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Question on Cael Sandersons collegiate career

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I wasn't sure which forum this was more appropriate for.  

I wasn't following the sport at the time, though I recall knowing about his run to perfection back then.  It is an amazing accomplishment, which appears to rightly put him as #1 on Best Collegiate Wrestlers of All Time lists.  

That said are there any "belmishes" or controversies with his run?  

I was thinking of someone like Floyd Mayweather.  There are a couple wins that some dispute and maybe some argument that he cherry picked some opponents at just the right time.

Or take someone like Mike Tyson.  Pre Buster Douglas, he was considered the baddest man on the planet, but today you hear about the weak state the HWT division was as he came up, etc. 

Are there any legitimate arguments like this regarding his run without diminishing the accomplishment?

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The only thing that people really talk about is his one loss during his redshirt year.  Not really a blemish though. 

People may say that he didn't have a lot of top quality opponents, but I think he was just that much better. He only had like one or two wins his senior year that he did not bonus. He handled John Trendge a couple times pretty easily. My mind is blank right now but his opponent from West Virginia at the time was very good and he hammered him too.  I am not positive, but I think he also beat Pendleton a few times as well. The other thing to consider is I think a lot of guys moved away from Cael.

Irregardless to wrestle 159 matches and never lose is insane to think about. That is winning when sick, dinged up, having an off day, not getting caught, etc. Guys today don't wrestle as man matches. I'm not sure Cael even really had any controversial wins, like say Steiber. Cael was just purely dominant his Junior and Senior year. 

Back then it also wasn't like it is today where guys are held out at times for big matches. I don't think he ever missed a single match. The only person I feel could even be in the discussion with what Cael did in college is Dake. Dake had a loss or two his Freshman year.  However, I don't remember him ever missing a match against a top opponent, and he beat some really good guys (i.e. Taylor). IMO, Cael was the best collegiate wrestler of all time and Dake is a very close second. If you split hairs Dake may not have ever had a loss if he would have had a redshirt/greyshirt. He did win it in 4 different weights and I think Cael won 2 different weights. Cael had more dominant wins against the #2-#4's than Dake, and he had more wins due to the number of matches wrestled. I think Cael had more bonus wins across his career as well.  However, that isn't always the best indicator; especially with Dakes style. I think Steiber and the rest of the pack are pretty far behind those two.

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i dont think he was ever at pendletons weight, mostly b/c i dont think pendleton was in college yet

 

i agree i think guys moved away from his weight

and it is incredible to never lose in 159 matches 

Edited by GockeS

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Seems pretty hard to argue that he didn't have a perfect career.  That being said, the only things I would debate are that he was at a higher weight, his defeated opponents may not have accomplished much else (internationally), and he did not wrestle in the Big Ten.  

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On 2/28/2021 at 6:07 PM, Chrissn2001 said:

Seems pretty hard to argue that he didn't have a perfect career.  That being said, the only things I would debate are that he was at a higher weight, his defeated opponents may not have accomplished much else (internationally), and he did not wrestle in the Big Ten.  

He wrestled 43 of 159 matches against Big 10 opponents (27%).

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"Shortly after making weight the day before his 2008 Olympic freestyle wrestling competition at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., Cormier started feeling dizzy and light-headed on the bus ride back to the Olympic Village."

https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Wrestling/Features/2014/September/04/Past-World-medalist-Daniel-Cormier-overcomes-adversity-to-earn-UFC-title-shot

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Yes, I made a boo boo.  You are all correct.  He did make weight but couldn't wrestle.  Sorry to have caused a little contention here.  And I appreciate the correction.  

mspart

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On 3/14/2020 at 4:55 PM, scramble said:

The only thing that people really talk about is his one loss during his redshirt year.  Not really a blemish though. 

People may say that he didn't have a lot of top quality opponents, but I think he was just that much better. He only had like one or two wins his senior year that he did not bonus. He handled John Trendge a couple times pretty easily. My mind is blank right now but his opponent from West Virginia at the time was very good and he hammered him too.  I am not positive, but I think he also beat Pendleton a few times as well. The other thing to consider is I think a lot of guys moved away from Cael.

Irregardless to wrestle 159 matches and never lose is insane to think about. That is winning when sick, dinged up, having an off day, not getting caught, etc. Guys today don't wrestle as man matches. I'm not sure Cael even really had any controversial wins, like say Steiber. Cael was just purely dominant his Junior and Senior year. 

Back then it also wasn't like it is today where guys are held out at times for big matches. I don't think he ever missed a single match. The only person I feel could even be in the discussion with what Cael did in college is Dake. Dake had a loss or two his Freshman year.  However, I don't remember him ever missing a match against a top opponent, and he beat some really good guys (i.e. Taylor). IMO, Cael was the best collegiate wrestler of all time and Dake is a very close second. If you split hairs Dake may not have ever had a loss if he would have had a redshirt/greyshirt. He did win it in 4 different weights and I think Cael won 2 different weights. Cael had more dominant wins against the #2-#4's than Dake, and he had more wins due to the number of matches wrestled. I think Cael had more bonus wins across his career as well.  However, that isn't always the best indicator; especially with Dakes style. I think Steiber and the rest of the pack are pretty far behind those two.

