The Dominance of the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2023-24 College Wrestling Season
This is the story of the unstoppable force that is the Penn State Nittany Lions in the world of college wrestling. With head coach Cael Sanderson at the helm, this program has achieved an astounding feat of winning 10 NCAA titles in the last 12 years. The lineup of the Nittany Lions boasts two three-time national title winners, along with six other wrestlers ranked in the top three and two more athletes in the top 20. It’s safe to say that Penn State is a force to be reckoned with.
Penn State Wrestling Schedule: Breaking Down the Nittany Lion Duals
For this Penn State team, the goal is not just winning duals but achieving complete dominance. It comes as no surprise that they are ranked as the number one preseason team this year. However, it’s worth noting a few other notable poll results leading into the opening week of dual action.
Here is a breakdown of the preseason poll:
|Penn State (14)
|NC State (14-1)
|Virginia Tech (10-3)
|Ohio State (13-3)
|Iowa State (16-3)
One team that made a significant jump in the poll rankings is Missouri. After finishing fifth at the NCAAs last year, they now begin the 2023-24 season ranked fourth. Led by two-time NCAA champion Keegan O’Toole, Missouri has a formidable lineup with contenders in various weight classes, making them a force to be reckoned with.
Missouri will kick off its dual season on Nov. 19 against Arizona State, a team that beat them last year in a thrilling barnburner dual. This match sets the stage for the tough non-conference duals that the Tigers will face, including matchups against Oklahoma and Illinois in December.
Another team to watch out for is Virginia Tech. They had a strong finish in 2023, with five athletes reaching the podium and earning a ninth-place finish as a team. The Hokies return all five of those podium finishers, making their lineup a formidable one. Their season begins with a top-15 battle against Ohio State, which promises to have significant rankings implications.
Rounding out the top 10, Michigan and Rutgers also saw improvements in their poll rankings. With talented transfers and a dangerous lineup, Michigan is set to face off against Penn State after the winter break in a test that will gauge their competitiveness in the conference dual schedule.
Speaking of Rutgers, they made a significant jump in the polls, moving from No. 22 to No. 15. Head coach Scott Goodale has built a strong team with 10 ranked wrestlers, and their first test will be against Cal Poly this weekend.
While some teams saw themselves rise in the preseason poll, two notable teams, Nebraska and Iowa State, dropped five spots each. However, both teams still possess highly competitive squads and have the potential to make waves in the wrestling scene this year.
Nebraska, with No. 1 ranked Ridge Lovett leading the way, is a team capable of winning a team trophy. Their early duals will be crucial in proving their capabilities, starting with a match against North Dakota State, a team they lost to last year. Despite the graduation of key wrestlers, Nebraska is expected to bounce back and perform well in the Big Ten.
As for Iowa State, they have an incredibly deep lineup with standout wrestler David Carr leading the charge. They have a chance to pull off a win against Iowa, which would be a significant victory for the team.
The college wrestling season is shaping up to be highly competitive and thrilling. With dominant teams like Penn State and rising contenders like Missouri, Virginia Tech, and Rutgers, we can expect some truly exciting matches and surprising results. Let the games begin!
Olivia Wilson is a trendsetter in the world of digital culture. With an eagle eye for emerging trends and viral phenomena, she keeps readers up-to-date with the latest online sensations, memes, and pop culture trends. Olivia’s passion for staying ahead of the curve is infectious.