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Ari Gold

Comparing the four 5-Champ teams in history

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There have only been four teams in the history of the NCAA Tournament to crown 5 individual NCAA Champions in the same season (1986 Iowa, 1997 Iowa, 2005 Oklahoma State, and 2017 Penn State).

 

Which of the four was the best team?

 

1986 Iowa Hawkeyes:

Coach: Dan Gable

158 Points

NCAA Record-Tying 5 Division I Champions

(126-Brad Penrith, 142-Kevin Dresser, 150-Jim Heffernan, 167-Marty Kistler, 190-Duane Goldman)

8 All-Americans (1-1-1-1-1-2-4-5)

6 Finalists

Outdistanced Second-Place Oklahoma by 73.75 points

Largest Point Gap in NCAA Division I History

 

1997 Iowa Hawkeyes:

Coach: Dan Gable

NCAA Record 170 Points

NCAA Record-Tying 5 Division I Champions:

(118-Jesse Whitmer, 134-Mark Ironside, 150-Lincoln McIlravy, 158-Joe Williams, 190-Lee Fullhart)

8 All-Americans (1-1-1-1-1-2-5-6)

6 Finalists

Outdistanced Second-Place Oklahoma State by 56.5 points

 

2005 Oklahoma State Cowboys:

Coach: John Smith

153 Points

NCAA Record-Tying 5 Division I Champions:

(149-Zack Esposito, 165-Johny Hendricks, 174-Chris Pendleton, 197-Jake Rosholt, 285-Steve Mocco)

7 All-Americans (1-1-1-1-1-4-8)

5 Finalists

Outdistanced Second-Place Michigan by 70 points

Second-largest Gap in NCAA history

 

2017 Penn State Nittany Lions:

Coach: Cael Sanderson

146.5 Points

NCAA Record-Tying 5 Division I Champions:

(149-Zain Retherford, 157-Jason Nolf, 165-Vincenzo Joseph, 174-Mark Hall, 184-Bo Nickal)

6 All-Americans (1-1-1-1-1-5)

5 Finalists

Outdistanced Second-Place Ohio State by 36.5 points

 

My gut reaction is to say the 1997 Iowa team was the best of the bunch. Of the four, I only saw the 2005 Oklahoma State and 2017 Penn State teams live.

 

This article from 2016 is a great reference point and is where I got the stats for the first three teams:

http://www.ncaa.com/news/wrestling/article/2016-02-21/college-wrestling-looking-back-best-teams-history

Edited by Ari Gold

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Based on the given facts, I think you have to say that Penn State was the weakest of the bunch. I'd have to go with the 86 Iowa team. Would have loved to see what Penn State could have done without injuries though. 

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There are 2 different ways to look at it. Best team(which I believe you would need to look at each guy's performance during the whole season) vs. best NCAA performance..

 

1986 Iowa: DNQ-DNQ, Penrith 3seed-1st, Randall 2seed-2nd, Dresser 1-1, Heffernan 2-1, Alger 3-5, Kistler 1-1, Chiapparelli 3-4, Goldman 1-1, DNQ-DNQ.

 

1997 Iowa: Whitmer 6-1, Mena 4-2, Ironside 1-1, Gillis US-6, McIlravy 1-1, Williams 1-1, Uker 11-5, Ersland US-R12, Fullhart 5-1, Hand US-R12

 

2005 OkState: Scott 9-8, Morgan 7-R12, Frishkorn 7-4, Esposito 1-1, Ward US-R16, Hendricks 3-1, Pendleton 1-1, DNQ-DNQ, Rosholt 2-1, Mocco 1-1

 

2017 PSU: Suriano3-INJ, Carpenter DNQ,GulibonUS-R12, Retherford 1-1, Nolf 1-1, Josephy 3-1, Hall 5-1, Nickal 2-1, McCutcheon 5-R12, Nevills 5-5

 

 

I think the 97 Iowa team was the most balanced with OkState a close 2nd.  PSU has an argument for the most dominant champs though!

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'86 Iowa team was my favorite. Had #2 ranked 118 (Matt Egeland) who freaked and went AWOL just before the Big Ten tourney and Hwt. Mark Sindlinger who was a football player and never got to join the team until after bowl games, but could go with anyone in the country. My first NCAA tournament, and it was a great one. Lots of other great storylines in that one. I've only missed one NCAA since.

'97 tourney was so satisfying because they were huge underdogs going in and had an awesome tournament. Jesse Whitmer's title run was a great story in itself.

As much as I hated seeing it, OSU's '05 run was impressive also, Lots of dominating performances in all those teams, much like a few of PSU's this year.

My vote is for the '86 team though.

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fwiw, Big Ten comparisons between the 97 and 86 Hawkeye teams:

97 2 champs (that's right, they ended up with 5 national champs but only Ironside and Mac won Big as well). 140 team points

86 7 Big Ten champs. 169 team points.

 

edit to acknowledge that 86 Big Ten had 10 teams. by 97 it was 11 and Penn St, that 11th team, finished ahead of Iowa in 3 weights at Big Ten. So team score comparison perhaps a bit skewed.

 

if Penn St was in Big in 86, biggest impact to Iowa's score would have been at 158 where Alger was champ. Elinsky  was #1 seed at nationals and placed higher than Royce at nationals so Iowa might have had 'only' 6 Big Ten champs.    

Edited by KTG119

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That 1997 Hawkeye team was preposterous. Gable's last team, right?

 

 

Yes, that was Gable's last season.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

There's a really interesting section of gable's new book centered around this 97 team and the events leading up to it.

 

If you haven't checked it out yet and are a wrestling fan in general, I highly recommend it.  Really cool book with all sorts of "snippets" from his coaching career and personal life!

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There's a really interesting section of gable's new book centered around this 97 team and the events leading up to it.

 

If you haven't checked it out yet and are a wrestling fan in general, I highly recommend it.  Really cool book with all sorts of "snippets" from his coaching career and personal life!

there's also a whole book devoted to that season if you haven't had a chance to read it yet. A Season on the Mat. Good stuff.

I haven't read the recent Gable book, but have the 1st one, A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable. Also good stuff. 

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there's also a whole book devoted to that season if you haven't had a chance to read it yet. A Season on the Mat. Good stuff.

I haven't read the recent Gable book, but have the 1st one, A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable. Also good stuff. 

 

I actually have that book stashed away somewhere but haven't ever read it for some reason.  Will have to dig it out after I'm done with the new gable book.  Have the first one as well, the second is quite a bit different, highly recommend you check it out!

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