Penn State unanimous No. 1 in NWCA coaches poll after win against Iowa; Northern Iowa returns to top 25
by Jason Bryant, NWCA
Manheim, Pennsylvania -- The last unbeaten team in Division I wrestling stands atop the most recent NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released Tuesday as 14-0 Penn State was the unanimous No. 1 after beating second-ranked Iowa in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday.
It was the third time in history but the second time in three seasons where Iowa and Penn State met as the first and second-ranked teams in the nation. Penn State’s 19-13 victory wasn’t devoid of what wrestling fans would expect from two heated rivals on the mat. The match drew a sellout crowd of 14,905 fans and also drew 363,000 viewers on Big Ten Network, making it the most-viewed wrestling broadcast in network history. The residual impact was also felt as the Big Ten Network’s documentary called The B1G Story: The Brands Brothers, drew 175,000 viewers, which set a record for the most-viewed original program by the network.
The Big Ten Conference also boasts six teams ranked in this week’s top 10.
Coming into the week, Northern Iowa’s up-and-down season was mostly predicated on personnel issues, as much of the sporting world deals with lineup issues associated with COVID protocols and the normal bumps and bruises of a grueling college wrestling season. The Panthers (5-5) evened their record by topping two ranked teams, including then-No. 3 Oklahoma State 19-15 in Stillwater. It was just the fourth time in school history UNI had beaten Oklahoma State and the first time it’d happened at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Panthers followed the win with another in Norman, topping then-No. 21 Oklahoma 17-15.
Northern Iowa re-entered the poll at No. 22 this week. Oklahoma State’s dropped a second dual in a row for the first time since 2013 losing to longtime-rival Iowa State 20-12. Iowa State also beat Oklahoma and moved up to No. 5 this week, the highest ranking since the Cyclones were ranked second to close the regular season on February 23, 2010. Oklahoma State settles in at No. 10 this week.
Other notable ranked head-to-head results saw then-No. 8 Virginia Tech beat No. 19 Pittsburgh 24-12, then-No. 4 Michigan stop No. 16 Minnesota 20-14 and then-No. 12 Arizona State knock off then-No. 25 Oregon State 20-17 in the Pac-12.
Notable action this week (subj. to change)
Friday, February 4
Stanford at No. 13 Arizona State, Penn at No. 14 Lehigh, Virginia at No. 4 NC State, No. 19 Pittsburgh at No. 24 North Carolina, Duke at No. 7 Virginia Tech, Little Rock at No. 25 Oklahoma, No. 6 Ohio State at No. 1 Penn State, No. 16 Minnesota at Illinois, West Virginia at No. 5 Iowa State, No. 23 South Dakota State at No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Michigan at No. 8 Nebraska.
Saturday, February 5
Air Force at No. 5 Iowa State, NO. 11 Cornell at No. 20 Princeton, No. 9 Wisconsin at No. 2 Iowa, West Virginia at No. 22 Northern Iowa.
Sunday, February 6
No. 8 Nebraska at No. 1 Penn State, No. 6 Ohio State at No. 15 Rutgers, No. 11 Cornell at Penn, No. 16 Minnesota at No. 18 Purdue, No. 14 Lehigh at Army West Point, Columbia at No. 19 Pittsburgh, No. 13 Arizona State at Little Rock, No. 10 Oklahoma State at No. 12 Missouri, No. 23 South Dakota State at No. 25 Oklahoma, No. 11 Cornell at Drexel.
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
February 1, 2022
|1||Penn State (14)||(14-0)||350||Big Ten||1|
|5||Iowa State||(11-1)||284||Big 12||7|
|6||Ohio State||(6-2)||281||Big Ten||6|
|10||Oklahoma State||(10-2)||235||Big 12||3|
|17||Michigan State||(8-2)||128||Big Ten||18|
|22||Northern Iowa||(5-5)||54||Big 12||NR|
|23||South Dakota State||(10-2)||44||Big 12||23|
Others Receiving Votes: Cal Poly 25, Northwestern 10, Penn 7, Oregon State 3, Appalachian State 3, Campbell 2.
Dropped Out: No. 25 Oregon State (5-3)
Upcoming Coaches Poll Release Dates for 2021-22: Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22.
Questions related to historical polls can be sent to Jason Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org.