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Obelix

All-Star One-Time Champs Since 2000

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Folks,

Thanks for your participation in my last Dream Team. This one is a little different, but might be a little easier, as we can't really change wrestlers' weights. It's simple: Who were the best one-time champs in each weight since 2000?

125- I would say this is between Nickerson and Robles, with a slight edge to a healthy Nickerson. (I'm a little biased towards this generation, as I watched/coached against many on the Freestyle circuit.)

133- This one is so tough. Ness, Scott, Gomez, Nahshon....I'm gonna go with Scott here, but I could be convinced otherwise. Ness won the Hodge, so that sure muddies the water.

141- Kind of interesting that there aren't many here. Cliff Moore, Derek Moore, and Maple? I might put Derek Moore here, mostly because of his annihilation in the finals.

149- This is the craziest one. Tony Davis, Tirapelle, Lawrence, Larkin, Jantzen, Esposito, Schlatter, or Caldwell? I might go with Jantzen here, but I got to see Schlatter and Caldwell's dominance in person, and it's hard to go against them here. Now I just saw that Larkin won the Hodge that year.... Holy cow. 

157- Becker, Gentry, or Leen? I want to put Gentry here--as his weight was ridiculous that year and he's a super nice guy--but Becker and Leen's history is a little better. I am going with Leen. 

165- Heskett or Howe? Wow, what a contrast in styles, and guys who were great very early. I'm picking Heskett would win this in OT, so a slight lean to him.

174- Tucker, Koscheck, Myles Martin...but I gotta go with Hall here. 

184- I'd go with Max Askren over the field here, mostly because I sure like him.

197- Vering, Munoz, Phil Davis....but one guy placed ahead of two very soon-to-be World Champs: Gadsen. I have to go with him for this reason.

285- This one is kinda tough. I'll go with Lesnar here.

Going in, I thought this would be easier than it is. The toughest question is if I should go with entire careers, entire seasons, or exceptional tournaments? Entire careers would be the most objective, but I want this a little more of a combination of all. I am by no means an expert on these things, and I would love to hear others' opinions on this very important matter. 

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Great topic idea! 

Man 149 is just CRAZY - I was going to immediately say Tony Davis, people forget how good he was.  But man there are some serious hammers in that bracket, that's a tough one.   

I gotta go Maple at 141, he was so good and it was clear his senior year he wasn't even close to healthy. 

I''ll go Heskett over Howe.   Troy Letters (heck and Matt Lackey) probably deserve mention as well. 

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2 hours ago, Obelix said:

 

157- Becker, Gentry, or Leen? I want to put Gentry here--as his weight was ridiculous that year and he's a super nice guy--but Becker and Leen's history is a little better. I am going with Leen. 

But for a "fleeing the mat" call against Poeta when he never went out of bounds, Leen would be a zero time champ.

Gentry gets the nod for winning a bracket with Bertin, Tirapelle, Paulson and Percival.

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Robles-One of the best senior seasons of all time.  IMHO

Garrett-He was incredible once he stopped cutting all that weight.

Cliff Moore-Probably the most dominating upset in NCAA History over Scott Moore.  Scott was pinning damn near everyone and was easily on pace to win the Hodge.  Cliff beat him 14-2 in the semis!

Jantzen-He was just so good in so many positions.  Schlatter was the best true freshmen I had ever seen.

Becker-Tough competition-  Snyder, Nakamura, Roller, Owen, Bertin,Maynard and Powell. Actuall, 157 was sooo stacked all 4 years he competed.

Howe-He was better before the 2 year layoff.

Koscheck-Very dynamic and was on fire that season.

Shane Webster-37-1 beat Glenn and Kish to win it all!

Gadsen-I really like Davis as well, but Gadsen was a wrecking ball in a really tough weigh class.

Cassar-Other than the blip against White, the man was a machine.  Beating Steveson multiple times trumps anything any other 1 timer accomplished!

 

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4 hours ago, Perry said:

149 is brutal but I think I would take Caldwell at his peak. His domination of metcalf still sticks with me.

