Penn State Wrestling: Ranking all 12 NCAA Championship Teams - NittanyCentral

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Penn State Wrestling: Ranking all 12 NCAA Championship Teams

Putting all 12 of Penn State Wrestling’s NCAA Championship-winning teams in the proper order.
Penn State Wrestling
Greg Kerkvliet in action for Penn State Wrestling during the 2023 season.
With Penn State’s obliteration of the field in the 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships, the Nittany Lions claimed their 12th NCAA title in program history. It was their 11th team title in just the last 13 NCAA Championships.
So why don’t we take a crack at ranking them? Because everyone knows I’m so good at bold predictions and accurately ranking completely subjective items in the perfect order, right?
I’ll give you an example of my expertise.
Definitive top 5 chicken nugget dipping sauces:
5. Ken’s honey mustard
4. Trader Joe’s Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ sauce
3. McDonald’s sweet and sour sauce
2. Chick-fil-A sauce
1. Heinz ketchup
#undisputed
Now that I’ve proved my worthiness, let’s take a look at all 12 Nittany Lion NCAA Championship teams and how they stacked up against each other.

Rankings of all 12 Penn State Wrestling NCAA Title teams

No. 12 – 2011

Dual Record: 17-1-1
Conference Champions: 5
133 Andrew Long
149 Frank Molinaro
157 David Taylor
174 Ed Ruth
184 Quentin Wright
All-Americans: 5
133 Andrew Long
149 Frank Molinaro
157 David Taylor
174 Ed Ruth
184 Quentin Wright
NCAA Champions: 1
184 Quentin Wright
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 107.5
2. Cornell 93.5
3. Iowa 86.5
The 2010-2011 Nittany Lion squad was the first NCAA Championship team for Cael Sanderson. Two weeks prior to claiming their first NCAA Wrestling Championship since 1953 (foreshadowing alert), this team took home their first conference championship since 1992 and their first ever Big Ten Championship.
So with it being the first of now 11 NCAA title teams for Sanderson, it’s no surprise this team isn’t the strongest when compared to the others.
But they were still able to have eight participants in the 2011 NCAA Championships, with five of them going on to become All-Americans. And if you knew anything about college wrestling, then you could certainly tell this team was destined for greatness with the likes of David Taylor and Ed Ruth finishing in second and third respectively as freshmen. The phenomenal duo ended up compiling a ridiculous combined record of 76-3 on the year.
Oh, and they had Quentin Wright, who took home his first individual title as a sophomore, and the experience of junior Frank Molinaro who finished second.
Unfortunately one of the Penn State Championship teams had to come in 12th place, and this is where I’m putting the 2011 squad.

No. 11 – 1953 Penn State Wrestling

Dual Record: 9-0
Conference Champions: 2
130 Dick Lemyre
137 Jerry Maurey
All-Americans: 5
130 Dick Lemyre
137 Jerry Maurey
147 Don Frey
167 Joe Lemyre
191 Hud Samson
NCAA Champions: 1
191 Hud Samson
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 21
2. Oklahoma 15
3. Cornell 13
Between 1949 and 1952, Penn State had a bit of a renaissance in terms of wrestling. The 1949-1950 team finished the year going 7-1 in dual meets and had it’s highest conference finish seven years and it’s highest NCAA finish in four years.
Then the 1950-1951 team kept the train rolling by putting up a perfect 8-0 dual record took home the Nittany Lions’ first conference title since 1942, and finished third in the 1951 NCAA Championships.
Momentum was building as Penn State had two talented underclass in Don Frey and Joe Lemyre. As sophomores, the two had a combined 25-5 record and Frey finished second in the NCAA’s at 147.
In the 1951-1952 season, the Nittany Lions once again went undefeated (9-0) and took home their second straight conference title. However, due to the 1952 NCAA Championships being held at Colorado State University, which at the time was the furthest west the NCAA’s had ever been held, the Penn State administration decided to only send wrestlers who had won Eastern titles.
Keep in mind that travel expenses were very much a consideration in collegiate sports 70 years ago.
So instead of the entire wrestling team going, only Bob Homan, Dick Lemyre, and Joe Lemyre were allowed to make the trip. And even with just three participants the Nittany Lions still finished in fifth place in the 1952 NCAA’s.
You could tell things were going to click in the 1952-1953 season. Don Frey, Dick Lemyre, Joe Lemyre, Jerry Maurey, and Hud Samson were all returning for the Nittany Lions and they had a very experienced team.
Oh, it also didn’t hurt that the 1953 NCAA Championships were going to be held in Rec Hall.
The 1952-1953 bulldozed their way through the regular season by going 9-0, and for the third year in a row were crowned conference champions. The only thing left to do was *cue Lou Brown* “Win the whole &%$#ing thing”.
Which is exactly what they did. The 1953 Penn State team qualified a whooping nine grapplers for the NCAA Championships with five of them finishing in the top 3 and being honored as All-Americans.
Don Frey, Joe Lemyre, and Jerry Maruey ended up finishing in third place in their respective weight classes. Dick Lemyre lost in the finals to finish second and Hud Samson won his one and only NCAA title after dropping down from “unlimited” to 191 prior to the 1953 NCAA’s.
All of these top finishes resulted in Penn State finally winning the NCAA title. And they did so in impressive fashion with the largest margin of victory in four years.
The run from 1949 to 1953 was possibly the beginning of a wrestling dynasty in Happy Valley. And if I could go back in time to 1953 and tell the people it would take 58 more years for Penn State to win their second NCAA title?
They would think I was crazy.

