Andy Vance's picture

Andy Vance 12th Warrior


Columbus, Ohio (via Hillsboro, Ohio)

MEMBER SINCE   October 22, 2012

Farm kid from Southern Ohio, writing about the WrestleBucks at the best sports site on the interwebz.


  • SPORTS MOMENT: Taking my dad to The Shoe for the first time.
  • NFL TEAM: Pittsburgh Steelers
  • NHL TEAM: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • NBA TEAM: The Los Angeles Lakers of my youth
  • MLB TEAM: Cincinnati Reds, I guess...?
  • SOCCER TEAM: Columbus Crew

Recent Activity

Comment 17 Feb 2019

The most-recent info I could put my hands on doesn't have a well-defined timeline. "Framework 2.0" is about two years old at this point, but a number of its elements have come to fruition or are close to completion, such as the Covelli Center and other elements of the "Athletic District." One of the challenges with the eventual demolition of St. John is that the arena building itself houses most of the mechanicals for the hockey rink, so until the school builds a new Ice Arena, St. John will stand. That said, with the Covelli Center opening for the 2019-2020 athletic season, St. John loses its major tenants such as the wrestling and volleyball teams.

Comment 09 Feb 2019

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.

Comment 08 Feb 2019

Lots of calculus goes into that decision, and on some level having SJA filled to the brim presents a much tougher environment than 13k in The Schott. Plus, I think Ohio State felt like if they were going to wrestle only one meet in The Schott, which has been typical, they wanted to pick a dual they felt they had a good chance of winning. It didn't work out that way, but beating Michigan seemed like a much more likely outcome than upsetting Penn State.

Comment 08 Feb 2019

I mentioned this in last weekend's previews, but there is a difference in wrestling rankings between dual-meet rankings and tournament rankings. Ohio State uses the tournament rankings since the NCAA title is ultimately decided at a tournament. The No. 6 ranking was from the NWCA Coaches Poll and is based on dual-meet performance. Chances are, you'll see Penn State's media use those rankings in writing about tonight's event.

Comment 04 Feb 2019

All true things, BD - I used the 2019 reference if anything as an indicator of trend. Noting that he's lost 3 of the past 4 against ranked opponents over the month seemed like relevant context. I suppose we could also say that he's 1 for 5 against guys currently in the Top 10 and 3-0 against guys ranked 10-20 to really flesh it out.

I've been pretty complimentary of Hayes throughout the season, really. Two paragraphs after the quote you cited, in fact, I said:

For the team to have a strong run at the NCAA Championships in March, Hayes needs to score more from his feet. He is clearly capable of doing so, as he is one of the team's statistical leaders in both tech falls and major decisions with four of each to his credit this season.

in either case, you hit the nail on the head: he's not wrestling as well as the guys ranked ahead of him, but he still has the talent and skill to finish on the podium. And the point about his ideal weight class is valid, although my impression is that he's done a good job of managing the weight and it doesn't look like he's getting overpowered or bullied around out there.

Comment 04 Feb 2019

Perhaps for the same reason PSU wouldn't move to a bigger venue last year...home court advantage in a smaller venue.

I agree that's part of the equation. The program generally wants to wrestle one meet each season in The Schott, and it also probably seemed more likely the home team would get a win vs. Michigan than vs. Penn State, so that may have also been part of the decision-making process.

Comment 03 Feb 2019

Coach Ryan is one of the best in the business, and he is recruiting at an extremely high level.

He signed his first 5-year contract in 2006, and his most-recent 5-year extension was signed in 2015... so I think he’s under contract through 2021. I would anticipate another extension coming after this season or next summer, depending.

Comment 03 Feb 2019

I don't know with certainty what his training volume looks like in season, but they are definitely lifting every week. It's a delicate balance between conditioning, strength training, drill time and live wrestling, but the staff has a pretty advanced approach using sports science that continues to improve and that allows the training to be tailored to each member of the team with respect to recovery, areas of weakness, etc.

Comment 03 Feb 2019

There's no question Coach Ryan wants to beat Penn State at every opportunity. That said, I think any strategery he's employing is more with an eye toward the Big Ten Tournament (just 34 days away) and the NCAA Championships (46 days away!!!). Penn State definitely presents a good measuring stick, because Cael Sanderson's program continues to be the team to beat in this sport.