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Flying-Tiger

USA All-Time Ranking Update

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Time for FT's updated All-Time Rankings. Kyle Snyder jumps 17 wrestlers after another World Gold and NCAA Title. Jordan Burroughs passes the late great Dave Schultz and moves into third place, nipping at the heals of John Smith. Welcome to the rankings Nick Gwiazdowski and Thomas Gilman. 

 

 

 

 

Olympic Champion = 7 points

World Champion = 6 points

Olympic Silver/Bronze = 5 points

World Silver/Bronze = 4 points

NCAA National Title = 2 points

NCAA Finalist = 1 point

NCAA All-American = 0.5 point

 

 

Bruce Baumgartner (70) 2 Olympic Gold/3 World Gold/1 Olympic Silver/3 World Silver/1 Olympic Bronze/3 World Bronze/1 NCAA Title/2 NCAA Finals

John Smith (43) 2 Olympic Gold/4 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Jordan Burroughs (39.5) 1 Olympic Gold/4 World Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

Dave Schultz (36.5) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/3 World Silver/2 World Bronze/1 NCAA Title/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

Lee Kemp (29) 3 World Gold/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Rick Sanders (29) 1 World Gold/2 Olympic Silver/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Mark Schultz (25) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/3 NCAA Titles

Kyle Snyder (24) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Kenny Monday (22) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 NCAA Title/ 2 NCAA Finals

Terry Brands (22) 2 World Gold/1 Olympic Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Kevin Jackson (21.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/1 NCAA Final/3 NCAA AA

Lincoln Mcllravy (20) 1 Olympic Bronze/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Chris Campbell (20) 1 Olympic Bronze/ 1 World Gold/1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Ben Peterson (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles

John Peterson (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze

Wayne Wells (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/1 World Silver/1 NCAA Title/ 1 NCAA Final

Barry Davis (19.5) 1 Olympic Silver/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

Tom Brands (19.5) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/3 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

Sammie Henson (19.5) 1 Olympic Silver/1 World Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

Cael Sanderson (19) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Silver/4 NCAA Titles

Dan Gable (18) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Kurt Angle (18) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

Melvin Douglas (18) 1 World Gold/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles

Greg Gibson (18) 2 World Silver/1 World Silver (Greco)/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Finals

Jake Varner (17) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/2 NCAA Finals

J'Den Cox (15.5) 1 Olympic Bronze/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

Cary Kolat (14.5) 1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

Joe Williams (14.5) 2 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

Ed Banach (14) 1 Olympic Gold/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Finals

Logan Stieber (14) 1 World Gold/ 4 NCAA Titles

Zeke Jones (13) 1 Olympic Silver/1 World Gold/1 NCAA Final/2 NCAA AA

Randy Lewis (12.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

Stephen Neal (11.5) 1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

Bobby Weaver (11.5) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Silver/1 NCAA AA

Lou Banach (11) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles

Bill Smith (11) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles

Nate Carr (11) 1 Olympic Bronze/3 NCAA Titles

Stephen Abas (11) 1 Olympic Silver/3 NCAA Titles

Kendall Cross (10) 1 Olympic Gold/1 NCAA Title/2 NCAA AA

Doug Blubaugh (10) 1 Olympic Gold/1 NCAA Title/2 NCAA AA

James Green (10) 1 World Silver/ 1 World Bronze/ 4 NCAA AA

Jake Herbert (9.5) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

Nick Gwiazdowski (9.5) 1 World Bronze/ 2 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA Final/ 1 NCAA AA

Brandon Slay (9) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Finals

Don Pritzlaff (9) 1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/ 2 NCAA AA

Coleman Scott (9) 1 Olympic Bronze/1 NCAA Title/1 NCAA Final/2 NCAA AA

Bill Zadick (8.5) 1 World Gold/1 NCAA Title/ 1 NCAA AA

Kerry McCoy (8.5) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

Royce Alger (8.5) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

Tervel Dlagnev(8) 2 World Bronze

Henry Cejuda (7) 1 Olympic Gold

Thomas Gilman (6) 1 World Silver/ 1 NCAA Final/ 2 NCAA AA

Mike Zadick (5.5) 1 World Silver/ 3 NCAA AA

 

 

*Honorable Mention: Yojiro Uetake-Obata (20) 2 Olympic Gold (Japan)/3 NCAA Titles

Edited by Flying-Tiger

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I love these sorts of lists. Thanks FT!

 

A few questions s / comments :

 

1. What's the logic of giving the same number of points for Bronze as silver. These days a bronze (two of them) is more common and easier to come by. I'd argue that someone who consistently makes the finals of the worlds is better than someone who consistently gets a bronze. Five silvers is better than five bronze. I get that in any *given* year it can be bad luck getting the best guy on your side of the bracket but over time it's different. I'd score a half-point more for silver.

 

2. I think a full point more for Olympic years is too much. Yes it's true that Olympics tend to have tougher competition and these days there's fewer weight classes but systematically accounting for this suggests you account for everything else. But for example you don't knock 1984 and don't add points for post USSR breakup. I'd make the margin 1/2 point.

 

3. Your system rewards consistency over results. It's tough to account for but it leads to some questions. For example if someone makes ten world teams of which two are Olympic teams and earns a bronze in all of them he's earn 4x8+5x2=42 points. Throw in an NCAA title and he's ahead of John Smith. I would argue that such a person would not rate higher than Smith).

 

Now some fun observations based on your system:

 

1. If Kyle wins ncaas again and worlds next year he edges ahead of Kemp to fourth place.

 

2. If JB gets a bronze or better next year he moves to number two on the all time FT list. Reason enough to stay.

 

3. Snyder at 24 points needs 46 more points to catch Big Bruce. If he wrestles 2018, 19, 20 and wins gold in each he gets 19 more points. Throw in an NCAA title that is 21 more being him to 45 ahead of John Smith by virtue of more NCAA titles.

