Every Wednesday for the next four months, Black Shoe Diaries wrestling staff will compile a national Top 25 of college wrestling squads on a dual meet basis. No individual heroes, here. We're looking at the best teams, top to bottom. Let's get right to this week's rankings.
The Top 25
|1||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|5||Penn State||Big Ten|
|12||Iowa State||Big 12|
|14||Okie State||Big 12|
The top three teams in BSD's rankings all have an argument for the top spot. The Buckeyes - when healthy - boast 10 ranked wrestlers. They're the only squad that can make such a claim, and as such, they have zero "holes". Iowa has 9 ranked wrestlers - but 8 of them are ranked for All-American honors. Minnesota has just five wrestlers ranked in the top 8 at their respective weight classes - but all 5 of them are also ranked in the national top 3.
From there, things get even more muddled. There isn't much of a gap between #7 Michigan, #9 Northwestern, #14 Oklahoma State, #17 Edinboro, or #20 Old Dominion. Each of these squads sports ranked wrestlers up and down the lineup. Matchups are key. Prepare for a lot of movement in the rankings this year.
Also Receiving Votes
NC State, Oklahoma, Penn, Duke, Kent State, South Dakota State, Stanford, Air Force, Bucknell, Central Michigan, Hofstra, Rider
The Week In Review
#25 Lehigh bounced back from its loss to Penn State to knock off #15 Pitt, 19-12. The Panthers were without Edgar Bright and Tyler Wilps.
#3 Minnesota proved too much for #24 Wyoming, beating the Cowboys 30-7. The match of the night came at 125 lbs, where #20 Sam Brancale hit three different 5-point moves to beat #8 Tyler Cox, 17-11.
Heath Eslinger's UTC Mocs finished 3-0 at the Eastern Michigan duals, including an impressive 23-15 win over a tough Kent State squad. A close 5-4 decision from Nick Soto over Mack McGuire at 133 in the match of the night, plus bonus points from Nick Pongracz (141) and Corey Mock (165) pushed UTC over the top, and into the rankings.
#9 Northwestern also finished 3-0 at the EMU duals. Jameson Oster's upset of #10 Zach Horan at 141 via overtime rideout gave the Cats' a comfortable win, 25-12.
#11 Virginia solidified its BSD rank with a 20-15 win over #19 North Dakota State. The Wahoos took 6 of 10 bouts, with two major decisions. But a pinfall from NDSU's Clay Ream at 149 over UVA's TJ Miller kept the score tight.
#17 Edinboro knocked off #7 Michigan, 23-16. In a matchup of squad mirror images, the Scots took all of the lightweights, while Michigan took all of the upper weights - except for one. Veteran Vic Avery cruised to a comfortable 13-6 decision over Wolverine backup Ayoola Olapo at 184, with last year's frosh phenom Dominic Abounader sitting this dual out. The Scots also took 125 lbs in a bit of an upset, as Kory Mines got back on the winning track with a 6-3 decision over Connor Youtsey. Clarion transfer Austin Matthews is immediately paying dividends for head coach Tim Flynn, as he earned a hard fought 8-6 decision over #10 Brian Murphy at 157lbs.
Maryland's off to a rough start in the Big Ten. The Terps have won just three individual matches in two duals against #16 Wisconsin and #8 Nebraska. #21 Rutgers, on the other hand, looks to make some noise this year. The Scarlet Knights have a very solid lineup top to bottom, and flexed a bit of muscle with a 33-6 win over Hofstra.