PAC 12, SOCON SHOWDOWNS, A POLL TAXING FANS PATIENCE, NEWS, NOTES, AND NEW FOLKS TO FOLLOW, AND THE RETURN OF THE MUSE….
The transitive property of A>B>C, therefore A>C just got an F on its mid terms. If you were looking for regular season conference clarity, that is. Cases in point, the Pac 12 and the SoCon. In the former, heavy favorite Arizona State has been getting mollywhopped in and out of conference. The Sun Devils monstrous Methuselah of a heavyweight, AA Tanner Hall, is sitting the season out as a redshirt. Ditto for 2x PAC 12 champ Anthony Valencia and fellow conference titlist 184lb Cade Belshay. AA 125lb Ryan Milhof has missed good portions of the season. You could argue ASU isnt even the third best team on the West Coast right now. A showdown with surging Cal St Bakersfield is looming this coming Saturday. The Roadrunners just laid a suprise peck-down on Fresno State, after which Fresno rebounded by thumping Cal Poly. And then theres Stanford, whos already beaten ASU and Fresno but lost to Bakersfield. As an art form, West Coast wrestling this year is more Jackson Pollock than Ansel Adams. The PAC 12 member teams, all THREE of them with wrestling programs (cough, cough, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, USC, Washington State, Cal, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, cough, cough) SHOULD have said please come aboard, Fresno. But NOOOOOOOOO….so, you reap what you sow. In any case, the wrestling fruit is flowering in the Valley, and the Big 12 Bulldogs and the (affiliate) PAC 12 Roadrunners are more than happy to be West Coast banner bearers right now.
KYLE RUSCHELL FOR PRESIDENT!!!!
No bias here, nope, nada, however…..
HOW ‘BOUT THOSE MOCS!!!!
Score it 18-12 for the home team as rookie head coach Kyle Ruschell and his Mocs made it a 3 way tie for the Southern Conference regular season title, beating conference leader Campbell 18-12 while winning 6 out of 10 matches. Heroes abounded for Chattanooga, but SO much credit must go to the Mocs dynamic young new coach, straight outta Madison, Wisconsin, and a VERY brief internship under Heath Eslinger. Ruschells making a statement that good enough isnt, and more and better is on the next inbound train. Oh, to be in Chattanooga right now, with some Yellow Deli snacks, coffee from Milk n Honey, the moonlight shining on the Tennessee River, and a Mocs SoCon title to celebrate with your best gal by your side. Sigh. SMILE. Ear to ear.
ITS BAAAAAACK…..AND ITS STILL BAD…..
Seriously, do you think that somewhere out in Businessland a bunch of copier companies are sitting around their screens breathlessly awaiting a ranking that doesn’t acknowledge Xerox, Ricoh, and Canon? Or that the higher ups at Hildegards HopsNBrew are celebrating sales numbers on a scale where names like Budweiser, Dos Equis, Michelob, Coors, and (insert your favorite regional beverage here)^ are suspiciously absent? C’MON, MAN! What Division 1 Wrestlings “Mid-Major” Poll basically says is this…..If you’re not Big 10, Oklahoma State, or a randomly rotating group currently including Mizzou, NC State, VA Tech, and a few other power 5 conference clubs, you…AINT….yeah, that. The only solution to the pile of power accumulated by the pooh-bahs of college wrestling is not self exclusion but self IMPROVEMENT. This means you, Coach whoever you are. Outreach more and better, and coach em up when you get them. And you, Mr/Ms Alumni Chapter Head. Raise interest. Raise awareness. Raise money. Raise interest on money. And especially YOU, students and fans. Use all available social media platforms. Volunteer time to spread the wrestling word. Encourage any and all to watch/listen/learn about the greatest sport. ATTEND any event(s) you can and share your experience. And when its time for rankings, make that ONE poll only, Vasily.%
NEWS AND NOTES
The Buffalo Bulls were most worthy feature subjects a column or so back. They remain so, especially after breaking their 0-and-forever losing streak to Central Michigan. For the Bulls, the 24th time was the charm as they upended the Chippewas canoe 18-17, earning U-Bs first ever win over CMU. The win was Buffalos 10th of the season. Now Coach Stutzman, how about scheduling a 2020 celebratory swing on down Chattanooga way? PROMISE you the weather will be better, the competition high quality, and the coffee second to none. The Scribe will buy the first round. (Run it by compliance first, please!)
