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Ohio State wrestling scores huge victory ahead of tough conference stretch

Led by the higher weight classes, the Buckeyes remain perfect on the season against 12th-ranked Illinois.

NCAA Wrestling: Division I-Championship Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

“We know that we’re in the hunt for a championship this year. We also know that these bonus points are critical, not in a dual, but in the national tournament. We have got to be a team that scores bonus points come March.”

- Ohio State wrestling coach Tom Ryan, via Todd Neer, The Lantern

The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s wrestling team has posted dominant performance after dominant performance on their way to a 7-0 overall record on the season. Most recently, the fourth-ranked Buckeyes earned a 29-18 win over No. 12 Illinois, recording bonus points from three pins in their victory,

The Illini led early, recording wins at the 125-pound, 157-pound, 165-pound and 174-pound classes. Redshirt junior Nathan Tomasello was an early bright spot for the Buckeyes, earning yet another win in the 133-pound class to remain a perfect 9-0 on the season. True freshman Luke Pletcher and redshirt sophomore Micah Jordan also scored wins for Ohio State at 141 and 149-pounds, respectively. Trailing late by a score of 18-13 heading into the final three bouts of the day, the Buckeyes scored wins behind sophomore Myles Martin at 184-pounds, Kollin Moore at 197-pounds and Kyle Snyder at heavyweight. Martin won his match in an 11-3 major decision, while Moore and Snyder scored two of the team’s three pins on the day. This was Snyder’s fourth pin in five matches

Currently, nine of 14 Big Ten schools are ranked in wrestling, including No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Iowa and No. 6 Nebraska in the top-10 alone. The Buckeyes needed the big win over Illinois to get points ahead of the toughest stretch of their season. After heading to Maryland next week--coincidentally dueling off at Good Counsel High School, Snyder’s alma mater--Ohio State faces Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers, Nebraska and Minnesota in succession to close out conferences matches.

“And although eight months seems like eight years if you’re a college football junkie, that opening week next season looks mighty entertaining.”

- Chris Low, ESPN

The 2016 college football season may have just officially ended one week ago, but it’s never too early to look for what next season brings in terms of early matchups--including an intriguing opener for Ohio State on Thursday night to open up the 2017 season.

In accordance with a change to conference scheduling, in which conference games will be played week one of the new season a la the SEC, the Buckeyes open up next season with a Big Ten matchup on the road against Indiana. Kevin Wilson will face his former team right off the bat, this time as offensive coordinator for Ohio State

Next season’s opening weekend won’t feature the volume of premiere matchups we saw last year, and many of the more intriguing games are scheduled to be played at neutral sites. Other top matchups include:

  • Alabama vs. Florida State (game will be played in Atlanta)
  • Texas A&M at UCLA
  • Florida vs. Michigan (game scheduled to be played in Arlington, Texas)
  • Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia (game to be played at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.)
  • Tulsa at Oklahoma State
  • BYU vs. LSU (game scheduled to be played in Houston)
  • Navy at Florida Atlantic
  • Temple at Notre Dame
  • Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee (game will be played in Atlanta, Monday, Sept. 4)

“If they’re complaining here, they should really be complaining in East Lansing.”

- Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, via Ryan Ginn, Land of 10

The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s basketball team may have started their conference season 0-4. They may have gone more than three weeks without a win. And they may have already effectively knocked themselves out of NCAA Tournament contention. But, according to Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo, those are not reasons for Ohio State fans to complain.

“I felt for him a little bit because of the schedule,” he said. “How many people are going to Minnesota and Wisconsin and winning? Illinois was a dogfight game. Who the hell is going to Virginia and winning? They had that one won. They don’t have the depth they’ve had. He did a better job than I did.”

Michigan State, who just fell at the hands of the Buckeyes yesterday, has had a rough season of its own. After entering the season ranked 12th in the AP Poll, the Spartans dropped their first two games of the season to No. 10 Arizona and No. 2 Kentucky. Michigan State now sits at 12-7 on the season and third in the Big Ten, their only conference losses being to Penn State and Ohio State.

The Big Ten itself has been an anomaly thus far this season. Indiana, ranked 11th to start the season, dropped from the AP Poll this week. Meanwhile, Minnesota has emerged as a contender in the conference, despite preseason predictions of finishing close to last after a tumultuous 2015-16 run. The Gophers finished ranked 25th in last week’s AP Poll (though they did just drop their last two conference matchups to Michigan State and Penn State).

Izzo’s comments emphasized the fact that the Buckeyes have already faced a highly contentious conference schedule, including a home matchup against Purdue before going on the road to Wisconsin and Minnesota. Not to mention the fact that junior forward Keita Bates-Diop was officially ruled out for the remainder of the season earlier this month.