Friday, March 16, 2007

Thoughts on NCAA Wrestling after Day 1

Don't have much time to dedicate to this one, as it is 6:40 a.m., and I am already at work...where I should be working :-)

* Ben Askren seems to be just toying people. This coming from a person who truly believes at this point he can slap his cradle on anyone at any time....but being in position to tech fall someone (beat them by more than 15) and then pin them is just mean. It means you dominated them in such a win that you just wanted to be out there longer with them.

* Mizzou sits in 2nd place....don't believe they will finish there as we have already lost two wrestlers (including a #1 seed, more on that in a minute). However, top 5 is still my goal and I think it is obtainable. For them to do that though, they will need big days from McCormick, Wagner and Ellis out of the losers bracket. And unfortunately, all take on higher ranked wrestlers in their first bouts later this morning.

* Matt Pell is wrestling like a man possessed right now, and it is about time. Of course, he runs into Johny Hendricks AGAIN today. Do you think anyone in the room will be rooting for Pell (they are wrestling in Detroit where Hendricks is enemy #1 because of how he beat Churella of Michigan last year in the finals)

* Big day for Raymond Jordan....starts with #4 Tyrell Todd and then would be #1 Jake Herbert...Ray worked his way up to #5 this year...this would be the next step. His wins are never terribly impressive, but they are wins.

* I have said it before, and I will stick with it. I believe Max Askren plain ran out of gas at the end of the year. Terrible time to do so obviously, especially getting the #1 seed and going 0-2 against two non-ranked wrestlers. Hopefully it is something he (and Coach Smith) learn from and he uses to motivate him for the next three years.

* Totally non-sequitor, but the NCAA thing on kills me. The boss's button is hilarious (for those who don't know, there is a button on the video player that when pressed will take the screen and turn it into a spread sheet with graphs. The content on the graphs is the breakdown of what people consumed while watching sports in 2006, and not even true at that)

That's it...big day for Mizzou. Still have the chance for a champ (a great chance at that) and then some AA's. Wins in the first session by Pell and Jordan will guarantee them nothing worse than 5th. However, McCormick, Wagner and Ellis will need to rip off three in a row in the wrestlebacks to get into a position to place...tough road for sure.

Oh yeah....and Minnesota will win...they still have SEVEN in the winners' bracket.