoya (Nebraska)
Scott Delvecchio (Rutgers - Unattached)
#13 Geoffrey Alexander (Maryland)
Dominick Malone (Northwestern)
#18 Josh Alber (Northern Iowa)
#16 Dom Forys (Pittsburgh)
#20 Anthony Giraldo (Rutgers)
Brance Simms (South Dakota State)
141 : Some think former NCAA finalist Andrew Long may make an appearance here to sort of prove he is still one of the best 141's in the country. That's some serious intrigue. Kevin Jack has proved he wasn't a one-tournament wonder so far which is fun to see. I have picked Ashnault to win the NCAA title this year so you know what I think. Durso & Abidin have stumbled early but they should give problems to anyone as well.  

#2 Kevin Jack (North Carolina State)
#5 Chris Mecate (Old Dominion)
#3 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)
#8 Mike Racciato (Pittsburgh)
#10 Todd Preston (Harvard)
#17 Anthony Abidin (Nebraska)
#19 Rick Durso (Franklin & Marshall)
Jameson Oster (Northwestern)
#20 Steve Bleise (Northern Illinois)
149:  Returning Midlands champion Tsirtsis has become an interesting guy to watch for perhaps the wrong reasons. Sorensen handed him his first loss last year and they should be the class of this weight class, but Tsirtsis has only wrestled two matches this year with one of them being a loss to Cimato (Drexel). Sueflohn could make a hugh "I'm back" statement here and young guns Perez (who beat Sueflohn 12-10 this year) and Clagon are very talented. 

#2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa)
#3 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)
#4 Alex Richardson (Old Dominion)
#7 Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska)
#13 Michael DePalma (Kent State)
Kenny Theobald (Rutgers - Unattached)
#15 Matt Kraus (Arizona State)
#14 B.J. Clagon (Rider)
#20 Chris Perez (Princeton)
#17 Davion Jeffries (Oklahoma)
#19 Alex Griffin (Purdue)
157: Imar looks unbeatable which makes this as interesting as other weights, but Ian Miller is always fun to watch and Tommy Gantt can once again prove he is for real with a good tournament.  

#1 Isaiah Martinez (Illinois)
#2 Ian Miller (Kent State)
#7 Thomas Gantt (North Carolina State)
#6 Cody Pack (South Dakota State)
#11 John Boyle (American)
#20 Chad Walsh (Rider)
Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa)
#15 Lou Mascola (Maryland)
#16 Edwin Cooper (Iowa)
#19 Doug Welch (Purdue)
#17 Richie Lewis (Rutgers)
#18 Tyler Berger (Nebraska)
165 : Isaac Jordan should be a sound favorite here, but he hasn't been exactly lighting people up so far. Rohskopf has looked awesome and should lead a field of many ranked guys to challenge Jordan.

 #3 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin)
#10 Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers)
#11 Austin Wilson (Nebraska)
#6 Max Rohskopf (North Carolina State)
#17 Steven Rodrigues (Illinois)
#7 Chad Welch (Purdue)
#14 Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State)
#9 Clark Glass (Oklahoma)
#12 Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa)
#20 Devon Gobbo (Harvard)
#15 Connor Brennan (Rider)
Seth Thomas (Oregon State)
174: Meyer has paid his dues and waited for his time to shine. The Midlands will be his first big chance to prove his ranking isn't hype. A healthy Schleifer could make noise here. 

 #6 Zac Brunson (Illinois)
#3 Alex Meyer (Iowa)
#9 Cody Walters (Ohio)
#7 Bryce Hammond (Bakersfield)
#12 Micah Barnes (Nebraska)
#11 Nate Jackson (Indiana)
#15 Lelund Weatherspoon (Iowa State)
#17 Matt Reed (Oklahoma)
#13 Jonathan Schleifar (Princeton)
TeShan Campbell (Pittsburgh)
Ricky Robertson (Wisconsin)
184: The first six guys listed here have been largely interchangeable for this and last season. Someone should really benefit in the rankings and NCAA seedings here with a title. 

 #8 T.J. Dudley (Nebraska)
#3 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion)
#7 Sammy Brooks (Iowa)
#9 Blake Stauffer (Arizona State)
#12 Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State)
#16 Abram Ayala (Princeton)
#17 Pete Renda (North Carolina State)
Andrew Romanchik (Ohio)
Jeff Koepke (Illinois)
#20 Nicholas Gravina (Rutgers)
197: Franklin is an interesting story as he continues to get better throughout his career. After a really good CKLV him and a lot of ranked guys will try to run down Burak which is a tall task. 

#4 Nathan Burak (Iowa)
#12 Phil Wellington (Ohio)
#16 Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska)
#6 Reuben Franklin (Bakersfield)
#11 Anthony Abro (Eastern Michigan)
#13 Nathan Rotert (South Dakota State)
#17 Michael Boykin (North Carolina State)
#14 Brett Harner (Princeton)
Brad Johnson (Oklahoma)
#19 Jeric Kasunic (American)
Nick Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh)
Cody Crawford (Oregon State)
285: The Gwiz is on a historic pace. How does Dhesi look in his first major folkstyle tournament in almost two calendar years is compelling. Iowa fans will want to see a strong tournament from Stoll to calm nerves. 

 #1 Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State)
#5 Amarveer Dhesi (Oregon State)
#6 Ross Larson (Oklahoma)
#11 Billy Smith (Rutgers)
#14 Collin Jensen (Nebraska)
#15 Brooks Black (Illinois)
#16 Tanner Hall (Arizona State)
#9 Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa)
#20 Ryan Solomon (Pittsburgh)
Ray O'Donnell (Princeton)
Garrett Ryan (Columbia)
#10 Sam Stoll (Iowa)