The University of Minnesota wrestling team received the top ranking in two more preseason polls this week, making the Golden Gophers the unanimous preseason favorite to win the national title. Minnesota garnered all 12 first-place votes in the InterMat/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll and also is ranked No. 1 in TheWrestlingMall.com (TWM) preseason poll.
The Gophers return nine starters and seven NCAA qualifiers from a team that ended the 2005-06 regular season as the top-ranked team in the nation before finishing second to Oklahoma State at the NCAA Championships.
Led by returning national champions Dustin Schlatter (149) and Cole Konrad (285), as well as All-Americans Mack Reiter (133) and Roger Kish (184), the Gophers have nine wrestlers ranked in the top 20 according to InterMat, while TWM has seven Minnesota wrestlers in the top 20. Minnesota returns three other NCAA qualifiers, including two-time qualifier C.P. Schlatter, the defending Big Ten Champion at 157 pounds. Gabe Dretsch is also two-time NCAA qualifier at 174 pounds, while Manuel Rivera made his first NCAA appearance last season.
The Golden Gophers also were ranked first in the preseason polls released earlier this month by RevWrestling.com and Wrestling International Newsmagazine (W.I.N.).
Minnesota will begin its national title pursuit when it opens the season on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Bison Open in Fargo, N.D.
For complete team and individual rankings, visit the following links:
- InterMat/NWCA Preseason Division I Coaches Poll
- The Wrestling Mall Preseason Rankings
- W.I.N. Preseason Rankings
- RevWrestling.com All-Division Rankings