Nick Tavanello has been the brunt of many a joke on the Bloodround podcast. Actually it's just the same joke used over and over. I don't believe he is very good, and certainly not good enough to be ranked 9th in the country at Heavyweight. Someone out there said, "there are maybe 8 other Heavyweights in NCAA division 1 wrestling that can beat Nick", and he or she was serious. Straight faced, someone not only said that, but convinced others that it was the case. As I write this he is ranked 9th in the country. Doesn't seem right to me, and hasn't for the last couple years, so he wins the wonderful honor of having this glorious team don his name. At this point it should go without saying that these wrestlers are the wrestler in each weight class within the intermat top 20, who I believe to be a bit of a fraud. Not necessarily that they aren't good wrestlers, but that their ranking is slightly, to greatly inflated. Without anymore hesitation, lets begin.
125, Sean Boyle, Chattanooga
You may be thinking, "That picture is of one of the old Michigan singlets, but you said he wrestles for Chattanooga." That's true, Sean used to wrestle for Michigan, but last year was beaten by Connor Youtsey for the starting spot. Boyle's Senior season at Michigan was done before it started, and he transferred to UTC. He had some good tournaments early in the year, and was probably PUMPED to be back competing, and I'm sure a change of scenery helped as well. However, Sean hasn't had enough big wins, and certainly not enough recently, for me to really believe that he is the 10th best wrestler at 125 pounds in the country.
133, Cody Brewer
Cody Brewer is ranked 4th in the country despite having not wrestled anyone noteworthy this year. At least not anybody that he has beaten. His two toughest matches were against 3rd ranked Earl Hall, who pinned him in one minute and two seconds. The other match being against Nick Soto, who is ranked 13th in the country. Sure, he majored Soto, but when you are ranked 4th, you shouldn't be getting pinned by the 3rd place guy. Is Brewer better than the 7 BIG10 guys ranked just below him? I doubt it, but those guys are going to beat each other up going into NCAA's, and suffer in the rankings because of it, while Brewer will cost to the Big 12 finals where he will be smoked by Earl Hall once more.
141, Josh Dziewa
I can't say I've ever watched Dziewa wrestle and been blown away by what he does. He has the starting spot at Iowa, in what my turn out to be a National Championship season, but it's hard for me to believe that there are only 6 wrestlers better than Josh in the country. Dziewa has one win someone else ranked, Old Dominions Chris Mecate, while he has two losses to guys ranked below him currently. Those two losses came to Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers, currently ranked 9th, and Illinois' Steven Rodrigues, currently ranked 12th. Seems to me that having not beaten anyone above you, yet losing to people below you, should be reason enough to doubt Dziewa being the 7th best wrestler in the country at 141.
149, Hunter Stieber
This should surprise nobody. Hunter has wrestled 3 matches this year, lost two of them, and hasn't wrestled since. He was my pick to win the NCAA championships this year at 149, but I can't even begin to make a case that he should still be ranked 7th in the country. It's very possible that he place 7th at Big Tens.
157, Brian Realbuto
Realbuto has two wins above ranked wrestlers. Two wins over Joey Levallee of Missouri and a win over Mitch Minotti of Lehigh. He has also lost to Jason Nolf, the true freshman backup for Penn State. Finally, the following people have all wrestled one another, beaten up on one another, and are all probably better than Brian. Brian Murphy, Doug Welch, Josh Demas, Dylan Alton (who pinned Realbuto in less than 2 minutes), Anthony Perrotti, and Mike Kelly. All Big Ten guys who have been trying to survive the season while BReal has been going through the gauntlet of Jahlani Callender of Hofstra and Noel Blano of Drexel. 6th in the country is about 10 to 12 spots too high in my opinion.
165, Dylan Palacio
I tried to find someone else for this spot so it didn't seem like I was piling on Cornell. I couldn't. 165 is too tough everywhere. Palacio has lost to Chance Mastellar, though he's a huge recruit, was taking some flack at the beginning of the season for "not being good enough". It appears that he is a top 10 guy at 165 though. Also, Palacio has lost to Coleman Gracey who is currently ranked not at all. His biggest win is over Jonathan Schleifer of Princeton, who is a true freshman. This person is ranked 11th in a weight class that is way too deep for that to be the case.
174, Cody Walters
Sorry friends of the MAC, but this dude is not the 9th best wrestler in the country. He has 0 big wins. The only one that stands out is a win over Mark Martin of Ohio State, who is currently ranked 13th, but that was an injury default. They wrestle that match and no way Martin doesn't win. Other that that, he beat Michigan's 3rd string 174 3-2 and Oklahoma State's backup in OT. Seems overrated to me.
184, Kenny Courts
Much like the other weights. Kenny Courts hasn't beaten anyone noteworthy. Additionally he lost to Jacob Sheffell of West Virginia 7-3. Jacob isn't ranked because Jacob isn't good. He has a recent win over Brett Pfarr of Minnesota, and a win over Lelund Weatherspoon of Iowa State, but going by the eye test. he looks like he has peaked, and will be surpassed by all of the younger wrestlers. He shouldn't be ranked 12th.
197, Connor Hartmann
Connor has a win over Elliot RIddick of Lehigh, who is currently ranked 10th. Other than that he has not done much. His name is currently listed in the ranks of Kyle Snyder, Morgan McIntosh, Scott Schiller, Nathan Burak, and Max Huntley. Seems strange considering none of those guys lost to Eastern Michigan's Anthony Abro. Overrated, despite his mullet.
285, Nick Tavanello
The articles namesake is certainly headlining the heavyweight section. Little Nikki hasn't wrestled since early January when he lost three straight, albeit to Telford, Lawson, and J'Den Cox. He also began the year by falling in round 2 of the MSU open to Tiffin University's Garrett Grey. Second year in a row he lost to a non division 1 guy at the MSU open. He has 0 big wins, and only big losses, so he will remain the poster child for overrated. He is the only wrestler in the country with a 3 match losing streak while remaining in the top 10 of his weight class. He's 5th at the MSU open but 9th in the country? Forgive me for having my doubts.