Navy, Binghamton break into Top 25

Manheim, Pennsylvania – With the shortened season, the amount of time for teams to build momentum in dual meets is truncated. For Binghamton and Navy, the two EIWA teams are making the most of their time on the mats with quality performances and those performances have led to their season debuts in the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Navy (2-1) and first-year head coach Cary Kolat nearly upset Pittsburgh to start the season. Since, the Midshipmen beat Clarion and then-No. 18 Lehigh. Binghamton topped then-No. 22 Army West Point convincingly last week, winning seven out of 10 bouts in a 23-10 win over the Black Knights.

Navy cracks the Top 25 for the first time since December 12, 2017. The Mids run in the Top 25 during the 2017-18 season was short-lived as they fell out of the poll the next week. Navy was ranked for 11 weeks during the 2007-09 season.

Binghamton hasn’t been ranked in the NWCA Division I Coaches Poll since February 21, 2012, when current NC State head coach Pat Popolizo led the Bearcats. Binghamton peaked at No. 18 during the 2011-12 season, the highest in the program’s history as a Division I institution.

Inactivity led to some shifts in the overall Top 25 as Michigan and Penn State both saw movement despite not competing. Michigan, which was tied with Penn State at No. 2 last week, is alone at No. 2 despite COVID-19 protocols leading to a pause in all University of Michigan athletics. Penn State paused team activities two weeks ago. The Nittany Lions were scheduled to face Michigan State, but both schools agreed to postpone the dual until a later date.

NC State (4-0) slid up to No. 3 after dominating No. 12 Pittsburgh 27-6. Five other Top 10 teams were victorious as No. 5 Oklahoma State beat Air Force 33-6, No. 6 Missouri improved to 9-0 after topping Ohio and Northern Illinois, Nebraska beat then-No. 25 Northwestern and Maryland, while No. 8 Virginia Tech edge Virginia 19-15 and No. 10 Illinois squeezed past Purdue 19-17.

Five other duals featured ranked teams battling, with two of them minor upsets. No. 19 Northern Iowa topped No. 18 Oklahoma 23-13, while No. 22 Wisconsin upended No. 16 Purdue 22-14, a match heavily impacted by Eric Barnett’s fall over second-ranked Devin Schroder at 125 pounds. No. 13 Iowa State made Oklahoma’s run through Iowa a rough one as the Cyclones also beat the Sooners 18-16.

No. 14 North Carolina beat Duke 29-9, and No. 21 Stanford finally got its season underway, topping CSU Bakersfield 29-13.

While not ranked, dual wins by Bellarmine and Little Rock were notable in the landscape of Division I college athletics over the weekend. Bellarmine, which is in the process of transitioning to Division I, beat second-year Presbyterian 32-18 to earn the school’s first win over a Division I opponent. Little Rock, also in its second year, picked up the first two Division I wins in school history, beating Fresno State 35-11 and CSU Bakersfield 24-21.

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. Teams who are not competing this season are not included in the voting process.

NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll
January 26, 2021

RankTeam (First)RecordPointsConf.Previous
1Iowa(2-0)350Big Ten1
2Michigan(3-0)333Big Ten2 (tie)
3NC State(4-0)308ACC3
4Penn State(0-0)296Big Ten2 (tie)
5Oklahoma State(5-0)290Big 125
7Nebraska(3-1)262Big Ten7
8Virginia Tech(5-0)259ACC8
9Illinois(4-0)229Big Ten10
10Arizona State(2-0)224Pac-129
11Ohio State(2-1)207Big Ten11
13Iowa State(4-1)179Big 1213
14North Carolina(2-0)176ACC14
15Minnesota(2-2)153Big Ten15
16Northern Iowa(3-1)143Big 1219
17Northern Colorado(3-0)90Big 1220
18Wisconsin(1-2)87Big Ten22 (tie)
19Purdue(1-2)86Big Ten16
20Rutgers(0-2)84Big Ten17
22Oklahoma(2-3)68Big 1218
23Michigan State(1-1)38Big Ten24

Others Receiving Votes: Northwestern 18, Rider 11, Campbell 10, Central Michigan 10, Virginia 9, Army West Point 6, Lehigh 4, Wyoming 4, Appalachian State 2, Hofstra 2, West Virginia 1

Dropped Out: No. 22 Army West Point (1-1), No. 25 Northwestern (1-2)

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