The NCAA announced its qualifier allocations for the 2012 Wrestling Championships on Thursday, with the Big Ten setting a conference record and receiving the most of any conference with 74. The Big Ten will send at least five automatic qualifiers in all 10 weight classes, including 10 automatic bids at heavyweight, and boasts the highest amount of qualifiers of any conference in each class. The automatic bids will determine 290 of the 330 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships, while the remaining 40 slots will be filled by four at-large selections in each class. The 74 qualifiers marks the most in the Big Ten since the NCAA implemented the current qualifying process and 10 more than last year's total of 64.
The final coaches' panel and RPI rankings were also released on Thursday, with 82 grapplers appearing in the top 33 of their weight class. Four Big Ten wrestlers hold the top coaches' panel ranking in their class, as Iowa's Matt McDonough (125 pounds), Michigan's Kellen Russell (141), and Penn State's Frank Molinaro (149) and David Taylor (165) each close the regular season as the top-ranked wrestlers in the country. The conference also boasts 80 wrestlers in the top 33 of their respective classes in the second and final edition of the RPI rankings, with four taking top spots. Minnesota's Zach Sanders (125), Iowa's Tony Ramos (133), and Penn State's Taylor (165) and Ed Ruth (174) each hold No. 1 RPI rankings to close the regular season.