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Personally I've never been a fan of the Iowa wrestling program but having said that I can only comment on what I have observed of the one former PAC 12 wrestler who chose to transfer to Iowa.   That being, of course, Real Woods.   What I've observed of Woods since he enrolled at Iowa is a wrestler whose talent level has been diminished    He was at roughly the same level - talent wise - LAST season (for his first season at Iowa)...........but to say he's NOT the same wrestler (this season) that he was at Stanford or even last season should be blatantly obvious.    So what has caused his decline?   I think the answer to that question is blatantly obvious.

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Thumper is on it,guys just don't improve. Woods is all defense now-watch how he attacked Pletcher in his freshman year. The Pa 5 that recently led the lineup were always good-they just never got over the hump and got better. I surely don't think Lee improved-always a beast-but Iowa took his dump away after the Freshman year, which was IMO his most impressive because of the talent he beat. After that year the accolades of his competition was avg. Kemdog eh,ya he got bigger. Punxsutawney Caleb may be the overachiever. 

As injured as Lee always was, and to somehow get him injured in practice again probably wrestling guys 3 weights up was ridiculous. 

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I'm  no Iowa fan....but from Stanford to Iowa last year Woods improved. He went from NQ and 6th at Stanford to going undefeated and losing in the finals last year to Allirez. Last year he had a lot of good top 10 wins, even destroying Hardy in the semis. To say he didn't improve from Stanford to last year is inaccurate. This year is a different story. He has definitely regressed at this point in the season as compared to last year. The only way he could have not regressed from last year was to be an undefeated NCAA champ. I don't think he will, but If he runs his way through the B10 tournament and NCAA to win it, did he still regress? 

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yes. Improving isn't just about placement. The excitement of being at "Iowa" carried him thru last year, honeymoons over. He did get handled by a true freshman,maybe it doesn't happen again but his confidence doesn't look the same.

 

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38 minutes ago, Idaho said:

I'm  no Iowa fan....but from Stanford to Iowa last year Woods improved. He went from NQ and 6th at Stanford to going undefeated and losing in the finals last year to Allirez. Last year he had a lot of good top 10 wins, even destroying Hardy in the semis. To say he didn't improve from Stanford to last year is inaccurate. This year is a different story. He has definitely regressed at this point in the season as compared to last year. The only way he could have not regressed from last year was to be an undefeated NCAA champ. I don't think he will, but If he runs his way through the B10 tournament and NCAA to win it, did he still regress? 

You’re joking right?  If he wins NCAA’s he did not regress…

Funny you bring up Hardy, last year he beat him 11-1, 6-4, and 2-1.  This year he beat him 8-2 (maybe 6-2 or 7-2 in last year’s scoring accounting for 3 pt TD’s), so right in the middle of last year’s results

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1 hour ago, 1032004 said:

You’re joking right?  If he wins NCAA’s he did not regress…

Funny you bring up Hardy, last year he beat him 11-1, 6-4, and 2-1.  This year he beat him 8-2 (maybe 6-2 or 7-2 in last year’s scoring accounting for 3 pt TD’s), so right in the middle of last year’s results

No joke.. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing ....that's what the question is for.... thank you for answering.   I don't think that regression or progression can be contained to one result necessarily. There are a lot of factors that come into play. 

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20 hours ago, 1032004 said:

Do we know if OSU is even doing anything differently?  To me, their “success” this year just seems to be due to a combination of the portal + a nice crop of freshmen/redshirt freshmen.

I put success in quotes because they’re still just competing with Iowa and several other teams for second place. Seems odd that OSU and Iowa having comparable outlooks this season means that OSU has “turned things for the better very quickly,” but Iowa needs a change…. 

It's a combination of factors. Several new faces in the lineup, a couple of veterans growing into their weights, Coleman as coach (if you watch the duals he's got a notepad and is making notes), Caldwell promoted to coach, RTC and NIL started rolling this past offseason, changes to training methods, new facilities, two sets of warring brothers (Ferraris and Mastros) gone. Personally I'm just happy to see them doing well again - top five is definitely where the Cowboys like to be. 3rd in 2019, 2020 lost to covid, 3rd in 2021, and then a couple of rebuilding/ohnowebetterchangesomethingsquick years in 2022 and 2023.

