I'm worried that the dynasty may be moving to Penn State. Second year in a row they have dominated, with mostly wrestlers with years to go. Doesn't seem we have a shot at #1 for at least a couple of years. Can we out-recruit Sanderson? Two years ago I'd have said, definitely! But it hasn't worked that way and that's why I'm so worried. I hate!! posting this kind of stuff, but, am I being realistic? Please, please, tell me I'm wrong!!
Slow down there and take a step back. Cael has 2 NCs... Brands has 3. Iowa has 23. PSU has 2. Cael is running the perfect storm right now. He knew what he was doing when he left ISU. They made fun of him for his comments but he was right.
That being said - ISU has a ton of history in the sport and is pretty solid. What did Cael do there? Always came in second fiddle to Iowa and could never ever beat us, that's what. He moves on to PSU and they catch fire for 2 years and people think he's building the perfect dynasty there already?
In the early 2000s MN won 3 of 4 titles in a 4 year span. People thought the power base was moving away from Iowa. How did that turn out? MN hasn't won since then but has been solid - still they aren't one of the top 2 programs. They are getting hurt bad by graduation this year as well. Sanders and Yohn hurt a lot and they lost Deitchler to concussions. MN will be worse next year - still tough - but worse. The Dardanes' are good but not spectacular. Ness caught fire in the tourney but isn't a top 5 wrestler in my opinion. Steinhaus is a beast but can't seem to keep pace with the top guys.
Back to PSU:
125 Megaludis - very good young freshman but i'll be surprised if he's in the NC finals again. He was very flukish this year and doesn't wrestle people. He's a staller and reminds me of Okie State.
133 Martellotti - won't amount to much
141 Alton - will be back from Olympic redshirt. Tough dangerous wrestler but not dominant.
149 Molinaro - gone
157 Alton - see 141
165 Taylor - NC locked up for 2 years
174 Ruth - NC locked up for 2 years
184 Wright - has one year left but i feel like he does a lot of his work with smoke and mirrors; i really don't think he's as good as many do
197 Macintosh - #1 recruit in the country but doesn't seem like he's got "IT" to me
HWT Wade - solid SNR wrestler is gone
So Molinaro, Ruth, Wright and Wade were basically gifted to Cael when he got there. Taylor came with him. The Altons, Megaludis and Macintosh are his recruits. Add all of that together and examine the makeup of his team? Where is the power base? It's in Molinaro, Taylor, Ruth, Wright and Wade. The rest of the team is decent but not great. Two of those guys are graduating and were PSU guys. Ruth stayed on when PSU got Cael iirc which was pretty fortunate. Taylor is a once in a lifetime talent. Macintosh is the same level of recruit but nowhere near Taylor which shows how rare that kind of talent is. Wright is just a hard working blue collar guy and will be a tough out as a senior but isn't mind blowing.
So when Taylor and Ruth graduate in 2 years where will PSU be? They have one guy in the top 100 this year (we have 4 in the top 24.) I can see each of the Altons maybe picking up one NC somewhere along the way. I don't think Macintosh or Megaludis ever will. Last year, Cael got the gift of Andrew Long who went all the way to the finals who shouldn't even have been allowed to wrestle. He got his only champ out of Wright who caught fire as a 9 seed, and Cornell bombed in the late rounds, dropping 3 of their stud guys in a row.
If you want to talk about recruiting, i'd put McDonough, Metcalf, Borschel, Keddy, Beatty, DSJ, Ramos, Gillman (sp?), Clark, Skon, Marion, Dennis well ahead of Taylor, The Altons, Megaludis, Macintosh, Martellotti, Long, etc... I really would. That's not looking at it with rose colored glasses.
The Hawks are around to stay and Brands is young. Watch the fire he shows on the sideline, listen to him talk. His guys would run through a wall for him. Watch Cael sit on the sidelines emotionless. Listen to him talk. He's boring. Yeah - he's got great name recognition. Brands doesn't?! When they come into your living room, Tom has just as much chance to get you as Cael does. And Iowa, our facilities and the legend of Gable play into that too. The country is filled with our coaches and wrestlers. That's why the road has gotten harder for us. Did anyone notice how much tougher Illinois was with Perry on the bench or UNI in ONE YEAR under Schwab?
By the way - if you want to talk about programs in trouble visit Okie State and ISU... those are programs heading the wrong way. Okie State is an OLD team this year and still didn't do well. Ohio State is passing them by.
Iowa is fine. You can't win them every damn year.
PSU might win the next two... might. I'll concede 1 of 2. I will bet a lot of money they drop back to the 2-4th best team in the BT after Taylor and Ruth graduate.
Just my 2 cents.