That didn’t go as planned.
Thanks Andy, nice write up.
Andy, whats your updated 2019 opinion on how/why we come out so flat footed, wrestle with low intensity, lack focus and drive? We've been saying for years now how Cael gets the best out of his wrestlers, it really seems like Tom Ryan gets the worst out of his wrestlers on the biggest stages. Is Tom Ryan simply a good, but not great, coach?
Coach Ryan is one of the best coaches in the sport. Where do you compare Nick Saban to everyone else in the college football ranks, or Bill Belichick in the NFL? That's what we're talking about with Cael Sanderson - he's just that much better than everyone else doing it right now, and maybe everyone else who ever did it other than Dan Gable at this point.
As to the first part, I don't think this is a coaching issue as much as it is a personnel issue. Cael Sanderson recruits guys who walk into the room knowing that they will not only win the match, but that they can pin the guy across from them, whoever that guy is. Kyle Snyder had that. Myles Martin is half a tick off from having that. Logan Stieber had that. Very few of the guys on the roster right now have that kind of confidence - cockiness in the case of a few of the Penn State guys' cases, and maybe rightfully so.
To some extent, this was always going to be something of a gap year for this Buckeye team. You don't lose a trio of four-time All Americans and expect to be every bit as good as you were a year ago. Penn State lost Zain Retherford, and appear to have significantly improved at 133 while still fielding a top-5 guy in Nick Lee at 141. Penn State has more NCAA champions on their roster than they do first-time starters, while Ohio State has three first-time starters in the lineup in Heinselman, Smith and Singletary.
Tonight isn't as bleak as it feels right now, but Penn State is the prohibitive favorite to win their 8th NCAA title in nine years, without question.
With all due respect on the gap year, Penn State does not have them but that supports your point about Penn State being the Bama of wrestling.
I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!
Penn State had a gap year in 2015. Cael knew they would be down that year and wanted to load up for 2016 - 2019. He redshirted a lot of guy that he knew would be national championship contenders in the future.
Next year is shaping up to be another gap year. We have a lot of talent in the room and some great talent coming in, but we will also lose a lot of guys who have won multiple national championships.
Nit, would love to know your answer to my question below. Excuse the part about Hall, I’d love to be proven wrong. That’s just what I’ve gathered in limited exposure.
"He has that look in his eye when it's time to start feeding the beast" UFM on EZE
I don't know any of those guys personally, so I can't really comment on their character. I see what you see on BTN, ESPN, etc.
Bo rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with his post-match interview last year after pinning Martin at nationals. I was a little surprised by his exuberance, but it was understandable. He just won the natty with a pin and simultaneously secured the team championship. I'd be a little exited too.
As for Hall, I've never seen anything from him that would indicate bad character. He celebrates wins with gestures like playing air guitar or kissing the guns. Those maybe cardinal sins for non-PSU fans, but I don't think it will send him to an eternity in Hell.
If you want to complain about poor sportsmanship, I suggest you pay more attention to Iowa. You'll have plenty to complain about.
Celebrating wins is completely understandable. However, not as a buckeye fan, but having been a wrestler myself, losing is degrading enough. What I loved about wrestling is that it’s so visceral; Your strength, wits, and will being tested directly against someone else’s. You beat yourself up after every loss because you weren’t good enough. Having someone act like Hall is going too far in my opinion. On the flip side, did he earn the right? Sure. But then you look at guys like Snyder, who are at the very top but remain humble, and you see that it’s possible to win and still be a good sport.
Look, I admire Sanderson and his program, but c'mon. Poor sportsmanship is kind of black and white, and i NEVER excuse it when it's a Buckeye. Every school wants to pretend they are different.
All you Lions like to crow "Jo Pa did it right," but when it comes to Nickal, "well, he won't burn in hell." He,s a jerk, just admit it.
Not being Iowa is not a standard I would want to brag about.
I will plainly admit that was an ass whipping.
"You're welcome for the house I built."
I was referring to Hall, not Nickal. I just don't think making some victory gesture toward his teammates and fans is that egregious. He never gets into the face of a defeated opponent. Typically, he is pretty gracious to them.
Nickal has never shown any poor sportsmanship. He gave one interview in which he went a little ballistic, but under the circumstances of that moment I don't think he can be faulted very much.
Bo's attitude didn't just happen.
This vid with Bo and his dad pretty much sums it up: https://youtu.be/gLyqRmlkymA?t=505
p.s. Hall is on the receiving end of the loss
The sound was pretty bad, so I don't know exactly what Bo's dad was saying. I didn't really see anything from Bo that would indicate bad sportsmanship.
His kid won the match.. so, why feel the need to say anything to the camera?
Curious to know peoples’ takes on the cockiness part. I know Mark Hall is... well let’s just say not the best sport. I was really impressed with Nolf’s Interview, though it was super short. What are others’ thoughts on the character of the top PSU guys?