12 hours ago, Alces Alces Gigas said:

I get tired of folks complaining that PSU has all the money in the world!!  20 years ago they didn't and they have since raised the money. Hawkeyes, Cowboys, and everybody else had the opportunity to raise big bucks and have a great RTC but chose to spend their energy elsewhere.

People were mad about the money but now they're mad about the timeline: it appears that PSU was doing the RTC and fundraising years before it was actually allowed by the NCAA. So teams like the Cowboys/Hawkeyes/everybody else were still leaning on the allotted 9.9 scholarships per season while PSU was using millions of private dollars to bring in elite college & HS wrestlers, train them with Olympians, and promise them jobs after graduation. The NCAA did eventually change their rules to allow all teams to do this, but PSU essentially got a several year head start and then also avoided sanctions when their actions came to light. This is just what I've gathered as a casual and interested fan of D1 wrestling, not trying to drum up rage or anything.

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2 hours ago, Thumper said:

Personally I've never been a fan of the Iowa wrestling program but having said that I can only comment on what I have observed of the one former PAC 12 wrestler who chose to transfer to Iowa.   That being, of course, Real Woods.   What I've observed of Woods since he enrolled at Iowa is a wrestler whose talent level has been diminished    He was at roughly the same level - talent wise - LAST season (for his first season at Iowa)...........but to say he's NOT the same wrestler (this season) that he was at Stanford or even last season should be blatantly obvious.    So what has caused his decline?   I think the answer to that question is blatantly obvious.

Funny... Andrew Alirez thought Woods made a big improvement last year.

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This has been brought up in other threads but watch the PSU/Iowa dual and look at their respective benches every time they are visible. Athletes, staff, coaches.

The difference is stark.


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4 minutes ago, Le duke said:

This has been brought up in other threads but watch the PSU/Iowa dual and look at their respective benches every time they are visible. Athletes, staff, coaches.

The difference is stark.


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Yeah.  One team is usually winning, and the other is usually losing.  Makes benches look different.

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13 minutes ago, Le duke said:

This has been brought up in other threads but watch the PSU/Iowa dual and look at their respective benches every time they are visible. Athletes, staff, coaches.

The difference is stark.


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Can you elaborate?  Are you talking about how Carter Starocci was scrolling his phone in the middle of a dual?

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Yeah.  One team is usually winning, and the other is usually losing.  Makes benches look different.

Iowa has lost two duals this year. They are 10-2.

They look that way whether they are winning or losing. Terry crouched behind the other coaches, the entire team standing behind them. Usually with arms crossed. Shifting from foot to foot.

Psychologists would have a field day with a comparative analysis of the two teams.


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2 minutes ago, Le duke said:


Iowa has lost two duals this year. They are 10-2.

They look that way whether they are winning or losing. Terry crouched behind the other coaches, the entire team standing behind them. Usually with arms crossed. Shifting from foot to foot.

Psychologists would have a field day with a comparative analysis of the two teams.


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Iowa Wrestling: No. 2 Hawkeyes takedown No. 11 Northwestern

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4 hours ago, Daddy Dave said:

yes. Improving isn't just about placement. The excitement of being at "Iowa" carried him thru last year, honeymoons over. He did get handled by a true freshman,maybe it doesn't happen again but his confidence doesn't look the same.

 

Not only does his confidence not look the same as it was when he was at Stanford (and last season) but he simply does not look the same this season and his results prove that beyond what anyone else says to the contrary.   He has lost two consecutive matches - first to a True Freshman at Michigan (Lemley) by a 12 point MD and second to Penn State's Beau Bartlett (7-2) - who has now moved up to # 1 in that weight class after beating Woods.

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1 hour ago, Thumper said:

Not only does his confidence not look the same as it was when he was at Stanford (and last season) but he simply does not look the same this season and his results prove that beyond what anyone else says to the contrary.   He has lost two consecutive matches - first to a True Freshman at Michigan (Lemley) by a 12 point MD and second to Penn State's Beau Bartlett (7-2) - who has now moved up to # 1 in that weight class after beating Woods.

Don't see how this isn’t accurate. He probably should have lost to Iowa State too. Could be an injury, but none apparent and God forbid they'd say if it was.

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1 hour ago, Thumper said:

Not only does his confidence not look the same as it was when he was at Stanford (and last season) but he simply does not look the same this season and his results prove that beyond what anyone else says to the contrary.   He has lost two consecutive matches - first to a True Freshman at Michigan (Lemley) by a 12 point MD and second to Penn State's Beau Bartlett (7-2) - who has now moved up to # 1 in that weight class after beating Woods.

