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Uncharted Territory: Wrestling up to No. 6 in nation

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It has been a meteoric rise. And there are a lot of folks who are stunned by the level of success of the 2015-16 wrestling team. Nice feeling, though, isn't it?

Roy DeBoer - used with permission

The team has equaled its win total in conference from last year.  It is guaranteed its tenth consecutive winning season.  And it is the No. 6 team in the nation.

Wrestling is in the house.

Following its 34-0 win over Michigan State last Friday, the national polls took note.  The USA Today/NWCA Poll has the Knights as the third highest Big Ten squad.

It has been a steady climb for the Knights.  And it has been a lunch-pail, blue collar work ethic up and down the line.  And in the Big Ten, you need to understand that you need to bring it every match, in every bout.

"Most of these guys have been through the Big Ten, so they know what to expect," Head Coach Scott Goodale said in the post-match press conference. "They've been through the Big Ten season and the grind. That's the biggest thing, the maturation process from all of them."

This week, Rutgers has six wrestlers ranked.  Anthony Ashnault at No. 4 (Intermat) and Anthony Perrotti at No. 4 (The Open Mat) lead the way.

Intermat FloWrestling The Open Mat Win Magazine
R-Fr. ANTHONY GIRALDO– 133 Pounds (7-5, 7-5 Duals)
Preseason NR 19 15 NR
Jan. 12 18 19 17 16
R-So. ANTHONY ASHNAULT – 141 Pounds (11-0, 11-0 Duals)
Preseason 8 8 7 6
Jan. 12 4 4 5 4
Jr. RICHIE LEWIS – 157 Pounds (8-1, 8-1 Duals)
Jan. 12 15 15 12 11
R-Sr. ANTHONY PERROTTI – 165 Pounds (10-1, 10-1 Duals)
Preseason 9 16 11 12
Jan. 12 10 5 4 8
R-So. NICHOLAS GRAVINA – 184 Pounds (8-3, 8-3 Duals)
Jan. 12 NR 20 NR NR
R-Sr. BILLY SMITH – 285 Pounds (9-3, 9-3 Duals)
Preseason 8 10 11 8
Jan. 12 16 16 15 13

Attendance

The 3,360 fans attending the Michigan State match last Friday raised the RAC average for wrestling to 3,006 per contest. Including the Rutgers Duals, which were held at the College Avenue Gym, the season average is still 2,417.  By comparison, the men's basketball team is averaging 4,451 and the women 1,899.

Wrestling: the next revenue sport at Rutgers.

National Rankings

USA Today/NWCA Coaches
RANK SCHOOL RECORD
1 Penn State (12) 8-0
2 Iowa 10-0
3 N.C. State 16-0
4 Missouri 7-0
5 Oklahoma State 4-2
6 Rutgers 11-2
7 Nebraska 8-1
8 Lehigh 9-1
9 Oklahoma 6-2
10 Michigan 6-1
11 Ohio State 5-2
13 Illinois 9-2
20 Purdue 5-2
22 Indiana 4-1

Others Big Ten Schools Receiving Votes: Minnesota 6, Wisconsin 6

Around the Big Ten

Wrestler of the Week

Nate Jackson, Indiana,  174 pounds - Jr.

The 11th-ranked wrestler defeated No. 1 Bo Nickal of Penn State with a 7-6 decision in Sunday's dual against the Nittany Lions

Big Ten Standings

Conference Overall

W-L-T Pct
W-L-T Pct
Iowa 3-0-0 1.000 10-0-0 1.000
Penn State 3-0-0 1.000 8-0-0 1.000
Michigan 2-0-0 1.000 6-1-0 .857
Nebraska 3-1-0 .750 9-1-0 .900
Rutgers 2-1-0 .667 11-2-0 .846
Ohio State 2-1-0 .667 5-2-0 .714
Indiana 1-1-0 .500 4-1-0 .800
Illinois 1-2-0 .333 9-2-0 .818
Minnesota 1-2-0 .333 5-6-0 .455
Maryland 1-3-0 .250 4-6-0 .400
Purdue 0-1-0 .000 5-2-0 .714
Wisconsin 0-2-0 .000 1-3-0 .250
Northwestern 0-2-0 .000 1-6-0 .143
Michigan State 0-3-0 .000 0-8-0 .000
Updated through 1/11.

Results and upcoming matches

1/08/16 vs. Michigan State * RAC W, 34-0
1/17/16 at Minnesota * Minneapolis, Minn. 2:00 p.m. ET
1/22/16 vs. Wisconsin * RAC 7:00 p.m. ET