The temperature outside may be getting colder, but these takes of mine are hot. Or just mild, depending on how you see them.
With the 2021-22 wrestling season still in its early stages, I thought to list some predictions of mine in this piece.
So without further ado, here we go.
David Carr wins back-to-back NCAA titles, but doesn’t go undefeated this year
With a 4-0 over Rider’s Jesse Dellavecchia in the finals of the 2021 NCAA Championships, David Carr won the national title at 157 pounds.
Now, the redshirt junior is the clear favorite to win it again in Detroit come March.
Last season, he got to the finals in St. Louis without a defeat. But this time, I think one comes along the way.
I think that this loss will most likely come against Arizona State’s Jacori Teemer on Jan. 9.
Teemer and Carr were supposed to square off last year in Ames on Feb. 14 but didn’t as Carr was in the “A” dual and Teemer was in the “B” dual.
While Carr won the 2021 NCAA title at 157, Teemer finished fourth after a one point loss to Ryan Deakin.
And while Carr has been perfect since the start of the 2021 season, there’s been some close calls along the way, including against Minnesota’s Brayton Lee in the quarterfinals of the 2021 NCAA Championships and in the finals of the Daktronics Open against Nebraska’s Peyton Robb.
Carr was able to win both of those in sudden victory period one, 4-2 against Lee and 7-5 against Robb.
I think Teemer, who is ranked third in the nation by Intermat, will be able to squeak out an upset against Carr, but that Carr will bounce back and still win the NCAA title.
Iowa State has more than two Big 12 Champions
For the last two seasons, Iowa State has had two Big 12 champions. Last year, it was Carr and Gannon Gremmel.
I think Iowa State could top that at the 2022 Big 12 Championships.
Not only will Carr win his third Big 12 title in a row, but two other Cyclones will join him atop the Big 12 Championships in Tulsa.
At 149, whether it’s Ian Parker or Jarrett Degen, Iowa State will have a Big 12 Champion.
In addition to Carr and Degen/Parker, I think there’s three other Cyclones I can see being Big 12 champions.
These Cyclones are sophomores Kysen Terukina and Zach Redding as well as Marcus Coleman, although I know Coleman’s weight class in the Big 12 is stacked.
For Redding, he’s currently the third highest-ranked wrestler at 141, with Oklahoma’s Dom Demas at No. 6 and South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson at No. 7.
As for Terukina, he’s ranked No. 21 in the country currently at 125, and is the fifth-ranked wrestler among Big 12 wrestlers.
Coleman is ranked fifth amongst Big 12 wrestlers at 184 and is No. 16 in the nation.
I’m not saying that one of these wrestlers is significantly undervalued, but what I’m saying is that I think one of them can make a run at the title come March.
With Coleman’s experience and based off of the quality wrestling he showed this past March in Tulsa, I think he’s shown the potential to make a surprise run in March.
Redding also made a run of his own last March, coming in as the No. 7 seed in the Big 12 Championships, he won three matches, took third place and secured a birth in the NCAA Championships.
And Kysen Terukina, who placed sixth at the 2021 Big 12 Championships, has gotten off to a great start to the 2021-22 season, with an 8-0 record and a Grand View Open and Daktronics Open title.
It should be noted that Corey Cabanban has also done well at 125, but has fallen to Terukina twice in the finals and both wrestlers have also pulled off some upsets against wrestlers in the top 20.
Iowa State has not had three or more Big 12 Champions since 2008, when it had four.
Iowa State has three or more NCAA All-Americans (eighth or better at NCAA Championships)
This prediction is kind of a continuation of the one before, but I think that once March comes around, Iowa State will be peaking as a team and the results will show it.
Like I said earlier, I think the Carr will repeat as the national champion at 157.
In addition to this, I think that either Parker or Degen will finish between sixth and eighth at 149.
And much like I said about the Cyclones chances in the Big 12 Championships, I think that somebody will make a run at the NCAA Championships in Detroit.
Could it be Coleman? He won two matches at the 2021 NCAA Championships.
Could it be senior heavyweight Sam Schuyler? He's is a transfer from Buffalo that won a match at the 2021 NCAA Championships.
Or could it be one of the younger wrestlers, such as Redding or Terukina? Maybe.
But I think that at least one of them, Coleman in my opinion, will pull off an upset of two in the 2022 NCAA Championships that gets him a top eight finish.
With this, Iowa State could be in contention to finish in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2010, but I think will fall a spot or two short.
Iowa State pulls off an upset against a top-five team
With four current top-10 teams on the schedule, the Cyclones have a few opportunities to pull off a major upset.
The biggest upset would be over in-state rival and the defending national champions, No. 1 Iowa.
Although I think that dual could be a very close one, I don’t think that dual is the one where the Cyclones will pull off an upset.
The upset I’m picking is on Jan. 29 at Oklahoma State, who is currently ranked No. 5.
I think that this Iowa State team matches up well with Oklahoma State.
The Cyclones also nearly pulled off the upset last year, falling one point short in a 16-15 defeat at home to the fifth-ranked Cowboys.
After beating a tough Oklahoma team that is currently ranked No. 18, the next day Iowa State is going to pull out a slim victory against Oklahoma State.
This would be Iowa State’s first win against Oklahoma State since Jan. 24, 2010.