SECOND SEASON COLUMN 23

A WampusCat cousin run amok in the Empire State, coast to coast Silver and Gold showdowns, a friendly forced marriage, small notes on the big boys, extended version, plus someone else you’ll want to follow….

YOU CAN HEAR THE GRAWRLING FROM HERE……

Down S TX way everything living knows to keep a wide berth from a Wampus Cat, the legendary apex predator of the Southwest*. Apparently in the EIWA, and especially in NY, they didn’t get the message. The WCs large, green northern cousin, the Binghamton BearCat, is making teams regret their unawareness. The coaches Borshoff, the brothers Deprez, Audey Ashkar, Zach Trampe, Anthony Sparacio, big Joe Doyle, et al, are eating up everything in sight. The Bearcats came out of off-season hibernation groggy and took 3 straight losses to start off…then the munchies kicked in. They’ve claimed 16 podium placements at tournaments ranging from their own season opening event, the Jonathan Kaloust Tournament, through 2 top 8 spots at the prestigious Southern Scuffle. This weekend Binghamton ran its dual meet win streak to 8 with a meal of Bison, chomping Bucknell 25-17. What happens when the Bearcats lay eyes (claws, and teeth) on a couple of wrestling States of disarray, Cleveland and Kent, this coming weekend? Hmmm, sounds tasty.

WHOS ON FIRST, WHATS ON SECOND, ETC., ETC….

The Gold standard for the SoCons regular season comes down to Campbells duel with Davidson. If the Camels trample the Wildcats, the @RollHumps crew will take their title tie back home up on Buies Creek. Stop the music, please, as Campbell will have a seat at the conference title table with co-champs Appalachian State and the Scribes beloved UTC Mocs. The Mountaineers clinched at least a tie when they hammered the Citadel this weekend. App St wins the title outright AND the Mocs are odd team out IF Davidson pulls off the upset against Campbell. Upsetting a Camel AINT like tippin a cow, though. Just sayin.

PUSHING PARITY IN THE PAC 12

In short, its Stanford. The Cardinal finished 3-1 in conference and, even when Arizona State beats Cal Poly this week, the tie and the regular season title go to Coach Jason Borelli, down on the Farm**. Stanford honored 7 seniors Sunday. 4 wrestled, and all won, and Borellis now the winningest wrestling coach in Cardinal history. The best of all this for Stanford? Not that they are graduating (please, its Stanford) not that they’ll all direct some of their soon to be staggering 6 figure salaries back to the school (PLEASE, its STANFORD!) The best is the guys replacing the guys who are leaving. 1, maybe 2 Stanford seniors will go out with 20 or more Ws this season. 4 underclassmen are already there, with more to follow. And then theres the 38-3 combined record for redshirt freshmen Real Woods and Shayne Griffith. Yup, Down on “The Farm”**, things are looking up.

AN E-MERGE-ING POWER?

What happens when Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, cozies up to Fairfax, Virginia? Or a join-me note and a dozen roses make their way from Columbia, Missouri, to Buffalo, NY? Well, guess we will find out next season when the EWL, Eastern Wrestling League, merges with the MAC, Mid American Conference. 15 teams, 8 states, and high hopes for a much higher national platform. No question the sum is greater than either part, but will it add up to anything other than a steroid shot in the college wrestling arm? Remains to be seen, and felt, before being believed. Scouring literally dozens of sites produced no definitive statement, but The Inside Trip Podcasts interview with GMUs assistant coach Camden Eppert had Eppert saying the merger is signed, sealed and delivered. Still looking for that podcast to listen to.

THERES GOOD, THERES BETTER, AND THEN THERES ANDY

Its simple. No one in the wrestling media industry handles the news stream like Andy Hamilton. You want short form blasts? Check out his “7 minutes with…” feature. You want juicy paragraph laden stories on anything and everything grappling? Get your eyes on “Writing Time”, Andys latest long form treat. Hes at the big duals. Hes at the conference tournaments and the NCAAS. Hes in Europe, hes in Asia and, in his greatest challenge, hes mikeside every week with Kyle Klingmann. You go, Andy. We know you will, and you know we are reading and listening.

SMALL NOTES ON THE BIG BOYS

PENN STATE LOST!!!!……..

3 matches in one dual. THATS news. Usually, its 2 or 1. Or none. Good for you, Michigan St. BAD Penn St. BAD. No shutout FOR YOU.

OK St. is still unbeaten. Missouri is not. Those outcomes could change soon.

Iowa is still unbeaten. The Hawkeyes have won their last 3 conference matches by a combined score of 120-11. Things don’t change much in Iowa City, but they want to be the change in Stillwater.

Michigan beat Rutgers. They won ALL the close matches. Michigan was expected to lose several matches. 2 is not quite several.

THE Ohio St. University beat Nebraska. Both teams thought they could have done better. They were both right.

Minnesota recently lost to Nebraska. They took it out on Maryland and Indiana. Everyone takes it out on Maryland. Pretty soon everybody won’t be able to take it out on Indiana. #GoGoEscobedos!

Cornell won the 2nd War of Northern Aggression. They freed VA Tech from podium placement hopes and North Carolina from top 15 dreams. Not much change there.

Iowa State is looking for 10,000 fans for their match with Missouri. Missouri lost in front of a record home crowd this year. The Cyclones want them to lose in front of a possible record away crowd too. Win (many) or lose (few) ISU is setting ALL kinds of records this year [many of which will be broken next year].

NC St. beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Thats ALWAYS news. In anything. And we mean ANYTHING.

Wyoming beat UNC too. Thats the Northern Colorado Bears version. It was Wyomings 16th win this season. The most in 22 years. With 1 senior starter. LOVE WYO!!! In person from May through October, November through April from a distance.

Lehigh won against Army. After losing to Oklahoma St. After winning against Oklahoma. After losing to VA Tech. After winning against Arizona St. Up and down. Good thing they’re Mountain Hawks. Tough to Engineer your way through that. And BTW, GO ARMY!….back to the All Academy Championships next year. Please.

Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Illinois are all ranked in the top 20. With 25 combined losses. And 14 combined wins. Thats whats right and wrong about the BIG10.

Pittsburgh is 12-3, top 15 ranked, in Coach Keith Gavins 2nd year. They’re 2-2 in conference and down 2 starters, but they’ve beaten contenders from 4 different leagues and finished 7th at the Cliff Keen Invitational earlier this year. Finishing first, or at least in a dead heat with Mark Branch, in coaching cache, Gavin is cool personified. And he styles like a Boss. Dark suit, yellow tie, white shirt, we aint gonna lie; lean, mean, straight talkin as he leads his clan, Gavins got it goin for the #PINZBURGH fans….***

Arizona St. beat Cal St Bakersfield. That THAT is news, IS news. They’re in the top 20 at 5-10, with a 2-1 conference record in the 5 team PAC 12. Good luck making sense of those numbers.

*enjoy FRL, Flowrestling Radio Live, every Tuesday/Thursday (mostly) at 8 am CST (usually) for wrestling news and views, endless BIG10 fanboyitis, fried chicken franchise debates, and the subtly amazing Kyle Bratkes Creature Feature. Mothmen, Skunk Apes, and hopefully soon a Wampus Cat update.

**still have no clue why they call Stanford this

***ZZ Top. Recognize. If you don’t, go away. NEVER COME BACK. Just kidding. But RECOGNIZE.

See you next week!

Ted Carreras