1 ― Penn State: The Nittany Lions beat a tough Nebraska squad, then hammered Northwestern on Sunday to stay unbeaten this season. Sophomore 149-pounder Zain Retherford might be the most talented of a very talented bunch. Eighth-ranked Illinois is next up.
2 ― Oklahoma State: Joe Smith joined the Cowboys’ lineup last weekend and OSU outscored West Virginia and Pittsburgh, 74-3. The only loss required overtime. This Friday’s dual against Missouri might be a doozy and might just identify if either is ready to challenge the Nittany Lions.
3 ― Iowa: The Hawkeyes whipped Wisconsin last time out and have a big dual at Nebraska this Sunday. Junior 125-pounder Thomas Gilman appears to be on a mission and the returning Iowa All-Americans are a combined 60-1 this season.
4 ― Missouri: Brian Smith’s Missouri team beat a tough Central Michigan squad last start and travels to Stillwater with a 37-match win streak this Friday. Senior 174-pounder Blaise Butler, a transfer from Virginia, has been a nice addition.
5 ― Lehigh: Franklin & Marshall was no match in a 40-6 Mountain Hawk victory last Saturday. A dual with Cornell in Ithaca will be much better. The Mountain Hawks go for their 60th win in 92 meetings between the Eastern friends.
6 ― North Carolina State: Pat Popolizio and the Wolfpack remained unbeaten with a solid win over Virginia last week. A Big Monday wrestling matchup awaits with North Carolina on Jan. 25.
7 ― Michigan: The Wolverines won the last four bouts in a 25-14 win over Illinois. It was Michigan’s fourth straight dual victory heading into this Friday’s battle with Central Michigan. Still under the radar a bit, UM visits State College on Jan. 31.
8 ― Ohio State: The Buckeyes welcomed back Kyle Snyder just in time to get by Nebraska last Sunday. Tom Ryan’s wounded squad continues to battle and might get healthy against Michigan State, Indiana, and Purdue before a Feb. 5 meeting the Penn State in State College.
Knocking on the door
Nebraska, Illinois, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, North Carolina