1 – Oklahoma State: Chandler Rogers’s pin at 165 pounds and razor-thin decisions by redshirt-freshman Kaid Brock (14-0) and senior Anthony Collica (149) sparked the Cowboys (6-0) to a 24-11 dual win over Iowa on Sunday in Stillwater. It broke a three-match losing streak to the Hawkeyes and showed OSU can win the tough, close decisions. West Virginia and South Dakota State visit Stillwater this weekend. The Jackrabbits provide a good challenge.
2 – Penn State: The Nittany Lions continued to show a propensity for bonus points, whipping a good Rutgers squad, 37-6. The rout included two pins, three technical falls, and a major decision, the type of results that make PSU tough to beat in duals and a tournament format. Next up for PSU (7-0) is a trip to Iowa City to face the steaming Hawkeyes, who are coming off a tough loss to Oklahoma State. Expect 10,000-plus in Carver-Hawkeye Arena this Friday.
3 – Iowa: Three seconds between 133 and 149 pounds made all the difference for Iowa (7-1) in Stillwater. Senior Cory Clark showed plenty of toughness, battling with a bum shoulder; freshman Michael Kemerer stayed unbeaten at 157 pounds; and senior Sammy Brooks hammered Nolan Boyd in a battle of All-Americans. Iowa faces Penn State and Ohio State in consecutive weeks, so Tom Brands’s crew will certainly be battle-tested come February.
4 – Ohio State: The Buckeyes stayed perfect with a 29-18 win over Illinois last Sunday. Former national champion Nathan Tomasello surprisingly whipped Zane Richards, 12-4, in a battle of highly-touted 133-pounders and Kyle Snyder was one of five Buckeyes to record bonus-point victories. The margin between the other OSU, Penn State, Iowa, and the Buckeyes is very small. Tom Ryan’s team is at Maryland this Sunday with a trip to Iowa City set for Jan. 27.
5 – Virginia Tech: Speaking of bonus points, the Hokies went bonus-point crazy in winning the Virginia Duals title last Friday and Saturday. Tech (11-1) rolled Oklahoma, 24-10, in the championship dual. Heavyweight Ty Walz scored 66 points in four wins as the Hokies, from 174 through 285 pounds, are as good as anybody in the country. Throw in 125-pound All-American Joey Dance and you have the makings of a contender.
6 – Nebraska: Mark Manning’s Huskers won the final three bouts to beat Michigan, 29-15, last Sunday in Lincoln. Despite 133-pounder Eric Montoya taking his first loss, NU won 6 of 10 to improve to 9-1 with matches at Minnesota this Friday and at Purdue on Sunday. Ohio State visits Lincoln on Feb. 10 and the Huskers are at Iowa City on Feb. 12. The Big Ten is as good as ever in 2016-17.
7 – Lehigh: Lehigh routed American, 31-3, a day after sinking Navy, 23-9. The Mountain Hawks (7-1) face Penn on Friday and host an always-tough Cornell team on Saturday. The schedule remains tough with Virginia Tech Jan. 27 and Michigan on Jan. 29. There is an opportunity move up for LU to move up this list.
8 – Missouri: MU (8-2) won its 26th consecutive Mid-American Conference dual with a 22-12 win over Eastern Michigan on Sunday. It was the Tigers’ third dual in four days as MU beat Buffalo, 28-8, last Thursday, and beat Cornell, 25-11, Saturday in Ithaca. Central Michigan visits Columbia this Sunday and Oklahoma State invades the Hearnes Center on Jan. 27.
RANKINGS: NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll
Knocking on the door – Minnesota, Cornell, Wisconsin, South Dakota State, Arizona State, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, North Dakota State, Michigan, Illinois