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Jan. 25 NWCA coaches poll previews key dual between No. 1 Penn State and No. 2 Iowa

by Jason Bryant, NWCA

Manheim, Pennsylvania – It was only a matter of time before the nation’s two top-ranked teams would tangle in dual meet competition. It’ll be another epic battle in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday as No. 1 Penn State will head to Iowa City to face No. 2 Iowa. It’ll also be just the third time in history the two programs meet holding down the top two spots in the land – the squads remain atop the latest NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.
There was plenty of movement this week as 24 of the nation’s Top 25 teams were scheduled to compete last week. Top-ranked Penn State (13-0) remained unbeaten with a pair of ranked wins in Michigan. On Friday, the Nittany Lions won eight of 10 matches over then-No. 3 Michigan 29-6 in the weekend’s most-anticipated dual. The Nittany Lions finished the road trip beating No. 21 Michigan State 28-9. Second-ranked Iowa set the table for this Friday’s clash of unbeatens by topping No. 6 Ohio State 21-12.
Oklahoma State (10-0) moved up to No. 3 as a result of Michigan’s loss combined with the Cowboys’ 26-9 win over then-No. 17 Lehigh. The nation’s last three unbeatens are ranked 1-2-3 this week. Michigan slid to No. 4 after rebounding with a 35-8 win over then-No. 14 Rutgers on Sunday.
A Top-10 clash between ACC powers left fans around the country disappointed as it failed to materialize. Fifth-ranked NC State was awarded a forfeit as then-No. 7 Virginia Tech didn’t make the trip to Raleigh for a highly anticipated Friday night dual, citing personnel issues. NC State did pick up a Sunday dual with Campbell and beat the Camels 33-6 to improve to 8-1.
Iowa State jumped three spots to No. 7 this week after improving to 9-1 after a home win over North Dakota State. The win was the program’s 1,100th all-time, joining Oklahoma State as only the second school in college wrestling history with at least 1,100 wins. The ranking is also the highest the Cyclones have been ranked since Feb. 23, 2010 when they ended the regular season ranked No. 2 in the Coaches Poll.
Nebraska (5-1) rejoined the Top 10, coming in ninth this week after picking up a win over then-No. 8 Wisconsin and then-No. 24 Northwestern. Wisconsin slid to No. 10. Missouri slid out of the Top 10 after dropping a Big 12 dual to No. 23 South Dakota State over the weekend. The Jackrabbits mobility was thwarted after a neutral-site loss to then-No. 25 Central Michigan. CMU is No. 22 this week, while SDSU remained 23rd despite the win over Missouri.
Oregon State (5-2) entered the Top 25 after a pair of road wins over Wyoming and Northern Colorado. The Beavers are ranked for the first time under second-year head coach Chris Pendleton and also appear in the poll for the first time since November 14, 2016.
This Week’s Ranked Teams in Action
Friday, January 28: No. 20 Princeton at Harvard, No. 5 NC State at Duke, No. 1- Wisconsin at Maryland, No. 24 North Carolina at Virginia, No. 7 Iowa State at No. 21 Oklahoma, West Virginia at No. 23 South Dakota State, No. 1 Penn State at No. 2 Iowa.
Saturday, January 29: No. 19 Princeton at Brown, No. 17 Purdue at Indiana, Columbia at No. 11 Cornell, Navy at No. 11 Cornell, No. 13 Missouri vs. Wyoming and Utah Valley.
Sunday, January 30: No. 8 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Pittsburgh, Ohio at No. 22 Central Michigan, No. 4 Michigan at Maryland, Northern Iowa at No. 21 Oklahoma, No. 7 Iowa State at No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 25 Oregon State at No. 12 Arizona State.
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

January 25, 2022

RankTeam (First)RecordPointsConferencePrevious
1Penn State (12)(13-0)348Big Ten1
2Iowa (2)(11-0)338Big Ten2
3Oklahoma State(10-0)317Big 124
4Michigan(6-1)306Big Ten3
5NC State(8-1)299ACC5
6Ohio State(6-2)277Big Ten6
7Iowa State(9-1)248Big 1210
8Virginia Tech(5-4)241ACC7
9Nebraska(5-1)229Big Ten13
10Wisconsin(8-1)217Big Ten8
12Arizona State(4-3)201Pac-1211
13Missouri(7-3)190Big 129
15Rutgers(12-4)141Big Ten14
16Minnesota(2-3)127Big Ten16
17Purdue(8-4)116Big Ten17
18Michigan State(8-2)115Big Ten21
21Oklahoma(6-3)72Big 1220
22Central Michigan(8-2)64MAC25
23South Dakota State(9-2)63Big 1223
24North Carolina(6-4)47ACC22
25Oregon State(5-2)31Pac-12NR

Others Receiving Votes: Cal Poly 9, Penn 8, Northwestern 6, Campbell 6, Appalachian State 4, North Dakota State 2.
Dropped Out: No. 24 Northwestern (2-4).
Upcoming Coaches Poll Release Dates for 2021-22: Feb. 1, Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22.