Wrestling season is underway and with it comes the NWCA coaches polls. Peer voting is a popular way to rank amongst many sports and wrestling is no different. The first few weeks of the season will see Iowa holding on to their number one spot that they earned in the national tournament last year, and in usual fashion, Penn State is nipping at their heels.
What is really interesting to see this early on in the year, is the difference between teams who start their seasons with warm up duals or quads, and teams that send their guys to popular open tournaments to start the season. Iowa for example, is holding their number one spot with no team record, while Penn State is ranked runner up with a 2-0 start.
The Nittany Lions posted dominant wins over Sacred Heart and Oregon State, giving up just 10 team points across 20 bouts. While this is certainly impressive, Iowa came home from the Luther open on Saturday with 8 champions, it’s hard to say if it gets more dominant than that.
The rankings are far more complicated than this, many factors come into account including strength of the opponent. If you look at Rutgers, who is posting the best record currently of 6-0, they are ranked 18th (up from 19). Rutgers habitually opens their season with one or two duals against.. Warm up teams. The best of their opponents being Cleveland state, the Scarlet Knights still have a lot to prove to break top 10 in the polls.
As for the reigning one and two, the season is still young and there is still a lot to be seen. Every team on the top 25 list has a lot of proving to be done and they will all be aiming for the two undisputed best teams at the top. If Iowa and Penn State are able to hold onto their spots into the spring semester, fans can look forward to another epic 1 v 2 showdown between the two schools.
Current team rankings from the NCWA coaches poll on NCAA.com
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