Manheim, Pennsylvania — With Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow on Groundhog Day, the lore says we have six more weeks of winter. We’ve also got six more weeks of wrestling season. With the final three weeks of the regular season looming, dual meet action has been consistently solid around the Division I wrestling landscape.
Upset wins by Virginia and Lehigh pushed those teams into the rankings this week as the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday. Virginia topped then-No. 12 Pittsburgh 17-16 in Charlottesville. Heavyweight Quinn Miller’s major decision was the difference as he scored a key bonus point to avoid sending the match to criteria and allowed the Cavaliers to win the dual outright. It’s the first time this season Steve Garland’s squad has been ranked. They last appeared in the rankings on January 7, 2020.
Lehigh re-entered the rankings, bolstered by the return of All-American heavyweight Jordan Wood, who saw his first action of the season over the weekend. The Mountain Hawks scored bonus points in the final two matches to rally past then-No. 25 Binghamton 19-16 in Grace Hall. Lehigh also shutout LIU 46-0 to even its record at 2-2. Binghamton slipped out of the Top 25 after jumping in last week.
The other notable upset came as unranked West Virginia knocked off then-No. 17 Northern Colorado 25-11 in Morgantown. The loss dropped Northern Colorado out of the Top 25.
Top-ranked Iowa was again the unanimous No. 1 after trouncing No. 9 Illinois 36-6. It was the only dual of the week that pitted two top-ten teams against one another.
Of the 11 duals between ranked teams last week, 10 were won by the higher ranked team. Then-No. 22 Oklahoma’s 21-12 win over then-No. 21 Stanford in Little Rock was the only one that saw the lower ranked team prevail. There were four duals where unranked teams beat ranked teams -- the three noted above and South Dakota State’s 23-15 win over Stanford.
Methodology: The NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll is voted on by two coaches from each Division I wrestling conference. Each first-place vote is worth 25 points, 24 points for a second-place vote, 23 for a third-place vote and so on through to one point for a 25th-place vote. The poll is based on dual meet results. Teams who are not competing this season are not included in the voting process.
Games through FEB. 2, 2021
Others Receiving Votes: Northern Colorado 26, Binghamton 21, West Virginia 19, Campbell 15, Central Michigan 14, Army West Point 9, South Dakota State 7, Wyoming 7, Northwestern 4, Hofstra 3, Appalachian State 2, North Dakota State 2, Rider 1.
Dropped Out: No. 17 Northern Colorado (3-1), No. 25 Binghamton (3-1).