Grapple on the Gridiron II was almost a thing.
That’s according to Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands, who appeared on KCJJ Friday morning.
The original Grapple on the Gridiron was held on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 in the south end zone of Kinnick Stadium. A record 42,287 fans saw the 4th-ranked Hawkeyes edge #1 Oklahoma State 18-16.
Brands told KCJJ he and athletics director Gary Barta made plans for a sequel last season. He said he tried to contact Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson about bringing his preseason #1 Nittany Lions to Kinnick Stadium to face his second-ranked Hawkeyes, but Sanderson never returned his calls. “He hemmed and hawed and stalled me,” Brands told KCJJ, “so I just had to move on.”
The event had been planned for the weekend of Saturday, November 16th. When plans with Penn State fell through, Iowa scheduled Tennessee-Chattanooga for the same weekend.
Brands told KCJJ that while he’d love to hold another Grapple on the Gridiron event, it would have to be against a highly-ranked opponent to keep it special.