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2010/2011 Big 10 Wrestling Predictions: 285

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by , 08-31-2010 at 06:28 PM (2523 Views)

Pat Walker: Walker was in the line up for Illinois last year. He wrestled alright but didn't really make a huge impact in the conference or nationally.

Ricky Alcala: It seems like a really random place for Alcala to choose to transfer coming from California now to Indiana but when I sat back and thought about it much like how Maryland does crab cakes and football, Indiana does 125 pounders and heavyweights. Coming off a year where they had Nathan Everhart go undefeated until the Big 10 finals that coaching staff has shown that they know what they're doing when it comes to heavyweight wrestlers. An interesting variable though is Everhart and Mr. Alcala (aka: Shrek) are rather different wrestlers. Either way he's a quality heavyweight and he should do well for the Hoosiers.

Blake Raising: Like Lofthouse, Raising was a guy who saw a lot of quality varsity time last year when he stepped into the line up after Erekson tore his pec. He didn't set the world on fire while he was there (Lofthouse had the better season) but he got a lot of action against some solid heavyweights which should serve him well going into this season when he's the guy. He's absolutely enormous for the weight so that at the very minimum should serve him well.

Ben Apland: Much like Walker, he was here for the Wolverines last year but didn't really do a whole lot.

Michigan State
Steve Andrus: Andrus is a guy who just based off his freestyle results this spring intrigues me going into this coming year as he built up a nice little rivalry between Jeremy Johnson as they battled to attempt to become the rep for the freestyle Junior World team at heavyweight. He's a guy like Raising who is big and at least in his freestyle matches showed some nice aggressiveness and good presence out there on the mat.

Ben Berhow: All indications seem to be that Berhow is going to be here for one last go round with the Gophers. The guy has had an interesting career. Came in and wasn't expected to start, but then got the starting job as a freshman where he was under .500. As a sophomore he struggled during the first half of the year before catching fire after Christmas and going undefeated in Big 10 duals. Last year when expectations got to be kind of high he struggled with inconsistency early on (seemingly due to a knee injury) before coming back and having another solid Big 10 season. He was a quarterfinalist at NCAA's before losing tie breaker matches to Rey and Trice where he was unable to get off bottom. Absolutely fantastic sweep single especially for a heavyweight. Terrible high crotch. You guys have heard me say both of those a million times. He shoots the single, generally he wins.

Ben Kuhar: Kuhar came into Northwestern as I want to say the #1 (if not he was close) heavyweight recruit in the country. He's a guy who has been a little snake bit by injuries and that may have contributed to the fact that he really hasn't broken out yet since he stepped into the Wildcat line up.

Ohio State
Tyrell Fortune: I actually forgot about Fortune when I was doing my All American predictions earlier in the summer, I won't be doing the same thing here. I've read things scattered around (at least I think I have) that have rumored that he may not be in the line up until second semester but even if that's the case I think he makes a big impact when he gets there. He's a guy who has beaten a lot of quality guys already wrestling freestyle over the last several years. He's a smaller heavyweight but Ohio State has shown that they can make things work with guys who aren't the biggest.

Penn State
Cam Wade: Thought coming in last year that Wade would build off his freestyle season and possibly wind up an All American. While he was better than two years ago he was still kind of inconsistent overall. He had another solid freestyle year this year so again it'll be interesting to see what he can to move that along. Biggest weakness is cardio. Other than that he's big and he can move so he's got the tools.

Roger Vukovatovich: Other than the fact that he would undoubtedly best his Big 10 brethren in a coolest name contest (especially since 25% of the guys here have the same first name) I don't know too much about Vukobratovich here.

Eric Bugenhagen: Bugenhagen was a surprise guy here to start the year off for the Badgers after moving up from 184. He kind of had the regular season that you would expect from a guy who came up that much weight but then showed signs of potential when he had a nice Big 10 tournament. He has since shown even greater signs of potential with an excellent run wrestling freestyle including a win over David Zabriskie. If he's put some more size on and can wrestle like he did at the end of the year and during the summer I like him a lot this year.

Most Improved
Eric Bugenhagen: Like I said, year two of adjusting to heavyweight if he's big enough I think he has a big year.

Best Freshman

Conference Final
Tyrell Fortune v. Ben Berhow

1. Tyrell Fortune
2. Ben Berhow
3. Eric Bugenhagen
4. Cam Wade
5. Ricky Alcala
6. Blake Raising
7. Steve Andrus
8. Ben Apland
9. Ben Kuhar
10. Patrick Walker
11. Roger Vukobratovich

NCAA Qualifiers: Fortune, Berhow, Wade, Alcala, Bugenhagen, Raising, Andrus[/QUOTE]