No. 10 – 2014

Dual Record: 15-1
Conference Champions: 2
165 David Taylor
184 Ed Ruth
All-Americans: 7
125 Nico Megaludis
141 Zain Retherford
149 James English
165 David Taylor
174 Matt Brown
184 Ed Ruth
197 Morgan McIntosh
NCAA Champions: 2
165 David Taylor
184 Ed Ruth
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 109.5
2. Minnesota 104.0
3. Oklahoma State 96.5
Dan Hodge Trophy
David Taylor – winner
Ed Ruth – finalist
When the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships concluded, Penn State finished the tournament by being crowned champions of the collegiate world for the fourth time in the last four years.
It was an incredible feat by any measure and something which was seemingly unheard of for a team not named Iowa, Oklahoma State, or Minnesota. Prior to the Nittany Lions’ run from 2011 to 2014, those “Big 3” of wrestling won each and every NCAA team title dating back to 1989.
And Cael Sanderson and the Nittany Lions did it four years in a row. However it wasn’t an easy ride to the finish line in 2014.
The team was clearly anchored by all-time Nittany Lion greats Ed Ruth and David Taylor. I can’t possibly put into words how good these two guys were, but I can give you some stats.
Ruth and Taylor were a combined 68-1 and scored bonus points a staggering 90% of the time. This includes 17 technical falls and 27 pins. So roughly 40% of the time when you toed the line opposite of Ed Ruth or David Taylor, you were getting pinned.
It’s no surprise both Ruth and Taylor were finalists for the 2014 Dan Hodge Trophy, with David Taylor ultimately taking home the hardware.
But the rest of the 2014 team weren’t nearly on the same level as Ruth and Taylor. Zain Retherford was a true freshman, Nico Megaludis and Matt Brown were competitive but not for titles, and Morgan McIntosh was working his way up.
So the 2014 team feels about right in the tenth spot. At least to me.

No. 9 – 2013

Dual Record: 13-1

Conference Champions: 4
165 David Taylor
174 Matt Brown
184 Ed Ruth
197 Quentin Wright
All-Americans: 5
125 Nico Megaludis
165 David Taylor
174 Matt Brown
184 Ed Ruth
197 Quentin Wright
NCAA Champions: 2
184 Ed Ruth
197 Quentin Wright
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 123.5
2. Oklahoma State 119.5
3. Minnesota 110.5
Dan Hodge Trophy
Ed Ruth – finalist
The biggest difference between the 2013 and 2014 Penn State teams is simply the fact the 2013 squad still had Quentin Wright on it. The fifth-year senior had a perfect 32-0 record on the season and took home his second NCAA title at 197 pounds.
It also helped to have all five of your All-Americans finish either one or two in the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
The second-place finishers included Matt Brown picking up his first podium finish at 174, Nico Magaludis making it to his second consecutive NCAA finals match at 125, and David Taylor losing his second match of the year to all-world wrestler Kyle Dake.
Combine these high finishes with Quentin Wright winning his second NCAA title and Ed Ruth winning his second consecutive title, and it equals the 2013 title team being slightly higher in my book than the 2014 team.

