2011 Mid-Season All American Predictions: 125 Pounds
by, 01-11-2011 at 06:12 PM (1031 Views)
First weight up, and if its any indicator this is going to be tough...
1. Matt McDonough (Iowa)
2. Brandon Precin (Northwestern)
3. Zach Sanders (Minnesota)
4. Anthony Robles (Arizona State)
5. Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
6. Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech)
7. Frank Perrelli (Cornell)
8. James Nicholson (Old Dominion)
R12. Cashe Quiroga (Purdue), Nic Bedelyon (Kent State), Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma), Jason Lara (Oregon State)
1. Anthony Robles (Arizona State)
2. Matt McDonough (Iowa)
3. Brandon Precin (Northwestern)
4. Zach Sanders (Minnesota)
5. James Nicholson (Old Dominion)
6. Jon Morrison (Oklahoma State)
7. Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma)
8. Alan Waters (Missouri)
R12. Nic Bedelyon (Kent State), Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech), Ryan Mango (Stanford), Jason Lara (Oregon State)
This may be the first of a couple seemingly controversial decisions that I've made at this weight class, but I don't really care. By all accounts of what we've seen thus far it really seems like that its going to be Anthony Robles's year. He's come out this year and has seemingly been more effective at getting to his own offense. In the past guys have been able to hold him at bay by getting to and clamping on a front headlock and working (or not) from there. So far this year Robles has been able to utilize his motion to prevent guys from smothering him. Following that we obviously all know about the skill from top, he's just as good this year as he's been the past three if not even better. So far this year he's got two wins over Jarrod Patterson where he outscored him 29-2 over the course of the two matches. He's got a 20-2 tech over Sanders in the All Star match. He's got matching 17-0 tech's over Jason Lara and Jarrod Garnett. Then over the last week he has an 11-0 win over Jon Morrison and an 8-0 win over Nic Bedelyon.
Coming in here in the #2 spot we've got the champ. Back in the fall I said it was going to be very difficult to foresee a situation where I'd be picking someone at this weight class other than McD, but this first half of the season has provided it for me. Its partly not his fault as he just hasn't had as many good guys to wrestle as Iowa has scaled their schedule down from where it was last season. That being said though, he's taken a loss to Brandon Precin in the Midlands finals and he hasn't seemingly been as dominant as he was during last season. His best win so far this year was a 10-1 major over Ryan Mango which probably doubled as his best match so far this year regardless of the opponent. As far as a possible match up with Robles I think there are a few things that are working against him. He won't see Robles until the NCAA tournament and Robles is obviously a guy who is very hard to prepare for. As tall as McD is there is a lot of him to grab on to when Robles gets on top, and then McD has been ridden a little bit this year.
Before the Midlands finals this was shaping up as a typical Brandon Precin season as he was beating all the guys that he was supposed to beat, but not doing it in a particularly flashy or overwhelming fashion and not really existing as a guy who you would necessarily characterize as a National title contender despite his lofty ranking. That all obviously changed with his upset win over McDonough where he did a great job securing a TD and then going to work on top to shorten the match up. After McDonough escaped he then did a great job staying in the match without exposing himself to anything. He didn't really do anything special, just wrestled his typical style against McDonough and wound up making it work for him. Other than the big win over McDonough he's also got two wins over Anthony Zanetta and other wins over Ryan Mango and Garrett Frey. He also owns the last win between the two in the matches that he and Robles has had with one another. Right now he's the well deserved #1 ranked guy but I think the two that I have above him get him at the end.
