The 2014-2015 schedule for Nebraska wrestling was released this week and sets up favorably for the Big Red grapplers. The Huskers’ schedule features six home duals and nine road duals to go along with four different tournaments. Nebraska returns a strong team including two All-Americans in James Green and Robert Kokesh to go along with five other NCAA qualifiers.
The 2014 recruiting class is sure to make some sort of impact on the season as well, ranking at sixth in the country according to Intermat.
Home dual meets will happen at the Bob Devaney Sports Center for the second season in a row. Five conference duals against Maryland, Wisconsin, Purdue, Rutgers, and Indiana will be joined by a non-conference meet to close the home season against the Stanford Cardinal.
Nebraska wrestlers will compete at the NWCA All-Star Classic (Philadelphia), the Cowboy Open (Laramie, WY), and the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. The highlight of the tournament schedule will be the Southern Scuffle in Charleston hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, annually one of the toughest and most competitive tournaments in the country.
While the entire tournament field for the Southern Scuffle has yet to be announced, it is likely to include four-time defending champions Penn State along with a host of other top-ranked teams. Last season’s tournament included such teams as Cornell, Minnesota, and Oklahoma State, all teams that routinely compete for the NCAA championship.
Speaking of the Nittany Lions, the grapplers from Happy Valley are also the four-time defending NCAA Division I National Champions. However, the Southern Scuffle will be the Huskers’ only chance to see PSU before the Big 10 tournament.
The Lions of Mount Nittany aren’t on the dual schedule for this season. Also absent from the regular season dual schedule are perennial power Iowa along with both Minnesota and Ohio State.
This presents a unique situation for Nebraska in that the strength of schedule inside of the conference will not be as strong as past years which opens up the chance for the Huskers to potentially claim their first regular season Big 10 championship.
It would not be surprising if the Big Red runs through the conference season undefeated with such a strong team returning. The most likely spot for a loss would be against the Northwestern Wildcats or Michigan Wolverines. Fun fact: the Maize and Blue defeated Nebraska at the Bob Devaney Sports Center last season. Both of those tussles will be on the road.
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