When the Ohio State wrestling team kicks off its season Saturday at the Princeton Open, it will do so as the No. 2 team in the country, behind reigning national champion Penn State. The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes came in No. 1 and 2 in the first USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association Tuesday.
Penn State, which won its sixth title in the past seven years and seventh overall, gained all 16 first-place votes to come in as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country. Ohio State came in second as a unanimous No. 2. The two teams will face off in Big Ten action Feb. 3 in Happy Valley.
The USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll is a dual-meet ranking; the Buckeyes finished No. 6 last season with a dual-meet record of 11-3, but were national runners-up at the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis.
The Nittany Lions return five individual Division I champions: Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184). The Buckeyes boast a lineup that includes past NCAA champions Nathan Tomasello, Myles Martin and World and Olympic champion Kyle Snyder, the No. 1 pound for pound wrestler on the planet.
The Big Ten is well-represented in the inaugural poll of the season, with five of the nation's top seven teams, and nine of the Top 25. No other conference has more than four of the Top 25.
|1||Penn State (16)||14-0||400||Big Ten||1|
|2||Ohio State||11-3||384||Big Ten||6|
|3||Oklahoma State||14-1||358||Big 12||2|
|13||Northern Iowa||11-3||208||Big 12||14|
|16||South Dakota State||14-5||157||Big 12||19|
The USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll is comprised of two voting coaches from each Division I wrestling conference. Points are 25 for each first-place vote, 24 for second, 23 for third all the way to a 25th-place vote is one point.