At long last, here is Iowa's 2021 wrestling schedule
At long last, Iowa's 2021 wrestling schedule has arrived.
The Big Ten Conference officially released the league-wide wrestling schedule for all 14 schools Thursday afternoon. The top-ranked Hawkeyes will wrestle ninel duals on seven dates between January and February, and they'll take on some of the league's heavy hitters, too.
Below is Iowa's full 2021 wrestling schedule, according to the Big Ten:
- Friday, Jan. 15: vs. No. 5 Nebraska
- Friday, Jan. 22: at No. 11 Minnesota
- Sunday, Jan. 31: home tri-dual against Illinois and No. 2 Michigan
- Sunday, Feb. 7: tri-dual at Purdue, against the No. 18 Boilermakers and No. 6 Ohio State
- Friday, Feb. 12: at No. 3 Penn State
- Friday, Feb. 19: vs. No. 11 Northwestern
- Sunday, Feb. 21: at No. 21 Wisconsin
Those rankings are from Trackwrestling's latest Division I poll (and yes, both Minnesota and Northwestern are ranked No. 11). Times for duals have not been set. Tickets to events at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2021 are limited to immediate family.
Broadcasting plans have also not been finalized. The Big Ten Network plans to release its 2021 streaming schedule at a later date.
The Big Ten also said that details regarding the Big Ten Championships, previously set for March 6-7 at Penn State, have not been confirmed.
Back in August, the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Division I Leadership Group, composed of eight head coaches from seven different conferences, recommended starting the competitive season on Jan. 1. A survey sent to all Division I head coaches revealed that 92% were in favor of a delayed start. This was done, according to the leadership group, in an effort to protect and contest the 2021 NCAA Championships as scheduled in St. Louis from March 18-20.
Last year, Iowa went 13-0 in duals and won the Big Ten tournament title by 25.5 points. The Hawkeyes qualified all 10 starters for the NCAA Championships and were the heavy favorites to win their first national team title since 2010 before COVID-19 canceled the tournament just a week before it was set to begin.
The Hawkeyes' season-opener against Nebraska will mark exactly 310 days since the NCAA canceled last season's national tournament. It will also be just 63 days before the first day of the 2021 NCAAs.
It will be a short season. But, now that Iowa's schedule is here, it has the potential to be a fun season.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.