But any doubt that the Nittany Lions are THE power program in the Big Ten was put to rest Sunday.
Penn State dominated the day, as all three of its finalists not only won, but also registered bonus points. Frank Molinaro (149) pinned Minnesota's Dylan Ness, David Taylor (165) majored Iowa's Mike Evans and Ed Ruth (174) majored Gopher Logan Storley. All three remained undefeated on the year.
In all, Penn State won its final 11 matches of the tournament and nine of 10 wrestlers earned automatic bids to NCAAs. A 10th could get an at-large bid.
"They're a good group of guys that like to completer," said Cael Sanderson, who won Coach of the Year honors for the second-straight season. "And that's what you saw out there — three finalists get majority decisions. They knew it was crunch time with the team score and that's what we had to have."
The standings heading into Sunday saw Minnesota (117) and Iowa (112.5) both ahead of defending Big Ten and NCAA champ PSU (111).
But, led by the dominating efforts of the three unbeaten wrestlers, the Lions ended Sunday with a team-record 149 points to easily outpace the Gophers (134) and Hawkeyes (126). Illinois was a distant fourth (105.5).
State also dominated the postseason awards.
Taylor was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Year and Molinaro was co-Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament (along with Michigan 141-pounder Kellen Russell).
Check out the weight-by-weight breakdown of the action from Penn State's perspective.
Third-seeded Nico Megaludis bounced back from consecutive losses to decision (4-1) Purdue's Camden Eppert for fifth place. Megaludis is on to NCAAs.
Eighth-seeded Frank Martelloti lost to three higher-seeded wrestlers on the weekend but still managed to make his way into the seventh-place match. There he decisioned (4-3) No. 7 seed Ridge Kiley of Nebraska. Martelloti is on to NCAAs.
Eighth-seeded Bryan Pearsall worked his way back through the consolation bracket to earn a spot in the eighth-place match. There, he decisioned (8-2) unseeded Brandon Nelson of Purdue. Pearsall must hope to earn an at-large bid to NCAAs.
Top-seeded Frank Molinaro pinned No. 3 seed Dylan Ness of Minnesota in the first period of the title bout. For the second straight year, Molinaro did not give up a point in the tournament. Molinaro is on to NCAAs.
After losing in the semis, second-seeded Dylan Alton rallied to get into the third-place bout. There, he decisioned (2-1, rideout) No. 9 seed Anthony Jones of Michigan State. Alton is on to NCAAs.
Top-seeded David Taylor dominated everyone he faced over the weekend. That included No. 2 seed Mike Evans in the final. Taylor earned a major decision (11-2) after scoring late back points. Taylor is on to NCAAs.
Top-seeded Ed Ruth faced No. 2 seed Logan Storley of Minnesota for the first time. Ruth toyed with him to the tune of a 13-2 major decision and Storley spent most of the match trying to avoid a pin. Ruth had three majors in the tournament. Ruth is on to NCAAs.
Second-seeded Quentin Wright didn't have the form that led him to a national title last season. After a semifinal upset loss, he worked his way back to the third-place match. There, he had to hang on for an 8-7 win over No. 7 seed Tony Dallago of Illinois. Wright is on to NCAAs.
Third-seeded Morgan McIntosh was on the verge of beating No. 2 Matt Powless of Indiana in the semis before a late mental error cost him the match. He was unlucky enough to run into top-seeded Sonny Yohn of Minnesota in the consolations, and lost there, 4-2. McIntosh dropped to the fifth-place match, where he won by forfeit over Purdue's A.J. Kissel. McIntosh is on to NCAAs.
Second-seed Cameron Wade had a lackluster 5-0 loss to No. 6 seed Bobby Telford of Iowa in the semis. But he rebounded to advance to the third-place match, where he decisioned (4-3) No. 5 seed Mike McMullen of Northwestern. Wade is on to NCAAs.