Pac-12 wrestling power rankings: Stanford, OSU top the six-team conference
The ASU wrestling team finds itself midway through the conference, having picked up the pace in recent weeks. See where the rest of the conference stands in our Pac-12 power rankings.
1. Stanford (17-5, 4-1 Pac-12) While the Cardinal lost to OSU and sit behind the Beavers in the conference standings, they have wins against No. 15 Maryland, No. 17 Michigan on the road, and No. 20 Boise State, all strengthening Stanford's case for the top spot. A rematch between Stanford and OSU in a final Pac-12 showdown is highly likely.
2. OSU (8-6, 3-1 Pac-12) Despite a signature road win against Stanford, the Beavers could not put away ASU on the road and lost to Boise State at home. Losses to Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Oklahoma in Corvallis, Oreg., exemplify the Pac-12's struggles to compete with ranked Big Ten and Big 12 powerhouses.
3. ASU (9-7, 4-1 Pac-12) As shaky as this team has been, with losses to Northern Colorado and Chattanooga, the Sun Devils have really picked it up and appear to have found their groove heading into the postseason. Toppling conference leader Oregon State was a plus, but ASU fell to a Stanford team that had already wrestled against GCU earlier that afternoon. Coach Shawn Charles may have a decision to make at 197 lbs between sophomore Wes Moore and redshirt sophomore Josh DaSilveira, but the rest of his lineup appears to be set. This team will be scary to face off against if everyone remains healthy.
4. Boise State (3-7, 2-3 Pac-12) Of all the teams in the Pac-12, none has more to prove than the Broncos heading into the tournament. Even after losing inexplicably to Wyoming in its home opener and then squeaking out a win against OSU on the road, Boise State was ranked as high as No. 20, and dropped out of the rankings after losing to Stanford. Following that loss, the Broncos lost narrowly to Cal Poly 19-13 and proceeded to demolish CSU Bakersfield 35-6. Possessing one of the weakest non-conference dual meet schedules of any Pac-12 team — and sitting its ranked wrestlers in an attempt to skew the seeding draw in their favor — opposing coaches have a right to be skeptical of this team.
5. Cal Poly (3-9, 1-4 Pac-12) I'd like to start this with a disclaimer. Although it may seem unfair to judge the two smallest Pac-12 affiliates so harshly, it is for good reason. The rest of the athletic programs may compete in the Big West or Big Sky, but this is an evaluation of the wrestling team, which is held to Pac-12 standards. It is scary to look at this team and see that the highlights of their season were victories against CSU Bakersfield, Menlo College, plus a third-place finish at the Roadrunner Open.
6. CSU Bakersfield (6-8, 1-4 Pac-12) While doing a somewhat respectable job of scheduling comparable Division I opponents as a mere affiliate member in a loaded conference, the Runners have some work to do. While a 36-7 loss to No. 7 Oklahoma State and a demoralizing 42-0 spanking at the hands of No. 9 Nebraska were probably predictable outcomes, losing to in-state rival Cal Poly and Utah Valley did not help the Runners' cause. Bakersfield's three signature wins came against GCU, Appalachian State and Menlo College, and that's also a cause for concern. Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @modrich_22