I think people overscrutinize the top PSU wrestlers behavior whether it be Nickal, Hall now or Taylor in the past (though he graduated when the situation after the J’Den Cox match happened at WTT). For the most part PSU wrestlers are respectful in victory or defeat. They don’t have a Gilman or DeSanto on their squad, nor have they ever had someone do the types of things DeSanto specifically has done.
Everyone's an angel compared to Iowa.
Haha that probably true but most of DeSantos horrendous behavior took place when he was at Drexel. Am I surprised Iowa took him when he transferred, certainly not.
DeSanto was docked a team point in 3 out of 4 matches this year. Benched for two different duals for discipline. Not sure what happened at Drexel (publicly) outside of his theatrics at Nationals.
He threw his coaches under the bus on the way out, screamed at them during matches last year, the Micic incident is well documented as you said at Nationals, but he did the same thing earlier in the year to Chaz Tucker of Cornell. The docked team points were for celebrations & aren’t good but they’re nothing compared to him deliberately trying to injure wrestlers like he did last year.
Also I think the rule is if you’re docked team points in back to back matches you have to sit out a match. It might be 3 straight matches but I think I heard back to back, so I wouldn’t give Brands too much credit (not that you were) for “suspending” him.
You're correct about consecutive UC deductions. But I think the second of the three might have been on Brands for entering the mat. Which was to prevent DeSanto from getting hit with one himself. And DeSanto sat against Maryland. That was predetermined. Iowa even issued a statement beforehand I think.
I forget which Flo guy said it but... He's just cooler then you, and you're just jealous... (Not a shot at you, someone else said it)
A clear lack of offense and toughness. Penn State attacks - or rather punishes - their opponents. Probably a result of Cael and just the talent they've had teaching the new talent tricks of the trade
Thank you, Andy.
After watching that debacle, I am honestly contemplating if PSU wrestling under Cael is the most dominant sporting dynasty in my lifetime (fiddy years). Really not sure that I've witnessed such utter dominance for an extended period such as what they have going on there. I don't share those thoughts lightly. The level of continued dominance is startling, even when you know/think it's coming. Damn.
The way these guys continue to dominate even when they are facing top 5 opponents is amazing. Andy is right about the attitude, almost cocky, if you will. As much as we don’t like that sometimes, wrestling is one of those sports where it can give you an edge.
Andy and I discussed this for the last few years. We are good on our feet, going takedown to takedown. Note our 2 bes giysbon the mat are transfers, McKenna and Campbell. Penn St are great mat wreslters, as well, more complete wreslters. They get guys on their backs at any point and finish. Ryan talks about his wreslters going hard for each minute of the match, but has not gotten it yet. Ryan has done amazing job, but there is still a lot of room to the ceiling.
Not even CLOSE to Iowa wrestling under Gable.
Wait, but it’s ok because we’re built to win tournaments and not the dual meets right?
Are you serious or joking?
This is why I have to put ..../s in everything when it’s a joke even when I believed it was obvious. We had everyone in here saying that in anticipation of this matchup and after the TUN loss. I’m poking fun at those who said that.
Usually when I see a horror of biblical proportions, I look away because I can't stomach the atrocities. But for some reason I watched the entire dual, waiting for something that could lighten the mood of the event for our WrestleBucks. It got to the point that I was looking ahead to 197 hoping either something strange happened and Nickal couldn't wrestle, or that Moore would avoid giving up bonus points because I didnt think he could win. And then YIKES!! Thank God for Micah, MyMar and Malik (apparently you could only be a victorious Buckeye tonight if your first name starts with M). The saddest part was losing at 133 and 141, but the worst part was Nickal showing that he will own Kollin Moore for the rest of the season (that fall was no fluke). #*ck I hate Penn State!!
"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM
It seems the gap is widening between these two teams.
It is clear on paper and on the mat Penn State has better wrestlers - OSU should have won a few more matches and these could be chalked up to not ready to go or some coaching but they do not have the team at this point that can beat Penn State without help from Penn State. They have four ranked at #1 and one of Ohio State's top 2 wrestlers (Moore) has to go against the best of them all. This Penn State team is going to be hard to beat in a dual and sad to say even harder in a tournament without some of the top guys getting upset.
Just watched the replay of the Nickal-Moore match. Wow. What can happen when one wrestler is always in attack mode and the other relaxes for a second. That’ll have to be in Moore’s head come tourney time.
Just watched the e McKenna match. He just flat ran out of gas. Not concerned, as he is just coming off of injury, and reason to think that’s why he was so winded. Hell, even Lee knew it. He cut him loose with just over a minute to go to give up a 1 point lead because he knew he could take him down again. McKenna will be fine. Hope should get another shot at Lee.
happened last year at the ncaa as well
Ouch, bitch smacked at home. #2 team in country??
It is not that the Buckeyes are a bad team by any means. Yes- it should have been closer. It is that Penn State is that good.
they need Snyders leadership and example....
Kind of sick of watching a majority of this team never get points, never ride out anyone from the top, and never get anywhere close to upsetting someone. Every single one of PSUs wrestlers was in the match except for the poor kid who was giving up 15 pounds to Myles Martin.
