This Sunday, January 31, was supposed to be a BIG one in Iowa City. The top-ranked Iowa wrestling team was scheduled to host two dual meets inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. One against #10 Illinois and the other against 2nd-ranked Michigan. The dual against the Wolverines has been postponed, part of an unprecedented pause in all sports at the college in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The University of Michigan announced they are entering a "department-wide activity pause... until further notice and up to 14 days," due to multiple cases of the SAR-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant within the Michigan Athletic Department. Michigan goes on to say, "The B.1.1.7 variant is thought to be approximately 50 percent more transmissible than the standard form of the virus (COVID-19), leading to faster spread of the virus, potential increased numbers of cases, and additional hospitalizations and deaths."

The decision to pause all athletic activities at the University of Michigan was made by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. I'm sure the decision was an easy one, and rightfully so.

For Iowa fans, in a season that's off to a roaring start, it's one less opportunity to see the newest Hawkeye in the black and gold singlet. A three-time All-American at Missouri before transferring to Iowa, Jaydin Eierman did something you don't see very often during his match last Friday Night... a cartwheel. You can see it at approximately the three-minute mark of the video below.

Even though I enjoy watching Eierman, Spencer Lee is my don't-miss match of every dual. Each of the last two weeks, he's won by a pin. In 1:21 and 1:53, respectively. When it comes to Spencer Lee's matches, you don't want to tune in late.

Iowa's Sunday dual against #10 Illinois had been scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon but has been moved to 11 a.m. It will be televised by Big Ten Network.

As for the battle of #1 versus #2, it will have to wait. Even though almost no one would've been in the stands for Iowa-Michigan on Sunday, those are special duals. I was there last January when #1 Iowa defeated #2 Penn State. The energy in the building? Incredible. I have the towel they handed out that night hanging in my office.

Bob James

Iowa-35 Minnesota-4 Dual Photos 1-22-21