Big fan of the askren pick as well

If by 'at his peak' you mean that weekend in March I agree.  He was unbeatable that weekend.  But even the rest of that season he wasn't that guy.  He just was never a guy who was going to grind out 3 months of winning mentally or physically.  Plus he never came close to that peak again after that tournament.

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2 hours ago, MSU158 said:

Robles-One of the best senior seasons of all time.  IMHO

Garrett-He was incredible once he stopped cutting all that weight.

Cliff Moore-Probably the most dominating upset in NCAA History over Scott Moore.  Scott was pinning damn near everyone and was easily on pace to win the Hodge.  Cliff beat him 14-2 in the semis!

Jantzen-He was just so good in so many positions.  Schlatter was the best true freshmen I had ever seen.

Becker-Tough competition-  Snyder, Nakamura, Roller, Owen, Bertin,Maynard and Powell. Actuall, 157 was sooo stacked all 4 years he competed.

Howe-He was better before the 2 year layoff.

Koscheck-Very dynamic and was on fire that season.

Shane Webster-37-1 beat Glenn and Kish to win it all!

Gadsen-I really like Davis as well, but Gadsen was a wrecking ball in a really tough weigh class.

Cassar-Other than the blip against White, the man was a machine.  Beating Steveson multiple times trumps anything any other 1 timer accomplished!

 

I agree 100% with Robles.  

I don't think Cassar fares well against big heavyweight champs.  I can't see him double legging guys 50 pounds heavier.  Tough style matchup.  He beat Gable but mostly he just let Gable carry action until he got tired.  It was tactical brilliance but not indicative of him reaching some super high level that would translate into beating other champs.  

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6 hours ago, Obelix said:

Folks,

Thanks for your participation in my last Dream Team. This one is a little different, but might be a little easier, as we can't really change wrestlers' weights. It's simple: Who were the best one-time champs in each weight since 2000?

125- I would say this is between Nickerson and Robles, with a slight edge to a healthy Nickerson. (I'm a little biased towards this generation, as I watched/coached against many on the Freestyle circuit.)

133- This one is so tough. Ness, Scott, Gomez, Nahshon....I'm gonna go with Scott here, but I could be convinced otherwise. Ness won the Hodge, so that sure muddies the water.

141- Kind of interesting that there aren't many here. Cliff Moore, Derek Moore, and Maple? I might put Derek Moore here, mostly because of his annihilation in the finals.

149- This is the craziest one. Tony Davis, Tirapelle, Lawrence, Larkin, Jantzen, Esposito, Schlatter, or Caldwell? I might go with Jantzen here, but I got to see Schlatter and Caldwell's dominance in person, and it's hard to go against them here. Now I just saw that Larkin won the Hodge that year.... Holy cow. 

157- Becker, Gentry, or Leen? I want to put Gentry here--as his weight was ridiculous that year and he's a super nice guy--but Becker and Leen's history is a little better. I am going with Leen. 

165- Heskett or Howe? Wow, what a contrast in styles, and guys who were great very early. I'm picking Heskett would win this in OT, so a slight lean to him.

174- Tucker, Koscheck, Myles Martin...but I gotta go with Hall here. 

184- I'd go with Max Askren over the field here, mostly because I sure like him.

197- Vering, Munoz, Phil Davis....but one guy placed ahead of two very soon-to-be World Champs: Gadsen. I have to go with him for this reason.

285- This one is kinda tough. I'll go with Lesnar here.

Going in, I thought this would be easier than it is. The toughest question is if I should go with entire careers, entire seasons, or exceptional tournaments? Entire careers would be the most objective, but I want this a little more of a combination of all. I am by no means an expert on these things, and I would love to hear others' opinions on this very important matter. 

Robles senior year may be the best version of any 125 ever.

 

Maples junior year was also incredible.  Amazing on his feet and on top.

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1 hour ago, boconnell said:

If by 'at his peak' you mean that weekend in March I agree.  He was unbeatable that weekend.  But even the rest of that season he wasn't that guy.  He just was never a guy who was going to grind out 3 months of winning mentally or physically.  Plus he never came close to that peak again after that tournament.

