It's been awhile since the last Sooner wrestling update. Lots of stuff to report, but I'm going to keep the individual results to a minimum!
The Sooners travelled to Morgantown for a dual meet with West Virginia and came away with a hard fought 19-15 win over the unranked Mountaineers. The "Landry Jones" of Oklahoma wrestling, Nick Lester, underwhelmed again and dropped a 6-2 decision to to #14 Colin Johnston. Keep that result in mind. I've said for awhile now that Lester is the Landry Jones of wrestling because he either wrestles great, or he sucks. Most the time he reminds me of "Happy Feet Jones". Anyway the rest of the dual pretty much proceeded as could be expected with higher ranked wrestlers winning their matches. 125 pound Freshman Sean Williams continues his "I'm getting my butt whipped by everybody in the NCAA tour". But the Sooners came away with the win over the unheralded Mountaineers.
OU's next action was a Bedlam match against Okie Lite at Stoolwater. OU was absolutely hammered by the Cowboys, 29-9. Sean Williams was pinned in short order by Eddie Klimara (who WILL be an All America this year). I'm not sure Jarrod Patterson (OU's injured 125 pounder) could beat Klimara at this point. Cody Brewer lost a tough 7-3 decision to higher ranked Jon Morrison. The match was 5-3 until the waning seconds and Brewer put himself in a position to win. Next time Brewer might get him! Lester underperformed again, losing to Freshman Collica 4-0. Kendrick Maple avenged his earlier loss to Josh Kindig with a fairly dominant 7-3 win. The match wasn't really in doubt at any point. The rest of the matches went pretty much according to ranking, with big OSU wins at 157 and 174, but Clark Glass did a yeoman job in holding #2 Tyler Caldwell to a 5-1 win. Nice job Clark you are improving every time you step on the mat. The first Bedlam match this year 3 time All American (and a turncoat former SOONER) Caldwell beat Glass 10-4.
OU's next action was in the NWCA National Duals, a tournament featuring 16 ranked Div1 teams. The Sooners won their first 2 matches and lost their last 2 matches and finished in 4th place. To be perfectly honest several better teams than OU didn't bother to show up, including Penn State, Iowa, and Oklahoma State or the Sooners would not have finished as high as 4th. 3rd seeded OU defeated Bloomsburg in their first match 21-15. The good news is Jarrod Patterson was back at 125 pounds. The bad news is he earned a pedestrian 5-0 win over a losing wrestler from Bloomsburg. Shake that rust off Jarrod! The match pretty much went according to rank except for Ross Larson losing at Heavyweight. Larson's stock has dropped precipitously since the early season had him ranked near the top 10 (he's unranked now). OU's next match was against Central Michigan. OU defeated the tough Chippewas 25-16 but Cody Brewer suffered a mild upset losing to #14 Joe Roth 10-7. OU next wrestled #5 Cornell. Yes, this IVY league school is pretty damned good in wrestling. OU dropped a 23-20 decision. Here is where Lester showed his "good" side, pinning #4 (at the time) ranked Mike Nevinger. Kendrick Maple lost in a mild upset to Chris Villalonga in OT 3-1. OU probably could have won this dual but Coach Cody inexplicably sat Jarrod Patterson instead opting for Sean Williams who was pinned by #1 Nashon Garrett in short order. OU then dropped to the 3rd place match and dropped a 23-16 match to Ohio State. Coach Cody inexplicably sat down Patterson AND Larson in this dual, plus Travis Rutt was upset by Nick Heflin at 197 pounds. All in all a rather unsatisfying weekend for Sooner wrestling fans.
At this point of the season OU is ranked #6 in the Intermat rankings. OU's dual meet record is 10-5, including only 2-4 in their last 6 dual meets. To be fair to the Sooners they have had to deal with the injury to Jarrod Patterson in that time period and seemingly Coach Cody hasn't really put the Sooners best lineup on the mat at all times. OU could've won versus Cornell if Maple had wrestled up to snuff and the Sooners put their starters at 125 and HWT in the matches. Cody is apparently more concerned about seedings for the upcoming Big 12 and NCAA tournaments in March. Well he's the wrestling coach, not me, so he probably knows what he's doing. At this point of the season I have grave doubts about Patterson scoring much at NCAAs even if he does come back in time for the conference tourney. He was rusty against a bad wrestler in his only effort in weeks, plus he was never much for scoring bonus points. Brewer, Maple, Howe and Rutt are the Sooners only legitimate chances for All Americans I believe, although if "good" Lester shows up he can probably pull it off (doubt it though, he's too inconsistent). Maple and Rutt's stock have dropped alot since early season. Maple might be a 5th or 6th seed at NCAAs, Rutt may be a 5-7th seed, and Brewer will probably be in the 7-8 range. Howe will be a #1 seed and I expect him to win 174 but it'll be tough. OU should finish in the top 10, but I doubt they'll bring home a top 3 trophy from NCAAs at this point. Who knows, OU's next action will be in the Big 12 Conference tourney which they will host in Norman.