BOISE, Idaho - The No. 9 (NWCA/USA Today) ranked Boise State wrestling team returns home this weekend for its first dual in Boise since mid-November when the Broncos host No. 24 Cal Poly, Sunday (Jan. 23), in a highly anticipated Pac-10 Conference match-up.
Boise State (5-2-1 overall, 1-0-1 Pac-10) will meet the Mustangs (5-0, 1-0) at 2 p.m. in Taco Bell Arena. Doors will open to the public at 1 p.m. Fans can also watch the dual by purchasing it through BroncoVision on broncosports.com.
Sunday will mark the first of four remaining home duals for the Broncos. Boise State is also set to host Stanford (Jan. 28), Cal State Bakersfield (Feb. 2) and Utah Valley (Feb. 4).
Last time out...
The Broncos are coming off a two week layoff since a solid showing at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Boise State wrestled to a seventh-place finish with a 3-2 record on the weekend. The Broncos opened the tournament with a 25-13 win over No. 14 Iowa State, before falling in the quarterfinals to No. 5 Minnesota, 17-18.
Boise State would rebound in consolation action with a 24-12 win against No. 11 Oregon State. The Broncos run at a consolation title would come to an end in their next dual however, with a 21-12 loss to No. 13 Missouri. Boise State managed to finish the weekend strong by beating Iowa State once again, 25-13, to solidify the seventh-place finish.
Following their two losses at the National Duals, the Broncos dropped to No. 9 in this week's NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. After starting the season ranked No. 2 in the coaches' poll, Boise State entered the National Duals at No. 6. The Broncos have remained near the top of the intermatwrestle.com rankings however, coming in at No. 3 this week. Boise State has held either the second or third spot in the InterMat ranking for eight of 10 polls this season.
Individually, the Broncos continue to have seven wrestlers ranked in the top 20 for their respective weight class by InterMat. Senior Kirk Smith leads the way being voted No. 1 at 184 pounds for the eighth time this season. After sitting out the fall schedule, Smith went 3-0 at the National Duals to kick-off his season.
Smith is joined by Andrew Hochstrasser, Adam Hall and Jason Chamberlain with top-three rankings once again this week. Hochstrasser (133 pounds) and Hall (157) are both currently ranked No. 2, while Chamberlain is No. 3 at 149 pounds.
Rounding out the group of Broncos ranked in the InterMat top 20 is Jake Swartz, Alan Bartelli and Levi Jones. Swartz (174) is ranked No. 11 this week, while Bartelli (125) is No. 16 and Jones (141) is No. 18.
Boise State also found itself filling up the first of three NCAA coaches' panel rankings for the 2010-11 season with nine wrestlers ranked in the top 35 nationally. The final NCAA rankings will be used as part of the selection process to determine qualifiers for the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Smith (No. 1), Hochstrasser (No. 2), Chamberlain (No. 3) and Hall (No. 3) all received top three votes in the NCAA rankings. They are followed by Swartz (No. 11), Bartelli (No. 18) and Jones (No. 18). Rounding out the group with top 35 rankings are Matt Casperson and J.T. Felix. Casperson is currently No. 24 at 197 pounds, while Felix is No. 33 at heavyweight.
Looking at the Mustangs...
Cal Poly will face its biggest test of the season this weekend when the Mustangs travel to No. 13 Oregon State, Friday, and Boise State, Sunday. Cal Poly is 5-0 to start the season with a 1-0 record against conference opponents.
The Mustangs have recorded wins over Cal State Fullerton (36-14), Southern Oregon (36-9), Cal Baptist (31-15), Menlo (30-15) and Wyoming (18-16) thus far.
Cal Poly has three wrestlers currently ranked by InterMat. The Mustangs are led by Boris Novachkov, who is ranked No. 4 at 141 pounds. He is followed by his brother Filip Novachkov and Ryan DesRoches. Filip is ranked No. 14 at 133 pounds and DesRoches is No. 17 at 165 pounds.
The century mark...
The magic number for Boise State this season seems to be 100, with multiple wrestlers and head coach Greg Randall all eying 100 wins. Hall reached the century mark for career wins at Boise State while competing at the Reno Tournament of Champions in December. He currently boasts a 109-19 career record at Boise State.
Smith moved a few steps closer to the 100 win mark himself with three wins at the National Duals. Smith is now 97-10 in three seasons with the Broncos.
Randall also has 100 wins in his sights as he improved to 93-31-1 overall in nine seasons at Boise State. With only six remaining duals on the schedule Randall will be able to come close, but not reach the 100 win plateau this season.