Penn State ranked No. 1 to start season in first USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll



By Jason Bryant
Amateur Wrestling News

Three-time defending NCAA champion Penn State starts the year off at No. 1 as the Nittany Lions garnered seven of 10 possible first-place votes in the first USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll. The ranking is a based off a team’s dual meet strength.

Coach Cael Sanderson’s squad returns five All-Americans including NCAA champion Ed Ruth, (184) past NCAA champion David Taylor (165) and a pair of NCAA runner-ups, Nico Megaludis (125) and Matt Brown (174). The Nittany Lions also return starter¬† Morgan McIntosh, who is coming off redshirt.

Minnesota, which returns eight All-Americans, came in second to start the season. The Golden Gophers won the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals last season, will start the season ranked second.

Oklahoma State, Iowa and Oklahoma round out the top five. Oklahoma State returns NCAA champion Chris Perry (184), while Iowa returns NCAA champion Derek St. John (157). Oklahoma, which went 4-6 last season, will be much improved after the return of redshirt senior and All-American Jarrod Patterson at 125 pounds and the arrival of two transfers from Wisconsin, Andrew Howe (174) and Travis Rutt (197). Both Howe and Rutt redshirted last season.

Cornell, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Edinboro and Ohio State round out the top 10.

Big Ten teams occupy five of the top 10 spots and and 10 of the top 25. Oregon State comes in at No. 11, followed by Nebraska, Missouri, Virginia and the newest member of the ACC, Pittsburgh.

Team (First)
2012-13 Record
1Penn State (7)39713-1
2Minnesota (3)39216-2
3Oklahoma State 37917-1
4Iowa 37120-3
6Cornell 33314-4
8Virginia Tech30214-3
9Edinboro 29610-6
10Ohio State 29111-4
11Oregon State28711-4
13Missouri 27815-3
15Pittsburgh 2719-6
16Iowa State2649-4
18Northern Iowa2079-5
23Purdue 11310-3
24Central Michigan10416-3

Others receiving votes: Old Dominion 77, Ohio 71, North Carolina 61, Boise State 49, Stanford 49, Penn, 32, Wyoming 22, North Dakota State 19, Arizona State 17.

Points are tallied with 40 points for first place, 39 for second, 38 for third and so on.