Mizzou Wrestling Finds New Home in the Mid-American Conference

Sunday, Sept. 30-

With the absence of wrestling in the SEC, the Missouri Tigers joined the Mid-American Conference as an affiliate member this week along with Old Dominion and Northern Iowa.

Both Mizzou and Northern Iowa will only compete in the MAC conference tournament this season until becoming full-fledged participants in the 2013-14 season.

After hoisting the Big 12 championship trophy this past March, head coach Brian Smith brings back all ten of his NCAA national qualifiers, five of which were also Big 12 individual champions.

The Tigers are led by junior Alan Waters who, at 125 pounds, won a Big 12 title en route to a 29-4 finish as a sophomore.

Senior Mike Larson (184 pounds) finished last season with the team’s second highest winning percentage behind Waters, boasting a 24-6 record and another Big 12 title.

Representing the small number of underclassmen starting for the Tigers, redshirt sophomore Drake Houdashelt caught the attention of many last season as he took home the Big 12 title in the 157 pounds division.

Although no other school in the nation sent more than Mizzou’s ten competitors to the NCAA national meet last year, the Tigers will be faced with an even more daunting schedule this year as they test the waters of the MAC.

The addition of the three new schools has not only transformed the MAC into the third largest conference in wrestling, but has undoubtedly shifted the saturation of talent in college wrestling.

According to Wrestling Insider News Magazine, Mizzou is currently No. 9 nationally in the pre-season standings, trailing only No. 8 Central Michigan among MAC schools.

The Tigers will kick off their 2012-13 campaign on Nov. 10 in West Lafayette, Ind., against the Purdue Boilermakers and the Old Dominion Monarchs.

-Taylor Nakagawa
23 Sports
Staff Writer