Fall sports are in full swing right now, but winter sports are just around the corner, too, which means that schedules are being set and announced. The Big Ten released the conference matchups for the 2022-23 wrestling season today:
In addition, thanks to The Des Moines Register's excellent Cody Goodwin, we also know several non-conference match-ups, though those have not yet been officially announced in many cases. What we know of the schedule is available below:
|SUN 11/13/22||Cal Baptist||Iowa City, IA|
|THU 11/17/22||Army West Point||Albany, NY*|
|FRI 11/18/22||Buffalo||Albany, NY*|
|FRI 11/18/22||Sacred Heart||Albany, NY*|
|SAT 11/26/22||Penn||Iowa City, IA|
|SUN 12/4/22||Iowa State||Iowa City, IA|
|SAT 12/10/22||Chattanooga||Chattanooga, TN|
|FRI 1/6/23||Illinois||Iowa City, IA|
|SUN 1/8/23||Purdue||West Lafayette, IN|
|FRI 1/13/23||Northwestern||Iowa City, IA|
|FRI 1/20/23||Nebraska||Iowa City, IA|
|SUN 1/22/23||Wisconsin||Madison, WI|
|FRI 1/27/23||Penn State||Happy Valley, PA|
|FRI 2/3/23||Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN|
|FRI 2/10/23||Michigan||Iowa City, IA|
* The location of those 11/17 and 11/18 duals is expected to be in Albany, NY, but that's not yet finalized.
A few thoughts:
After several years with nine conference dual meets, apparently the Big Ten is going back to eight conference dual meets this season? Kind of odd. It makes for a more even home/away split, but it's also a strange choice in a conference with 14 teams; fewer match-ups make it harder to see all of your conference opponents in a reasonable time span.
The Army road trip is a nice touch -- Iowa owed Army a dual meet out there after Army stepped in on short notice to compete in Iowa City last season. They're not wasting any time in repaying that debt.
Friday night is alright for Big Ten fightin', apparently -- six of Iowa's eight conference dual meets are set for Friday nights in January and February, including all four home duals. It's a little unfortunate that there aren't any Saturday or Sunday Big Ten home duals, but Friday night duals should still lend themselves to some pretty good crowds.
This will be Iowa's first dual meet at Penn State since 2018; they were scheduled to compete in Happy Valley in 2020-21, but that dual was canceled due to COVID issues.
As usual, Iowa will face a gauntlet of ranked teams on this schedule, mostly due to the Big Ten being such a loaded wrestling conference -- but there are a few ranked non-conference opponents as well. Per InterMat's dual meet rankings, Iowa is currently set to face the #1 (Penn State), #7 (Michigan), #9 (Northwestern), #10 (Wisconsin), #11 (Minnesota), #13 (Iowa State), #15 (Nebraska), #16 (Penn), and #23 (Illinois)-ranked teams this season.
- It's not listed above, but Iowa will probably have a dual meet with Oklahoma State at some point this season; aside from 2020-21 (when COVID limited Iowa to a Big Ten-only schedule), the Cowboys have been a fixture on Iowa's non-conference slate for decades. That seems likely to continue for the forseeable future.
When the full schedule is officially announced, we'll post that and provide some thoughts on the key matches we might get to see this season. In the meantime -- thoughts? Excitement level? Let's hear it below.