Manheim, Pennsylvania – With 616 dual meets involving Division I teams in the 2019-20 wrestling season, only two were left undefeated. Top-ranked Iowa went 13-0 and third-ranked NC State finished 15-0 as the final regular-season NWCA Division I Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday.
Iowa, which started the year as the nation’s second-ranked team, finished in the top spot as the Hawkeyes’ impressive squad also helped set a new single-season average attendance record of 12,568, breaking its previous record of 12,166 set in the 2014-15 season. While average attendance has only been tracked by members of the wrestling media since 2002, duals over 10,000 fans have been logged since 1946. This season, Iowa had seven of the nine duals that drew over 10,000 fans. It was also the first time in Division I history with more than seven duals drawing five figures. Full attendance figures will be compiled and released following the season.
When the dust settled on the dual meet season, the Big Ten again asserted its dominance, with four of the top five schools from the conference and 10 of the league’s 14 teams ranked in the Top 25 with one more also receiving votes. Penn State, despite two losses on the year, finished second, followed by NC State, Nebraska (11-3) and Ohio State (10-4). Arizona State’s best season in years ended with a 15-2 mark and a No. 6 ranking. The Sun Devils split a pair of weekend matches as they closed out the schedule with a trip out east, falling to then-No. 11 Lehigh and beating then-No. 8 North Carolina.
The ACC finished out a banner dual year with three more teams finishing in the Top 10. North Carolina (14-3) finished seventh, reaching its highest ranking since it was ranked seventh to close out the 1994-95 season. No. 8 Pittsburgh (10-4) and No. 9 Virginia Tech (11-3) followed. Lehigh re-entered the Top 10 after last appearing at No. 10 in November. The Mountain Hawks finished 12-3 to round out the Top 10.
Other notables include Princeton (9-4) finishing the season No. 12, tying its best all-time dual ranking and Army West Point (10-3) reaching No. 17 in the final poll, the Black Knights’ highest ranking since 1994. Campbell (11-2) was the only Southern Conference squad in the Top 25. The Camels finish the season ranked 19th, tying its highest mark in program history, which only came one month ago.
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 25, 2020 – Final Regular Season
|1||Iowa (14)||(13-0)||350||Big Ten||1|
|2||Penn State||(12-2)||334||Big Ten||2|
|5||Ohio State||(10-4)||292||Big Ten||6|
|11||Oklahoma State||(13-3)||236||Big 12||9|
|16||Northern Iowa||(8-4)||136||Big 12||17 (tie)|
|17||Army West Point||(10-3)||127||EIWA||17 (tie)|
|20||Illinois||(10-4)||80||Big Ten||21 (tie)|
|21||Iowa State||(10-5)||62||Big 12||19|
|22||Michigan||(7-6)||58||Big Ten||21 (tie)|
Others Receiving Votes: Rider 10, Appalachian State 8, Northern Illinois 1, Northwestern 1
Dropped Out: None