Top 15 unchanged as Big Ten, Big 12 still dominate Theraworx NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania – As the semester ends for many schools around the country, the competition also slows. With that, we see minimal movement in the most recent Theraworx NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, released on Tuesday.

As usual, it was the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences that dominated the poll, as the two combined for 16 of the nation’s top 25 teams. Big Ten programs has Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan occupying four of the top five spots in the country. Oklahoma State sits third. The ACC has four teams in this week’s poll, while the EIWA has two.

Penn State (3-0) was idle but remained No. 1, earning all 16 first-place votes. It’s the 22nd straight week the Nittany Lions have been ranked atop the Coaches Poll.

Ohio State improved to 4-0 after beating No. 10 Wisconsin at home 23-13. The loss was the first for Wisconsin (6-1) in the Chris Bono era. The Buckeyes saw the home debuts of U23 World Team members Myles Martin and Kollin Moore.

Oklahoma State coach John Smith won his 50th career Bedlam dual as a coach as the No. 3 Cowboys (4-0) mauled rival Oklahoma 41-2 in front of over 5,000 fans at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. No. 4 Iowa (6-0) had the week’s biggest crowd, with over 7,400 coming to Carver-Hawkeye to see the host Hawkeyes defeat injury-riddled Lehigh 28-14. Lehigh, which started the year with high hopes and a Top 10 rankings, has slid to No. 20 and has started the season 0-4.

No. 5 Michigan (3-0) opened up Big Ten competition with a  32-7 home victory over Indiana, while No. 6 Missouri (4-0) extended its win streak to 24 in a row with a 48-0 win over SIU Edwardsville. It was the first dual between the two teams as members of the Mid-American Conference. SIUE joined the conference as an affiliate member over the summer.

No. 7 NC State improved to 5-0 beating always scrappy Appalachian State 29-9, while No. 9 Minnesota (3-1) ventured out west to top host Fresno State 31-6.

Virginia Tech picked up its first win of the year, topping Princeton 24-14 at Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies saw the return of U23 World Team member David McFadden to the starting lineup at his new weight class, 174 pounds. The Hokies (1-2) were also aided by the debut of transfer Billy Miller at 285 pounds.

No. 18 Illinois (1-1) earned its first dual win of the year, dispatching with Northern Illinois 24-9, while then-No. 21 Wyoming (3-2) topped then-No. 19 North Dakota State 29-6 in Laramie. The win vaulted Wyoming to No. 18 in this week’s poll, while NDSU slid to No. 21. The Bison (4-1) did earn a weekend win over Air Force 23-14 in Colorado Springs.

Northwestern fell out of the Top 25 this week after losing at home 30-10 to Old Dominion. Rutgers, which dropped out of the rankings last week, slid back in at No. 25, keeping the Big Ten at 10 ranked teams in the poll.

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.

Theraworx NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll – December 11, 2018

RankTeam (First)RecordPointsConferencePrevious
1Penn State (16)3-0400Big Ten1
2Ohio State4-0382Big Ten2
3Oklahoma State4-0368Big 123
4Iowa6-0352Big Ten4
5Michigan3-0334Big Ten5
7NC State5-0303ACC7
9Minnesota3-1277Big Ten9
10Wisconsin6-1253Big Ten10
11Nebraska4-1233Big Ten11
12North Carolina3-0225ACC12
13Purdue2-1203Big Ten13
14Virginia Tech1-2181ACC14
15Arizona State1-2173Pac-1215
16Northern Iowa1-1147Big 1217
17Illinois1-1123Big Ten18
18Wyoming3-2117Big 1221
19Lock Haven1-096EWL20
21North Dakota State4-178Big 1219
22Utah Valley5-275Big 1222
23Iowa State1-162Big 1223
25Rutgers5-129Big TenNR

Others Receiving Votes: Princeton 22, Old Dominion 13, Northwestern 4, Appalachian State 4.
Dropped Out: No. 25 Northwestern


Questions related to historical polls can be sent to Jason Bryant at

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