Iowa State wrestling is sitting in a good place over halfway through the season.
With its win over Oklahoma on Friday, Iowa State improved its record to 7-1 and 4-0 in the Big 12. Iowa State's lone loss came in Carver-Hawkeye Arena to No. 4 Iowa. Now, the Cyclones battle on the road with another top five school: No. 3 Oklahoma State.
"Don't be complacent," said 184-pounder Sam Colbray on the mindset after Friday. "We've shown that we're capable. With that you can't be stagnant. You have to keep improving."
Iowa State's 7-1 record looks solid on paper, but the Cyclones have yet to defeat a ranked opponent — Oklahoma received 11 votes, the third most of unranked teams.
The Cowboys are another monster. Most athletes in the Iowa State lineup have been tested as an underdog at one point or another this season, but on Sunday, most of the Cyclones will be underdogs.
In the recently released coaches' panel rankings, all 10 Cowboy starters appeared at their weights with one Oklahoma State athlete ranked lower than a Cyclones — Iowa State's Willie Miklus is No. 6, and Dakota Greer is No. 10 at 197-pounds.
While Iowa State athletes won't be favored in many matches, the Cyclone individuals aren't heavy underdogs, which translates to some fun wrestling.
One of Iowa State's top wrestlers this season is redshirt freshman 133-pounder Austin Gomez — the No. 7 wrestler in the coaches' panel. Gomez hunts for another signature with No. 3 Daton Fix.
At the conclusion of the 133-pound match, Iowa State's 141 pounder and No. 16 in the coaches' panel Ian Parker — who knocked off No. 10 Dom Demas on Friday — squares off with No. 12 Kaid Brock.
"His next four or five matches, I think he's got five guys that are ranked in the top 12 left," Dresser said about Parker after his win over Demas. "He's going to be a dragon slayer these next two weeks."
The March-like matches continue into 149-pounds. Iowa State's No. 11 Jarrett Degen is coming off a loss and looks to upset No. 4 Kaden Gfeller.
The 157-pound and 165-pound matches are interesting due to neither team having a strength there. Iowa State's up-and-down Chase Straw likely will face No. 23 Andrew Shomers.
At 165, Oklahoma State's No. 10 Chandler Rogers may miss the action due to injury, and Iowa State sports a true freshman in Logan Schumacher.
The next blockbuster match features No. 16 Colbray for Iowa State and No. 11 Jacobe Smith.
While the Cyclones aren't favored, they're still confident in the team as a whole from Sunday's dual and beyond. A key to this year's turnaround has been witnessed by one of the newest (and oldest) members of the team: sixth-year senior Miklus, who transferred in.
"There's just an energy in the room," Miklus said. "I can't wait to get to practice everyday. I love it. I run down here, I get excited to play games beforehand. I get excited to wrestle."