No. 8 – 2016

Dual Record: 16-0
Conference Champions: 3
149 Zain Retherford
174 Bo Nickal
197 Morgan McIntosh
All-Americans: 6
125 Nico Megaludis
133 Jordan Conaway
149 Zain Retherford
157 Jason Nolf
174 Bo Nickal
197 Morgan McIntosh
NCAA Champions: 2
125 Nico Megaludis
149 Zain Retherford
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 123.0
2. Oklahoma State 97.5
3. Ohio State 86.0
Dan Hodge Trophy
Zain Retherford – finalist
Following a rebuilding season in 2014-2015 where the Nittany Lions finished 11-4 in their dual schedule, fifth at the Big Ten Championships, and sixth at the 2015 NCAA Championships, the Penn State faithful knew it was just a matter of time before they were once again atop the wrestling mountain.
The buzz surrounding the freshman duo of Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf was equivalent to handing 5000 bees a megaphone. And for good reason the pair each ended up finishing runner-up at their respective weight class.
Oh, and Zain Retherford was beginning to assert his dominance on the nation at 149 during his sophomore year with a 34-0 record and 88% bonus point percentage.
It also didn’t hurt to have seniors Nico Megaludis and Morgan McIntosh have their best showings ever in an NCAA tournament.
McIntosh made his first-ever NCAA finals match at 197 where he eventually lost to JDen Cox (Missouri) in a heartbreaking 4-2 decision. And Megaludis finally put everything together to make his third NCAA finals match at 125. However this time he came out on top by defeating Iowa’s Thomas Gilman 6-3.
Sprinkle in a sixth-place finish for Jordan Conaway and this team narrowly edges out the 2013 team.

No. 7 – 2012

Penn State Wrestling, Cael Sanderson
Penn State Wrestling head coach Cael Sanderson.
Dual Record: 13-1
Conference Champions: 3
149 Frank Molinaro
165 David Taylor
174 Ed Ruth
All-Americans: 6
125 Nico Megaludis
149 Frank Molinaro
157 Dylan Alton
165 David Taylor
174 Ed Ruth
184 Quentin Wright
NCAA Champions: 3
149 Frank Molinaro
165 David Taylor
174 Ed Ruth
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 143.0
2. Minnesota 117.5
3. Iowa 107.5
Dan Hodge Trophy
David Taylor – winner
Ed Ruth – finalist
Frank Molinaro – finalist
As I pointed out earlier, the difference for me between the 2013 and 2014 teams came down to Quentin Wright being a senior on the 2013 team.
So now what if I add Frank Molinaro to the majority of the wrestlers from the 2013 squad? Well, based on a strange way of getting there, you have the 2012 Penn State team.
And this team had all of the familiar faces I’ve already discussed from that first run of NCAA titles. Between David Taylor, Ed Ruth, Nico Megaludis, and Quentin Wright it was a really good team from top to bottom.
But there are two big difference makers for me on why I have this team at the five spot in the rankings.
The first being the amazing run Frank Molinaro had in his last year in Happy Valley. Molinaro had his first undefeated season in going 33-0, but more importantly, he started to crush the competition instead of just beating them.
Prior to his senior year, the most matches he won in a season with bonus points was 16. And for his career he had a total of two technical falls.
Well in the 2012 season, Molinaro won via bonus points in 21 matches and he blasted his foes by winning seven technical falls. Winning his first NCAA title was a long time coming and being added as a Dan Hodge Trophy finalist in 2012 seemed only fitting.
The second biggest factor was the presence and competitiveness of freshman Dylan Alton at 157. The highly touted recruit was finally unleashed onto the mat in 2012 and he put together a 30-6 record and finished third in both the Big Ten’s and the NCAA’s.
When trying to determine the difference between all-time great teams, these are big factors.
It also doesnt’ hurt that the 2012 team put up, at the time, the most points in Penn State history in the NCAA Championships (143.0).

