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Shannon Scovel | NCAA.com | February 4, 2019

College wrestling rankings: Penn State stays on top, Michigan moves past Ohio State in latest NWCA poll

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A big weekend that saw 24 of the Top 25 wrestling teams in action ended with 12 changes in the NWCA poll, most notably Michigan’s jump from No. 6 to No. 4. The Wolverines edged out the Buckeyes 19-17 after winning the heavyweight bout between No. 8 Mason Parris and No. 19 Chase Singletary, 6-3.

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The win kept Michigan undefeated for another week, while the Buckeyes dropped for the first time this season, leaving just five undefeated teams in the Top 25. Michigan will face the top-ranked Nittany Lions next week at Rec Hall 

Other changes include the Wisconsin Badgers dropping a spot after another weekend loss, Princeton moving into the Top 20, and a complete reordering of the last five teams in the rankings. 

Here’s what you need to know about the latest NWCA rankings: 

Penn State remains dominant

The Nittany Lions cruised to two Big Ten wins this weekend, taking down Purdue 30-10 and Indiana 35-9 to keep their dual meet win streak alive at 54. While the outcome of Penn State’s dual followed the typical pattern seen every week, the Nittany Lion lineup did offer some interesting twists. 

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Freshman 133-pounder No. 15 Roman Bravo-Young suffered a loss to Purdue and then sat out against Indiana with a knee injury. Penn State did not start Bravo-Young, or an alternative, on Sunday and took a forfeit at 133 against the Hoosiers, sacrificing six team points. At 149 pounds, Jarod Verkleeren started instead of No. 11 Brady Berge, and the redshirt freshman racked up two individual Big Ten wins. Verkleeren is now 13-4 this season with one of those losses coming against teammate Berge at the Keystone Classic in November. 

Penn State’s dependable four No. 1 ranked wrestlers recorded five pins between the two duals, with 157-pound Jason Nolf and 165-pound Vincenzo Joseph earning two each. In the lightest weight class, 125-pounder Devin Schnupp also capped off the weekend with his first Big Ten dual win with a 5-2 decision over Liam Cronin after dropping to Purdue's Devin Schroeder 6-1 earlier in the weekend. 

The remaining undefeated teams

This weekend saw two undefeated Top 25 teams, Stanford and Ohio State, drop to lower ranked opponents. Ohio State’s loss came first, but Stanford fell off the undefeated list in equally dramatic fashion, falling to unranked CSU Bakersfield 20-13.

The win marks the first time CSU Bakersfield has topped a ranked opponent since 2016, and the first time the Roadrunners have beaten Stanford since 2015. Five undefeated teams remain in the Top 25 with all of them holding the top 5 spots. 

Wins, loses and duals to come

Ohio State was the only team in last week’s Top 12 to lose a match and one of just three teams in the Top 25 to do so against a lower-ranked opponent. Stanford and Arizona State also join this list, with Stanford having lost the aforementioned match against CSU Bakersfield and Arizona State losing two weekend matches, one against Lock Haven and another against then No. 24 Lehigh. These losses moved Arizona State out of the Top 25 for this first time this season. The Sun Devils will take on none other than the Cardinal on February 2. 

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Two top-10 battles will also occur this weekend with No. 1 Penn State wrestling No. 4 Michigan and No. 3 Iowa taking on No. 9 Nebraska. No. 4 Ohio State will wrestle No. 21 Illinois next before taking on No. 1 Penn State the following weekend. 

Here are the complete Top 25 rankings: 

Rank school Record Points Previous rank
1 Penn State (16) 9-0 400 1
2 Oklahoma State 10-0 382 3
3 Iowa 10-0 357 4
4 Michigan 9-0 354 6
5 Missouri 14-0 332 5
6 Ohio State 7-1 331 2
7 Minnesota 11-2 303 7
8 NC State 13-2 284 8
9 Nebraska 9-3 272 9
10 Cornell 8-2 254 10
11 Wyoming 12-3 241 11
12 Virginia Tech 7-2 227 12
13 Pittsburgh 8-2 194 13
14 Iowa State 7-2 193 15
15 Wisconsin 6-5 185 14
16 Northern Iowa 5-4 161 16
17 North Carolina 8-5 143 17
18 Rutgers 8-4 132 18
19 Purdue 5-6 92 19
20 Princeton 4-4 88 21
21 Illinois 2-5 71 20
22 Lehigh 6-8 64 24
23 Virginia 11-7 49 25
24 Lock Haven 5-2 34 NR
25 Stanford 6-1 31 22

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