Penn State Wrestling

Does Penn State wrestling have a chance at beating Ohio State’s stacked lineup?

Penn State Wrestles Lehigh At The PPL Center

Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and Nick Nevills talk about Sunday's dual against Lehigh at the PPL Center in Allentown.
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Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and Nick Nevills talk about Sunday's dual against Lehigh at the PPL Center in Allentown.

Penn State opened its Big Ten season with a rout of Indiana on Sunday.

However, it was the final competition of the year for the Nittany Lions. Now, they take an extended break until hitting the mats again in Chattanooga, Tenn., for the Southern Scuffle.

So, let’s dive into this week’s mailbag to tide you over.

Does Penn State have a chance at beating Ohio State’s stacked lineup in this year’s highly anticipated dual meet? — @jsk163, Twitter

This is still too early to tell for sure, but my initial thought is probably going to irk Penn State fans: No. Ohio State’s current lineup — assuming no one gets hurt — should pretty much be the same when the teams face off on Feb. 3 inside Rec Hall with one exception in Nathan Tomasello. The former NCAA champion is currently rehabbing from a lower-body injury but is expected back in the lineup at the beginning of the new year.

Here is what the Buckeyes lineup should look like starting at 125 pounds: Tomasello, Luke Pletcher, Joey McKenna, Ke-Shawn Hayes, Micah Jordan, Te’Shan Campbell, Bo Jordan, Myles Martin, Kollin Moore and Kyle Snyder. I truly believe the match is going to come down to 125 pounds. Yes, I know that will probably be the first match of the dual, but if Tomasello comes out and gets bonus points — which is likely to happen — against Devin Schnupp, that could be all the Buckeyes need to win the dual.

Penn State’s “Murderer’s Row” will be rather quiet and won’t produce as many bonus-point victories that fans are accustomed to. Here would be my early prediction — 125: Tomasello by fall; 133: Pletcher edges out Corey Keener; 141: McKenna sneaks past Jered Cortez; 149: Zain Retherford wins by decision; 157: Jason Nolf wins by major decision; 165: Vincenzo Joseph decisions Campbell; 174: Mark Hall squeaks one out over Jordan; 184: Bo Nickal gets the best of Martin in the fourth meeting between the two; 197: Moore tops Anthony Cassar; 285: Snyder takes care of Nick Nevills with a major decision. Final score: OSU 20, PSU 15.

Should the NCAA have an individual tournament and a national dual tournament?

First, I’d like to answer this question with a question — why not have both? Some teams are better dual teams than they are tournament teams and vice versa. The concept works on the high-school level. The PIAA has dual tournament champions and, in March, the individuals get a chance to wrestle for themselves and their teams at the same time. Once the individual championships are completed, the highest-scoring team is considered the individual tournament team champions. Sure, there are technically two team champs — the dual-tournament champs and the individual tournament team champs. But no one seems to have a problem with it. The collegiate level is obviously set up much differently than high school, but the idea is still considered the same.

The NCAA can take all of the conference champions — which would be eight. They can throw in eight more wild card teams, and you have yourself a 16-team dual tournament. The host site for the NCAA individual championships can be the host site for the dual championships. The tournament could last just two days as the winning team would only have to win four duals so that’d be two per day.

Phil Davis and Ed Ruth are having early success in Bellator MMA. Of all the many world-class wrestlers on the PSU wrestling team, who do you think has a chance at Bellator or UFC? I understand Jason Nolf spent a lot of time training in art of jiujitsu . — @jsk163, Twitter

This is an intriguing question. I can’t even begin to imagine Nolf inside an octagon, throwing punches at someone. One thing is for sure, he would be a pretty entertaining MMA fighter. However, based on what I’ve seen, I’d have to say Anthony Cassar could make a transition to MMA. Whether or not Cassar is into the sport, that might be a question for media day down the road. Cassar is built like a mixed martial arts fighter. He’s got broad shoulders and, if he were to take some boxing classes, I’d bet he’d pack a solid punch. He’s obviously got the world-class wrestling background, so he’d just have to add some jiujitsu to be able to work on submissions.

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