The Oklahoma State wrestling team is ranked No. 1 in Intermat’s 2016-17 preseason rankings, the website announced Tuesday.
OSU, who has a NCAA program-best 34 team championships, will look to make room for another team title in its trophy case for the first time since 2006.
The Cowboys open has a 7.5-point favorite over No. 2 Iowa (94.5) in Intermat’s tournament rankings. Ohio State (93.5), defending champion Penn State (86.5) and Missouri (84) round out the top five. The Big 12 has two other teams in the top 25 with Iowa State at No. 14 and Wyoming at No. 22.
The Cowboys have nine of its 10 wrestlers ranked in the top-15 of their respective weight class. The group is led by 141-pound defending national champion Dean Heil and three returning All-Americans: Anthony Collica (149), Joe Smith (157) and Nolan Boyd (184). Chandler Rogers (165) and Preston Weigel (197) were ranked No. 5 and No. 7 in their respective weight classes.
Kaid Brock (133) and Kyle Crutchmer (174) also are in the group after missing last postseason with injuries. Brock suffered a season-ending injury during the semifinals of the Southern Scuffle, while Crutchmer, a 2014 All-American, broke his right foot in two places during the Bedlam dual Feb. 5.
The Cowboys were also ranked No. 1 in WIN Magazine’s preseason rankings.
OSU is coming off a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships last season. Six Cowboys earned All-American honors with Heil and former Cowboy Alex Dieringer winning individual titles.
The Cowboys open the season Nov. 6 in Miami, Oklahoma against Bucknell.
|17||North Carolina State|
|125||Nick Piccininni (R-Fr.)||15|
|133||Kaid Brock (So.)||6|
|141||Dean Heil (Jr.)||1|
|149||Anthony Collica (Sr.)||4|
|157||Joe Smith (So.)||3|
|165||Chandler Rogers (So.)||5|
|174||Kyle Crutchmer (Sr.)||6|
|184||Nolan Boyd (Sr.)||5|
|197||Preston Weigel (So.)||7|