After leaving the Mid-American and joining the Big 12 conference in the off-season, the Northern Iowa Panthers have released their home 2017-18 schedule and things are fairly expected in terms of opponents. UNI previously released their home schedule last month.
They have, as expected, only four Big 12 schools scheduled; UNI will wrestle at Oklahoma State and South Dakota State, and bring in North Dakota State and Iowa State. Things may change in the next few years, but as of right now Big 12 schools are not required by the conference to wrestle all, or presumably any, of the other Big 12 schools.
As far as the non-conference goes, Head Coach Doug Schwab and his squad will travel back to Las Vegas for the Cliff Keen Invitational after taking last year off. The Panthers will see at least five other Big 12 schools in Nevada (Fresno St, Iowa State, Northern Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah Valley), four of which they will not wrestle in a dual. That extra exposure will definitely help them come March in Tulsa for the Big 12 Championships. UNI will travel to Ithaca, NY to take on Cornell on November 17th before a quick turnaround has them back in Cedar Falls taking on the North Dakota State Bison on the 19th.
“The Virginia Duals will be a strong event,” Schwab said. “I know Arizona State is there. Iowa State is there and Virginia and Virginia Tech and some other teams we don’t normally get to see.”
UNI will also head back to the Southern Scuffle for the second year in a row. Last year the Panthers took home five medals from Chattanooga and all five medalists come back this season in Josh Alber, Max Thomsen, Bryce Steiert, Drew Foster, and Taylor Lujan. Thomsen and Foster were both All-Americans last season.
The Panthers will head back to the Harold Nicholas (Cyclone) Open again this season, as well as taking another trip out east to the Virginia Duals. This will be the first time since 2000 that UNI has gone to that competition, and it is the first time under Schwab.
UNI will close out the season at home, taking on first Iowa State on February 10th, then closing it with Missouri, the Panther’s newly-made rival from the MAC conference.
Overall, a little light on the schedule, especially the home schedule, and the biggest names (Oklahoma, Cornell) away from home. Still with a couple pretty big squads coming to the West Gym this season.
“All and all, our schedule will have us prepared for the Big 12 Championships and the NCAAs,” Schwab said. “The way we way we want to train and build for the end of the season and try to peak at the end of the season, I think it will fit us perfectly.”
The complete schedule can be found below.
Complete Northern Iowa Schedule:
Nov. 4: @ Harold Nichols Open; Ames, Iowa
Nov. 17: @ Cornell; Ithaca, New York
Nov. 19: * NDSU; Cedar Falls, Iowa – West Gym; 2 p.m.
Dec. 1-2: @ Las Vegas Invite; Las Vegas, Nevada
Dec. 9: UNI Open; Cedar Falls, Iowa – UNI-Dome; 9 a.m.
Dec. 18: North Carolina; Cedar Falls, Iowa; West Gym; 7 p.m.
Jan. 1-2: @ Southern Scuffle; Chattanooga, Tennessee
Jan. 13-14: @ Virginia Duals; Hampton, Virginia
Jan. 21: @ * South Dakota State; Brookings, South Dakota; 2 p.m.
Feb. 2: @ * Oklahoma State; Stillwater, Oklahoma; 7 p.m.
Feb. 10: * Iowa State; Cedar Falls, Iowa – West Gym; 7 p.m.
Feb. 17: Missouri; Cedar Falls, Iowa – West Gym; 2 p.m.
March 3-4: Big 12 Conference Championships; Tulsa, Oklahoma
March 15-17: NCAA Championships; Cleveland, Ohio
* – Big 12 Dual
Schwab quotes via UNIPanthers.com