Right now Ohio State is in competition with Michigan and Iowa for the #2 spot in the Big Ten. I think OSU needs to rethink signing short lightweights. And why are we always cutting guys loose? Riding opponents and going for falls make wrestlers tough. It's a coaching decision and a mistake. I give McKenna a pass on this one. For next season, McKenna, Martin and Jordan are gone, Will we be worse? Obviously we have made a number of recruiting mistakes.
Lightweights are tough to come by. Real quality ones, anyway. You almost gave to just take what you can get.
WRT cutting/riding, you're right. You can't turn unless you're on top. I don't know the number but the odds of getting a turn drop significantly within say 20 seconds of breaking a guy down to his stomach. Nolf is famous for it over the last couple of years. He will catch and release because he's looking to transition to a pin before he even gets a takedown.
Thanks for the write up and insight, great job as always!!!
SCPO, USN (ret)
There was alot lacking last night...
Alright lets look at what this unmitigated disaster means going forward weight by weight.
125 - Malik wrestled well & seems to be improving. I’d give him an outside shot of AAing at NCAAs, 3 or 4 wins is more likely IMO.
133 - Unfortunately Pletcher seems to have completely shut down his offense & is back to trying to win tight low scoring matches. In the beginning of the season I thought with the right draw he could win a NC, now he’ll need a good draw to AA in a super deep weight.
141 - McKenna will be fine. I chalk this one up to not being completely conditioned because of the injury & Lee took advantage so props to him. I still see a Yianni & McKenna final, which is a match that HOPEFULLY will happen in 2 weeks when we wrestle Cornell.
149 - Not Micah’s best match certainly, but he’s still a top 3 guy. I see a Ashnault vs Jordan Big 10 & NCAA final.
157 - Not much to say about Hayes, he’s at a good weight, he’s undersized & can't use his top game because of it. He seems resigned to just coast through the season & hope he can drop back down to 49 for his senior campaign. I doubt he AAs this season.
165 - Campbell is who he is at this point. He rarely looks to shoot & when he does it’s a straight on double. He has a good top game & turns but isn’t able to execute it against the top guys. He’s a 2 or 3 win guy at NCAAs.
174 - Smith has some serious potential. He gets to legs on everyone & struggles to finish because he’s young & inexperienced. People need to understand that Smith comes from a HS that isn’t a wrestling power in Baltimore County, let alone MD, let alone the east coast (Im VERY familiar with Sparrows Point it’s 20 minutes from my house). The coaching he’s getting now is WORLDS better than what he got in HS. I think he AAs this season.
184 - Myles looked disinterested in the matchup & who could blame him since the duel was essentially decided & he was wrestling a 165 bumping up because the starter was out. I still think Myles is head & shoulders better than everyone else at the weight & wins his 2nd NC.
197 - I knew in my gut that Nickal was gonna pin Kollin. Kollin leaves too many openings when he shoots & immediately doesn’t get the TD. I still think Kollin can get to the finals & probably get pinned by Nickal again.
285 - Chase showed fight but Cassar is wrestling so well right now. He’s undersized for the weight especially given his height so he’ll struggle against some of the stronger guys like Cassar or White of Ok State. He’s yet another 2, 3 maybe 4 win guy at NCAAs.
I think you're spot on with every pick here. Just note, MyMar's dad tweeted that he had the flu last night, so that may contribute to the (relatively) lackluster showing.
Please tell me the whole team had the flu...
You know, for my own sanity, I think I'm going with your idea lol.
Thank you for breaking that down, Eboz! That was an excellent write-up!
thanks for the insight, even after getting beaten badly I did see a few encouraging signs, Smith is rising fast, he is competing in every match, this might sound odd but I liked the fact that Hayes tried to compete last night, he was clearly outclassed but put in a good effort and was not as passive as we have seen from him too many times.
Many think this is a team built for tournaments, my issue is that they aren't piling up wins against tournament level competition enough and more telling not getting enough bonus points against lower ranked guys. I see some guys with conditioning issues as well, wrestling multiple times a day takes its toll.
(IMHO) this is not nearly as bad as it appears -- except for the fact that it happened at home.
- the Roman Bravo-Young vs. Luke Pletcher result is not surprising, if we look at how each performed against common opponents. This goes to show that rankings don't amount to much.
- Nick Lee and Joey McKenna have now traded a pair of 7-to-6 decisions with each other.
Tournament time most likely will be different, depending on the brackets.
Just got beat by a superior, much superior opponent, Pletcher was a major disappointment and Mc Kenna ran out of gas. Kolin Moore is not in the same class athletically as Nickal. Bucks will be very lucky to place second in the Big 10s or the NCAA.
Who didn't see Nickal pinning Moore raise your hand . Not sure there are many hands in the air. Nickal may pin Moore two more times.
I'm not a flo groupie, but this may be worth a listen for aficionados of the sport:
FRL 352 - Penn State Dominated Ohio State + What Is Oklahoma State Doing?