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1999-Current Tournament of NCAA Champions

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Choose your picks for winners of a Folkstyle Tournament of NCAA Champions from 1999 to Current. I choose to limit it to 1999 because that was when the new weight classes were implemented and cross over from the old weights to new would get too subjective.. ie many 126lbers from before 1999 would be able to go 125, etc..

 

125 Stephen Abas 1999 - Abas IMO is just a cut above the rest at 125

133 Travis Lee 2005 - Im being bias. Lee is one of my all time favorites

141 Logan Stieber 2015 - Hard to go against a guy winning his 4th title

149 Zain Retherford 2017 - made his mark this year as a world level wrestler

157 Kyle Dake 2012 - this was the season imo that Dake truly broke out as a superstar

165 Jordan Burroughs 2011 - one of the best ever, nuff said

174 Ben Askren 2007 - too funky for the rest

184 Cael Sanderson 2001 - unbeatable

197 Cael Sanderson 2002 - see 184

285 Stephen Neal 1999 - too big and athletic. P4P the best in the world that year and about 50lbs over Synder.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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Not bad. I'd pick some different guys though. I'd put Steiber at 133 and 141. 174 I'd pick Pendleton, not Askren. I'd put Mark Perry ahead of Burroughs at 165 (Burroughs college achievements weren't as impressive as Perry's). Neal at HWT is good, but Konrad would be acceptable as well (maybe even Mocco).

Edited by TobusRex

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Not bad. I'd pick some different guys though. I'd put Steiber at 133 and 141. 174 I'd pick Pendleton, not Askren. I'd put Mark Perry ahead of Burroughs at 165 (Burroughs college achievements weren't as impressive as Perry's). Neal at HWT is good, but Konrad would be acceptable as well (maybe even Mocco).

Like I said earlier Travis Lee at 133 was my bias. A more serious 133 pick would be Eric Gurrero...

At 165 I chose Burroughs because he would go on to win worlds later than same year.

At 174 I picked senior Askren over senior Pendelton. The version of Askren Pendleton beat was a sophomore.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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If you're really saying tournament with every champ, then it's tough to judge matchups among so many of these guys.  If you're asking for who was the best champ since 1999 that's a different question.  

 

For example Steiber probably is the best 141 but I'm not sure he finishes takedowns on a guy like Teyon Ware.  Ware was so good on bottom and so good defensively he was even money to stall his way to a win against anyone on the big stage.  So that's one spot where one wrestler is clearly superior but matchups might make it weird if we're talking an actual tournament.

 

Or 174, any guy with really clean technique is going to give Askren fits whether he's a senior or not.  

 

Wrestling is a matchup based sport and if you threw the last 18 champs in a bracket, I doubt the best guy wins more than a few times out of 10.

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Like I said earlier Travis Lee at 133 was my bias. A more serious 133 pick would be Eric Gurrero...

At 165 I chose Burroughs because he would go on to win worlds later than same year.

At 174 I picked senior Askren over senior Pendelton. The version of Askren Pendleton beat was a sophomore.

Burroughs won in a totally different style of wrestling.  In folkstyle he was seconds from a loss at Big 12s against Tyler Caldwell who doesn't crack the top 25 at that weight in the last 20 years.  Even as a senior who was months away from a world title he was still not great on the mat, and could still be blocked off and tied up in neutral under folk rules.  

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If you're really saying tournament with every champ, then it's tough to judge matchups among so many of these guys.  If you're asking for who was the best champ since 1999 that's a different question.  

 

For example Steiber probably is the best 141 but I'm not sure he finishes takedowns on a guy like Teyon Ware.  Ware was so good on bottom and so good defensively he was even money to stall his way to a win against anyone on the big stage.  So that's one spot where one wrestler is clearly superior but matchups might make it weird if we're talking an actual tournament.

 

Or 174, any guy with really clean technique is going to give Askren fits whether he's a senior or not.  

 

Wrestling is a matchup based sport and if you threw the last 18 champs in a bracket, I doubt the best guy wins more than a few times out of 10.

I agree, but that would require drawing out and seeding brackets and going round by round. This is just a lazy fun preseason discussion.

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If you're really saying tournament with every champ, then it's tough to judge matchups among so many of these guys. If you're asking for who was the best champ since 1999 that's a different question.

 

For example Steiber probably is the best 141 but I'm not sure he finishes takedowns on a guy like Teyon Ware. Ware was so good on bottom and so good defensively he was even money to stall his way to a win against anyone on the big stage. So that's one spot where one wrestler is clearly superior but matchups might make it weird if we're talking an actual tournament.

