Division I’s dominant conference sets a new bar as Big Ten has 12 ranked in Top 25

Manheim, Pennsylvania – Realignment in college sports has caused some interesting anomalies when it comes to conference names. Two of the most obvious examples are the Big Ten Conference, with 14 all-sports members and the Big 12, which has 10. Wrestling alignments have expanded and contracted conference sponsorship with the abundance of affiliate members as well.

For the first time in college wrestling history, the Big Ten Conference also has 12 of its 14 teams ranked as Illinois and Michigan State entered this week’s NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Previously, the conference had 11 teams ranked on 17 different occasions, all since 2014 with the first occurrence happening on December 16, 2014. Not surprisingly, the Big Ten also five teams ranked in the top seven, including No. 1 Iowa (0-0), No. 2 Penn State (0-0), and No. 3 Michigan (2-0).

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Northern Colorado enters Coaches Poll for the first time in decades

Manheim, Pennsylvania – It’s been 18,934 days since the Bears of the University of Northern Colorado were ranked in the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll. After opening up their season with a victory on the road against Wyoming, coach Troy Nickerson’s squad entered at No. 25 in the latest Top 25, released Tuesday.

The school was known as Colorado State College the last time it appeared in the rankings and for decades, the Greeley, Colorado school was the flag-bearer for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference wrestling scene. The 1968-69 team finished the regular season ranked No. 6, which was the last time the school spent time in the rankings.

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Iowa is unanimous No. 1 in first NWCA Division I Coaches Poll of the season

Manheim, Pennsylvania – With the lion’s share of the abbreviated NCAA Division I wrestling season starting this weekend, the NWCA has released its first Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll for the 2020-21 season. Released weekly, the NWCA Division I Coaches Poll is based on dual meet results throughout the season.

After an undefeated dual season in 2019-20 and returning most of its starting lineup, Iowa received all 14 first-place votes and starts the season ranked No. 1 in the nation. As usual, the Big Ten dominates the Top 25 with 11 of its 14 teams ranked. The ACC and Big 12 Conferences each have four schools represented in the Top 25, while the EIWA, Mid-American Conference and Pac-12 each have two apiece.

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Iowa finishes 2019-20 season ranked No. 1 in NWCA Division I Coaches Poll

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.

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Iowa remains unanimous No. 1 heading into final week of Division I regular season

Manheim, Pennsylvania — After completing the 2019-20 Big Ten regular season unbeaten, Iowa remains the unanimous No. 1 in the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. Heading into the final week of the regular season, Iowa (12-0) is one of two unbeaten teams left in Division I. Third-ranked NC State (14-0) is the other.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes finished 9-0 in the Big Ten and closed out its conference slate with a 35-6 win over rival Minnesota on Saturday in front of over 12,000 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. With one home dual left, the Hawkeyes have drawn over 10,000 fans in all seven home duals this season. It’s expected to be eight after No. 9 Oklahoma State (13-2) comes to visit on Sunday evening. Speaking of big crowds, second-ranked Penn State saw 15,995 witness its 20-16 win over No. 6 Ohio State at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday night. The crowd was Penn State’s third highest all-time and the fifth-highest to witness a dual meet in NCAA history.

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Streaking Illinois moves into Top 25; Princeton takes first Ivy title in 34 years

Manheim, Pennsylvania — Record-setting crowds and broken streaks were the theme of the week as the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday. The tightest match between Top 10 teams over the weekend was third-ranked NC State’s 19-14 win over rival and eighth-ranked North Carolina 19-14 in Raleigh. The dual set an NC State home attendance record as 4,383 came into Reynolds Coliseum on Friday night in the first meeting ever between the schools as Top 10 programs. The Wolfpack lead Division I in dual met wins with 13 and remain unbeaten.

Top-ranked Iowa improved to 11-0 with a convincing 27-9 win at No. 22 Michigan. The highlight match there saw Michigan’s Mason Parris pin Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi in the dual’s final bout. Second-ranked Penn State improved to 10-2 after road wins at then-No. 9 Wisconsin 29-10 and No. 13 Minnesota 31-10. Fourth-ranked Nebraska raised its record to 9-3 after road wins over No. 14 Purdue 31-9 and Indiana 35-6. Fifth-ranked Arizona State (12-1) topped Little Rock and No. 24 Missouri on the road, while Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh all had little trouble in dual action over the weekend.

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Iowa maintains top spot after beating second-ranked Penn State

Manheim, Pennsylvania – The nation’s top two teams collided last Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and top-ranked Iowa came away with a 19-17 victory in front of 14,905 fans, the 18th largest crowd to see a dual in NCAA wrestling history. As a result, Iowa remains the top-ranked team in the country as the most recent NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday.

Iowa remains the unanimous No. 1, while Penn State remained No. 2 despite suffering its second loss of the season. NC State moved up to No. 3 after beating No. 10 Pittsburgh 21-12 on the road. The win leaves Iowa and NC State as the lone unbeatens in Division I. The Wolfpack are 12-0 heading into this weekend where they host No. 8 North Carolina. Including last week, It’s only the fourth time in history both schools have been ranked in the Top 10 at the same time, and according to their respective athletics communications professionals, will be the first Top 10 meeting ever between the schools.

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Iowa-Penn State ranked atop NWCA Division I Coaches Poll heading into Friday showdown in Iowa City

Manheim, Pennsylvania – With the release of Tuesday’s NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, it’s set that there will be a 1 vs. 2 matchup as No. 1 Iowa will host No. 2 Penn State on Friday, January 31 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. According to Iowa Sports Information Director Chris Brewer, it’ll be just the second time in the history that the storied programs will meet in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. The only other dual with the two teams ranked atop the NWCA Division I Coaches Poll came on January 5, 1986, a 35-5 win by the Hawkeyes.

There was plenty of movement inside the Top 25 this week. North Carolina’s win over Virginia Tech was one of the highlighted upsets and the 23-10 win over the Hokies vaulted the Tar Heels into the Top 10 for the first time since 1995. Coleman Scott’s team comes in eighth this week, the highest the program’s been ranked since March 6, 1995. It also marks the first time in Atlantic Coast Conference history that four teams (NC State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Pittsburgh) are ranked in the Top 10.

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