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2011 Mid-Season All American Predictions: 165

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by , 01-19-2011 at 09:43 AM (768 Views)

1. Andrew Howe (Wisconsin)
2. Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska)
3. Scott Winston (Rutgers)
4. Mike Miller (Central Michigan)
5. Alex Meade (Oklahoma State)
6. Zach Toal (Missouri)
7. Thomas Scotton (North Carolina)
8. Jarrion Beets (Northern Iowa)
R12. Cody Yohn (Minnesota), Josh Asper (Maryland), Justin Kerber (Cornell), Shane Onufer (Wyoming)

Mid Season
1. Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska)
2. Andrew Howe (Wisconsin)
3. Justin Kerber (Cornell)
4. Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma)
5. Josh Asper (Maryland)
6. Colt Sponseller (Ohio State)
7. Shane Onufer (Wyoming)
8. Dallas Bailey (Oklahoma State)
R12. Cody Yohn (Minnesota), Andrew Sorenson (Iowa State), Scott Winston (Rutgers), Peter Yates (Virginia Tech)

Coming into the year I (and pretty much everyone else) had this weight class pegged as a two man showdown between Burroughs and Howe, and so far this year its pretty much proven to be just that. It just turns out that based off the results that we've seen thus far I (and probably about half of everyone else) had the wrong guy on top. Burroughs proved that much with his 10-7 (and the match wasn't this close) win over Howe in the Midlands finals where he set the tone early when he blast doubled Howe all the way across the mat to pick up his first takedown. Burroughs' style is the very definition of the term "speed kills" he's just so good with his double leg and his reshots. One of the reasons why I'd favored Howe in initial match ups was the fact that Burroughs had never seemed to pay much attention to working on top, but in his match against Howe he did a great job riding smart on top to try and shorten the match. Other than that win he had a 20-8 win over DesRoches in an earlier round at the tournament, and he had a 23-7 decimation of Cody Yohn in a dual match where he really showed that he wasn't going to miss a beat this year. I wondered coming into the year if Burroughs would spend any time under the radar, I think the answer to that is a pretty definitive "No."

Other than taking his first folkstyle loss in almost two years in that aforementioned match to Burroughs its been another season of pretty much business as usual for Andrew Howe. He's been wrestling plenty of quality guys and he's been dominating them. He won the Las Vegas tournament defeating Gillespie, and then handing Justin Kerber his only loss of the season so far dominating him 10-3 in the finals. He's got other wins this year over Scotton, Toal (major), Yates (major), and Yohn. He really broke through last year in terms of getting to his offense and finishing rather than just beating guys up in the head and shoulder ties and it helped carry him to his undefeated season and subsequent very stellar summer in freestyle, in watching him this year he really hasn't made another leap he's still pretty much the same guy. He's got to do two things in future matches against Burroughs, he's got to smother him the entire time. Last match he let Burroughs stay out in space way too much and he wound up getting blast doubled a couple of times for his trouble. Then he's got to get off the bottom, he can't go to his slow tripod up because Burroughs will just take a leg and return him to the mat or run him out.

Back in the fall I thought Chris Villalonga was going to be this year's wrestler that proved the point that "Rob Koll is really that damn good." It seems now that I was mistaken in that assumption and that there are two other wrestlers in the Cornell line up this year that prove that theory much better. Last year Kerber was kind of up and down through out the year as he struggled with some injuries and his first year getting back down to 165 after wrestling at 184, and even though he broke through at the end of the year making the round of 12 at NCAA's (sending Nick Marable home in the process) I assumed that we'd see more of the same this year. Well I can sit here and say this to you all now, I was wrong. He's been markedly more consistent this year. As I already mentioned the only match he's lost this year was to Howe in the Vegas finals. He was absolutely torrid during Cornell's run to the National Duals title beating Sponseller, Toal, Yohn, and Yates all in a row during the tournament. He's got a second win this year over Yohn in the Southern Scuffle finals and a 17-7 win over DesRoches en route to his run to the finals at Las Vegas. He's done a great job this year just finding a way to win.

