Grapple on the Gridiron

All eyes were on the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium Nov. 14 as an event totally unique to the sport of wrestling was held in an outdoor stadium venue before an NCAA dual meet record crowd of over 42,000 fans.

The meet took place eight hours before Iowa and Minnesota kicked off on the same field in a football game to decide the winner of the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy. The wrestling dual layed the landscape for the remainder of the wrestling season as the Cowboys and Hawkeyes were ranked 1-2, respectively, by WIN Magazine.

Iowa’s Alex Meyer, Grapple on the Gridiron. (Darren Miller/

Iowa’s Alex Meyer, Grapple on the Gridiron. (Darren Miller/

“Our team is excited. We’re excited no matter where we have to go or what we have to do to get the job done,” said UI head coach Tom Brands before the meet. “This guy right here is excited because now it’s a date on the calendar that is upon us.”

What the Daytona 500 does for NASCAR, the “Grapple on the Gridiron” could do for wrestling. It was the first dual of the season for both schools, and it’s an event that featured two powerhouse programs driven by two World Champion coaches.

No wrestling program has more national titles than either the Hawkeyes or Cowboys. Oklahoma State head coach John Smith has won five of Oklahoma State’s 34 NCAA titles. Brands has won three of the Hawkeyes’ 23 team titles. Iowa went on the win the meet, 18-16, and a little later in the day, the Hawkeye football team topped Minnesota. A perfect day for Hawkeye fans.