BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State wrestling team heads into its two week break still solidified in the upper tier of collegiate wrestling with a pair of top six rankings as a team, and several top 20 rankings individually.
After improving their record to 2-0-1 overall (0-0-1 Pacific-10 Conference) with a 25-9 win over Northern Colorado last Friday (Nov. 19), the Broncos are now tied with Oklahoma State for No. 2 in the intermatwrestle.com tournament power rankings. The Broncos and Cowboys both received 68.5 points in the poll to trail only No. 1 Cornell. The ranking is based on projected individual finishes at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Boise State currently has five wrestlers ranked in the top 20, four of which are projected to wrestle to a top eight finish and All-America honors.
Senior Kirk Smith enters this week ranked No. 1 nationally at 184 pounds, despite still waiting to make his debut this season. Heading into this past weekend Smith was one of three Broncos ranked No. 1 for their respective weight class by InterMat, but losses by Andrew Hochstrasser and Adam Hall at the NWCA All-Star Classic dropped both wrestlers in the rankings.
Hochstrasser dropped one spot to No. 2 at 133 pounds after losing an 8-7 decision to No. 1 Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State. Hall fell two spots to No. 3 at 157 pounds after a 12-4 major decision loss to No. 2 Bubba Jenkins of Arizona State. Smith, Hochstrasser and Hall are joined in the top five by junior Jason Chamberlain, who maintained his No. 4 ranking at 149 pounds.
Rounding out the group of individual rankings for Boise State this week is Levi Jones, who also stayed put at No. 13 in the 141 pound rankings despite suffering his first loss of the season on Saturday (Nov. 20) at the Northern Colorado Old Chicago Open.
Despite the continued success in the InterMat rankings, the Broncos did manage to drop another spot to No. 6 in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll. After starting the season ranked No. 2, Boise State dropped three spots to No. 5 with an 18-18 tie against Oregon State. The Broncos were passed in the dual ranking this week by Penn State. Boise State now trails Cornell, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Penn State; in that order.
The Broncos are off the mat this week due to the holiday, but will return to action the following weekend (Dec. 4-5) with a trip to Las Vegas, Nev. for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite.