This Friday evening CMU heads to East Lansing looking to continue its 21st century-long winning streak over MSU. While the #12 Chippewas are solid favorites over the 4-13 Spartans, you better believe an upset would put salve on State's sore season.
But don't expect the Central wrestlers to overlook this last dual of the year. Not only do they NOT want to be the ones where the streak ends, almost every wrestler has A LOT riding on this in terms of being invited to the NCAA championships.
Corby at 149 and Smith at 157 are currently on the bubble for earning the MAC an extra automatic qualifier (AQ). Each wrestler will be taking on an MSU opponent ranked higher than him, so win and the MAC gets another AQ. Lose, and it will make the road much more difficult to get the mat's Big Dance. Ottinger at 165 is in a similar situation, except he will be favored over his Spartan opponent. Mattingly at 141 is outside looking in, but a victory combined with losses this weekend by other wrestlers will make him an AQ candidate for the MAC.
Bennett at 184, Cullinan at 125 and Sentes at 133 are all NCAA locks. But they have a stake in East Lansing too, as they are all competing for seeding at the championships.
Kelliher at 174 likely has an AQ locked up but is out of the running to be seeded at the NCAAs. Lewis at 197 is extremely unlikely to make it in. So while their matches are important for the dual, the results are both inconsequential beyond it.
Trice at 285 should be in the highlight match of the night. He is going against an opponent rated in the top 10, whereby both wrestlers will be attempting to make a statement. Although ranked #5, Trice is 0-2 against other top 10 wrestlers this year and he has been unimpressive in scoring the entire season. A victory will show that he will be a force to be reckoned with come NCAA-time.
So there you have it. It turns out this year's CMU-MSU match is doubly-important.
Junior 174-pounder Craig Kelliher earned a pair of three-point near falls in his 10-2 major decision over Jordan Wohlfert of Michigan State Friday night. The Chippewas defeated MIchigan State for the 12th straight meeting, 27-10.
No. 11 Chippewas Earn 12th Straight Over Michigan State, 27-10
Courtesy: Kyle Kelley/CMU Athletics
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QUICK LINKS EAST LANSING - The No. 11 Central Michigan wrestling program continued a pair of streaks in an impressive 27-10 victory over in-state foe Michigan State Friday night. The Chippewas (17-3) earned their 10th straight dual victory of the 2013 season and their 12th straight victory over the Spartans (4-14) by claiming seven of the 10 bouts on the night. Bonus points were earned in three matches as junior Craig Kelliher earned a 10-2 major decision, No. 2 senior Ben Bennett claimed victory by technical fall in his fifth straight match and No. 7 senior Scotti Sentes pinned his opponent in just 1:39. The match started at 141 pounds with junior Scott Mattingly earning a 4-0 decision over Nick Timble and senior Donnie Corby put the Chippewas in front 6-0 with a close 3-2 decision over Dan Osterman. Corby was down 2-1 entering the third period, but used a takedown to secure the victory. Sophomore Mike Ottinger won his 10th straight match with a 3-2 decision over Nick Proctor and No. 11 Christian Cullinan won 5-0 over Brenan Lyon to complete the CMU victories. The Chippewas now have a 16 day break until their next competition when they will head to the Mid-American Conference Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. CMU has won the last 11 MAC Championships crowns. No. 11 Central Michigan 27, Michigan State 10 141: Scott Mattingly (CMU) dec. Nicholas Timble, 4-0; CMU 3-0 149: Donnie Corby (CMU) dec. Dan Osterman, 3-2; CMU 6-0 157: Ryan Watts (MSU) dec. Luke Smith, 7-3; CMU 6-3 165: Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. Nick Proctor, 3-2; CMU 9-3 174: Craig Kelliher (CMU) maj. dec. Jordan Wohlfert, 10-2; CMU 13-3 184: No. 2 Ben Bennett (CMU) tech. fall Eric Ford, 6:25 15-0; CMU 18-3 197: Luke Jones (MSU) maj. dec. Jackson Lewis , 10-1; CMU 18-7 Hwt: No. 7 Michael McClure (MSU) dec. Jarod Trice , TB3 Riding Time 3-2; CMU 18-10 125: No. 11 Christian Cullinan (CMU) dec. Brenan Lyon, 5-0; CMU 21-10 133: No. 7 Scotti Sentes (CMU) fall Brandon Fifield, 1:39; CMU 27-10
Great duel. I always love to go to MSU and see a CMU team beat up on State. The CMU turnout was great as always.
