MANHEIM, Pa. -- Coach JohnMark Bentley’s Appalachian State Mountaineers made school history a year ago as his program earned a Top 25 ranking for the first time. The group from Boone, N.C., closed out last season ranked for the final four weeks.
In 2016-17, the Mountaineers didn’t have to wait nearly as long to garner its first ranking of the season following a win over No. 15 Oregon State at home this past weekend. The win moved the Mountaineers (2-0) in at No. 23 in this week’s USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. The No. 23 ranking ties the best in school history, which was set in the final poll of last season.
Most of the Top 25 remained unchanged. Oklahoma State (1-0), Penn State (2-0), Iowa (0-0), Ohio State (0-0) and Missouri (1-0) stayed steady as the top five teams in the nation, while Virginia Tech (3-0), Nebraska (0-0), Cornell (0-0), NC State (0-0) and Rutgers (3-0) followed.
Second-ranked Penn State shut out Army West Point 45-0 and then dispatched with then-No. 14 Stanford 36-6 to open the season. Fifth-ranked Missouri spoiled Old Dominion’s alumni weekend, pounding the Monarchs 36-3. No. 6 Virginia Tech won its first Moss Arts Center dual of the year, topping regional rival Chattanooga 29-6. No. 10 Rutgers opened its season with three wins in California. The Scarlet Knights beat Division II San Francisco State 45-0 and then topped Pac-12 schools CSU Bakersfield 26-15 and Cal Poly 38-4.
Other ranked teams to pick up victories during the week were No. 11 Michigan and No. 14 Central Michigan. Both teams beat visiting Virginia, while Lehigh opened up its season with a 33-7 win over EIWA conference foe Bucknell. No. 21 Pittsburgh rallied to beat upset-minded Edinboro 20-16, while No. 22 Northern Iowa opened up with home victories over Utah Valley 24-12 and Division II Nebraska-Kearney 43-0.