Smith's Cowboys have had a down and up season with losses in duals early to Oklahoma, Minnesota and Iowa. A late loss to top-ranked Penn State was very competitive, and heading into the Big 12 Championships on Saturday at OU the Cowboys may be peaking.
The hope is that the Cowboys are wrestling their best all season and can find a way to get all 10 or at least nine weights represented March 20-22 in Oklahoma City.
Here is a look at each weight and who we project to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
125 Pounds - 3 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
The Cowboys' Eddie Klimara is seeded second and he has been wrestling really well as of late. He will have to get by Iowa State's Earl Hall in his semifinal and then beat OU's top=seeded Jarrod Patterson.
Go Pokes projects Klimara, Patterson, and Hall advance to NCAA
133 Pounds - 2 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
OSU's Jon Morrison is the top seed and deserves it as he has wrestled really well and is ranked fourth in the nation. This weight will come down to a Bedlam match-up between Morrison and second-seed Cory Brewer.
Go Pokes projects Morrison and Brewer advance to NCAA
141 Pounds - 3 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
Freshman Anthony Collica of the Cowboys is the second seed. West Virginia's Colin Johnston is the top seed and he is ranked 15th in the nation, with Collica ranked 17th. It is wide open and Collica opens with OU's Nick Lester.
Go Pokes projects Colin Johnston, Collica, and Lester advance to the NCAA
149 Pounds - 3 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
Josh Kindig is the second seed and is ranked ninth in the nation because Kendric Maple is back at this weight and ranked number two in the nation. Kindig opens with Iowa State's Luke Goettl and West Virginia's Mike Morales is also ranked.
Go Pokes projects Maple, Kindig, and Morales advance to the NCAA
157 Pounds - 2 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
Alex Dieringer of the Cowboys is ranked third in the nation and is far and away the favorite here with Oklahoma's Justin DeAngelis the only other ranked wrestler and he's ranked 26th.
Go Pokes projects Dieringer and DeAngelis advance to the NCAA
165 Pounds - 2 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
Oklahoma State wrestler Tyler Caldwell has been solid the last month and is at his best. Of course, Caldwell is a former OU wrestler. Caldwell is fourth in the rankings and Iowa State's Michael Moreno is his top competition and is seeded second.
Go Pokes projects Caldwell and Moreno advance to the NCAA
174 Pounds - 4 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
Defending NCAA individual champion and OSU wrestler Chris Perry is seeded second even though Perry showed up and wanted to wrestle top-rated OU wrestler Andrew Howe, who sat out the last Bedlam match. Perry is ranked second at the weight with Tanner Weatherman of Iowa State ranked eighth and Jakob Scheffel of West Virginia ranked 26th.
Go Pokes projects Perry, Howe, Weatherman, and Scheffel advance to the NCAA
184 Pounds - 1 wrestler qualifies for the NCAA
Oklahoma State's Nolan Boyd with his high number of wins that qualified the single spot for this weight. Now to use it in OKC, Boyd needs to win out on Saturday. Iowa State's Lelund Weatherspoon is the top competition while OU sends out unranked Danny Chaid.
Go Pokes projects Boyd advances to the NCAA
197 Pounds - 2 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
Iowa State Kyven Gadson is ranked number one in the country and is top seeded. The battle is for the other spot. OSU's Blake Rosholt has come back from injury just in the nick of time to get a fall last Sunday and now will likely battle Oklahoma's Travis Rutt in the semifinal for the second spot.
Go Pokes projects Gadson and Rutt advance to the NCAA
285 Pounds - 2 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA
It's Bedlam in the semifinal with Austin Marsden opening with Ross Larson of OU. They are also both ranked nationally and the other two wrestlers in the class are not.
Go Pokes projects Marsden and Larson advance to the NCAA
There are also 40 at-large bids that will be determined and extended by Monday of next week.