Oklahoma State head wrestling coach John Smith spoke with the media this week about the upcoming season and here are five big takeaways from what he had to say.
1. “We’re Definitely Having a Season”
All indications were there would be some sort of season this year but in December, which is normally already the start of the season, we still didn’t even have a schedule from Oklahoma State. So there was still a bit of uncertainty about that. Now we know definitively as John has said “We’re definitely having a season.”
2. It’s going to look a little different
We all knew that this would be the case. Every sport at every school across the country so far has looked different as COVID-19 has ravaged what we’ve been used to seeing in college athletics.
Coach Smith was able to provide some additional clarity on this, stating, “We’re definitely wrestling one day a week. It looks like we’re going to have four home dual meets and be on the road 3-4 times.”
Smith stated they’re hoping to have their first home dual on January 10 and they expect multiple teams to come to Gallagher Iba Arena for that event. According to Smith, they could get up to three matches that day with a minimum of two teams for each home dual meet. He expects similar for away duals.
Smith’s hope is that OSU will get from 13-15 matches this season and for everyone that competes at the Big 12 tournament to at least have 10.
3. Smith gave us a sneak peak of OSU’s schedule
Smith said he hopes to have the official schedule out by Monday. A few out of conference opponents that were mentioned were Missouri, Tennessee-Chatanooga, Little Rock, and Southern Illinois.
He also said the Cowboys will go on the road and wrestle Northern Iowa and Iowa State, both in the same day as that’s what they’ve been allowed. He mentioned the Missouri dual will likely be on the same day as the Bedlam dual in Norman.
4. The Big 12 Tournament timing will be fluid
Smith spoke with the media on Wednesday and said he had a conference call with the Big 12 that morning. Currently they are awaiting a decision from the Big 12 on the date for the conference tournament. There is some guidance from the CDC that may indicate it’s better to move the Big 12 tournament up a week from when it’s currently scheduled and if it’s determined that it would be better to move it up a week they will. If it’s not necessary, they won’t.
5. Possible “A” and “B” team matches
For teams that are willing to accommodate it in these one-day multi-dual events, OSU may wrestle both their starters and a second team. Smith said there are a few occasions where we could see this.
With COVID impacting so much of this season, there wasn’t as much delving into the Xs and Os of the lineup that we would normally see at this point but we really got a lot clearer picture of what this season may look like for the Cowboys.