| Nolan Boyd (left) vs. Sammy Brooks in Gallagher-Iba Arena in 2015.
Photo: Bruce Waterfield, OSU Athletics
This Sunday, the two wrestling powerhouses will meet up for the 50th time in the programs’ histories.
“This battle has been hotly contested for decades and this (year) is no exception,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “We know what they’re about and they know what we’re about. This is high stakes. It may not be as important as the national championships, but this Sunday it is the most important event on probably both teams’ calendars.”
Iowa and OSU have been among the elite since the beginning.
The two schools combined for 57 team national titles, 222 individual national titles, 769 All-Americans and 2,065 dual wins.
Here's how the Cowboys and Hawkeyes compare in the all-time numbers:
National Team Titles: OSU leads 34 – 23
Individual Titles: OSU leads 141 – 81
All-Americans: OSU leads 450 – 319
Dual Wins: OSU leads: 1,084 – 981
Oklahoma State holds a 27-21-2 record over Iowa. However, the Hawkeyes have earned the W in the last three meetings, making it their longest winning streak over the Cowboys since the mid-90s.
This year’s dual will play out in Stillwater, Okla., for the 22nd time, with OSU holding a 12-7-2 advantage at home.
Last season, the schools came together for an historic moment, wrestling at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium in front of more than 42,000 fans, shattering the previous attendance record set by Penn State in 2013 with 15,996. It was also the first time in NCAA history that two Division I programs competed in a football stadium.
Both coaching their alma maters, Oklahoma State’s John Smith and Iowa’s Tom Brands give the rivalry another interesting angle, with both owning outstanding histories as competitors.
On the NCAA scene, Smith was a two-time national champ for Oklahoma State. In freestyle, he became arguably the greatest American wrestler ever, earning four World Championship titles and two Olympic gold medals, all in six-straight years.
Brands was a three-time NCAA champion for Iowa before moving on to the international scene. Brands won the World Championships in 1993 in Toronto, Canada, and in 1996, he reached the pinnacle of amateur wrestling, taking home the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.
They even met on the mat at the 1991 U.S. Open, with then-Olympic champion and three-time World champion Smith defeating college junior Brands, 14-3.
The two have been coaching against each other in the rivalry since the 2006-07 season, with the series sitting at 5-5-1.
“I have great respect for Coach Brands because his teams are always well prepared, and I think for that reason, it brings a little more intensity to the match,” Smith said. “It’s been a highly competitive dual over a lot of years. I don’t think the outcome of this dual makes or breaks a team, but it’s sure nice when you win it. Most of the time, the team that wins it has been the most aggressive. It’s been unpredictable at times and those are the fun dual meets, especially if you win.”
This year’s matchup between the top-ranked Cowboys and the No. 3 Hawkeyes is sure to be a good one as the dual will likely feature top-six matchups at 133 pounds, 149 pounds, 157 pounds and 184 pounds.
The dual, which is set for Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. CT, will be televised live on Fox Sports Oklahoma and streamed live on Flowrestling.org.
“I think we have to wrestle better than we have all year. That’s something fair to expect, especially coming off a good, hard tournament at the Southern Scuffle and gaining some knowledge and experience. I think if we continue to progress and wrestle as hard as we have all year, then we’ll be in good shape.”
• Overall Series Record: OSU leads 27-21-2
• Series in Stillwater: OSU leads, 12-7-2
• Series in Iowa City: Iowa leads, 12-11
• Series at Neutral: OSU leads, 4-2
• Most lopsided Iowa win: Feb. 16, 1985 (40-6)
• Most lopsided Oklahoma State win: Jan. 5, 1961 (25-2)
• Brands vs. Oklahoma State: 5-5-1
• Smith vs. Iowa: 16-10-1
• Last 10 meetings:
1/19/07: OSU 21-11
1/5/08: OSU 19-14
1/18/09: Iowa 20-13
1/16/10: Iowa 19-16
1/16/11: Tied 15-15
1/07/12: OSU 17-16
1/13/12: OSU 18-12
1/10/14: Iowa 24-6
1/11/15: Iowa 30-7
11/14/15: Iowa 18-16
• Two All-American wrestlers have transferred within the two programs
o Ray Brinzer was a letterwinner for the Cowboys in 1991, before transferring to Iowa in 1993. There he was a two-time All-American, taking third in 1993 and 1995.
o Steve Mocco was a two-time NCAA finalist for the Hawkeyes, earning his spot atop the podium in 2003. The following season, he took an Olympic redshirt year, after which he went on to wrestle for the Cowboys. In the two seasons that he competed in orange and black, Mocco earned the NCAA heavyweight title in 2005 and finished second in 2006.
125: No. 1 Thomas Gilman (IOWA) vs. No. 11 Nick Piccininni (OSU)
133: No. 1 Cory Clark (IOWA) vs. No. 6 Kaid Brock (OSU)
141: No 19 Topher Carton (IOWA) vs. No. 1 Dean Heil (OSU)
149: No. 2 Brandon Sorenson (IOWA) vs. No. 3 Anthony Collica (OSU)
157: No. 2 Michael Kemerer (IOWA) vs. No. 5 Joe Smith (OSU)
165: No. 20 Joey Gunther (IOWA) vs. No. 4 Chandler Rogers (OSU)
174: No. 13 Alex Meyer (IOWA) vs. No. 5 Kyle Crutchmer (OSU)
184: No. 5 Sammy Brooks (IOWA) vs. No. 4 Nolan Boyd (OSU)
197: Cash Wilcke (IOWA) vs. No. 4 Preston Weigel (OSU)
285: No. 7 Sam Stoll (IOWA) vs. No. 9 Austin Schafer (OSU)