anheim, Pennsylvania — The National Wrestling Coaches Association released its only Mid-Major Top 20 of the season on Wednesday. Formulated last season, the Mid-Major Top 20 concentrates on the programs that fall outside of the traditional “Power 5” conferences.
“Last year, we launched this initiative with the National Duals Selection Committee, but the response was so overwhelmingly positive, we decided to keep releasing a mid-major poll,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer.
Six coaches representing different non-Power 5 conferences voted, and Lehigh, which is the highest-ranked non-Power 5 school in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, edged rival Cornell for the top spot. South Dakota State, which also received one first-place vote, is third.
“We have such a varying degree of schools with different resources within wrestling,” said Moyer. “We’ve seen the success schools have in being able to measure their performance to like-minded institutions. The Ivy League doesn’t offer scholarships, some conferences like the MAAC and Conference USA only have one or two teams that have wrestling programs and they have to function as affiliate members of other conferences.”
Eight mid-major teams are ranked in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. Three of the four Division II schools that field Division I wrestling programs are also ranked in the Top 20 with No. 7 Lock Haven, No. 15 Edinboro and No. 19 Clarion representing the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
|Rank||Team (First)||Record||Points||Conference||All-Sports Conf.|
|3||South Dakota State (1)||13-2||140||Big 12||Summit|
|4||Wyoming||13-3||130||Big 12||Mountain West|
|5||Northern Iowa||6-5||128||Big 12||Missouri Valley|
|7||Lock Haven||12-4||114||EWL||PSAC (Division II)|
|11||Utah Valley||8-6||86||Big 12||WAC|
|13||Old Dominion||9-9||74||MAC||Conference USA|
|14||Appalachian State||9-4||63||SoCon||Sun Belt|
|15||Edinboro||8-5||56||EWL||PSAC (Division II)|
|17||Air Force||8-5||50||Big 12||Mountain West|
|19||Clarion||10-7||35||EWL||PSAC (Division II)|