Pat Popolizio (left) and Tony Robie (Photos/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
The VT-NC State news is going on in real-time as I'm writing this, so it seemed relevant for discussion. Look, I like both these teams and absolutely love the rivalry, but y'all gotta let cooler heads prevail and figure this out. I get where both sides are coming from and there's valid reasons for the decisions by both teams, so it's a tough spot for everyone.
Why should Pat Pop reschedule when he can adhere to conference regulations, take the win and likely the conference title? That's his job. Why should Tony Robie travel in bad weather with half a team to Raleigh when he can take the loss while staying home? And don't give me this next man up nonsense; a dual against a depleted Hokie squad is not what anyone wants to see. So cancel it for now. But you have to reschedule this meet at some point.
In these trying/divisive/unprecedented times, it would be nice to see two enemies work together for the greater good of the sport. If CT and Wes could work together to win The Challenge: Rivals II, I'm sure these guys can pick a date to make this up. In last year's worst season ever, it was about the only bright spot in the short dual season. It made Rock Harrison a star! In my opinion, the later in the year, the better to build the drama, so it might be a blessing in disguise. Let's figure it out, guys. We don't want last year's best moment to be this year's worst moment.
What's your favorite night to watch duals?
Absolutely, Friday night. As a classic 9-5 job type guy, who works out in the cold, the idea of getting home with a warm cup of coffee to watch a slew of killer duals certainly appeals to me. Tonight is supposed to be the best of them all, but as of press time, rumors are swirling that a certain ACC showdown is not happening (note: Virginia Tech at NC State has been ruled a forfeit in favor of the Wolfpack). Even so, it's still a loaded evening keeping you busy for about five hours with your eyes glued to the screen. Yours truly even scheduled a booster shot just to get out early
and not miss anything.
Are there any coaches you'd consider on the hot seat this season? @a_kenny86
To say I was privy to the inner workings of each school's athletic department would be a lie. There's also not a lot of turnover in head coaching positions each year, as it seems through patience or lack of caring that coaches tend to get ample time to build their program. Wrestling is such a unique sport that the odds of just taking
over a random program and winning a team title are not in your favor and I think most schools understand this. I certainly won't call out any coaches and say their job is in jeopardy, but PSU hasn't won a title since 2019 and the fans are starting to get antsy. When you win eight of ten in the first decade of your program's existence, you set the bar quite high for yourself. (Relax, it's a joke. I realize they've been around awhile now)
Who is the oldest man in college wrestling not rostered to Iowa? @Jkos11
It's been a while since I checked the birthdays of all DI wrestlers, but if we can get Mason Manville to his senior year with another Olympic redshirt slipped in, then he might set a record. Graduated in 2016! Still a sophomore!
Will you be tuning in to ESPN + on Sunday at 1pm to watch UPenn vs. Columbia in The Palestra?
Will you be tuning in to Flo on Sunday at 6pm to watch Drexel vs. Bucknell in The DAC? @WrestlingPhilly
This is a perfect situation since I've been trying to get a good look at both these rising teams this year and haven't had much of a chance. Drexel-Bucknell? It might be tough to compete with the football game, but I'll keep an eye on it. Jersey guys all around in both duals if you're into that sort of thing.
With an understanding that you're allowed to smoke indoors and even in the corner overseas, how is your training for Veteran Worlds coming along? @MTorriero
Mike, you've jumped the shark.
If Baxter were a US wrestler, who would he be? @PelikanHead
For the uninformed. Baxter is my 17-year-old dog currently going through some medical issues. As a wrestler, he'd have to be small and unassuming but tougher than anyone in the room and have Jersey ties. My guess? Gene Mills, without a doubt. Sorry for the small bag today; it's been a hectic week, but looking forward to a top-tier wrestling weekend and chatting with all of you. Jagger out!