Penn State & Iowa Intrigue: Brooks In, Brands & Young Drop Bouts

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Between the preseason rankings and last week, Iowa steadily improved their point projection in our while Penn State’s projected total dipped slightly. This week, Penn State pulled Aaron Brooks' redshirt, a move that adds intrigue to the team race and could eventually put Penn State back in the lead.

On top of that, Iowa had losses at 157 and 184 that reduced their projected total. Here are the ways the team race has shifted in the last week:

Aaron Brooks is in the Lineup

On Friday night at Lehigh, Penn State rolled out a lineup that included freshman Aaron Brooks at 184. He earned a 10-5 decision over Chris Weiler on Friday followed by a 19-4 tech fall over Jesse Quatse of Penn on Sunday.

Brooks' success over the weekend isn't surprising, but his presence in the lineup was not widely expected. This move by the Penn State coaching staff changes the landscape of their lineup changes the team race. If Aaron Brooks is as good as many believe him to be, it could have a significant impact on their projected point total at 184.

Brooks enters this week's rankings at #25 because he has yet to face highly ranked competition, but he was a high-profile recruit who many believe to be a threat to climb toward the top of the podium in March.

This move leads to speculation about what this means for Penn State's upper-weights including the question of whether Shakur Rasheed will be out of the lineup or up at 197. Given his All-American finish at 197 in 2018, it seems most likely that Rasheed will be up but not out.

This move will result in an immediate reduction in projected team points for Penn State that is expected to yield a long-term gain in points at both 184 and 197 if Rasheed goes up. Brooks and Rasheed could have one of their first big tests on January 24 at a dual against Nebraska where Brooks could see #4 Taylor Venz and Rasheed could see #10 Eric Schultz.

A Case of the Mondays for Kaleb Young

In a dual against Princeton, Kaleb Young dropped a close match to Princeton's Quincy Monday. This result doesn't necessarily change anyone's perception of how good Kaleb Young is, but it does demonstrate how fickle the rankings can be and how hard it may be to earn points in March.

In the last few weeks, Young has lost matches to David Carr and Quincy Monday, the combined result of which is Young moving from #2 to #9 in the country and a 14-point hit to the Hawkeyes' projected team total.

Rankings are beholden to results, and Young has demonstrated that he can certainly finish on the podium, even very high on the podium, but these results do suggest that big points for Kaleb Young are less certain than they seemed to be a few weeks ago.

Brands Drops First Bout of the Year

In the same Princeton dual on Sunday, Nelson Brands took the first loss of his young varsity career in a wild 7-6 match with previously unranked Travis Stefanik. This loss results in Brands moving from #6 to #11 in the rankings, a seven-point reduction in Iowa's projected team total.

It is unclear whether the Brands loss was just one bad performance or a sign that Hawkeye fans should be concerned, but, like Kaleb Young's loss, it does show how one match can have a drastic shift on a team's point total.

Beat The Streets Match Notes

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Beat the Streets is here! The virtual benefit is finished up and now it's time to watch some wrestling, or if you're only able to or so inclined, read about wrestling while I live blog all six matches from my home in Austin, Texas. Wrestling begins at 7:30 PM ET. Be sure to refresh frequently for second by second match updates. The blog in its entirety will be uploaded post event as "match notes" if you would like a recap or see what you missed.

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Cyclones, Hawkeyes & More With Iowa State Assistant Derek St. John

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A four-time All-American and one of the most decorated wrestlers in Iowa history, Derek St. John has found a home coaching within the Iowa State wrestling program, but his journey isn’t as clear-cut as just traveling west on Interstate 80. 

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FRL 550 - 8-Man Bracket Announcement, Beat The Streets Predictions

550. 8 Man Bracket Announcement

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On episode 550 of FRL, the boys talk about the 8 man bracket announcement, make their Beat The Streets predictions, and talk about the recruiting dead period being extended until January 1, 2021.

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$20k On The Line For FloWrestling's 195-Pound Tournament

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On October 31, FloWrestling will be hosting an eight-man 195-pound tournament with over $41,000 in payouts. The champion will earn $20k, the runner-up will be awarded $10k, third-place will get $5k, fourth-place $4k, and fifth-eighth will all be awarded $1k. 

Super 32 Moving To Myrtle Beach

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Super 32 2020 is headed to the beach. Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 regulations, the tournament announced its decision to move to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina via Twitter Wednesday evening.

Charlotte Fowler Steps Up vs Emily Shilson At Beat The Streets

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Just one day before the annual Beat the Streets matches, Felicity Taylor found out she would not be able to compete. On short notice, Charlotte Fowler, a 2018 U23 World Team member, stepped up to compete against Cadet World champion Emily Shilson.

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Ryan Morningstar Feeling Better After Suffering Stroke

Ryan Morningstar

The Iowa Hawkeye wrestling program announced this morning that assistant coach Ryan Morningstar suffered a medical stroke in August. However, he is already feeling good and back in the wrestling room.

FRL 549 - Could NCAA Eligibility Impact Events In October?

549. Eligibility Impacting October Events

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On episode 549 of FRL, the boys talk about an NCAA eligibility issue that could impact October events, how some organizations in power hold wrestling back, Big Ten football coming back, and questions from friends.

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Loras Coach TJ Miller Is Following In His Father's Legendary Footsteps

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If you’re a college wrestling fan, you’ve heard the name Jim Miller. 

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Beat The Streets: By The Numbers

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Not only is Beat The Streets an unbelievable cause, but year in and year out it has become of the best wrestling events in the country. This year is no different. The 12 athletes competing have combined to win two Olympic medals, 16 medals at World Championships ranging from Cadet to the Senior level, and three NCAA Championships. 

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