I guess I'm surprised that Tom Minkel still has a job with his record over the last several years. Below is an MSU fan's comments in the "State News". He is commenting that CMU has beaten MSU 11 times in a row in wrestling (actually I think it is 12). Typical Big Ten mentality that they should never lose to a MAC team. It really shows how much more superior a coach Borrelli is than Minkel.
Wow, eleven straight loses to CMU. That has to be a record. I would bet that no other sport in the history of athletics at MSU has lost eleven straight to a MAC school. Actually, I would bet that no other B10 school has lost eleven times in a row to a MAC school in ANY sport. It’s practically impossible. A B10 school should be superior to MAC school in any sport (more resources, better recruiting, etc.) Of course, a MAC school is going to beat a B10 school every so often, but to have a MAC school beat a B10 team eleven straight times. That is incredible! Tom Minkel should win some type of award.
Zach, I have to say thank you for all the coverage on MSU wrestling this year. There are a lot of people in mid-Michigan that love wrestling. I wish I could say that it was just a down year. Unfortunately, this is what we have got to cheer for in the last seven years from the MSU wrestling team:
B10 record in the last seven years: 7-49. Last place five of the last seven years!
Yeah I know, Tom Minkel says the team is “young”. It’s the same thing he says year after year after year. Unfortunately, Michigan State is no different than any other B10 team. They all start underclassmen. The problem is: the underclassmen on other teams are beating our underclassmen (and in most cases our upper classmen). So the cycle of losing is going to continue indefinitely.
Nobody is asking that we be on the same level as an Iowa, Minnesota or Penn State, but we can’t even compete with the likes of Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, etc. The Michigan State wrestling program is a mess. It is very, very sad. How can CMU have such a better program than MSU? They should not get better recruits. Why would anyone prefer to wrestle in the MAC instead of the B10. The reality is CMU does not get better recruits. The real difference between CMU and MSU is simple. It’s coaching. CMU gets state champs from Michigan and they actually develop them. By the time they are seniors, they are competing to be All Americans. Michigan State gets the same quality of wrestlers, but they never improve. You can go to a meet and see upper classmen getting majored and pinned on a regular basis. This year is not a one year anomaly. There is a long history that shows that the MSU coaching staff has no ability to improve a wrestler. It is why the best wrestlers in the state don’t want to come to MSU. Everybody knows that MSU is not where you go to be successful.
Sorry to be long-winded, but as a huge Spartan fan this is just so depressing. It’s like the wrestling program has disappeared for over ten years. I really hope this is the year this nightmare comes to an end. Please do something Mark Hollis! Hell, hire the current CMU coach! He obviously knows how to run a program. One thing is for sure, you can't do worse then what we have now!
While that commenter appeared to be a knowledgeable college wrestling fan, he chose to focus upon the standard " Big Ten teams should never be dominated by a MAC school" viewpoint. In most cases that adage is indeed true, but when it comes to wrestling he chose to ignore (or be ignorant) of many facts.
Fact 1: CMU has been favored in all but maybe one or two of the past dozen matches against MSU. The other one or two times, they were evenly matched on paper. As we all know, favorites win the majority of the time. In this case, CMU is 12-0 against State.
Fact 2: CMU has been ranked in nearly all those years. This isn't the run of the mill MAC team we're talking about. This is a nationally recognized power; not a powerhouse, but a power nonetheless.
Fact 3: As a result of becoming a national power, CMU has parlayed it into the ability to recruit nationally. While Central built the foundation of their success on the development of in-state players, it has sustained the success in part by getting major recruits to become Chippewas. Half of this year's starters are from out-of-state and present homegrown wrestlers, Ben Bennett and Jared Trice, could have went almost anywhere in the nation.
Fact 4: Tom Borrelli most likely will NEVER coach at Michigan State. He has turned down other schools such as Ohio State. He has made it a goal to put CMU on the podium at nationals and he has done it consistently with individual wrestlers and is getting close to achieving it as a team. He's one of those rare coaches these days who plans on staying put, like Gonzaga's Mark Few and Boise State's Chris Peterson.
As for the commenter basically stating that "no other MAC team could dominate the Big Ten", well he is wrong there, too. Akron's mens soccer squad is something like 33-4 against that league over the past five years. Miami hockey has also performed at a high level, making it to the Frozen Four twice. Western Michigan icers have also lately gotten in on the act. Not to mention Kent State making it to the College World Series last year.
It's too bad most sports fans in Michigan and the surrounding states are so indoctrinated with everything Big Ten. While that league will always be expected to be dominant overall, it unfairly overshadows MAC schools when they are able to achieve.