Manheim, Pennsylvania — With patchwork lineups evident on both sides of the mat, Ross Larson’s pin over Austin Myers lifted Oklahoma past Missouri 24-18 over the weekend and shook up the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Wednesday.
Former Big 12 rivals, both teams were without notable starters but with the dual tied 18-18, Larson stepped to the mat, scored six and gave Lou Rosselli his first win over a ranked program in his short tenure as the head coach in Norman. The Tigers (5-2) felt the sting and dropped four spots to No. 9, while the Sooners (2-3) received a small bump, moving up three spots to No. 15.
Even with a large portion of Division I competing at holiday tournaments over the last three weeks, there were plenty of notable duals that impacted the rankings as well as the positioning for the NWCA’s Dual Championship Series.
No. 2 Penn State improved to 6-0 with a pair of Big Ten victories on the road. The Nittany Lions beat Minnesota for the first time since 1998, winning eight of 10 matches in a 33-6 triumph at the Sports Pavilion in frigid Minneapolis on Friday night. Two days later, Penn State would top then-No. 7 Nebraska 27-14, handing the Cornhuskers their first loss of the season. Penn State sophomore Bo Nickal topped returning finalist Timothy Dudley in a featured bout at 184 pounds, one of the nation’s deepest weights.
Penn State will host No. 11 Rutgers on Friday. The Scarlet Knights (7-1) slipped past No. 12 Illinois 19-17 over the weekend.
ICYMI Sunday, Iowa-MSU Wrestling Highlights: https://t.co/TFASlyZrO9— Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) January 9, 2017
No. 3 Iowa returned from Michigan with a pair of victories. The Hawkeyes (7-0) beat then No. 15 Michigan 31-7 before shutting out Michigan State 44-0, a dual where the Hawkeyes didn’t yield a single takedown.
The Hawkeyes will travel south to face No. 1 Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena in a dual with major implications in the rankings, both individually and team-wise.
No. 4 Ohio State (6-0) had fits early, but eventually got past then-No. 17 Wisconsin 23-15 in Big Ten competition. The Buckeyes will host No. 12 Illinois on Sunday in Columbus.
Missouri won two duals at the end of December before falling to Oklahoma. The Tigers bested No. 21 Appalachian State 24-13 and MAC foe Kent State 34-3 to close out 2016. Coach Brian Smith’s team will continue to be tested on an Eastern swing. Missouri will face Buffalo on Thursday before battling Cornell in Ithaca on Saturday and capping off the trip with a MAC dual against Eastern Michigan on Sunday.
No. 10 NC State closed out its calendar year with a road victory at Old Dominion 25-13. The Wolfpack host Duke on Wednesday before heading to Pittsburgh for the Pitt Duals where they will face Harvard, Columbia and Edinboro.