Now that the 2017-18 season is in the books, a season which history will be very kind to, I have some pressing questions.
Nickal vs Valencia?
- It has been rumored that the Valencia's will be bumping up after this season to 174 & 184 respectively. Several have suggested part of Anthony's struggles in his sophomore campaign were due to the weight cut to 165. Zahid is 70-1 in college. Yes, a Cael challenge is all that has blemished his record (and Mark Hall) . Zahid vs Bo Nickal next season would be an incredible match to hype and watch.
- With a pair of 2-time NCAA Champs falling in their senior campaigns, it's been awhile since heavyweight was thought to be up in the air. The 2018-19 season will feature only three of this seasons All-Americans. It also has been awhile since we have had a big heavyweight champ. Tony Nelson wasn't a point scoring machine, but he wasn't threatening the heavyweight limit. So what does the Big Ten and NCAA heavyweight crown look like in 2019?
- This year Missouri went to the South Beach duals and did not attend one of the top three regular season individual tournaments. While I honestly don't have that strong of an opinion on it, the Tigers showed up to the NCAA tournament with really good records and did not perform up to them.
- Snyder and Retherford are returning World Team members, but it's been awhile since we haven't had someone (somewhat surprisingly) emerge from the college ranks on to Team USA. Men's Freestyle is stacked coming off a team title, but 10 weights are a lot to defend from a very talented crop. Another question is movement of guys for training purposes, like Bryce Meredith and Jacob Kasper. Adam Coon said he plans on both Freestyle and Greco trials which should be frightening to many. Does 79 kg become the most interesting weight class with Kyle Dake having to fend off Dieringer, Mark Hall, Zahid Valencia, Jon Reader, Matt Brown, and more to make his first world team?
- Yeah remember the national duals? That was cool. I even didn't mind the BCS style format. It gave us something dual wise to kind of pay attention to. Of course, I'm just a rabid fan and not someone running a program in which the two tournaments in March are what you're ultimately judged on. I just miss the national duals and hope it returns in some way. Another "halfway" idea is a Big Ten dual title. Narrow it down to two divisions in a format where one dual is winner take all for the conference dual title. It's always easier said than done though.
- It has been rumored a lot, but this year more buzz was made about obtaining "emerging sport" status. Part of this proposal was that over 20 NCAA schools have committed to starting Women's programs if it becomes an NCAA sport. Several D1 teams including Iowa are rumored to be in that list of commitments. Where this stands, and how this isn't a slam dunk with athletic departments needing to balance out scholarships is quite baffling. Maybe this is the year.