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Penn State Wrestling

‘Something Seems Off…’ : Penn State Notices Wrestling, Volleyball Dynasties Being Left off ESPN Graphic

Although Penn State football is, by far, the most popular sport at the university, the two most successful when it comes to national championships in this century are volleyball and wrestling.

The wrestling program is currently at dynasty status–maybe even somewhere beyond that.

Cael Sanderson’sempire has won 11 national titles in the past 13 seasons, withthe most recent being by a record-100-point marginthis past March.

The Penn State wrestling train isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, let alone stopping.

Although volleyball is no longer in the midst ofits glory days, the program’s historical success can’t be denied. Under legendary coach Russ Rose, the team won seven national titles between 1999 and 2014. Six of those took placein a glorious eight-season window from 2007-14, highlighted by a four-peat from 2007-10. During this run, Penn State volleyball was on a shortlist for the most dominant programs in college sports.

Today, Penn State wrestling is on that list, as is Oklahoma softball.

The latter won its fourth straight title Thursday night with an 8-4 win over rival Texas.

To commemorate the feat, ESPN ran a since-deleted graphic listing some other D1 schools that have won four straight national titles or more.

On the men’s list,John Wooden’s UCLA dynasty was at the top, with seven straight titles between 1967-73.Also, there were North Dakota State football (five DII titles from 2011-15), USC baseball (1970-74), Virginia soccer (1991-94) and UCLA volleyball (1981-84).

On the women’s wide, North Carolina soccer topped the list with nine straight titles from 1985-94, followed byMaryland lacrosse (1995-01), Northwestern lacrosse (2005-09) and UConn women’s basketball.

Penn State wrestling and volleyball were both omitted from the graphic, and the Penn State Athletics X (formerly Twitter) account noticed. 

To be fair,there’s only so much space in a graphic.

With that said, considering there were four dynasties listed on the women’s side compared to five for the men, it’s a bit surprisingPenn State volleyball was left out (USA Today mentioned PSU volleyball in its write-up of Oklahoma’s achievement).

Penn State wrestling,on the other hand, had its latest four-peat much more recently compared toany other school on either list.Penn State completed its most recent four-peat in 2019, which isfour years closer to 2024 than the most recent men’s dynasty on the list, which wasNorth Dakota State football.

Then again, it would have been hard to include one Penn State wrestling four-peat without the other, and the program is the odds-on favorite to complete another four-peat in March 2025.

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