This Week in the Big 12 (11/4)

2022 Big 12 champion Andrew Alirez (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki;

It's opening week of the college wrestling season and it's a pretty good one for the Big 12. Let's dive in and look at the slate for this week and some of the highlights for the conference.

Friday 11/04

  • Northern Colorado vs. Fort Hays State at Monster Mash-Denver, Colo. (National Western Complex)
  • North Dakota State at Nebraska

    Saturday 11/05

  • Oklahoma-Michigan State Open
  • West Virginia-Southeast Open
  • Utah Valley-Michigan State Open
  • Iowa State vs. Little Rock/Campbell/Wisconsin at Battle in the River City at Jacksonville University
  • Cal Poly and Vanguard at California Baptist
  • Western Colorado at Air Force

    Sunday 11/06

  • Air Force at Colorado Mines Rookie Open
  • Lindenwood at Missouri-Softball Stadium

    North Dakota State and Iowa State with a chance to prove something for the Big 12
    The Big 12 didn't have the best run at the NCAA tournament last year. But to open the early part of the season, two teams have a chance to help the conference' status nationally. North Dakota State with a shot at #8 Nebraska on Friday and Iowa State taking on three opponents, most notably #10 Wisconsin at the Battle in River City. North Dakota State-Nebraska is a solid non-conference dual to kick off the season and Iowa State-Wisconsin might be the best matchup in the opening weekend of college wrestling.

    Northern Colorado and Missouri using unique venues

    Missouri wrestles Lindenwood outside in a softball stadium and Northern Colorado wrestles at the Monster Mash tournament. We see a lot of things like what Missouri is doing here. Oklahoma State and Iowa have wrestled in both a football and baseball stadium and countless other programs have done similar. Something I don't think I've seen a lot of is what Northern Colorado is doing at the Monster Mash, and I really like this one a lot.

    Most college wrestling fans are at one time youth wrestlers that eventually grow into older wrestling fans and ticket holders and even at times become college wrestlers themselves. Wrestling a college match at a youth tournament seems like a great way to capture that group and reel them in early. I don't know if it's worth it for the traditional powers of the wrestling world to host events like this. For example, Iowa would probably rather have a home event that brings in 10,000 ticket sales but I really like this idea for any college trying to grow the sport in their own state like Northern Colorado is doing here.
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