PARK RIDGE, Ill. – Big Ten wrestling begins the 2012-13 season this week, as Indiana and Michigan open on Thursday, and five conference squads hit the mat this weekend. The Hoosiers host Manchester, while the Wolverines welcome Olivet in dual-meet action.
Five conference squads take to the mat this weekend. On Saturday, Illinois begins the season at the Loras Open in Dubuque, Iowa, while Michigan State and Purdue travel to the Eastern Michigan Open in Ypsilanti, Mich. Nebraska and Ohio State see their first action of the season on Sunday when the Huskers travel to Brookings, S.D., for the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open and the Buckeyes visit Buffalo, N.Y., for the Buffalo Invitational.
Three teams begin the 2012-13 season next weekend. On Nov. 9, Minnesota welcomes Hofstra, and Northwestern travels to Stanford, while Wisconsin hosts Hofstra on Nov. 11. Iowa and Penn State open the season on Nov. 16, as the Hawkeyes visit Chattanooga for a quad-meet and the defending national champion Nittany Lions host Lehigh.
Eight teams enter the season ranked in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll, including six squads in the top 10, giving the Big Ten the most ranked teams of any conference in the country. Minnesota holds the top spot in the poll, checking in at No. 1. Penn State follows at No. 2, with No. 4 Iowa, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Illinois and No. 9 Nebraska also earning top-10 consideration. Michigan begins the season ranked 13th, while Northwestern rounds out the group of ranked Big Ten teams at No. 14. Purdue is also receiving votes entering the season.