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Week 13: Big 12 Storylines to Watch for (1/28-1/30)

Pictured: A sold out Gallagher-Iba Arena on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 2017 for a wrestling dual with Penn State. Image courtesy of the Pistols Firing Blog (@pistolsguys). 

This weekend in the Big 12 will include historical numbers reached, top wrestlers needing to be replaced, and a road trip through the Great Plains. Here are storylines to watch this weekend in the Big 12.

OSU Seeking GIA History

Eventually, one would think the Oklahoma State wrestling program will run out of historical marks to reach. 

The No. 3 Cowboys are a victory away from notching their 500th dual win in historical Gallagher-Iba Arena, which has been home to OSU wrestling since 1938, when it was known as Gallagher Hall.

OSU’s first chance at reaching the mark will be Saturday night against Northern Iowa. The Pokes will then host No. 7 Iowa State on Sunday. Both duals will be streamed on ESPN+.

Even without considering OSU’s impressive squad at 10-0 this season, history itself would almost guarantee the Cowboys to get at least one victory at home this weekend to reach 500. At 499-42-6, the OSU wrestling program has a 91% winning percentage inside GIA. OSU hasn’t suffered a home loss since Jan. 27, 2018—a 21-19 deficit to then-No. 3 Missouri. This season, the Pokes are 3-0 at GIA so far.

ISU Traveling To Great Plains

Seventh-ranked Iowa State will spend its weekend in the Sooner State with a pair of top-25 duals scheduled.

On Friday, the Cyclones will start their trek with a detour in Norman to take on No. 21 Oklahoma. ISU has won three straight over the Sooners, including a narrow 18-16 win last season.

ISU will then get a day off before stopping in Stillwater for a meeting with No. 3 Oklahoma State on Sunday. The Cyclones haven’t had any recent success against OU’s Bedlam rival, as OSU has won the last 14 matchups against ISU. The Cowboys’ winning streak dates back to 2011.

This season, as long as both teams win beforehand, the matchup will be between two teams at the top of the Big 12 standings, as OSU is No. 1 at 4-0 in conference duals, and ISU is tied for second at 2-0.

Replacing Ferrari

The story of the week from college wrestling came Monday night when OSU 197-pounder AJ Ferrari was in a car accident with OSU cross-country runner Isai Rodriguez. Thankfully, all involved are OK, and Ferrari has since returned home after being flown to an Oklahoma City hospital by helicopter.

However, in a Tuesday press conference, OSU coach John Smith told media that he’s unsure if Ferrari, who won a national title last year as a freshman, will return this season.

Smith told media Wednesday it could be Dakota Geer or Gavin Stika bumping up to fill the void at 197 pounds this weekend.

Geer is currently ninth at 184 pounds with a 9-1 record. Stika, a redshirt junior, is 11-3 this season while competing in only tournaments.

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