The Big 12 announced the addition of two new wrestling-only members to the conference Wednesday; Fresno State and Northern Iowa.
The Bulldogs and Panthers will officially join the conference next season, and bring the Big 12 to 12 teams.
While the names Fresno State and Northern Iowa may not sound impressive to you, this isn’t football. Last season Northern Iowa finished the regular season ranked 11-3 and ranked No. 14. They finished 18th at the NCAA Championships.
After an 11-year hiatus, Fresno State will compete in wrestling this season. The Bulldogs canceled the program after the 2005-06 season.
While Oklahoma State has continually been a powerhouse in college wrestling, the Big 12 has been in need of talented teams. When Missouri and Nebraska left, the Big 12 was left with four teams; OU, OSU, ISU, and West Virginia. Iowa State’s program has since gone down hill, and West Virginia has been “ok” but not great.
Now, with the addition of Northern Iowa and South Dakota State continuing the improve, OSU and the Big 12 are in a better position than it was just a few years ago.
Now if we could just get the format of the NCAA Championships changed...
Here's the full list of the 12 teams competing for the Big 12 crown starting next year.
Big 12 Wrestling:
North Dakota State
South Dakota State