Unsurprisingly based off the first half of the year Zach Sanders still is who we think he is. He's a guy who like McDonough has been a little quieter than he has in year's past having recorded a pair of wins over Frank Perrelli and then another win over Ben Kjar. The fact that he's sitting in a quieter position this year than in year's past is in all likelihood directly attributable to the fact that he doesn't really have a marquee win yet this season having lost his three biggest matches 20-2 to Robles in the All Star Classic, 7-5 to Morrison in the Oklahoma State dual, and 4-2 to Nicholson in the Scuffle finals. The losses to Morrison and Nicholson were both pretty similar, he gave up an early TD and ride out in both matches. In the third periods of those matches he was the guy dictating the action and in the Morrison match he wound up forcing overtime, but its hard to consistently win matches against top guys when you're constantly having to come back. He's a guy who is going to beat everyone he should beat (I don't know if he has any "bad" losses over the course of his entire career) and he'll win his share of matches against the top level guys. He's got to start getting to his offense earlier in matches against top level guys though. The reasons I have him above Nicholson and Morrison are the fact that I've already mentioned that he's not a guy who is really going to get upset by an unknown guy, and he's proven to wrestle well at the end of the year which the other two haven't.
Like I said above I may be underrating Nicholson a little bit given that he's undefeated with a win over Sanders but he's a guy that has been here each of the last two years yet still missed out on making it up onto the AA podium. So far this year Steve Martin is using a different strategy with Nicholson as he's limiting his matches in regular duals in favor of back up Eric Dunnett and saving Nicholson for big duals and for individual tournaments in the hopes I assume of preventing him wearing down at the end of the year. Other than the win over Sanders he's also beaten Garnett, and Lara. Still wrestles the same style that he always has, similar to Precin he's a jack of all trades master of none. As it is I think that Martin's strategy for him works and he gets his second AA finish here.
Another decision where I may be going against the grain a little bit as Morrison has dropped the only match that he's wrestled so far this year against his in-state rival going down 2-1 to Patterson in the Bedlam dual. I've got him up higher than Patterson because he's a guy who I think has more upside over the course of the year given that he's demonstrated a better ability of scoring points against the other people that he's wrestled in comparison to Patterson. So far this year he has a 9-0 win over Kjar in the Kauffman Brand finals where he announced "hey, I might be good" following that up with a 7-5 OT win over Zach Sanders a few weeks later where he let us know "yes, I'm good but I don't have a very good gas tank yet." He then picked up another win this past weekend over his B12 conference foe Alan Waters. His success so far this year has stuck in my craw just a little bit as he was the very last guy off my R12 list back in the fall. Would have been good for my ego had I boosted him up a little bit back in the fall.
As I've already mentioned Patterson has a win in the only meeting so far this year against Morrison, but the fact that Patterson has kept things pretty close in his matches lead me to think that Morrison will come to eclipse him by the end of the year. Last year in the Big 12 finals against Andrew Long he's a guy that demonstrated an ability to utilize his scrambling ability and his leg rides from the top to keep himself in a match and so far he's put that same ability on display. He's also got wins this year over Perrelli, Stieber, and Morrison. He's been blown out by Robles twice (not that he's alone in that aspect as I've already discussed) then he's also got losses to Zanetta and Mango both at Midlands where he wrestled a little sub par in comparison to the results that he'd put up earlier in the year. He scored 1 point in each match against Zanetta and Mango and if he wants to prevent matches like that from happening again he's got to get more comfortable with generating offense with his own stuff.
Coming into the year I was one of many people here who scoffed at tigerfan stating that Alan Waters was a guy who could come in and be an All American as a true freshman. The lesson as always being I'm an idiot as here I am less than four months later predicting Waters to get himself up on the podium this year. So far this year like Patterson he's shown himself to be particularly adept at winning close matches as he's recorded wins over Steve Bonanno, Jason Lara, Ryan Mango, Anthony Zanetta, Frank Perrelli, and then probably his best win of the year when he upset at the time undefeated Nic Bedelyon in a dual meet. Over the course of that match he did a good job frustrating Bedelyon by working from his knees from neutral, and then he worked tough on the mat as well as he nearly stole a riding time point. The tendency to wrestle the top guys close has bitten him a few times this year as he's dropped matches against Mango, and Morrison and its what is keeping me from possibly moving him a few spots higher on this list.