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Cornell jumps into top 10 of NWCA Div. I Coaches Poll on Dec. 23, Iowa stays at No. 1

by Jason Bryant, NWCA

Manheim, Pennsylvania – It was a busy week of college dual meets around Division I with over half of the Top 25 competing. The Journeymen Collegiate Duals came and went on Monday and Tuesday, highlighted by Iowa and Penn State winning their respective pools and remaining atop the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Thursday.
Cornell made the biggest move as a result of the event, jumping three spots from No. 11 to No. 8 this week for first-year head coach Mike Grey. The Big Red (3-1) beat then-No. 8 Virginia Tech and No. 22 Northern Iowa in pool competition before falling to No. 2 Penn State. Cornell’s move was primarily due to its 18-15 win over the Hokies, which was highlighted by Jonathan Loew’s upset of All-American Hunter Bolen at 184 pounds in sudden victory.
The Nittany Lions (8-0) won their pool, beating three ranked teams. Coach Cael Sanderson’s squad beat a trio of ranked teams, Northern Iowa, Cornell and No. 6 Arizona State.
Top-ranked Iowa (6-0) won its pool, beating Central Michigan and two ranked teams – No. 17 Lehigh and No. 5 NC State. The Hawkeyes’ 19-15 win over the Wolfpack was one of the season’s most spirited and exciting duals.
Oklahoma State improved to 7-0 as the Cowboys headed west and beat Air Force, Wyoming and Utah Valley on the road. Even with all the competition this past week, the top seven teams remained in the same order heading into the holiday break. Virginia Tech went 1-2 with a win over Hofstra and fell two spots to No. 10. Missouri, which went 2-1 at the Collegiate Duals with wins over Lehigh and Binghamton, slid one spot to No. 11 as a result of Cornell’s jump to No. 8.
Iowa State remained No. 13 after the Cyclones beat then-No. 15 Purdue in Humboldt, Iowa, the home high school gym of both Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser and Purdue head coach Tony Ersland. The win was also Dresser’s 200th as a college head coach.
Both No. 17 Lehigh and No. 22 Northern Iowa kept their position in the poll. Lehigh picked up one win at the Collegiate Duals, beating Central Michigan, while UNI’s victory came over Hofstra.
No. 20 North Carolina got past host Appalachian State 17-15.
Methodology: The NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll is voted on by two coaches from each Division I wrestling conference. Each first-place vote is worth 25 points, 24 points for a second-place vote, 23 for a third-place vote and so on through to one point for a 25th-place vote. The poll is based on dual meet results.

NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll
December 23, 2021

RankTeam (First)RecordPointsConferencePrevious
1Iowa (13)(6-0)349Big Ten1
2Penn State (1)(8-0)337Big Ten2
3Michigan(3-0)307Big Ten3
4Oklahoma State(7-0)304Big 124
5NC State(5-1)303ACC5
6Arizona State(3-1)285Pac-126
7Ohio State(4-0)261Big Ten7
9Nebraska(3-0)233Big Ten9
10Virginia Tech(4-3)230ACC8
11Missouri(6-2)225Big 1210
12Rutgers(10-0)198Big Ten12
13Iowa State(3-1)181Big 1213
14Minnesota(1-1)168Big Ten14
15Wisconsin(4-0)149Big Ten16
16Purdue(6-1)136Big Ten15
19Oklahoma(2-2)81Big 1218
20North Carolina(4-4)72ACC20
22Northern Iowa(1-4)46Big 1222
23Illinois(2-0)45Big Ten23
24Northwestern(0-0)30Big Ten24
25Cal Poly(0-0)27Pac-1225

Others Receiving Votes: Wyoming 17, Campbell 15, Central Michigan 9, Appalachian State 5, Oregon State 3, Stanford 3, Michigan State 2, Virginia 1.
Dropped Out: None.

Upcoming Coaches Poll Release Dates for 2021-22:
Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22.
Mid-Major Poll Release Dates to be announced.

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