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Division I College Preview: Week 4



In college football, rivalry week takes place near the end of the season. In college basketball, it is usually around the middle of the season. In college wrestling, however, it is one of the weeks that kicks off the dual meet season.

Last week was rivalry week in college wrestling, headed by the Iowa and Iowa State dual that took place. This week, however, the dual meets get a little tougher for some of the top programs in the country, including Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Of course, a lot of those teams will be wrestling each other, with the marquee dual coming between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on Friday evening. The Sooners, ranked second in the nation in some polls, will visit the three-time defending NCAA champions in the first Bedlam dual of the year.

Every year this promises to be one of the top dual meets in the country, but with Oklahoma State struggling in certain spots throughout the lineup, the Sooners may be just one upset away from ending a 22-dual winless streak against the Cowboys that dates back to the 1995-96 season.

Michigan, ranked second in the nation by other polls, will also have its hands full this weekend. On Friday, the Wolverines host Nebraska, a young-but-improving squad.

Michigan is fresh off a dominating performance at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and has been receiving strong performances from a host of young wrestlers in the lineup this year. Nebraska is a good mix of youth and talent as well, but will have matchup problems with the Wolverines.

Another improving team is young Central Michigan, which will visit Michigan on Sunday afternoon. Fresh off a blowout win over Michigan State, the Chippewas will be looking to sweep the state for the first time in over five years.

After its date with Michigan, Nebraska will then travel to Minnesota on Sunday. Some in the wrestling community that Michigan and Minnesota have the best chance at knocking off Oklahoma State this year. If that is the case, then the Huskers will have a chance to make a big statement this weekend.

The Iowa Hawkeyes, fresh off a big win over Iowa State, will host Northern Iowa on Friday night as well. Last weekend, Northern Iowa was blown out by Minnesota, 31-6. Iowa is just as good as Minnesota, which means the Panthers will have a tough time against a Hawkeye squad hungry to prove itself this year.
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