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OSU Wrestling: Firmly at No. 2, Cowboys Have Beaten More Ranked Teams Than Anyone in the Country

A look at the Cowboys’ gauntlet.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowboys have been upending ranked teams basically on a weekly basis this season.

Oklahoma State has beaten 11 ranked opponents this season — the most by any team in the country. Nine of those ranked victories have been in a row, as OSU hasn’t faced an unranked opponent since traveling to Wyoming on Dec. 19. OSU has wrestled only two unranked opponents this season in Wyoming and Bucknell in the season opener.

The Cowboys’ run against ranked foes will only continue until the end of the season with No. 25 Oklahoma and No. 4 Iowa left on the schedule. If the Hawkeyes stay put inside the top five, a victory over Iowa on Feb. 25 would also give OSU its fourth win over a top-five team, joining NC State, Iowa State and Missouri.

Despite getting through maybe the most difficult schedule in the country unscathed so far, the Cowboys remained at No. 2 behind Penn State in the latest NWCA coaches poll released Tuesday after jumping up a spot last week. OSU and Penn State are the only undefeated teams left in the country. Nebraska is the only one-loss team left.

Here’s a look at the most recent rankings, with teams that OSU has beaten in bold.

1 Penn State
2 Oklahoma State
3 Nebraska
4 Iowa
5 Iowa State
6 Ohio State
7 Missouri
8 NC State
9 Cornell
10 Michigan
11 South Dakota State
12 Minnesota
13 Virginia Tech
14 Rutgers
15 Lehigh
16 Stanford
17 Northern Iowa
18 Little Rock
19 West Virginia
20 Arizona State
21 Oregon State
22 Pittsburgh
23 Indiana
24 Campbell
25 Oklahoma

Somehow, all 11 of OSU’s ranked victims are still inside the top 25, with OU just barely staying in at No. 25 after a loss to South Dakota State on Friday. South Dakota State actually jumped a spot to No. 11 after beating OU before losing to OSU on Saturday. The Cowboys have already beaten the Sooners once in Norman this season, but OU will be in Stillwater at 2 p.m. Sunday with the likelihood of being OSU’s 12th ranked win. At 5-6, OU is also the only team on OSU’s schedule with a losing record, and that includes unranked Wyoming and Bucknell.

Of OSU’s ranked wins, Iowa State is currently the highest at No. 5. Next week’s opponent, Iowa, is No. 4 and beat the Cyclones 18-14 on Nov. 26.

If the Cowboys finish the season undefeated with wins over OU and Iowa, it would put them at 13 ranked wins for the season. That would be the most since the 2005-06 Cowboys that featured Johny Hendricks and Jake Rosholt also notched 13. That team saw more competition at 16-2, with both losses coming to Minnesota.

In a season that started with John Smith upset with Minnesota for dropping its dual with the Cowboys, rescheduling a dual with NC State that was originally supposed to be in Italy and OSU having only three duals the entire first semester, the Pokes have put together their best run in nearly two decades thanks to a schedule and team that made it possible.

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