Peyton Omania (left) and Kyle Parco (photos courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
This afternoon social media exploded with rumors of Pac-12 stalwarts UCLA and USC exploring a possible move to the Big Ten. A move of this magnitude wouldn't be totally out of the blue after having Oklahoma and Texas moving to the SEC last year. More conference shifting was inevitable. If this comes to fruition, I'd expect more moves on the horizon. Some are mentioning rumors of two mega-conferences led by the Big Ten and SEC (ones that could include more than 20 schools apiece).
Hearing UCLA and USC possibly to the Big Ten has captured wrestling fans' imaginations. With all 14 current Big Ten schools sponsoring wrestling, the possibility of these two schools adding wrestling is at least something to think about. Remember, though the entire Big Ten sponsors wrestling, it isn't required for the conference's member schools.
We, like many wrestling fans, have imagined the possibility of wrestling at both of these schools. In fact, we'll take it a step further and look at a hypothetical dual between the two schools. For this exercise, we have taken current collegiate wrestlers from California and divided them into either UCLA or USC, with little else factored in. We also did not poach any California natives from other California schools that sponsor DI wrestling and we didn't pick any true freshmen. Now if either school had wrestling, I'd doubt that they would "only" sign in-state wrestlers, so their potential lineups could be even more stacked. As it stands, both lineups are pretty solid, as it is. Which one do you like better?
Below you'll find our hypothetical lineups for each school, followed by a comparison courtesy of our friends at WrestleStat :
125 - Richard Figueroa (Arizona State)
133 - Carter Bailey (Lehigh)
141 - Chase Zollman (Wyoming)
149 - Kyle Parco (Arizona State)
157 - Jacob Wright (Wyoming)
165 - Matt Olguin (Oregon State)
174 - Aaron Olmos (Oregon State)
184 - Trey Munoz (Oregon State)
197 - Jadon Martin (Northwestern)
285 - Seth Nevills (Penn State)
125 - Liam Cronin (Nebraska)
133 - Aaron Nagao (Minnesota)
141 - Marcos Polano (Minnesota)
149 - Peyton Omania (Michigan State)
157 - Chase Saldate (Michigan State)
165 - Izzak Olejnik (Northern Illinois)
174 - Rocco Contino (Virginia)
184 - Nathan Haas (Nebraska)
197 - Ryan Reyes (Oregon State)
285 - AJ Nevills (South Dakota State)
WrestleStat Projection: Liam Cronin over Richard Figueroa by decision (3-0 USC)
WrestleStat Projection: Carter Bailey over Aaron Nagao by decision (3-3 Tie)
WrestleStat Projection: Chase Zollman over Marcos Polanco by decision (6-3 UCLA)
WrestleStat Projection: Kyle Parco over Peyton Omania by major decision (10-3 UCLA)
WrestleStat Projection: Jacob Wright over Chase Saldate by decision (13-3 UCLA)
WrestleStat Projection: Izzak Olejnik over Matt Olguin by decision (13-6 UCLA)
WrestleStat Projection: Rocco Contino over Aaron Olmos by decision (13-9 UCLA)
WrestleStat Projection: Trey Munoz over Nathan Haas (16-9 UCLA)
WrestleStat Projection: Ryan Reyes over Jadon Martin (16-13 UCLA)
WrestleStat Projection: AJ Nevills over Seth Nevills (16-16 Tie)
One could only imagine! Let's hope that if indeed this move goes through, both schools will come to their senses and add wrestling (for men and women).
Remember this is only for fun and games! I'm sure each of these wrestlers are happy with their current institutions and coaches.