You realize those 2 matches occurred over a span of 7 days right?  Could be various other things going on, or not

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2 hours ago, Thumper said:

Not only does his confidence not look the same as it was when he was at Stanford (and last season) but he simply does not look the same this season and his results prove that beyond what anyone else says to the contrary.   He has lost two consecutive matches - first to a True Freshman at Michigan (Lemley) by a 12 point MD and second to Penn State's Beau Bartlett (7-2) - who has now moved up to # 1 in that weight class after beating Woods.

Remember when he got stuck by Willits when he was at Stanford his last year.... and the year before that?

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8 minutes ago, MPhillips said:

Can that be blamed on Iowa? If not, he doesn't remember...

No... but it certainly doesn't paint a picture that he was so much greater at Stanford than he is this year in comparison. 

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5 minutes ago, MPhillips said:

That would be my point...

Yep....there are three comparisons going on....

He was better last year than he was the previous year at Stanford.... one loss runner-up vs 4 loss 6th place finish in a bracket where he got a good draw against McGonagle, Filius and Composto... then lost 3 straight.  Easy to see he improved. 

He was better last year than he has been this year.... not hard to figure that one out as of right now.  Could he still be national champ - absolutely. Will his season as whole be a regression from last year? Not sure - we have to wait and see how it plays out at the Big10 and the NCAA. That's why I asked the question earlier that if he were to sweep through the Big 10 and NCAA would it be a regression? I think the jury is out on this one. 

He was better two years ago at Stanford than he is now... people forget that he majored Wilits 2x his second year, then got pinned by him twice and finished below him at the NCAA. He lost 4 matches that year.  It's hard to say that because he lost two this year that he has regressed. I think the season has to play out to come to that conclusion.  I think you can take any 1 match or even 1-2 week stretch and make comparisons that are not accurate.

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There's been some good discussion here. 

And then there's the bunch of low effort bad faith posters, including @BIGTENFANBOY who, contrary to his handle, isn't actually a fan of wrestling, as evidenced by the fact that he only ever visits to bash on Iowa. Decided to crawl out of your little hole a little early this year, eh?

There's also @Le dukewho makes approximately 60.9% of their posts about Iowa (ex lover spurn you for a hawk?). Have you checked HVI? You'd fit right in.

Several other posters have piled on but otherwise there have been some really good observations and ideas shared. I doubt anyone from the Iowa program reads these boards but I know the staff is aware of the overall online chatter. Here's hoping that, just as the Brands' changed their recruiting philosophy, they continue to adapt and strive to elevate the program to the next level. Personally, I'd be interested in some new assistants. 

 

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25 minutes ago, Idaho said:

Yep....there are three comparisons going on....

He was better last year than he was the previous year at Stanford.... one loss runner-up vs 4 loss 6th place finish in a bracket where he got a good draw against McGonagle, Filius and Composto... then lost 3 straight.  Easy to see he improved. 

He was better last year than he has been this year.... not hard to figure that one out as of right now.  Could he still be national champ - absolutely. Will his season as whole be a regression from last year? Not sure - we have to wait and see how it plays out at the Big10 and the NCAA. That's why I asked the question earlier that if he were to sweep through the Big 10 and NCAA would it be a regression? I think the jury is out on this one. 

He was better two years ago at Stanford than he is now... people forget that he majored Wilits 2x his second year, then got pinned by him twice and finished below him at the NCAA. He lost 4 matches that year.  It's hard to say that because he lost two this year that he has regressed. I think the season has to play out to come to that conclusion.  I think you can take any 1 match or even 1-2 week stretch and make comparisons that are not accurate.

Good analysis and I agree that he's got time to turn it around.

But it's a pretty developed body of work this year so far which raises two concerns.  

First, he don't look good.  Record wise-wise and eye test-wise.  Saved by a friendly call vs Echemendia. Then in the interview after the match says he's got to step it up. And does the opposite. He got absolutely pulverized in Ann Arbor and then back at Carver was totally controlled by Bartlet in a manner which strongly suggests he's a level below.  

Second, this does seem like a pattern with a lot of top Iowa guys of very flat senior years where they regress and don't look good in doing so.  It wouldn't be fair to say this only happens at this school because it's not uncommon nationally with guys who are just beat up from the grind, but this is a guy you would have expected to put it all together and so far is doing the opposite.

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