This topic always drives me nuts, and I realize I'm trying to be rationale with un-rational people, but I'll give it a try anyway.
Cael has raised the bar for all coaches and his current run of dominance is truly remarkable. However, if we are comparing every coach to him, every coach currently comes up short. Only one team can win a title in a season, but that doesn't mean he is the only good/great/elite coach in the game.
Iowa is held to a different standard than any other program, even Penn St. Anything less than a national title is a failure. John Smith has gone on a longer title draught than Brands, does that mean he cant get it done anymore or is no longer an elite coach? Not hardly. Oklahoma St has had far worse seasons than Iowa in the last 10 years, finishing outside the top 5 a couple times. Nobody calls for Smith's head when this happens.
Comparing Zalesky and Brands, most people on here only look at the national titles. How about consistency? Iowa had the longest streak of podium finishes, 8 straight years from '08-'15, not even Penn St could say that. As I said before, it's Iowa, so if you aint first youre last, but being top 3 or 4 every single year is pretty damn hard to do. Minnesota couldn't do it, Oklahoma St, Missouri, Cornell, all the programs that don't win a title but still get a ton of love and credit, don't actually perform as well as consistently as Iowa. The one year they miss the top 4, they are 5, and miss by what, 1 point? Next season they are back in the top 4.
Look at the dual results. I know, "duals don't matter" but during Penn St first 4-peat, Iowa beat them in the dual 2 of the 4 years. Iowa has regular success against Oklahoma St, remember the time Iowa won 8 of 10 matches at Gallagher-Iba? Can you imagine what people would say on here if Okie St took 8 of 10 from Iowa at Carver?
How many guys was the HWC and the Zalesky staff putting on world and Olympic teams?
Oh yea, let's not forget about "the sideline antics." Give me a break, I've watched matches or read about matches with coaches walking half way out on the mat, jumping around, doing all the things the Iowa guys do and nobody cares. When Iowa coaches do it, it's different.
Some like to say Iowa doesn't develop their guys. I find that laughable. Where was a Brandon Sorenson in recruit rankings? I know he wasn't a top 10 kid, probably not top 20. If I remember correctly I think McDonigh was ranked in the 60's or so? I know he started his freshmen season ranked 18th or 19th with very little expectation of even being an AA. I think they develop mid-tier recruits incredibly well, and if I had to criticize them it would be that they aren't getting enough top tier bluest of blue chip recruits, the top 10-15ish types. Recently they have landed a few with guys like Lee, Kemmerer and Marinelli, and those guys have performed like top tier recruits would be expected to.
If any program other than Iowa had the kind of consistent top 4 NCAA finishes, dual wins and freestyle success Iowa has had, the praise would be thru the roof. But since it's Iowa, and fans either love them or hate them, more so hate them, anything less than a national title is failure