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Ben Askren GOAT?

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I posted this in another thread but I thought I'd start a new topic since it is slightly off topic for that thread.

 

Most will agree that Sanderson is the GOAT. However, if there were no Pendleton would Ben Askren be the GOAT?

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amongst other 2 time champs, Gable for one and John Smith is another I'd put over those two.

If we're talking purely about NCAA wrestling success, I don't know how you can put Ben Askren (4x NCAA Finalist, 2x NCAA Chamption, 2x Hodge Trophy Winner, 3rd all-time in pins, beat/finished ahead of the likes of future undefeated NCAA Champions Keith Gavin, Steve Luke, and Jake Herbert - another Hodge winner and who Askren majored) behind John Smith.

 

Putting Gable ahead of Askren is more debatable, but I find it hard to put someone who didn't win NCAA's their senior year ahead of someone with accolades like Askren.

 

I'm not saying that I think without Christ Pendleton, Askren would've been the GOAT, or even that Askren is the greatest 2x NCAA champ of all time (I haven't done enough research to form a clear cut opinion on the best 2x champ). But, I wouldn't necessarily put Gable above him and I definitely wouldn't put John Smith above him either.

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If we're talking purely about NCAA wrestling success, I don't know how you can put Ben Askren (4x NCAA Finalist, 2x NCAA Chamption, 2x Hodge Trophy Winner, 3rd all-time in pins, beat/finished ahead of the likes of future undefeated NCAA Champions Keith Gavin, Steve Luke, and Jake Herbert - another Hodge winner and who Askren majored) behind John Smith.

 

Putting Gable ahead of Askren is more debatable, but I find it hard to put someone who didn't win NCAA's their senior year ahead of someone with accolades like Askren.

 

I'm not saying that I think without Christ Pendleton, Askren would've been the GOAT, or even that Askren is the greatest 2x NCAA champ of all time (I haven't done enough research to form a clear cut opinion on the best 2x champ). But, I wouldn't necessarily put Gable above him and I definitely wouldn't put John Smith above him either.

It's very easy to do.  John Smith was the better wrestler.  Simple as that. You can say Askren was a 4X finalist and Smith wasn't...That doesn't change the fact that Smith was better.  Was Askren the better wrestler when both were Freshman?  Yeah, I'd say he likely was.  But who cares who was better as a freshman?  I care about who was better, period.  It's a qualitative question, not a quantitative one.  

 

How do I know Smith was better?  Because he was the best in the world while still in college, while Askren was only the best in his age group. It's the same reason that Snyder is the best NCAA wrestler ever (you could make an argument for Uetake, but he's from a different era).  

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If we're talking purely about NCAA wrestling success, I don't know how you can put Ben Askren (4x NCAA Finalist, 2x NCAA Chamption, 2x Hodge Trophy Winner, 3rd all-time in pins, beat/finished ahead of the likes of future undefeated NCAA Champions Keith Gavin, Steve Luke, and Jake Herbert - another Hodge winner and who Askren majored) behind John Smith.

 

Putting Gable ahead of Askren is more debatable, but I find it hard to put someone who didn't win NCAA's their senior year ahead of someone with accolades like Askren.

 

I'm not saying that I think without Christ Pendleton, Askren would've been the GOAT, or even that Askren is the greatest 2x NCAA champ of all time (I haven't done enough research to form a clear cut opinion on the best 2x champ). But, I wouldn't necessarily put Gable above him and I definitely wouldn't put John Smith above him either.

for one, throw the Hodge out of this comparison, it didn't exist when Smith wrestled. other than that, like I said "I'd put" those guys above Askren, and I think there's enough logic to support that argument, but also see where the argument can be made for your guy.

 

in no particular order, and w/o thinking too hard, some of my other fave 2 timers would be Gene Mills, Andre Metzger, Randy Lewis, Lou Banach, Tim Krieger, Jack Cuvo, Terry Brands, Pat Santoro, Jeff Prescott, Sammie Henson, Jeff McGiness, Cary Kolat, Kerry McCoy, Stephen Neal, Johny Hendricks, Mark Perry, Brent Metcalf, and David Taylor.    

Edited by KTG119

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I always thought an interesting question would be who would win the Hodge in any of Sanderson's 4 seasons if he had wrestled in the same years as Askren's junior and senior years where he (Askren) went undefeated and pinned an ungodly number of people, many in the first period.  Would Askren have taken one of Cael's hodge trophies with those insane season stats?

 

Kolat has to be one of, if not THE best 2x champ.

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I think Ben Askren has to be right up there. I posted this in the Pendleton GOAT comedy thread:

 

Ben Askren dominated his junior+senior year compared to Pendleton:

 

87-0

54 pins

 

He beat Jake Herbert 14-2 (2x national champ and Hodge winner) in the finals his junior year and beat Keith Gavin future NCAA champ in the finals his senior year 8-2 and had pinned him two or three times during the season.

 

Askren completely destroyed two future NCAA champs, including a Hodge winner. Also of note is that Askren lost 8x in college two only two opponents, Pendleton and Ryan Lange. He beat Pendleton at least once (in the big eight finals). I am not sure about Lange. 