 

What would it take to catch Bruce? He's need 25 more points to tie him. That could happen if he wins gold 2021-24 at which point he'd be 29 years old, JB's current age!

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Its not perfect of course, but its a really well compiled list.  A few things that seem obvious that are missing: World team member should be worth the same as NCAA title or finalist.  

 

One thing it kind if hurts is those guys who just miss the world team because someone so good beat them for the team spot. How many more points would Brands or Kendall Cross have without each other in the way?  Even more so, how many more points would Dave Schultz have, without dying in an olympic year where he appeared a real medal threat, and further K Monday keeping off a few teams and winning the world title. Schultz woulda had about 5-10 more points at least without those variables.  So that is the part that isn't perfect about the list.  BUt I like any list so...

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I like the point system but 1980 and 1984 are problematic.  The 1984 Olympic medalists won a world JV tournament and have inflated point values.  The 1980 wrestlers--specifically the great Lee Kemp--earned no points.  I think you have to throw out 1984.  And Kemp?  He was favored to win Gold which would have made him a 4x world champion instead of 3.  He's probably seven points higher than you have him.  

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Cael gets 8 points for being an undefeated four time NCAA champion? Ha, ha. Sanderson ranked 20th? Cable ranked 21th? Until recently with the reduction in weight classes, what is the justification for awarding a bonus point for olympic medals? Where's Dan Hodge and his 10 points? [How in the hell do you leave Hodge off?] How about Henry Whittenberg - olmpic gold and silver plus over a 300 match post-high school winning streak? [Whittenberg was our Medved].

 

Needless to say, IMO, lists like this yield a whole lot of stupid.

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Any point system that yields these scores Bruce - 70 points, John Smith @ 43, Burroughs @ 39.5 and Gable @18 points is not credible. 

 

Bruce competed on the international level for far longer than Smith, Burroughs, or Gable. 

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Cael gets 8 points for being an undefeated four time NCAA champion? Ha, ha. Sanderson ranked 20th? Cable ranked 21th? Until recently with the reduction in weight classes, what is the justification for awarding a bonus point for olympic medals? Where's Dan Hodge and his 10 points? [How in the hell do you leave Hodge off?] How about Henry Whittenberg - olmpic gold and silver plus over a 300 match post-high school winning streak? [Whittenberg was our Medved].

 

Needless to say, IMO, lists like this yield a whole lot of stupid.

 

There are 2 ways to rank people all-time: based on some pre-determined point system or based on feelings. We may not agree with how things fall, but using a point system isn't in itself stupid. It gives one type of perspective. Please outline your feelings-based approach.

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I don't necessarily agree with the points assigned that Flying - Tiger uses, but whether it's points based or feelings based none of these things are perfect. I do appreciate Flying - Tiger taking the time to do this and for updating so quickly after most event events. 

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There are 2 ways to rank people all-time: based on some pre-determined point system or based on feelings. We may not agree with how things fall, but using a point system isn't in itself stupid. It gives one type of perspective. Please outline your feelings-based approach.

 

Why in the world does a ranking system have to be either 100% objective or entirely feelings based? I would think a little of both would get more accurate results.

 

Most experts believe Jim Brown was the best football player ever. Yet, Frank Gore and Curtis Martin are better according to statistics. Dan Gable had a very short freestyle career, as did Cael, so according to objective criterion, they are down graded to a ridiculously low rank. If Hodge and Whittenberg come in at about 10 points then I'd say the point system is seriously flawed. 

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headache -- I, for one, am interested in your GOAT list.   Please post it.

 

John Smith 

Cael Sanderson

Jordan Burroughs

Dan Gable

Bruce Baumgartner

Lee Kemp

Kyle Snyder

Dan Hodge

Mark Schultz

Henry Whittenberg

 

Sanderson and Smith are the best USA wrestlers I've see - I could flip those two. Snyder will rise. Baumgartner was a great, great push and shove heavyweight, so he's not at the top in my book. Whittenberg gets little attention but he won 300 straight matches and didn't even wrestle in high school - he was a small heavyweight like Medved.

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John Smith 

Cael Sanderson

Jordan Burroughs

Dan Gable

Bruce Baumgartner

Lee Kemp

Kyle Snyder

Dan Hodge

Mark Schultz

Henry Whittenberg

 

Sanderson and Smith are the best USA wrestlers I've see - I could flip those two. Snyder will rise. Baumgartner was a great, great push and shove heavyweight, so he's not at the top in my book. Whittenberg gets little attention but he won 300 straight matches and didn't even wrestle in high school - he was a small heavyweight like Medved.

 

I respect your opinion, but it's wrong. 

 

Smith 

Burroughs

Sanderson

Snyder (could pass Sanderson very quickly.) 

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I respect your opinion, but it's wrong. 

 

Smith 

Burroughs

Sanderson

Snyder (could pass Sanderson very quickly.)

In my mind those are the 4 best I have seen wrestle at all levels in my lifetime. I started watching in late 70s. I just added Snyder after Saturday.

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What about adding coaching title points? Since greats like Sanderson and Gable retired so young. Both had two maybe three more cycles left the way their bodies held up-neither were ever injured!

Edited by PRyan2012

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Good point about trials! World teams is major! Ask Taylor or Dake!!! Sometimes harder than the worlds themselves-Ask Varner in 15 and 16. How many out there have made four or more world/Olympic teams? Not as many as you think.

Edited by PRyan2012

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