No way. The SEC already had wrestling and they were pretty rotten at it. That's one of the reasons they all threw in the towel on wrestling. Occasionally you'd see an SEC team finish top 10 at NCAAs back in the day, but those southern boys are soft and it shows on the mat.
The "deep south" produces a negligible amount of talent, too. Who was the last wrestler who went to HS in Alabama that won an NCAA title? Georgia? Mississippi? Louisiana? Kentucky? Arkansas? South Carolina? Tennessee? Through sheer numbers Texas/Florida have produced some talent, though, but very anemic in terms of how many participants they have.
Point on hiring great coach with big bucks, but the south produces almost no wrestling talent. Even Cael gravitated to Pennsylvania because he needed the talent to make his dynasty. I can't see anybody doing that in Tuscaloosa, Athens, or Little Rock.
1969-1970 through 1980-1981, the 12 years the SEC had wrestling, most of the wrestlers on the 7 teams total that were in the SEC were made up of wrestlers from other states. States as in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania. Wrestling at the high school level wasn't much in Alabama or Louisiana, so the teams weren't made up of kids from Alabama or Louisiana when we talk about Alabama, Auburn or Louisiana State wrestling.
That's the point I was making earlier. Today with the massive growth of wrestling, and the type of talent that Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Texas produce, you COULD produce talented teams with kids from the home state. Especially Georgia and Florida.
Why are you even mentioning Mississippi in your question? You already know the answer to that question. You can't produce what you don't have. There is no high school wrestling in Mississippi, so of course they won't be producing NCAA champions.
SEC wrestling only lasted 12 seasons and in those 12 seasons, teams placed in the top 10 on 3 occasions. I don't think 3/12 in relative terms is that bad.
1977 Kentucky 10th
1980 Kentucky 10th
1981 Auburn 9th
If you're wanting a team to compete with Penn State and Ohio State, then yeah, you're probably not going to get that with a Florida Gator or Georgia Bulldog or Tennessee Volunteer team made up of kids from Florida, Georgia, Texas and Alabama competing with a Penn State team made up of kids from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and New York.
But if you're talking about a competitive team, as in a team that can produce All Americans and compete for a spot in the top 15. Yeah, a college team in Florida, made up of kids from Florida and the surrounding nearby southern states of Georgia, Alabama, ect. Most certainly they could. I have no doubt.
I mean let's just be hypothetical here for a second. I'll throw out a year for the Hell of it.
Let's say 2002 NCAA tournament I have to use wrestlers that were wrestling during that time, based on their NCAA finish of that year. Let's pretend that instead of wrestling for who they did wrestle for they would have had the opportunity to wrestle for the Florida Gators.
125 - Chris Rodrigues (From Georgia) 8th
133 - Witt Durden (From Georgia) 3rd
149 - Jared Frayer (From Florida) 2nd
165 - Mark Fee (From Florida) 5th
174 - Ralph Everett (From Florida) 0-2
184 - Josh Lambrecht (From Florida) 2nd
197- Tom Grossman (From Texas) 1-2
HWT - Adrian Thompson (From Florida) 1-2
So here I give you an example of what could have been a team made entirely of southern boys. 8 NCAA qualifiers, 4 of which were All Americans, including two finalist. I would think this for sure would be a top 15 if not a top 10 finish.
So let's say that instead of wrestling for the various schools that these wrestlers did end up wrestling for, they would have HAD the opportunity to wrestle in the south. Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Texas A&M Aggies.
Yes, the south produces some great talent and yes, good enough talent to be top 15, maybe even top 10 NCAA DI.
My opinion, for what it's apparently not worth.
Edited by JohnnyThompsonnum1, 11 January 2018 - 05:29 PM.
"Gable said something in the newspapers to the effect that he had to show up on the podium and accept defeat like he accepted winning. Personally, I think that's the mark of a true sportsman. Such antics as having to be called repeatedly to the awards podium, hopping down prematurely, trashing one's medal at the venue, etc., don't show how much a guy hates to lose, etc. Taking a loss like a man, then coming back to compete harder (again like Gable did) does." Hurricanewrestling