The Pitt wrestling team continues a slow climb up the weekly college wrestling rankings. After the Panthers began the season ranked No. 14, they rose a spot to No. 13 after defeating Navy in the season opener. This week, following a dominant win over No. 17 Lehigh, Pitt is up another spot to No. 12.
Both of the Panthers’ opponents have been fairly strong. As mentioned, Lehigh was (and remains) a top 20 team. Navy is not ranked but had received points in the preseason poll.
Despite the quality win over a ranked Lehigh team where the Panthers won eight out of ten bouts, they still only moved up one spot — and they only did that because Minnesota, previously No. 12, lost to a top five Nebraska team last week. All teams ahead of the Panthers are currently unbeaten.
As I’ve written before, Pitt has usually been able to maintain a spot somewhere in the 11-20 range. The question is now if the Panthers can continue to rise and get into the top ten with the ACC portion of the season now upon us. While not the Big Ten, the ACC is one of the top conferences for wrestling, battling the Big 12 for the No. 2 conference.
Ahead of Pitt in the polls in the ACC is No. 4 NC State and No. 8 Virginia Tech. North Carolina is right on the Panthers’ heels, too, at No. 13. Also in the ACC, Virginia is effectively No. 28 (receiving votes) leaving Duke as the only conference program not receiving votes.