Much like Kerber (although not quite to the point of the next guy on this list) I came into the season underrating Tyler Caldwell pretty heavily as a result of the season that he had last year before the NCAA tournament. During the regular season he beat the guys that he was supposed to, but he didn't really knock off any marquee opponents. That all changed as he finished 3rd at Big 12's and then knocked off Colt Sponseller and crashed the semi's at NCAA's before eventually finishing 5th in the country. He initially moved up to 174 this year where he wrestled very well recording wins over Letts, Covington, Blanton, and Benefiel. He'd wrestle Mack Lewnes to one of his closer matches during the early part of the season in the Las Vegas finals but wound up going down 5-2, he also took a loss to Covington for 3rd at that tournament. Still don't really know why they made the choice to move him back down to 165 but so far since the move down he's continued to wrestle well finishing 3rd at the Midlands despite an early upset loss to Chris Spangler. After getting dumped into the consolations he recorded wins over Asper and Toal. He continued his solid form when he beat Luvsandorj this past weekend.

I've spoken when talking about the last two guys about how I underrated them coming into the year, but of the guys at this weight class that I was wrong about Asper ranks above even them. I'll be frank, despite the fact that I had him in the Round of 12 during the pre-season I desperately looked for someone that I would be comfortable replacing him with because I just didn't think that he was good. I was wrong. He's been really good this year, and had he not had a tough go of things at Midlands I'd have him picked above both Kerber and Caldwell here. He dominated his way through the Brockport tournament recording an 11-3 major over Scott Winston in the finals that ranked with one of the more impressive wins during the first month of the year. He majored Donnie Jones and Chase Nelson earlier in the tournament as well. He was an All Star match competitor where he defeated Onufer, then he's recorded other wins this year over Toal and Gillespie. The only matches that he's lost so far this year are the aforementioned loss to Caldwell, and his first round loss to Graham from American. With Peter Yates coming up to 165 he should have some solid competition within his conference going into the post season.

I think I've proven pretty definitively in doing these threads over the last few years that I can certainly be stubborn when it comes to certain wrestlers, and Sponseller is one of those guys. I've picked him in every thread related to this topic that I've done since he was a freshman and despite the fact that he's yet to make All American and he's had his issues this year I don't plan on stopping now. He made an admirable attempt this year at dropping down to 157 in an attempt to win a national title but that didn't work out for him for whatever reasons and he's back up at 165 now where he was a Big 10 finalist last year and where he's made the quarters at NCAA's each of the last two years before falling in close matches in the Round of 12. During his run at 157 earlier in the year he dropped matches out at Las Vegas to Hall and Peppelman, then he was absolutely demolished by David Taylor in his final match at 157. He took a tough loss to Kerber at National Duals in his first match back up at this weight but he rebounded with a solid win over Nick Pickerell. He's got matches left on the schedule with Jannsen, an improved Dan Yates, Yohn, and Howe before Big 10's so those results should do a lot in terms of letting us know whether or not he'll be able to get the All American monkey off his back.

Like Tyler Caldwell, Onufer has ping ponged around in weight a little bit this year starting the year off here at 165 where he competed at the All Star match going down to Asper. There were rumors that spun around about him dropping down to 157 (although I don't recall if he ever got an official competition down at that weight) and now he's back up at 165 seemingly for good. He dominated his was through the Reno tournament beating Scotton, Blevins, and DesRoches. The wins over Blevins and DesRoches came by fall and major respectively. He won another match over DesRoches this past weekend where he was forced to scramble into a late TD to get the points he needed to win. While Wyoming doesn't quite wrestle the schedule this year that they did last year (thereby not giving us as much knowledge about their wrestlers as we had last year) he'll have a nice test in early February when Wyoming heads into Oklahoma and he'll wrestle Caldwell and Bailey over a three day span.

I spent quite a bit of time debating as to who I wanted to put in this spot before deciding on Bailey over a couple of members in the Round of 12 because of his higher number of quality wins and the fact that based off his recent results he seems like he's someone who may be getting into a little bit of a groove. He came into the year as a little bit of an unknown quality replacing Alex Meade in the Cowboy line up, but soon showed that he'd be quality in winning the Kauffman Brand Open, beating Aaron Jannsen in the semi's and pinning Cody Yohn in the finals in a match that he trailed. He beat Chase Nelson in the Bedlam match in December, then despite the fact that the Cowboys had a tough go of things overall at National Duals he shined recording wins over Yates, and Sorenson. He got another win over Jannsen this past weekend. So far this year he's dropped matches to Yohn, and Toal. His match ups with Yohn do make you wonder about how he'll fair at the end of the year as he's struggled against him in both matches, both with scoring from his feet and in getting away. At times he can kind of slip into "boom or bust" mode from his feet.