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Penn State is No. 1, Big Ten powers roll on in latest NWCA coaches poll

by Jason Bryant, NWCA

Manheim, Pennsylvania – The nation’s top three teams – Penn State, Iowa and Michigan – held firm atop the penultimate NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

With top-ranked Penn State (16-0) off this past weekend, second-ranked Iowa drew a lot of the attention with its 23-9 win over No. 12 Oklahoma State at the Bout at the Ballpark, held at Globe Life Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers. The dual was initially slated to be a double freestyle/collegiate dual event with Team USA facing Iran, but visa issues prompted Iran to cancel its trip to event. A number of U.S.-based international representatives stepped up to face Team USA prior to Iowa’s victory over the Cowboys, which drew just over 12,000 fans, making it the 99th college dual meet event in history to draw over 10,000 fans.

Third-ranked Michigan improved to 11-1 with weekend wins over rival Michigan State 24-13 and Indiana 37-3. Michigan will close its season at MAC West champion Central Michigan on Sunday.

Fourth-ranked NC State improved to 11-1 heading into this weekend’s rescheduled bout with No. 7 Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack topped Pittsburgh 26-9, while Virginia Tech beat then-No. 21 North Carolina 23-11 in Blacksburg. Sunday’s dual in Raleigh will be a non-conference matchup.

The rest of the Top 10 was unscathed, but not by much. No. 5 Iowa State got bonus points from 197-pounder Yonger Bastida to push past a cagy Northern Iowa squad 16-15 at the McLeod Center in a near-capacity crowd despite the official attendance numbers. Nebraska and Wisconsin both beat Illinois this weekend, while Missouri beat No. 13 Arizona State in Tempe 19-14 in a quality non-conference matchup for both teams. Missouri will host fifth-ranked Iowa State on Wednesday.

Northwestern re-entered the Top 25 after beating then-No. 14 Michigan State 24-16 and Northern Illinois 22-12.
Notable action this week (subj. to change)
Wednesday, Feb. 16
#5 Iowa State at No. 10 Missouri

Thursday, Feb. 17
#8 Wisconsin at #17 Northern Iowa

Friday, Feb. 18
#21 Central Michigan at #16 Michigan State, #22 North Carolina at #4 NC State, #20 Princeton at #14 Rutgers, #7 Virginia Tech at Virginia, Bucknell at #12 Oklahoma State.

Saturday, Feb. 19
#15 Purdue at #23 Northwestern, Lehigh at #13 Arizona State, Columbia at #14 Rutgers.

Sunday, Feb. 20
#11 Cornell at #8 Wisconsin, #3 Michigan at #21 Central Michigan, Rider at #1 Penn State, #24 Oklahoma at #12 Oklahoma State, North Dakota State at #25 South Dakota State, #7 Virginia Tech at #4 NC State, #2 Iowa at #10 Nebraska.
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 15, 2022

RankTeam (First)RecordPointsConferencePrevious
1Penn State (14)(16-0)350Big Ten1
2Iowa(13-1)336Big Ten2
3Michigan(11-1)320Big Ten3
4NC State(11-1)310ACC4
5Iowa State(14-1)289Big 125
6Ohio State(9-3)280Big Ten6
7Virginia Tech(8-4)260ACC7
8Wisconsin(10-2)233Big Ten9
9Missouri(11-3)232Big 1210
10Nebraska(6-4)231Big Ten8
12Oklahoma State(11-4)194Big 1212
13Arizona State(8-4)176Pac-1213
14Rutgers(14-5)144Big Ten15
15Purdue(10-4)139Big Ten16
16Michigan State(9-4)136Big Ten14
17Northern Iowa(7-6)131Big 1218
18Minnesota(4-6)108Big Ten17
21Central Michigan(12-2)79MAC20
22North Carolina(8-5)62ACC21
23Northwestern(6-4)35Big TenNR
24Oklahoma(8-5)29Big 1224
25South Dakota State(12-4)25Big 1225

Others Receiving Votes: Lehigh 21, Pittsburgh 10, Appalachian State 9, Oregon State 9, Cal Poly 8, North Dakota State 4, Campbell 1.
Dropped Out: No. 23 Lehigh (9-8)
Upcoming Coaches Poll Release Dates for 2021-22: Feb. 22

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