The 2017-18 Iowa wrestling season is still several months from getting underway, but thanks to Iowa's official release of the schedule, we know the who, when, and where for next year. The theme for Iowa wrestling next season might as well be "Friday Night Fights," because up to 12 of Iowa's 15 dual meets are scheduled to take place on Fridays this winter (including all three duals for the Iowa City Duals). (Three duals currently don't have a set date yet.)
Overall, Iowa has eight home dates (and a total of 10 home dual meets, including the triple-header at the Iowa City Duals), headlined by visits from Oklahoma State, border rival Minnesota, and Michigan. The full schedule is below:
|FRI 11/17/17||TBA||IOWA CITY DUALS||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
|FRI 11/24/17||TBA||RIDER UNIVERSITY||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
|FRI 12/1/17||TBA||ILLINOIS||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
|FRI 12/8/17||TBA||RUTGERS||Piscataway, NJ||TBA||--|
|SUN 12/10/17||TBA||MARYLAND||College Park, MD||TBA||--|
|FRI 12/29/17||all day||MIDLANDS||Hoffman Estates, IL||TBA||--|
|SAT 12/30/17||all day||MIDLANDS||Hoffman Estates, IL||TBA||--|
|FRI 1/5/18||TBA||MICHIGAN STATE||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
|FRI 1/12/18||TBA||OKLAHOMA STATE||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
FRI 1/19/18 -
|TBA||OHIO STATE||Columbus, OH||TBA||--|
FRI 1/26/18 -
|TBA||MICHIGAN||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
|FRI 2/2/18||TBA||MINNESOTA||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
|SUN 2/4/18||TBA||NORTHWESTERN||Iowa City, IA||TBA||--|
FRI 2/9/18 -
|TBA||PENN STATE||University Park, PA||TBA||--|
|SUN 2/18/18||TBA||IOWA STATE||Ames, IA||TBA||--|
|SAT 3/3/18||all day||BIG TEN TOURNAMENT||East Lansing, MI||TBA||--|
|SUN 3/4/18||TBA||BIG TEN TOURNAMENT||East Lansing, MI||TBA||--|
|THU 3/15/18||all day||NCAA TOURNAMENT||Cleveland, OH||TBA||--|
|FRI 3/16/18||all day||NCAA TOURNAMENT||Cleveland, OH||TBA||--|
|SAT 3/17/18||all day||NCAA TOURNAMENT||Cleveland, OH||TBA|
A few thoughts:
- The Iowa City Duals this year will feature some slightly upgraded talent, with North Dakota State and Buffalo joining regular foe Iowa Central Community College. Iowa will still obviously be heavily favored to win all three duals, but NDSU and Buffalo should provide a bit more competition than Iowa usually sees at this event. They probably won't be threatening to win these duals 60-0.
- The Iowa-Rider dual is the same day as the Iowa-Nebraska football game in Lincoln, which is somewhat unfortunate timing.
- Iowa's two biggest duals of the season will be on the road, as they head to Columbus to face Ohio State (the weekend of 1/19/18) and to Happy Valley to face Penn State (the weekend of 2/9/18). Penn State will enter 2017-18 as a solid favorite to win another national title and Ohio State looks like their top challenger at this point.
- Iowa will still welcome some quality opponents to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, though. Oklahoma State and Michigan should bring talent-laden teams to Iowa City this winter. Minnesota figures to have an improved squad as well.
- In all, this should end up being another pretty challenging schedule for Iowa wrestling. Penn State and Ohio State should be top-3 ranked opponents and Oklahoma State, Michigan, and (probably) Minnesota will be ranked in the Top 10 this year.
- Of course, in Maryland, Michigan State, and Northwestern Iowa will be getting the three worst teams in the Big Ten last year. I don't think any of them figure to be that much better in 2017-18, either.
- Iowa is missing out on Big Ten duals with Nebraska, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Indiana this year. Outside of the budding rivalry with Nebraska, there's not really a lot to "miss" there.
- Iowa's first tilt with Kevin Dresser's Iowa State squad is happening much later in the season this year, on February 18 in Ames. Per IAWrestle's Tony Hager, the usual early December date for that dual ran into problems with the Big Ten schedule this year; Iowa does have three B1G duals early in December this year, which is unusual.
What stands out to you? Happy with so many Friday dual meets? Satisfied with the home schedule? Glad Iowa is again wrestling several of the nation's top teams like Penn State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State? Hit up the comments.