No. 6 – 2019

Dual Record: 14-0
Conference Champions: 4
157 Jason Nolf
174 Mark Hall
197 Bo Nickal
285 Anthony Cassar
All-Americans: 7
133 Roman Bravo-Young
141 Nick Lee
157 Jason Nolf
165 Vincenzo Joseph
174 Mark Hall
197 Bo Nickal
285 Anthony Cassar
NCAA Champions: 3
157 Jason Nolf
197 Bo Nickal
285 Anthony Cassar
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 137.5
2. Ohio State 96.5
3. Oklahoma State 84.0
Dan Hodge Trophy
Bo Nickal – winner
Jason Nolf – finalist
Now we’ve reached the point in this article where some tough decisions have to be made. But luckily for everyone, if tough decisions need to be made then I’m your guy to get them wrong (strikethrough) right.
And the 2019 Nittany Lion team had a staggering seven wrestlers awarded with All-American status. A new and fresh face emerged on the team that year as Roman Bravo-Young took over the reigns at 133 pounds.
You may have heard of him before.
And he was impressive throughout the season with a 25-7 record and fifth place finish in the Big Ten’s. RBY then had, by Cael Sanderson and Penn State standards, an okay NCAA tournament by finishing eighth.
Anthony Cassar also got his first full season under his belt in 2018-2019 and all he did was go 30-1, win a Big Ten title, and then go on to win his only NCAA title at 285.
No big deal.
This team did not have Zain Retherford as he wrestled his final match for the Nittany Lions in the 2018 NCAA Championships (probably not a surprise he won). However they had a plethora of household names in Mark Hall, Vincenzo Joseph, Jason Nolf, and Bo Nickal. This humble quartet proceeded to go 118-3 with two second place finishes and two NCAA titles.
Oh, and there was also another relatively new name on the team. Some guy named Nick Lee who finished third in the Big Ten Championship and fifth in the NCAA’s. I don’t know about you, but something tells me Lee will do some great things in the future for Penn State.
Just a hunch.

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No. 5 – 2023

Aaron Brooks, Penn State Wrestling, USA Olympic Wrestling Trials
Penn State Wrestling’s Aaron Brooks. (Photo by Scott Pilutik, For NittanyCentral)
Dual Record: 16-0
Conference Champions: 4
133 Roman Bravo-Young
157 Levi Haines
174 Carter Starocci
184 Aaron Brooks
All-Americans: 8
133 Roman Bravo-Young
141 Beau Bartlett
147 Shayne Van Ness
157 Levi Haines
174 Carter Starocci
184 Aaron Brooks
197 Max Dean
285 Greg Kerkvliet
NCAA Champions: 2
174 Carter Starocci
184 Aaron Brooks
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 137.5
2. Iowa 82.5
3. Cornell 76.5
Dan Hodge Trophy
Carter Starocci – finalist
Aaron Brooks – finalist
The 2023 Nittany Lion team tied the program record for total All-Americans (8), sent five guys to the NCAA finals, and set the Penn State record for margin of victory in the NCAA Championships (55) at that time.
And yes, was it a bit disappointing that “only” Carter Starocci and Aaron Brooks won individual titles? I mean, sure, but there were a lot of factors in play in the finals.
Roman Bravo-Young went up against a buzz saw in Vito Arujau, true freshman Levi Haines grappled with a sixth-year senior, and Greg Kerkvliet lost to the eventual Dan Hodge Trophy winner (Mason Parris).
But when the dust finally settled from the 2023 NCAA Championships, Penn State finished with two champions, eight All-Americans, and seven of their eight All-Americans finishing in the top three. That’s not just good, it’s completely unmatched.
Accordingly, had RBY or Haines or Kerkvliet pulled off the massive upset in the finals, then you could make an argument that this team deserves to be in the top four.

