ACC upset pushes Virginia into Top 25; Clutch upperweights lift Lehigh

Manheim, Pennsylvania – With Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow on Groundhog Day, the lore says we have six more weeks of winter. We’ve also got six more weeks of wrestling season. With the final three weeks of the regular season looming, dual meet action has been consistently solid around the Division I wrestling landscape.

Upset wins by Virginia and Lehigh pushed those teams into the rankings this week as the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday. Virginia topped then-No. 12 Pittsburgh 17-16 in Charlottesville. Heavyweight Quinn Miller’s major decision was the difference as he scored a key bonus point to avoid sending the match to criteria and allowed the Cavaliers to win the dual outright. It’s the first time this season Steve Garland’s squad has been ranked. They last appeared in the rankings on January 7, 2020.

Lehigh re-entered the rankings, bolstered by the return of All-American heavyweight Jordan Wood, who saw his first action of the season over the weekend. The Mountain Hawks scored bonus points in the final two matches to rally past then-No. 25 Binghamton 19-16 in Grace Hall. Lehigh also shutout LIU 46-0 to even its record at 2-2. Binghamton slipped out of the Top 25 after jumping in last week.

The other notable upset came as unranked West Virginia knocked off then-No. 17 Northern Colorado 25-11 in Morgantown. The loss dropped Northern Colorado out of the Top 25.

Top-ranked Iowa was again the unanimous No. 1 after trouncing No. 9 Illinois 36-6. It was the only dual of the week that pitted two top-ten teams against one another.

Of the 11 duals between ranked teams last week, 10 were won by the higher ranked team. Then-No. 22 Oklahoma’s 21-12 win over then-No. 21 Stanford in Little Rock was the only one that saw the lower ranked team prevail. There were four duals where unranked teams beat ranked teams — the three noted above and South Dakota State’s 23-15 win over Stanford.

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
February 2, 2021

RankTeam (First)RecordPointsConf.Previous
1Iowa (14)(3-0)350Big Ten1
2Michigan(3-0)330Big Ten2
3NC State(5-0)319ACC3
4Penn State(2-0)310Big Ten4
5Oklahoma State(7-0)291Big 125
6Missouri(9-0)283MAC6
7Nebraska(4-1)266Big Ten7
8Virginia Tech(7-0)256ACC8
9Illinois(4-1)232Big Ten9
10Arizona State(2-0)219Pac-1210
11Ohio State(4-1)208Big Ten11
12Iowa State(6-2)188Big 1213
13Minnesota(4-2)174Big Ten15
14North Carolina(2-2)163ACC14
15Pittsburgh(3-2)151ACC12
16Northern Iowa(3-2)145Big 1216
17Wisconsin(1-3)107Big Ten18
18Purdue(2-3)94Big Ten19
19Oklahoma(5-3)86Big 1222
20Virginia(2-2)61ACCNR
21Navy(3-1)60EIWA24
22Stanford(4-2)35Pac-1221
23Michigan State(1-2)33Big Ten23
24Rutgers(0-4)32Big Ten20
25Lehigh(2-2)27EIWANR

Others Receiving Votes: Northern Colorado 26, Binghamton 21, West Virginia 19, Campbell 15, Central Michigan 14, Army West Point 9, South Dakota State 7, Wyoming 7, Northwestern 4, Hofstra 3, Appalachian State 2, North Dakota State 2, Rider 1.
Dropped Out: No. 17 Northern Colorado (3-1), No. 25 Binghamton (3-1).

2020-21 Poll Dates: February 9, February 16, February 23.

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