In a move that should surprise no one, the defending national champion Penn State wrestling team was the top squad Thursday when WIN Magazine released its Preseason Tournament Power Index and Rankings.
WIN predicts that the Nittany Lions’ national tournament scoring based on the individual rankings would be 118 points, 6 1/2 points more than the runner-up.
The Big Ten as a whole claimed the top-3 spots in the rankings — with Ohio State and Michigan following the Nittany Lions at Nos. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Oklahoma State (No. 4) and Missouri (No. 5) rounded out the top 5. A mild surprise was Iowa being listed farther down at No. 10 in WIN’s rankings.
Penn State’s individual defending champions Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184) all were named the top wrestlers in their respective weight classes in the individual rankings. The other top-ranked wrestlers include Lehigh’s Darian Cruz (125), South Dakota State’s Seth Gross (133), Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil (141), and Ohio State’s Kollin Moore (197) and Kyle Snyder (285).
Returning Nittany Lions wrestlers Matt McCutcheon and Nick Nevills came in the top 8 of their weight classes. McCutcheon was ranked No. 7 at 197 pounds. Nevills, who was the next-highest ranked wrestler on the team behind the champions, is listed at No. 5 at 285.
Penn State newcomer Corey Keener, who transfered from Central Michigan, was listed No. 16 at 133 pounds. The Nittany Lions did not have a wrestler ranked at 125 or 141 pounds.
Former Penn State and now Rutgers wrestler Nick Suriano was not listed in the rankings.
WIN Magazine Top 10
1. Penn State
2. Ohio State
4. Oklahoma State
6. Arizona State
T8. N.C. State