No. 4 – 2022

Penn State Wrestling, Carter Starocci
Carter Starocci of Penn State Wrestling (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
Dual Record: 17-0
Conference Champions: 4
133 Roman Bravo-Young
141 Nick Lee
174 Carter Starocci
197 Max Dean
All-Americans: 6
133 Roman Bravo-Young
141 Nick Lee
174 Carter Starocci
184 Aaron Brooks
197 Max Dean
285 Greg Kerkvliet
NCAA Champions: 5
133 Roman Bravo-Young
141 Nick Lee
174 Carter Starocci
184 Aaron Brooks
197 Max Dean
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 131.5
2. Michigan 95.0
3. Iowa 74.0
Dan Hodge Trophy
Nick Lee – finalist
“Hold on a second here, Chris. You’re telling me the 2022 team which crowned five NCAA champions and won the title by 36.5 points isn’t even in the top two of the best of the best Penn State teams?”
Yeah, I really am. And I’ll explain later but I don’t want to take anything away from what the team did that year.
Going into the 2021-2022 wrestling season it appeared Iowa was headed towards its second consecutive team title even though their budget for walking canes and cases of Ensure was skyrocketing.
Plus the Michigan lineup was looking strong with Cameron Amine, Logan Massa, Myles Amine, Patrick Brucki, and Mason Parris anchoring the back of the team. Then the Wolverines added a former NCAA champion when they landed Nick Suriano from the college free agency market.
The 2022 Nittany Lion team definitely had holes in its lineup, but it also had four returning NCAA champions, a healthy Greg Kerkvliet, a championship contender at 197 with Max Dean, and one of the best wrestling coaches in the world.
And if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times. Never doubt a team led by Cael Sanderson and his incredible coaching staff.
The 2022 Penn State wrestling team will go down as one of the best in school history. Going five for five on the final night of the NCAA Championships is something very, very few schools have ever done in the modern era of college wrestling.
But let’s be real here, this team still doesn’t hold a candle to what the next three teams were able to do.

No. 3 – 2018

Dual Record: 14-0
Conference Champions: 3
149 Zain Retherford
174 Mark Hall
184 Bo Nickal
All-Americans: 8
141 Nick Lee
149 Zain Retherford
157 Jason Nolf
165 Vincenzo Joseph
174 Mark Hall
184 Bo Nickal
197 Shakur Rasheed
285 Nick Nevills
NCAA Champions: 4
149 Zain Retherford
157 Jason Nolf
165 Vincenzo Joseph
184 Bo Nickal
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 141.5
2. Ohio State 134.5
3. Iowa 97.0
Dan Hodge Trophy
Zain Retherford – winner
Bo Nickal – finalist
And now we’re onto the final three teams in our rankings.
In the entire history of Penn State Wrestling, which dates back to 1909, only two other teams had as many All-Americans (8) as the 2017-2018 team. And that was the 2023 team and the promising 1986-1987 Nittany Lion squad which could only finish third in the 1987 NCAA Championships as they weren’t able to crown a single individual title.
Between the experienced group of Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, and Bo Nickal, the 2018 team didn’t just beat their opponents, they lifted them off the mat and sucked their soul directly out of their bodies.
Add in a healthy Shakur Rasheed, rising sophomores Mark Hall and Vincenzo Joseph, and freshman Nick Lee and this team was absolutely scary.
But during the season this loaded Nittany Lion team had some heavy competition between themselves and Ohio State. The Buckeyes gave Penn State everything they could handle in the now famous dual meet dubbed the “Dual of the Century”. And Ohio State took home the 2018 Big Ten title.
But when it came time for the real wrestling tournament to start in the Quicken Loans Arena, Cael Sanderson and his group of talented grapplers went to work in winning four individual titles, a runner-up, and three more top-seven finishes.
The Buckeyes were a formidable opponent but they were no match for this team.