 

Or 174, any guy with really clean technique is going to give Askren fits whether he's a senior or not.

 

Wrestling is a matchup based sport and if you threw the last 18 champs in a bracket, I doubt the best guy wins more than a few times out of 10.

So no one had really clean technique during Askren's junior and senior undefeated Hodge Trophy seasons?

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Burroughs won in a totally different style of wrestling.  In folkstyle he was seconds from a loss at Big 12s against Tyler Caldwell who doesn't crack the top 25 at that weight in the last 20 years.  Even as a senior who was months away from a world title he was still not great on the mat, and could still be blocked off and tied up in neutral under folk rules.

 

How about you make your picks and add blurbs about why you chose the way you did?

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Burroughs won in a totally different style of wrestling.  In folkstyle he was seconds from a loss at Big 12s against Tyler Caldwell who doesn't crack the top 25 at that weight in the last 20 years.  Even as a senior who was months away from a world title he was still not great on the mat, and could still be blocked off and tied up in neutral under folk rules.  

 

I watched that Burroughs/Caldwell match. Caldwell kept it close, that's all. I don't think Burroughs was in any real danger. He proved that the next week when he majored Caldwell 11-3 in the NCAA finals.

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I watched that Burroughs/Caldwell match. Caldwell kept it close, that's all. I don't think Burroughs was in any real danger. He proved that the next week when he majored Caldwell 11-3 in the NCAA finals.

You didn't watch closely than.  Caldwell rode him for almost 1:30 of the 3rd period and had a 1-0 lead and RT.  Then he gave up a reversal and Burroughs rode it out to cut the RT off and win 2-1.  If Caldwell just gives up the escape with 30 seconds left he probably wins.  He had no warning and could have run for half a minute.  It was a mental error that cost him.

 

Folkstyle rules lend themselves to a guy wrestling an extremely tactical match.  There are so many ways to kill clock in Folkstyle.  Freestyle fans who think it's boring are completely right when it comes to some wrestlers.  Caldwell was one.  Some guys block off and stall and play the edge and cling on top and turn a 7 minute match into 3-4 minutes of stalling in neutral.  They turn the other guy's offensive attacks into minute long scrambles with no points scored and no danger of stalling because the other guy is close to scoring.  Caldwell executed that nearly perfect against Burroughs and had him 30 seconds from defeat.  And there are plenty of guys who were better than him technically, better defensively, and had the same stalling skills to shorten the match.  I think if you put college Burroughs in a folkstyle tournament with 15 other champs, one of them slows him down and beats him.  

Edited by boconnell

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So no one had really clean technique during Askren's junior and senior undefeated Hodge Trophy seasons?

So Pendleton was like the greatest ever?  There's a reason Askren had a closer match with Kish than with Hebert when he bumped up even though Hebert was the far greater wrestler.  And there's a reason Cubans who finished clean and athletically crushed him internationally.  There's a reason 0X AA Wes Roberts from OU gave him his toughest match at NCAAs those 2 years he was undefeated.  If you didn't give him anything to funk he has to rely on his own shots, which were very good (but not sport changing like his funk).  The best guy he beat those two years was Hebert and he's the opposite of clean technique.  

 

So, I think he's a revolutionary in our sport, but I don't think he got better in last two seasons in some major way that would reverse things with Pendleton. 

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125 - A Robles ASU - 2011

133 - E Guerrero OSU - 1999

141 - L Stieber Oh St - 2015

149 - D Caldwell NCSt - 2009

157 - K Dake Corn - 2012

165 - J Burroughs Neb - 2011

174 - E Ruth PSU - 2012

184 - C Sanderson ISU - 2001

197 - J Cox Mo - 2017

Hvywt - K Snyder Oh St - 2017

 

197 - this year's Cox beats Cael in his senior year? Very bold!

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125- Nickerson (similar to 174, didn't start following until 2005/2006)

133- Guerrero

141- Stieber

149- Schlatter (when he was healthy (Fr-So) season, he was nearly unstoppable, wasn't a huge scorer, but had a style more similar to Dake)

157- Dake ( see Schlatter, hardest one to judge because he never settled in one weight, so he "dodged" people against his choice, but best defense around)

165- JB

174- Askren (honestly, I never watched Pendelton wrestle, didn't start following until 2005/2006)

184- Ruth

197- Cael

HWY- Snyder ( Not even considering his F/S here, I think he is just too athletic and quick for any HWY. I see Neal as a similar build to Gwiz and Snyder was able to get past that)

 

 

I put little blurbs on picks others might find interesting

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197 - this year's Cox beats Cael in his senior year? Very bold!

