College Wrestling News

2017 NCAA Wrestling Division I Preview: 197 Pounds

2017 197

We’re breaking down every weight class at the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship set for next week in St. Louis.  We usually start our previews at 125, but this time around we thought we’d give the big fellas the first look and work our way down.  We’ll start with some facts for reference, break down who can win the weight, who will contend for All-American honors, how this weight will effect the team race, and end with a little analysis for those of you participating in fantasy wrestling contests.  If you missed 285, see it here. Enjoy and check back tomorrow for much more!


Conference Champions

ACC – Jared Haught (Virginia Tech)

Big 10 – Kollin Moore (Ohio State)

Big 12 – Preston Weigel (Oklahoma State)

EIWA – Frank Mattiace (Penn)

EWL – Ryan Wolfe (Rider)

MAC – J'den Cox (Missouri)

Pac-12 – Corey Griego (Oregon State)

SoCon – Jake Tindle (SIU-Edwardsville)


Performance by Seed, Last 10 Years (13-16 seed started in 2014)

1: 9 AAs, 6 finalists, 3 champions

2: 10 AAs, 9 finalists, 5 champions

3: 9 AAs, 1 finalist, 1 champion

4: 9 AAs, 3 finalists, 1 champion

5: 9 AAs

6: 7 AAs

7: 3 AAs

8: 3 AAs

9: 3 AAs, 1 finalist

10: 4 AAs

11: 4 AAs

12: 2 AAs

13: 0 AAs

14: 1 AA

15: 0 AAs

16: 0 AAs

US: 7 AAs


Returning All-Americans

J'den Cox (Missouri) – Champion in 2016, 5th in 2015, Champion in 2014

Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) - 3rd in 2016

Jared Haught (Virginia Tech) - 6th in 2016

Brett Harner (Princeton) - 8th in 2016


Who can win?

Olympic bronze medalist and two-time NCAA champion J'den Cox (Missouri) is the favorite at 197, but his Southern Scuffle finals victory over Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) was incredibly close, raising the possibility that the Golden Gopher can finally get past his nemesis to win the title. However, now that freshman Kollin Moore (Ohio State) has shown that he can beat Pfarr, you have to include him in the group of wrestlers who can win it all in St. Louis. Moore pushed the Missouri senior in an early December dual loss and both wrestlers seem to be better now. Despite Moore beating Pfarr, I see Cox having an easier time handling the Buckeye. Moore gassed J'den in their prior meeting, but I don't expect he'll be able to do the same in March. Pfarr can out scramble Cox which makes him a little more dangerous to the defending champ. No matter which one is across the mat for Cox's final college match, they will have a chance. However, I expect J'den to go out on top.

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