Jim Heffernan's Illini wrestling team is ranked No. 10 in the preseason NWCA/USA Today Coaches' poll.
Oct. 27, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois wrestling team was ranked No. 10 in the first NWCA/USA Today Division I team coaches' poll, released Tuesday by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. It marks the second time in the last three years that the Illini have been ranked in the top 10 to start the season, along with a No. 9 ranking to open the 2008-09 campaign.
Illinois is one of five Big Ten teams ranked in the top 10, with Minnesota at No. 4, Wisconsin at No. 5, Penn State at No. 6 and Iowa at No. 7. Four other Big Ten teams are ranked, with Ohio State at No. 12, Michigan at No. 18, Northwestern at No. 19 and Purdue at No. 20.
Cornell, which finished second at the 2010 NCAA Championships and returns three All-Americans, opened the season with a unanimous No. 1 ranking, with Boise State at No. 2 and Oklahoma State at No. 3. Oklahoma is ranked No. 8 and Central Michigan is ranked No. 9, with the Illini rounding out the top 10.
The Fighting Illini open the season Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. against Missouri at the Jon Davis Wrestling Center in Edwardsville, Ill.