BOISE, Idaho - Despite still being over a month away from the start of the 2010-11 college wrestling season Boise State received a piece of national recognition, Wednesday (Sept. 22), as Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine named the Broncos the No. 2 team in the country according to their Tournament Power Index.
The W.I.N. preseason TPI is a projected ranking system based on how teams are expected to finish at the NCAA tournament. Points are earned according to how individuals might place at the national championships. Boise State received a big boost in the TPI with seven wrestlers ranked in the top-20 individually; five of which are projected as potential All-Americans.
"Our main goal is not looking too far ahead," Head Coach Greg Randall said about the ranking. "It is still early and we'll have to see how the season plays out. We're going to see some top-five teams during the season, so we'll see how it plays out. We'll know more when it comes down to the Pac-10 and NCAA tournaments. Hopefully we've got 10 wrestlers that make a commitment to wrestle for a national title."
As a team the Broncos earned 73 points in the TPI. Cornell heads into the season ranked No. 1 with 78.5 points. The No. 2 ranking is the second of the preseason for Boise State, as the Broncos were also voted No. 2 nationally by wrestlingreport.com back on July 23.
A big reason for Boise State's preseason accolades is a projected starting lineup that boasts seven upperclassmen.
"If you look at last year Iowa, as an example, was loaded with seniors and they got it done. Ohio State had a bunch of seniors, and they've been right at the top. We would like to take our juniors and seniors and get up there where those teams have been. With our experienced team, our younger guys are going to get better also. Hopefully we'll have good competition here."
Individually, the Broncos are led by a pair of seniors who received No. 1 overall rankings for their respective weight class heading into the season. Kirk Smith was voted No. 1 by W.I.N. at 184 pounds after wrestling to a runner-up finish at the 2010 NCAA Championships. He is joined by Adam Hall, who is No. 1 at 157 pounds after finishing third at nationals last spring.
Joining Smith and Hall in the top- eight are Andrew Hochstrasser, Levi Jones and Jason Chamberlain. Hochstrasser is ranked No. 2 at 133 pounds, while Chamberlain is No. 6 at 149 and Jones is No. 8 at 141.
Rounding out the group of Boise State wrestlers ranked in the top-20 by W.I.N. are Joey Fio and Matt Casperson. Fio enters the fall ranked No. 15 at 125. Casperson, meanwhile, is ranked No. 20 at 197.
"We've got five really good wrestlers ranked in the top-eight," Randall said. "[In order to take that next step] it's the other guys that are going to make the difference. It is the other five guys that have to step up and become an All-American. If those five guys can step up we've got a really good chance of winning the whole thing."