Which teams rank at the top of Fanco’s Big Ten wrestling dual rankings for the 2021-2022 preseason? Of course after sharing the Big Ten regular season trophy, Iowa and Penn State are both at the top of the list.
Due to circumstances outside of either team’s control, the biggest rivalry in college wrestling was cancelled and we never found out who would have won the dual in 2021. But, that just means that the anticipation for the rematch will be that much more thrilling.
Let’s find out where each Big Ten team ranks this season. . .
#1 – #5: Who’s in the Top 5?
Not surprisingly, Iowa is the #1 team heading into the 2021-2022 season. The returning Big Ten and NCAA champions are currently riding an 18 match winning streak after going undefeated for the past two seasons. All ten NCAA qualifiers are back, which means they are as formidable as ever.
Next up, #2 Penn State has a powerful squad with four NCAA champs returning to the lineup. In the offseason, 2019 NCAA finalist Max Dean also transferred from Cornell, which gives Penn State that much more depth up top. Even though #3 Michigan appears to have a more solid lineup from top to bottom, Penn State has the edge with projected bonus point victories.
There are not many chinks in Michigan’s armor this year. 4X All-American and Olympic bronze medalist Myles Amine announced his return for one final season. On top of that, All-Americans Cam Amine, Logan Massa, and Mason Parris are all back. Michigan can easily earn a top five finish at NCAAs again this year.
Rounding out the top five are #4 Ohio State and #5 Nebraska. Both teams have a similar amount of guys in Intermat’s top 25, but the Buckeyes get the slight edge based upon matchups.
#6 – #10: The Middle of the Pack
After a disappointing 0-4 season with too many cancellations, the 2022 Rutgers team is returning with a chip on their shoulders. With four returning All-Americans, they have a tough lineup. Unfortunately, Janzer and Poznanski may be battling for a spot at 184 lbs to make room for Clarion transfer Greg Bulsak at 197 lbs. But the good news is that Sebastian Rivera (141 lbs) and Jackson “Relaxed & Dangerous” Turley (174 lbs) will both be hitting hard again for the team.
Even without Nick Suriano, the Scarlett Knights have a bit more overall firepower than #7 Minnesota. However, with Gable Steveson returning, no team has more firepower at heavyweight than the Gophers. Even though they are directly in the middle of the Big Ten rankings, expect a show from Minnesota every dual.
Next is a clear #8, Illinois. Not only is the team bringing back Lucas Byrd (133) and Dylan Duncan (141), but Mikey Carr (149) and the Braunagel brothers (165 & 184) will also be back. Because they have a bit more depth than #9 Wisconsin and #10 Purdue but not quite as much as the teams above them, I have them right at #8.
Notes on the Rest of the Teams
Are you surprised that #12 Northwestern is not higher in the rankings? They have three All-Americans returning, which means they will do very well in tournaments. But they need more than that to really crack the Big Ten top ten.
The other team you should expect to be competitive is #11 Michigan State. Of course, Rayvon Foley (125) and Cam Caffey (197) will be leading the pack, but Peyton Omania (149) just made the Greco World Team and others are sure to step up too.
Though #13 Indiana is the penultimate team in these rankings, don’t forget that they bested Northwestern last year (18-16). And I would be remiss if I did not mention that I’m cheering for Maryland to at least pick up one victory to get rid of their 21 match losing streak.
How accurate do you think these Big Ten wrestling rankings are for the preseason, and would you change anything?
Big Ten Wrestling Dual Rankings (Preseason)
- Penn State
- Ohio State
- Michigan State