I could see how maybe the OP is going with how hard it is to score on Cox. However, I don't think there has been anyone at 97 the past few years that would have been on the same level as Cael's competitors.

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I could see how maybe the OP is going with how hard it is to score on Cox. However, I don't think there has been anyone at 97 the past few years that would have been on the same level as Cael's competitors.

Conditioning played a factor, but if freshman Kolin Moore can score on Cox, Cael Sanderson can too.

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So Pendleton was like the greatest ever?  There's a reason Askren had a closer match with Kish than with Hebert when he bumped up even though Hebert was the far greater wrestler.  And there's a reason Cubans who finished clean and athletically crushed him internationally.  There's a reason 0X AA Wes Roberts from OU gave him his toughest match at NCAAs those 2 years he was undefeated.  If you didn't give him anything to funk he has to rely on his own shots, which were very good (but not sport changing like his funk).  The best guy he beat those two years was Hebert and he's the opposite of clean technique.  

 

So, I think he's a revolutionary in our sport, but I don't think he got better in last two seasons in some major way that would reverse things with Pendleton. 

I see where you are coming from, but I think we disagree on what "giving him fits" means.  He still wasn't defeated.  And I do believe he improved over his fresh/soph seasons. 

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I see where you are coming from, but I think we disagree on what "giving him fits" means.  He still wasn't defeated.  And I do believe he improved over his fresh/soph seasons. 

By giving fits I didn't mean to imply many of those champs would beat him.  I meant that a clean style is the toughest matchup for him.  He ate up anyone who would funk with him.  I agree he improved, but I think he mainly got better at what he was already good at.  He was like a mad scientist perfecting his brand of chaos.  I don't think he consistently beats Pendleton at any point.  Styles make fights (and wrestling matches).

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By giving fits I didn't mean to imply many of those champs would beat him.  I meant that a clean style is the toughest matchup for him.  He ate up anyone who would funk with him.  I agree he improved, but I think he mainly got better at what he was already good at.  He was like a mad scientist perfecting his brand of chaos.  I don't think he consistently beats Pendleton at any point.  Styles make fights (and wrestling matches).

 

So basically you're saying that no matter how good Askren got at funking, Pendleton's cleaner style would most always beat him.

I can respect that.

So what does your list look like? I'm interested in seeing your over all perspective!

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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125- Nickerson (similar to 174, didn't start following until 2005/2006)

133- Guerrero

141- Stieber

149- Schlatter (when he was healthy (Fr-So) season, he was nearly unstoppable, wasn't a huge scorer, but had a style more similar to Dake)

157- Dake ( see Schlatter, hardest one to judge because he never settled in one weight, so he "dodged" people against his choice, but best defense around)

165- JB

174- Askren (honestly, I never watched Pendelton wrestle, didn't start following until 2005/2006)

184- Ruth

197- Cael

HWY- Snyder ( Not even considering his F/S here, I think he is just too athletic and quick for any HWY. I see Neal as a similar build to Gwiz and Snyder was able to get past that)

 

 

I put little blurbs on picks others might find interesting

 

Would you really pick a Jr or Sr year Ruth over a Cael Fr-Jr?

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Would you really pick a Jr or Sr year Ruth over a Cael Fr-Jr?

Not necessarily, I picked Ruth for a few reasons, the main one being for the sake of putting an All-Star team together, I didn't want to double someone up at two weights. The second being, similar to 125 and 174 I never had the chance to see Cael wrestle so I was just going with his senior year as his best year.

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Would you really pick a Jr or Sr year Ruth over a Cael Fr-Jr?

maybe some people only want to list a guy at one weight. otherwise I could do this maybe

125 Abas

133 Stieber

141 Stieber

149 Dake

157 Dake

165 Dake

174 Askren

184 Cael

197 Cael

Hvy Snyder

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maybe some people only want to list a guy at one weight. otherwise I could do this maybe

125 Abas

133 Stieber

141 Stieber

149 Dake

157 Dake

165 Dake

174 Askren

184 Cael

197 Cael

Hvy Snyder

 

This would absolutely be a valid list. In my original post you will notice I included the year/version of the wrestler. It wasnt ment to be an allstar team, it was asking which versions of NCAA Champs would win a tournament of NCAA Champs.

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