This article is really part of a 2-fold process. The first is what, if any, redshirts Michigan will take in the 2015-16 season. The second part is if they were to throw the Wolverines best possible lineup out there, it could seriously be the best lineup in the country. Bold statements come easy from the mouths of homers like myself, but at least allow me to justify it....somewhat.
Michigan had a 4th place finish at the Big Ten tournament, an 11th place finish at the NCAA's, 10 NCAA qualifiers, and 5 all-americans. That's a solid season. It's more solid when you think they lost an AA from the previous season (Stephen Dutton) due to injury. They also were only graduating one wrestler, 197 lb AA Max Huntley. AA's Rossi Bruno (133), Brian Murphy (157), Adam Coon (285), and Big Ten Champ Domenic Abounader (184) along with Alec Pantanleo, Garrett Sutton, and incoming mega recruit Logan Massa have all not redshirted.
News broke recently that instead of being done, Max Huntley has been retroactively granted a medical redshirt year for one of two seasons he almost completely lost to injury. There's also many rumors that Adam Coon may prefer to wrestle rather than take an Olympic Redshirt season despite his spot on the Greco World Team and top ten consideration for Freestyle. After all, it isn't legally necessary to miss the previous college wrestling season to attempt to make the Olympic (or World) teams. With Huntley & Coon, the landscape changes in a hurry. If Michigan decides to go all guns a blazing, the lineup is virtually unmatched by any team in the country.
It looks like this with a realistic projected pre-season ranking: 125- Conor Youtsey (6-10), 133- Rossi Bruno (6-8), 141- Zac Hall (12-15), 149- Alec Pantaleo (6-7), 157- Brian Murphy (5-6), 165- Logan Massa (12-15), 174- Davonte Mahomes/Taylor Massa (6-10) 184- Domenic Abounader (6-10), 197- Max Huntley (5), 285- Adam Coon (2).
How many teams will have over half their team ranked ahead of their weight class' equal of Michigan's to start the year. We talk about hyped freshmen every year, but this Wolverine lineup is hardly a reach. Ohio State has serious questions at 141, 174, 197 (wout Kyle Snyder) and at 285 again. Penn State has a lot of young talent coming in, but after the first 4 weights (which wouldn't be gimmies) they would likely only be favored at 197 against Michigan. Iowa will struggle at 141, 157, & 165 and Sam Stoll at 285 is not going to be Bobby Telford right away. Plus I would give the edge at 174 to Mahomes (or Massa) over Alex Meyer.
Of course, there are a lot of great matches to wrestle this upcoming season and zero national championships have been won by writing on paper in July. However, if you want to tell me anybody has a hands down better lineup than Michigan for next year, I don't think I'm dreaming by disagreeing.