Actually Dake took a loss somewhere his jr year to a guy from Binghampton?

 

But...and others are in agreement with me who competed at the very highest of collegiate and world levels...that what Dake did is a much greater accomplishment.

 

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On 5/17/2021 at 6:07 PM, BadgerMon said:

Actually Dake took a loss somewhere his jr year to a guy from Binghampton?

 

But...and others are in agreement with me who competed at the very highest of collegiate and world levels...that what Dake did is a much greater accomplishment.

 

Obviously the tale is still being written, but who are you referring to at the highest levels that believes that Kyle Dake had a more impressive collegiate career than Cael?  You may be the first person I’ve heard say that Kyle Dake, the dropping matches every year and not even winning 4 EIWA titles Kyle Dake, barely beating David Taylor on multiple occasions Kyle Dake, had a more impressive collegiate career than Cael did.

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On 5/31/2021 at 12:02 AM, Drew87 said:

Obviously the tale is still being written, but who are you referring to at the highest levels that believes that Kyle Dake had a more impressive collegiate career than Cael?  You may be the first person I’ve heard say that Kyle Dake, the dropping matches every year and not even winning 4 EIWA titles Kyle Dake, barely beating David Taylor on multiple occasions Kyle Dake, had a more impressive collegiate career than Cael did.

The basis of this line of thought is- moving up in weight is always a precarious thing. Moving up 3 times is unheard of. There have been four timers before, and there have been unbeatens before. Gable's period of unbeaten-ness, for example, stretched through almost 7 years of folkstyle matches. So actually Gable's feat is as monstrous as any.

But, I digress. What Kyle Dake did is incredible, and to do it as a middleweight-by far the most competitive range of population distribution- is just nuts. Big nuts, to say the least. 

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5 hours ago, BadgerMon said:

The basis of this line of thought is- moving up in weight is always a precarious thing. Moving up 3 times is unheard of. There have been four timers before, and there have been unbeatens before. Gable's period of unbeaten-ness, for example, stretched through almost 7 years of folkstyle matches. So actually Gable's feat is as monstrous as any.

But, I digress. What Kyle Dake did is incredible, and to do it as a middleweight-by far the most competitive range of population distribution- is just nuts. Big nuts, to say the least. 

i understand the basis for the notion, but I think it is highly flawed.  If that is the logic, then I think there are a lot of old school 3x champs who could and should be included as better college wrestlers than Dake.  Lincoln McIlravy.  Joe Williams.  Ed Ruth. Bo Nickal.  Pick a Schultz brother.  Loads of 80’s iowa guys.  If the losses don’t matter, then why should a particular loss at nationals matter more than those throughout the regular season?

Edited by Drew87

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23 hours ago, Drew87 said:

i understand the basis for the notion, but I think it is highly flawed.  If that is the logic, then I think there are a lot of old school 3x champs who could and should be included as better college wrestlers than Dake.  Lincoln McIlravy.  Joe Williams.  Ed Ruth. Bo Nickal.  Pick a Schultz brother.  Loads of 80’s iowa guys.  If the losses don’t matter, then why should a particular loss at nationals matter more than those throughout the regular season?

I see your point as well.

Many proclaim Uetake as the greatest collegiate wrestler of all time, based on his dominance and lack of scoring by his opponents, plus ease of victory.  

Since styles DO matter, it's hard to pick any one wrestler as the GREATEST. What Sanderson did is in a class by itself, but his SOS weakens the overall power rating.

I believe that Dake's cadre of opponents were a league ahead of Sanderson's, save for Damion Hahn. 

Just my opinion.

 

 

 

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His closest match might have been Marcus Schontune of Penn that he won 16-10 at the Midlands. I know Sanderson was down heading to the second period. He ended up winning 16-10 and that was one of only 4 times someone scored 10 points on him. The other three were tech falls.

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On 6/1/2021 at 4:02 PM, Drew87 said:

i understand the basis for the notion, but I think it is highly flawed.  If that is the logic, then I think there are a lot of old school 3x champs who could and should be included as better college wrestlers than Dake.  Lincoln McIlravy.  Joe Williams.  Ed Ruth. Bo Nickal.  Pick a Schultz brother.  Loads of 80’s iowa guys.  If the losses don’t matter, then why should a particular loss at nationals matter more than those throughout the regular season?

I think Dake beats those you mentioned if at the same weight.  Of course it’s just opinion but as much as I have seen him flaking out a little lately his all around wrestling talent is unbelievable.  Offense, defense and mat skills, he has it all.

I would have loved to see Cael and Kyle compete.  I don’t think any of Cael’s opponents threaten Kyle except maybe Hahn.

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