Great College Wrestling Programs

By Sam Feeder , last updated January 21, 2012

The great college wrestling programs change regularly from year to year, like the best teams in other college sports. The quality of a wrestling program is based on how wrestlers are recruited, how the wrestlers perform each season and how the college wrestling team is ultimately ranked when the season is over. Because college wrestling is popular but doesn't lead to a professional career, smaller colleges often have a better shot at recruiting top-notch wrestlers to their programs. Check out some of the top college wrestling programs listed below, based on their final rankings in the NCAA final poles the last few years and their Academic Process Rate, or how many of the program's athletes successfully graduate.

Cornell
This top tier Ivy League school has one of the best wrestling programs in the country. They have been ranked in the top five nationally in the final rankings the last three years (including finishing second the past two years) and have an academic process rate of 967 out of 1,000.
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a Big Ten school and one of the largest universities in the country. Not only does it have a number of elite, major sports programs that help fund the wrestling program, it is also located in the boisterous college town of Madison, which is considered one of the best locations to have a college experience. Wisconsin has been ranked in the Top 10 (9th, 4th and 10th) the past three seasons and has an academic process rate of 956 out of 1,000, which is quite good for a school of its size.
Stanford
The Ivy League of the West Coast, Stanford's wrestling program has risen to the occassion in the last few years, having gone from being unranked in 2009 to being 28th in 2010 and 11th in 2011. U.S. News and World Report predict their wrestling team to be 5th at the start of 2012. They also have an academic process rate of 972 out of 1,000, meaning wrestlers who attend will get the education Stanford University is known for.
Iowa
Iowa University vied with Iowa State for having the best wrestling program in the country for years, specifically when two of the most dominant NCAA wrestlers attended Iowa State and basically never lost a match. Since those days however, Iowa State's program has waned while Iowa's has only become stronger. The Hawkeyes won the national championship in 2009 and 2010 and finished 3rd in 2011. They also have an academic process rate of 1,000, tied with many of the elite academic schools in the country.
Virginia
This ACC School is always a top wrestling school in the NCAA rankings each year, finishing 34th, 15th and 23rd respectively in the last three seasons. However, they have one of the best academic processing rates in the country with a score of 978 out of 1,000, beating most top tier academic programs that also have wrestling teams.
Penn State
Penn State is another wrestling program on the rise over the past three years, finishing 17th in 2009, 8th in 2010 and winning the national championship in 2011. However, they only have a 928 out of 1,000 academic process rate, which is still good, but not as good as some of the other programs out there.
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