1 ― Penn State: Tenth-ranked Michigan won two matches against the Nittany Lions. The 2015 champs, Ohio State, visit University Park this Saturday. It could be another rout for PSU which seems a step quicker than everybody else out there right now.
2 ― Oklahoma State: The Cowboys did not compete last weekend. They host rival Oklahoma on Friday and take a rare trip to Ithaca to face Cornell on Sunday. If the Big Red, not the Sooners, have a full lineup it could be an interesting dual. A fantastic match at the Scuffle between OSU’s Crutchmer and CU’s Realbuto could be fun again.
3 ― Iowa: Tom Brands’s group hammered an up-and-down Gopher team last time out. Next up is an out-manned Indiana squad in Iowa City. This week’s caucus frenzy in Iowa might be more competitive than the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes.
4 ― Lehigh: LU gets a warm-up dual with American this weekend before challenging Penn State Feb. 12. Figuring out his best 10 is a good problem for head coach Pat Santoro to have.
5 ― North Carolina State: It’s time for the Wolfpack to prove they are contenders with a match at Nebraska this weekend. Virginia Tech and Missouri await. If NCSU gets through unscathed they might just be ready for a seat at the big table.
6 ― Missouri: The Tigers (11-1) rebounded from their first loss in 38 duals with wins over Oklahoma and Old Dominion. Brian Smith’s group faces Northern Illinois and Appalachian State before a monster trip to Raleigh to meet NCSU Feb. 14.
7 ― Ohio State: A 20-17 win over No. 24 Purdue does not instill a ton of confidence heading to PSU this weekend. Still, with Nathan Tomasello (125), Micah Jordan (141), Bo Jordan (165), and Kenny Courts (184) all capable of beating Nittany Lion opponents, the question is: Nick Tavanello or frequent-flyer Kyle Snyder, who won a bronze medal at a tournament in Russia on Sunday. As usual, bonus points should be the difference for PSU.
8 ― Virginia Tech: Despite losing to Iowa State in the Virginia Duals final, the Hokies should be 13-2 heading into the dual with NCSU on Feb. 12. A healthy Tech squad is good, evidenced by a narrow loss to No. 1 Penn State earlier this season. VT outscored West Virginia and Virginia, 63-10, last weekend and should roll against Pittsburgh and Edinboro this weekend.
Knocking on the door
Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois, Rutgers, Oklahoma