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New Coach, New Vision: OU Wrestling’s Path to Triumph in 2024

With the 2024 season officially kicking off this week, it’s time to start looking at schedules. The Sooners are coming in with a very different look as new Head Coach Roger Kish brought in a number of ranked transfers. I’ll be using InterMat’s Team Dual rankings for this one, where Oklahoma is currently ranked #13. 

11/01: Crimson & Cream Dual

This should be a good look at what the team may look like coming into this season. It’s looking like there will be new starters at 125, 133, 184, and 197. Also, Willie McDougald is a 2022 Big 12 finalist who’s coming off redshirt. Some weights I’m keeping an eye out is 149 with the aforementioned McDougald vs John Wiley also coming off redshirt plus 165lbs to see if Gerrit Nijenhuis will be taking on 2022 qualifier from Minnesota Cael Carlson. 


  • 11/11: Michigan State Open
  • 12/17: Reno Tournament of Champions
  • 01/01: Southern Scuffle

There’s a good number of tournaments here for the Sooners, and have a number of potential ranked matchups throughout the year. The Michigan State Open is one of the bigger opens that many teams use to kick off their year, including schools like Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. While not every team sends a full lineup, it’s a good chance to start the year off strong. 

Reno’s Tournament of Champions is similar, where there are some standout Division I teams but not always their full lineups. Last year the top teams were Michigan State, Wyoming, and Indiana. This is a competition that could see the Sooners send some backups or non-freshman redshirts since it is in the first semester. 

The Southern Scuffle is one of the best tournaments of the season, and being in the second semester allows schools to send redshirting freshmen as well. It doesn’t have the strength it has in the past, but this year includes schools like Northern Colorado, App State, Indiana, Clarion, and Little Rock. If OU sends a full lineup, they could win this one. 

Non-Conference Duals

  • 11/09: Central Michigan (Road)
  • 11/17: Little Rock (Road)
  • 1/12-13: Virginia Duals (Road)

The Sooners kick off their dual schedule early with road duals on either side of the Michigan State Open. Neither Central Michigan or Little Rock is ranked as a team, but have ranked individuals and gives the team a chance to get ready for the season. CMU has three in the top 20 at 149, 157, and 174. Especially if there’s lineup battles at those weights, this could be a chance to see a variety of starters. Last year OU didn’t face CMU, but beat Little Rock 37-0. 

The Virginia Duals have been on OU’s schedule for a while now, and it’s good to see the tradition continued. Right now there are six teams confirmed for 2024 including Kent State, Navy, South Dakota State, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The only ranked teams outside of OU are SDSU and Wisconsin, so hopefully the Sooners can get at least one of those. Last year OU went 3-1 at this event, including a 28-12 win over Navy. 

Conference Duals

  • 11/19: North Dakota State (Home)

This match only has one ranked matchup currently, at 149lbs with Kellyn March. However, this has the potential to be an interesting dual. OU’s new Coach Roger Kish was NDSU’s head coach last season, and he brought some of his wrestlers with him. The Bison are going to be coming into McCasland Field House looking to make a statement and should be great to watch…

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