 

Edited by BigTimeFan

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One thing about Dake. His NCAA finals opponents:

 

2010 Dake defeats Montell Marion 7-3. Montell is a 3x All American, 2x finalist (2010 and 2012), never won NCAAs.

 

2011 Dake defeats Molinaro, who is a 2x finalist, 4x all American and wins NCAA championships in 2012.

 

2012 Dake defeats Derek St. John, who is a 2x finalist, 2013 NCAA champion, 4x all American

 

2013 Dake defeats Taylor, who needs no introduction, 4x finalists, 2x NCAA champion, Hodge trophy winner.

 

The striking thing about Dake's finals opponents is that three of the four won NCAA championships, all four made the finals one other time, three of the four were 4x all-Americans and the fourth was a 3x All American.

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I looked up Cael's NCAA finals opponents. 

 

1999 Cael defeats Eggum in the finals. Brandon Eggum never wins an NCAA championship, never makes another final (?) but was a freestyle world silver medalist. AND Cael pins Brad Vering in the semi-finals that year who wins NCAAs in 2000. He also pins Hrovat in the quarter finals who ends up making the 2008 Olympic team in freestyle.

 

2000 Cael defeats Vertus Jones in the finals. Jones is a 2x finalist (3x AA, not sure if he AA'd 4x, possible). But he also tech falls Rob Rohn in the quarter finals who wins NCAAs in 2002. 

 

2001 Cael defeats Cormier in the finals. Cormier was a 1x AA (but had transferred from a Jr College where he was a 2x JUCO champ). As we know Cormier went on to a strong international career. He was on the 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams and was a world bronze medalist.

 

2002 Cael defeats Trenge in the finals. 3x AA, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, but Trenge had a severe disadvantage wrestling with a detached retinae that forced him to wear protective goggles during competition. 

 

I am drawing no conclusions. Cael dominated 3 world team members, a world silver medalist, a world bronze medalist. He pinned two different NCAA champs (at least) in his NCAA runs. His finals opponents never won an NCAA championship but that proves little in that Cael prevented two NCAA champs from making the finals. 

 

Nevertheless compared with Askren and Dake's finals opponents, Cael's were not as strong.

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Kyle Snyder was a better wrestler than cael at the same age. If he shirts he is a 4x undefeated champ, but as it stands he will be a 3 timer with a mini two world titles to his name (hopefully 3). He has had a better career by far during the same period of time as Carl, but Carl definitely had a better college only career.

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One thing about Dake. His NCAA finals opponents:

 

2010 Dake defeats Montell Marion 7-3. Montell is a 3x All American, 2x finalist (2010 and 2012), never won NCAAs.

 

2011 Dake defeats Molinaro, who is a 2x finalist, 4x all American and wins NCAA championships in 2012.

 

2012 Dake defeats Derek St. John, who is a 2x finalist, 2013 NCAA champion, 4x all American

 

2013 Dake defeats Taylor, who needs no introduction, 4x finalists, 2x NCAA champion, Hodge trophy winner.

 

The striking thing about Dake's finals opponents is that three of the four won NCAA championships, all four made the finals one other time, three of the four were 4x all-Americans and the fourth was a 3x All American.

Who would win if freshman year Dake wrestled with senior year Metcalf, say at 149? Sorry if this fantasy match has already been hashed through. It also kind of gets to the question of how much credit someone gets for beating a great opponent who may not have been great yet.

 

For example, Molinaro obviously wasn't a 2x finalist, 4x AA yet when he and Dake met in the finals in 2011, and DSJ hadn't won his national title yet in 2012 (he was also wrestling on one leg at nationals). Similarly, Mitchell Port beat Zain before he was the Zain we know now. Does Port get more or less credit for that? Does Derek Kipperberg rise in the all-time rankings because he beat freshman year JB, or no? State finals Molinaro over JB?

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Who would win if freshman year Dake wrestled with senior year Metcalf, say at 149? Sorry if this fantasy match has already been hashed through. It also kind of gets to the question of how much credit someone gets for beating a great opponent who may not have been great yet.

For example, Molinaro obviously wasn't a 2x finalist, 4x AA yet when he and Dake met in the finals in 2011, and DSJ hadn't won his national title yet in 2012 (he was also wrestling on one leg at nationals). Similarly, Mitchell Port beat Zain before he was the Zain we know now. Does Port get more or less credit for that? Does Derek Kipperberg rise in the all-time rankings because he beat freshman year JB, or no? State finals Molinaro over JB?

Very similar to the concept that Pico beat Retherford BEFORE he became the superstar Retherford of today.

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Who would win if freshman year Dake wrestled with senior year Metcalf, say at 149? Sorry if this fantasy match has already been hashed through. It also kind of gets to the question of how much credit someone gets for beating a great opponent who may not have been great yet.

 

For example, Molinaro obviously wasn't a 2x finalist, 4x AA yet when he and Dake met in the finals in 2011, and DSJ hadn't won his national title yet in 2012 (he was also wrestling on one leg at nationals). Similarly, Mitchell Port beat Zain before he was the Zain we know now. Does Port get more or less credit for that? Does Derek Kipperberg rise in the all-time rankings because he beat freshman year JB, or no? State finals Molinaro over JB?

 

Good post.  Listing accomplishments that hadn't occurred yet when "Wrestler A" beat "Wrestler B" can be somewhat misleading.

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