Manheim, Pa. — With just under a month remaining in the dual meet portion of the college wrestling season, Division I is left with two unbeaten teams — Oklahoma State and Penn State. For the 13th week in a row, the Cowboys (10-0) and Nittany Lions (10-0) are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.
The two teams appear to be on a collision course to the NWCA National Dual Series final set for February 19. Should each team win out, that dual would take place in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as it pits the top-ranked Big Ten team against the top-ranked non-Big Ten team.
Oklahoma State received a stern test from former Big 12 rival Missouri, but the Cowboys got a major decision from heavyweight Austin Shaefer to break a 16-16 tie and come away with the 20-16 win in Columbia. Oklahoma State also handed Iowa State its third-worst loss in school history on Sunday, beating the Cyclones 34-3 at Hilton Coliseum.
Second-ranked Penn State handled No. 16 Wisconsin 33-11 and hammered Northwestern 45-3. Iowa (8-2) remained No. 3 after beating No. 4 Ohio State 21-13 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. For the Hawkeyes, it was the third straight dual against a top-five team in as many weeks. The loss was the Buckeyes’ first of the season.
Virginia Tech saw a pair of its second-ranked wrestlers lose bouts to lower-ranked opponents, but the Hokies (15-1) had enough firepower to get past host Lehigh 21-15 at Grace Hall. The Hokies then topped ACC rival Duke 26-13 at the Moss Arts Center, a theater on its Blacksburg campus.
Nebraska (12-1), NC State (10-1) and Cornell (9-2) all swept weekend duals to maintain their position in the poll, while Michigan made the biggest move, knocking off a pair of ranked teams to jump back into the top 10. The Wolverines (7-4) knocked off then-No. 11 Rutgers 19-13 and later in the weekend, defeated then-No. 10 Lehigh 24-13. It’s created a jumble of teams who have beaten one another between the No. 10 and No. 15 spots in the rankings.
In one of the bigger upsets of the week, unranked Oregon State (3-6) knocked off then-No. 20 Stanford 18-15 in Corvallis on Monday night. The Cardinal dropped two spots to No. 22 this week.