Didn't he get seriously injured the following year when Dake would have been a sophomore? He also went undefeated that year, so to say he was not going to grind out 3 months of winning seems a little off maybe?

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31 minutes ago, Perry said:

Didn't he get seriously injured the following year when Dake would have been a sophomore? He also went undefeated that year, so to say he was not going to grind out 3 months of winning seems a little off maybe?

Yea he broke his shoulder in a roller blading accident that offseason and was never the same...apparently blood round as true freshman, 5th at arguably the toughest weight ever, then undefeated champ shows he only peaked 1 weekend in March 

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1 hour ago, Perry said:

Didn't he get seriously injured the following year when Dake would have been a sophomore? He also went undefeated that year, so to say he was not going to grind out 3 months of winning seems a little off maybe?

He wrestled 15 matches in the next 2 years.  He was never healthy for a season again.  That supports my point he wasn't a season long guy.  That's not to say he wasn't great.  He was.  I'd take him at his peak over any 149.  He just had a short peak.  He was better suited to an international schedule or the MMA schedule he went to where he could get up for one big tournament/match.  That's why I'd call him the best one time 149 champ if judged on NCAA tournament performance when they won their championship.  

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58 minutes ago, Antitroll2828 said:

Yea he broke his shoulder in a roller blading accident that offseason and was never the same...apparently blood round as true freshman, 5th at arguably the toughest weight ever, then undefeated champ shows he only peaked 1 weekend in March 

He wrestled healthy in freestyle and competed for years in MMA.  He didn't have any kind of debilitating injury that changed him forever.  

And yes, crushing Metcalf to win a title is a huge peak compared to round of 12/5th/DNP due to injury.  It's kind of the definition of peaked.  

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Thanks for the responses. 

A four person bracket at 133 might be needed to suss this weight out: Ness, Garrett, Scott, and Gomez.

An eight person bracket will be needed for 149! I know this isn't a large subset, but it's interesting to me how this weight seems substantially tougher than 141. It's probably an anomaly, but interesting to me nonetheless. 

Becker over Leen? I think you convinced me. 

I should have added Letters to the mix at 165. 

174 should be Koscheck, as Hall would most likely have not qualified for this One-Timer tournament. 

I coached against Caldwell in Fargo, in the Greco 7th and 8th match. I quickly learned firsthand what a dynamic wrestler he was, and he sure seemed like a cool dude, too. This definitely added interest and intrigue to his college career. The atmosphere in the arena when he beat Metcalf was unreal. 

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15 hours ago, boconnell said:

He wrestled healthy in freestyle and competed for years in MMA.  He didn't have any kind of debilitating injury that changed him forever.  

And yes, crushing Metcalf to win a title is a huge peak compared to round of 12/5th/DNP due to injury.  It's kind of the definition of peaked.  

He was never healthy wrestling wise after that injury, his shoulder didn’t hold up at all wrestling freestyle, which is why he went over to MMA, he’s given multiple interviews where he mentions this. Ben askren pointed out just a few months ago when discussing Cassar that shoulder injuries hold up much better in MMA then they do in wrestling.

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1 hour ago, Antitroll2828 said:

He was never healthy wrestling wise after that injury, his shoulder didn’t hold up at all wrestling freestyle, which is why he went over to MMA, he’s given multiple interviews where he mentions this. Ben askren pointed out just a few months ago when discussing Cassar that shoulder injuries hold up much better in MMA then they do in wrestling.

I hadn't heard that about shoulders.  I guess it makes sense.  

Either way I wasn't intending to knock Caldwell.  More elevate the heights he temporarily reached.  Our sport is all about peaking, and he did it perfectly that weekend.

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9 hours ago, JHRoseWrestling said:

I could see the version of Cody Brewer who won 133 on THAT WEEKEND coming out on top of a field comprised of the other 133 pounders during their championship runs.  It was something to behold.

His kitchen sink offensive arsenal was awesome.  He overwhelmed most guys.  One of my favorite guys to watch.

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