Big Ten wrestling power rankings

By Alex Wallner

Big Ten regular season wrestling is nearing the end. 

Most of the Big Ten teams are competing against non-conference opponents this weekend, with the regular season officially ending on Sunday.

As of today, Iowa and Penn State are tied atop the Big Ten conference at 9-0. Michigan is third at 8-1.

Here is Alex Wallner’s Big Ten power rankings prior to the last weekend of Big Ten regular season competition.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Head coach: Cael Sanderson

Record: (15-0, 9-0 Big Ten)

Analysis: The No. 1 ranked Nittany Lions have been the top team in the nation since November 17 and have dominated through their schedule, defeating opponents by an average of 27 points. Penn State has won four out of the last five Big Ten championships.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Head coach: Tom Brands

Record: (16-0, 9-0 Big Ten)

Analysis: Iowa enters the last week of the season ranked second in the country with No. 4 North Carolina State coming into Iowa City for the final dual of the season. The co-defending Big Ten champion Hawkeyes will come into the 2016 Big Ten Championships at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with 35 team Big Ten championships in the program’s history.

Michigan Wolverines

Head coach: Joe McFarland

Record: (13-2, 8-1 Big Ten)

Analysis: No. 8 Michigan has the fourth most Big Ten championships in the conference with 11 team titles. The Wolverines are led by heavyweight Adam Coon, who is ranked No. 4 in his class with a 15-0 record.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Head coach: Tom Ryan

Record: (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten)

Analysis: The co-defending Big Ten and NCAA champion Buckeyes are ranked ninth in the country with the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 125 pounds in Nathan Tomasello.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Head Coach: Scott Goodale

Record: (15-5, 5-4 Big Ten)

Analysis: The Scarlet Knights have won their last two duals and have a tough non-conference dual against No. 7 Lehigh at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Saturday.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Head coach: Mark Manning

Record: (11-5, 5-4 Big Ten)

Analysis: Nebraska has a ranked wrestler at every weight class and are led by Jake Sueflohn at 149 pounds. Sueflohn is No. 4 in his weight class and is 23-4 on the season.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Head Coach: J Robinson

Record: (9-8, 5-4 Big Ten)

Analysis: The Golden Gopher are coming off of a tough loss against the Illini last Friday and are tied for fifth in the conference. Minnesota has 10 Big Ten titles with its last coming in 2007.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Head coach: Jim Heffernan

Record: (13-5, 4-5 Big Ten)

Analysis: All five of the Illini’s losses are against ranked opponents. Illinois is led by No. 2 Isaiah Martinez at 157 pounds, who lost his first ever collegiate match against Penn State’s Jason Nolf in January. No. 2 Zane Richards is also having a good campaign. The 133 pounder has a 21-0 overall record and is 7-0 in the Big Ten. The Illini have the second most Big Ten championships with 17.

Purdue Boilermakers

Head Coach: Tony Ersland

Record: (8-6, 3-5 Big Ten)

Analysis: Purdue is ranked No. 23 in the country but are just 1-5 in its last six duals. Purdue faces unranked Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Friday and Duke on Sunday to conclude its season.

Indiana Hoosiers

Head coach: Duane Goldman

Record: (6-6, 3-6 Big Ten)

Analysis: Indiana has lost its last five duals by an average of 23 points and face Appalachian State on Sunday to end the season. The Hoosiers have the third most Big Ten championships with 13.

Wisconsin Badgers

Head coach: Barry Davis

Record: (3-7, 2-6 Big Ten)

Analysis: One of the Badgers two wins on the season was against No. 13 Rutgers in early February by three points. Wisconsin has never boasted a team Big Ten championship, but has crowned 68 individual champions.

Maryland Terrapins

Head coach: Kerry McCoy

Record: (5-12, 1-8 Big Ten)

Analysis: Maryland is just 1-7 in its last eight matches and face Rider on Saturday at the XFINITY Center.

Michigan State Spartans

Head coach: Tom Minkel

Record: (1-14, 1-8 Big Ten)

Analysis: Michigan State’s only win in conference was against Northwestern with its most recent loss coming to top ranked Penn State, 41-3.

Northwestern Wildcats

Head coach: Matt Stornilio

Record: (1-12, 0-8 Big Ten)

Analysis: Northwestern is the worst team in the Big Ten and face Wisconsin on Sunday.

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