Also taking their shot at a MAC regular season medal, the Ohio Bobcats. They celebrated Senior day Sunday by shaking off the ill effects of a tie breaker loss to Old Dominion with a 22-15 win over SIUE. Ohios year has included a Top 10 finish at the Southern Scuffle and a double up the score beatdown win in the annual grudge match with Kent State. The Bobcats are also hoo-rah-ing a hundred years of wrestling this season, the 22nd under the tutelage of Coach Joel Greenlee. Banners honoring the centuries worth of competition and 1 for each of the Bobcats 4 National Champions were displayed this weekend. Kermit Blosser, Harry Houska, Andy Daniels, and Dwight Gardner all had massive replicas of their jerseys with their names, weight class and year of ultimate grappling triumph unfurled. Surely Blosser, “Mr. Ohio Bobcat” and the schools first national champ in any sport, was smiling from above. Coach G and the current #BleedGreen crew will have a two match road trip next weekend, facing Bloomsburg of the EWL and conference foe Buffalo. The Bobcats finish the regular season by taking on SoCon member Gardner Webb. BTW, Coach Greenlee, that Chattanooga coffee house meet up offer is for you too. Just a question, can the Scribe, you, and Coach Stutzman all sit together, or will we need separate tables?
YA NEED TA READ/LISTEN/WATCH…
Shannon Scovell. The NCAA Editorial Postgraduate/former American University swimmer has bylines across the sports media spectrum. She GETS wrestling. Check her at sportsbyscovell.com.
Brad Wilson. Type in firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery. An infection leading to an above the knee leg amputation has this superstar in the wrestling media world down but no way in hell out. Disease, infection, depression, pain, do take note: Wilsons “fixin to” Anthony Robles your collective asses. With just a little help from his friends.
More accurate than a distance/ conditions measurement by Chris Kyle,* as profound as A Dogs Book of Truths,** and more entertaining than the Swedish Bikini Team in a hot tub full of baby oil,*** Intermat Senior Writer Mark Palmer spins verbal magic about the worlds greatest sport that you just cannot stop reading. The Scribes creative inspiration and a long buried love of wrestling were rekindled in no small part by Palmers stories. His latest long form piece, a multi decade treatise on Oklahoma States Gallagher-Iba Arena, brings into full focus the blood, sweat, tears, drive and passion that link the Cowboys and their alumni and fans with their iconic sports home. Folks like us, who marvel at it from afar, hope that in our lives we might find a similar passion. Enjoy the prose, permission graciously granted by the author, by typing in this link:
SMALL STUFF ON THE BIG BOYS
Penn State beat everyone they wrestled, again, badly. Multiple undefeated wrestling opponents are now not. That is normal after wrestling Penn St.
Ohio State lost its second match of the season and all its undefeated wrestlers except one arent anymore. See above paragraph.
Oklahoma State has won all their matches, except one, by a lot. They came in 2nd to Penn State at the Southern Scuffle tournament. They might do that again at another tournament.
Iowa won its matches and lost its lightweight firecracker. For a one match suspension. Against Maryland. Iowa 48, Maryland as many points as a dead man. Or turtle. Hope Iowa finds him soon. The firecracker, not the dead man. Or the turtle.
Michigan won again after losing to Penn St. Leah Howard is wonderful. Coach Bormet is intense.
Missouri has won all their matches this year. Again. Like last year, only better. They better be ready for Oklahoma State. They will be. So will Oklahoma State.
NC State lost a conference match. It wasnt to Virginia Tech. Thats news.
Nebraska has won every match in 2019 except when they wrestled Penn St. and Iowa. Then they beat Minnesota. Tyler Bergers been adopted by a South Seas tribe. They like his style.
Virginia Tech lost a conference match. It wasnt to NC State. Thats news, too.
Minnesota has won every match in 2019 except when they wrestled Iowa and Nebraska. Their heavyweight has not done any losing lately, if by lately you mean the past 4 years or so. Except to a foreigner. Theres a foreigner in Corvallis. Just sayin.
Cornell won the Ivy League Title. Since it was the 17th time in a row, thats probably not news.
Pittsburgh is 11-3 and way tougher than expected. Just how much tougher, ask NC State.
North Carolina is a lot tougher than expected, too. How much tougher? Ask Virginia Tech.
Iowa State lost, by 1, to Iowa, and by 7, to Oklahoma State. Both of those were a while ago. Lately they’ve been winning. 100-0 in their last 2 matches. Thats not a typo, but it is news.
Wisconsin is exciting enough for two states worth of wrestling. South Dakota is sad about that.
See you next week!
^Shiner Bock, back-of-the-refridgerator ICE COLD. Or, alternatively, foamin’ fine out the tap.
%A nod to Sean Connery (as Marko Ramius) in The Hunt For Red October.
“fixin to”-state verb of Texas
*R.I.P., American Sniper.
**Photographs, Nancy Levine, Words, Joseph Duemer. You will be moved.
***2 outta 3 aint bad, Mark, 2 outta 3 aint bad…