No. 2 – 2017

Dual Record: 14-0
Conference Champions: 2
149 Zain Retherford
157 Jason Nolf
All-Americans: 6
149 Zain Retherford
157 Jason Nolf
165 Vincenzo Joseph
174 Mark Hall
184 Bo Nickal
285 Nick Nevills
NCAA Champions: 5
149 Zain Retherford
157 Jason Nolf
165 Vincenzo Joseph
174 Mark Hall
184 Bo Nickal
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 146.5
2. Ohio State 110.0
3. Oklahoma State 103.0
Dan Hodge Trophy
Zain Retherford – winner
Jason Nolf – finalist
Here is the perfect spot to hit everyone in the face with a dump truck full of stats.
For some context, the 2023-2024 Nittany Lion starters had a total of 34 falls on the year. Not an incredibly high number but it’s also not terrible.
Well both Zain Retherford and Jason Nolf each had 17 pins on the season in 2016-2017. Yes, 17.
And between Retherford, Nolf, Hall, and Nickal that year’s team had 60 total falls. The team as a whole pinned 90 opponents.
Do you like bonus points?
Check out what Nickal, Nolf, and Retherford did in the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
Bo Nickal
Opening round – technical fall 15-0
Round of 16 – fall 5:33
Quarterfinals – fall 4:33
Semifinals – fall 1:01
Finals – decision 4-3
Jason Nolf
Opening round – tecnical fall 22-7
Round of 16 – technical fall 24-9
Quarterfinals – fall 4:06
Semifinals – major decision 13-5
Finals – major decision 14-6
Zain Retherford
Opening round – tecnical fall 18-2
Round of 16 – technical fall 16-0
Quarterfinals – technical fall 18-2
Semifinals – fall 2:36
Finals – technical fall 18-2
That’s a total of 15 matches where 14 ended with bonus points for Penn State. And of the 14 bonus point matches an unbelievable 12 resulted in either a technical fall or pin.
It’s rare to see wrestlers earn bonus points in the later rounds of the NCAA’s. It’s even more bonkers to have Jason Nolf bonus point his way through the entire tournament.
Which makes Zain Retherford’s performance in the 2017 NCAA’s other worldly. You do not, and I repeat “DO NOT”, see NCAA finals matches ending in technical falls.
In the finals at 149, Zain made the No. 3 seed Lavion Mayes (Missouri) look like a scrub from Maryland’s wrestling team. In the finals!!
The 2017 Penn State team would most likely be the greatest wrestling team for almost every single D1 program in the country. But not for the Nittany Lions. And that’s because one of the best wrestling teams in NCAA history sits atop the Penn State throne.

No. 1 – 2024

 

Dual Record: 12-0
Conference Champions: 5
125 Braeden Davis
157 Levi Haines
165 Mitchell Mesenbrink
197 Aaron Brooks
285 Greg Kerkvliet
All-Americans: 8
141 Beau Bartlett
149 Tyler Kasak
157 Levi Haines
165 Mitchell Mesenbrink
174 Carter Starocci
184 Bernie Truax
197 Aaron Brooks
285 Greg Kerkvliet
NCAA Champions: 4
157 Levi Haines
174 Carter Starocci
197 Aaron Brooks
285 Greg Kerkvliet
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Penn State 172.5
2. Cornell 72.5
3. Michigan 71.0
Dan Hodge Trophy
Aaron Brooks – winner
Carter Starocci – finalist
Levi Haines – finalist
Greg Kerkvliet – finalist
Take a look at these stats:
-Tied for most All-American’s in program history (1987 and 2018)
-First team in NCAA history to have multiple four-time NCAA champions on it (Carter Starocci and Aaron Brooks)
-Set the all-time NCAA team scoring record previously held by the 1997 Iowa team (170)
-Set the all-time NCAA record for highest margin of victory previously held by the 1986 Iowa team (73.75)
As it stands statistically, there is no better team in the history of collegiate wrestling than the 2024 Penn State Nittany Lions.
They are the first team to supplant the 1997 Iowa squad for team points and they shattered the record for the largest margin of victory. This Nittany Lion team was tied for the most All-Americans in program history and they also became the first team to ever have two four-time NCAA champions on it.
So this should be clear-cut. They’re the best of all-time, right?
Well when it comes to Nittany Lion wrestling teams, the answer is a resounding “yes”. But just not in the history of NCAA D1 wrestling.
I mean I get it. Penn State had seven of their eight All-Americans finish in the top three and they had the first true freshman in NCAA history lose in the opening round and then storm all of the way back to finish third.
What more can be said?
Well I’ll say this, the 2024 Penn State squad will go down in history as one of the best college sports teams of all-time. And not just in wrestling, but all sports.

MORE: Projecting The Nittany Lions’ 2024 Starting Lineup

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