Hodge winner is gonna be McDonough
Hodge winner is gonna be McDonough
I'm going with Dake. By staying down at 157, it tells me he's going for it. In regards to bonus point matches, he gets more than his share. I too think its a bit of a "legacy" trophy every now and then and I can see if he goes undefeated, dominates his opponents and wins his 4th title, it might be hard to deny it to him. Kilgore, McDonough, Oliver, Ruth and DT will obviously be standing in his way.
"Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."
Two I did not see that I thought would make the R12.
165 Chris Phillips (Ohio State)
184 CJ Magrum (Ohio State)
BRUTUS BUCKEYE WILL TAKE YOU DOWN...
Dominance - it depends on how you define dominance, and I don't think number of tech falls or pins is the ultimate indicator. I think dominance is defined by the overall picture. For example, I think it would be tough to argue that Bubba Jenkins was more dominant that Dake in the 2011 NCAA Finals. Bubba got a pin. Dake got riding time.
Dake has gone the past two years in the NCAAs without a single offensive point scored against him. And in 2011-2012, Dake put together his first undefeated season, and completely dominated (almost) everybody. [And for those of you that want to comment on the (almost) - remember that neither DT nor Ruth dominated ALL of their opponents either]
If Dake does that again, I don't see how he can be denied the Hodge.
1. Alan Gelogaev If He Stays Healthy (Oklahoma State)
2. Tony Nelson (Minnesota)
3. Dom Bradley (Missouri)
4. Jarod Trice (Central Michigan)
5. Mike McMullan (Northwestern)
6. Bobby Telford (Iowa)
7. Chad Hanke (Oregon State)
8. Jeremy Johnson (Ohio)
R12. Matt Gibson (Iowa State), Zac Thomusseit (Pittsburgh), Spencer Myers (Maryland), Levi Cooper (Arizona State)
I'm shamelessly stealing a joke from Bill Simmons here in my little addition to Gelogaev If He Stays Healthy's name. Time will tell just how badly I beat it into the ground. After being hurt really early in the year a couple of years ago there were still questions about how well he'd wrestle here at this weight class coming into the year. I think its pretty safe to say that until his unfortunate injury late in the year last year he'd answered every one of them with flying colors. He was utterly dominant beating Nelson the eventual NCAA Champion 16-5 in an early season dual where he just threw him all over the mat. He had a huge major over Telford in the dual against Iowa where he came out and threw him with his trademark leg lace lateral and nearly pinned him. People wondered about his gas tank last year and it was there. People questioned whether he could get away from good guys and he did. So long as he's healthy I don't see anyone beating him here.
And the fact that I don't see anyone beating Gelogaev If He Stays Healthy hurts because I loved watching Tony Nelson last year en route to his eventual NCAA championship as a sophomore. After being super solid as a freshman but being limited because he just wasn't strong enough to get to his power offense against bigger guys he came back last year much stronger and it certainly paid off for him. It was crazy watching him defend shots against guys just by posting on their heads and just forcing his leg to the ground. In the finals against Rey he kept Rey on the mat with just a spiral. Just with pure horsepower and strength. As much as it hurts me to say though I think Gelogaev If He Stays Healthy is just too skilled. A match between the two is going to be wrestled on the feet for the majority of the time and Gelogaev If He Stays Healthy just has too many ways to score.
Dom Bradley comes in here as the first of several guys at this weight who weren't here last year after taking Olympic years. He finished 3rd two years ago as a junior after finally working his way into the line up after the graduation of former NCAA Champion Mark Ellis. He's a guy who has had a ton of success wrestling freestyle for a long time. He's a guy who has some tank issues and thats one of the main reasons why I like the two guys I have above him to out perform him. Seems like a guy who you could conceivably get more out of but he's comfortable and good at winning most matches 3-2 so thats what he does.
Like Dom Bradley we didn't see Trice last year as he spent the year on the side after taking an Olympic year. He won a tough Midlands tournament bracket but other than that we didn't see him wrestling folk at all. Has a great history at this weight class getting himself on the podium as a sophomore and as a junior. He was 4th as a junior losing to Dom Bradley for 3rd. Like Bradley he's a guy who you can see has the potential to put more points on the board than he does. He keeps matches close and its proven to be pretty effective for him.
McMullan finishing 3rd here at this weight was one of the more surprising outcomes at this weight last year at NCAA's and while he definitely benefitted from Flores being injured on the third day he'd had a great couple of days leading up to that point and then he showed he wasn't a fluke when he beat Clayton Jack in a pretty dominant performance for 3rd. He was a little up and down through out the year last year. He's on the small side for a heavyweight and I think it may have taken him some time to get used to taking on the big guys consistently every week.
There was a point in time last year where things didn't look good for Bobby Telford. After losing a close match to Jarod Trice in the Midlands final he didn't win a match for two or three weeks, he actually got sent to the bench for a time in place of Blake Rasing. Come Big 10's though he was back to firing on all cylinders and he beat Cameron Wade in the semi's before losing a close match to Nelson in the final. Then he came out at NCAA's a couple of weeks later and performed exactly as projected he was seeded 5th and he wound up finishing 5th. Similar to Nelson as a freshman he had a great year and you can see potential for more, he just has to get stronger. I don't know if he breaks through like Nelson did last year but the top 4 guys on my list here are all seniors so in two years this weight will basically get turned over to him and his longtime rival McMullan.
After watching Chad Hanke be just kind of average through several folkstyle seasons I have to admit that it really surprised me when he made the final three match series at the 2011 World Team Trials which allowed him to take the Olympic year last season. He had been just ok as a collegiate 197 but he had some nice wins at that tournament up at 96 kilos before he ran into Jake Varner. He wrestled last year at heavyweight for Oregon State and had a solid year unattached, he was the only guy to beat Gelogaev then he was 3rd (I think) in what was a brutal heavyweight bracket at the Scuffle. It'll be interesting for me and I'm sure many others to see if he's able to continue to have that level of success in folkstyle this year. Bumped up to heavyweight to replace Clayton Jack I like him to do well.
Jeremy Johnson wound up having the breakout season that I predicted for him two years ago, he just had it a year later than I expected last year when he came out and finished 7th. I'd seen him have a ton of success wrestling freestyle and figured he'd eventually translate the success into folkstyle. Stylistically he's a fun guy to watch. He doesn't wrestle many 3-2 matches. He had a win early in the year over McMullan and then for the majority of the year was just super solid beating the guys that he should and losing to the guys that you probably figure would be better than him.
RIP Jacob Schlottke - 1984-2011
"If Cornell finishes ahead of Iowa with five all americans I'll jump into the Des Moines River after finals." -Herkey#1 8/16/12
The nice thing about this weight class is that we can all be certain that they will be at the weight that Shane projects them at!
UNI Panthers...Because it's just right.
I am looking forward to seeing Kenny Courts at 184 for the Buckeyes this year.