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Is 2013 Taylor the best ever non-champion?

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Seeing Taylor pin his way to the finals with ease made me wonder if there has ever been a better wrestler who failed to win the national title. I'm talking about in a specific year, not the best to never win a title obviously.

 

The only people I can think of who could take this spot are McIlravy as a junior and Gable as a senior. Possibly Banach as a junior. I'm sure there are others, but they aren't coming to mind right now. So how do you think 2013 Taylor ranks on the list of wrestlers who didn't end the season as a national champion?

 

(600 char) :(

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If you'd seen him wrestle you might consider Yoshiro Fujita at the '72 NCAAs. As a high schooler he beat Uetake in the Japanese Olympic trials, and later came over to wrestle two seasons for Oklahoma State, winning the '71 NCAAs (49-1 career record). Undefeated #1 seed in ’72 dislocated his shoulder in the first period of his first match and had to default out. One of the quickest wrestlers I've ever seen.

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I'd say no. As mentioned above, I'd put Gable, Keller, Rick Sanders, and Mcilravy above him. Perhaps Askren, Herbert, and Hendricks above him as well. There might be more if I dig in my memory bank.

I'm a youngin so I'll refrain from commenting on the wrestlers who were before my time, but Herbert and Hendricks? Seriously? Hendricks in particular didn't really separate himself from the pack anywhere close to the way Taylor has. Even sophomore Askren is pushing it I feel.

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I'm a youngin so I'll refrain from commenting on the wrestlers who were before my time, but Herbert and Hendricks? Seriously? Hendricks in particular didn't really separate himself from the pack anywhere close to the way Taylor has. Even sophomore Askren is pushing it I feel.

 

Maybe you're right youngin! Admittedly, I still have a few questions about Taylor. I'm not sure I'd take him over Hendricks or even Perry in an ncaa tournament match, maybe I'm wrong. Actually, I'd take Taylor over Herbert (sophmore year).

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Some of you guys fall in love with the high scoring, bonus points performances of Taylor. On paper, he's far more dominant than Dake, yet we know who (with no question) the better wrestler is.

Hendricks was every bit as good, if not better, than Taylor. The best Taylor can do is 2 titles, right? And that's if Howe doesn't go 165?

Herbert was an animal as well, and may have been as good or better than Taylor (and is now).

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The best Taylor can do is 2 titles, right? And that's if Howe doesn't go 165?

 

Good to know that Taylor needs to hope Howe isn't in his weight or he stands no chance at a 2nd title :roll:

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Scott Moore of Virginia in 2004 was pretty damn impressive. I can't access the bracket right now, as my computer won't load it, but I remember that he had a lot of pins against top notch opponents.

 

Stuck Nate Gallick and Jason Mester both in the first period.

 

I also believe that Moore had the most matches ever wrestled in a collegiate season. I think that the record still stands. Something close to 60 matches that year.

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Given Gable was a non-champ at one point, I think the better question is where Taylor and others rank. I'd put Taylor in a very elite group that, other than Gable amd himself, includes sophomore Alan Fried and Ben Askren.

 

Fried may be surprising to some of you. I think with little question, he is the best one-time champ of all time. Had he transferred when OSU lost a year as a team, I think few would question that he would've been as close to a lock to be a two-timer as anyone that year. The only reason he didnt win the other years is because a top 10 all-time great named Tom Brands also wrestled 134. And it's not like Brands completely dominated Fried either. Fried actually pinned Brands at the Midlands once. I think the fact that Fried was one guy away from being in contention to be a top 10 all-timer himself says something. I don't have all the stats in front of me, but did Fried even wrestle one close match in college other than against Brands?

 

We all know freestyle isn't folkstyle, but unlike most on this board, I thimk there is a very strong correlation between folkstyle and freestyle success. I think his was especially true when Fried wrestled freestyle, before all the inane rule changes of today. if I recall correctly, Fried beat Pat Smith in freestyle wrestling up a weight class even though they were two weights apart in folkstyle. I believe Pat was already a multi-time champ when this happened. It's not as if Fried bulked up to do it either. I am almost sure that he intended to wrestle 136.5 and missed weight, so he bumped up to wrestle 149.5 that day.

 

I consider Fried by far the most underrated NCAA champ as well as one of the best non-champs ever.

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Some of you guys fall in love with the high scoring, bonus points performances of Taylor. On paper, he's far more dominant than Dake, yet we know who (with no question) the better wrestler is.

Hendricks was every bit as good, if not better, than Taylor. The best Taylor can do is 2 titles, right? And that's if Howe doesn't go 165?

Herbert was an animal as well, and may have been as good or better than Taylor (and is now).

I wouldn't say Taylor is far more dominant than Dake, He just has higher point matches. People don't score on Dake and that's a different type of dominance. I do think he's much more dominant than Hendricks though. Hendricks was known for dropping matches to lesser competition and I'm almost positive he never had an undefeated season. He also only took 5th as a freshman where as Taylor had a Caelesque season outside of the finals. Also Hendricks had some decent luck in both of his two championship tournaments.

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If you'd seen him wrestle you might consider Yoshiro Fujita at the '72 NCAAs. As a high schooler he beat Uetake in the Japanese Olympic trials, and later came over to wrestle two seasons for Oklahoma State, winning the '71 NCAAs (49-1 career record). Undefeated #1 seed in ’72 dislocated his shoulder in the first period of his first match and had to default out. One of the quickest wrestlers I've ever seen.

Good choice - Uetake was Fujita's mentor and was responsible for him attending Oklahoma State. Fujita's win came in a 1-out-of-3 bout series when Uetake came out of semi-retirement to go for his second gold.

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Joe Henson would be another one who should be considered. He wrestled for the Naval Academy during WW-II when the NCAA's were cancelled. At that time, they were pushing the midshipmen through their degree programs in 3 years. Henson wrestled up and down the weight classes and went undefeated through his career. Later, he became the first American to beat a Soviet wrestler in the Olympics when he took bronze at the '52 Games. Here's part of an article where Dan Hodge and Alan Rice described Henson.

 

Dan Hodge (the only wrestler ever to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated), remembers Joe. "He was my mentor on the Olympic squad in ’52. Many of us looked to him for leadership. His was the record I wanted to beat. Joe beat everyone, so I made up my mind that I had to pin everyone to be better than Joe." When asked how Joe would stack up to wrestlers today, Hodge had no doubt that, in his prime, Joe could have beat them all. "Nobody could score on him," according to Hodge. Hall of Fame teammate Alan Rice confirmed the assessment when he noted "I wrestled with Joe every day for ten months on the Armed Forces squad and could not score a single point."

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Also, Taylor beats Howe if they meet next year. Bank on it.

 

 

They won't...Howe is going 174....is your bank in Cypress?

I'm well aware, that's where the "if" comes in. I was merely responding to this:

 

The best Taylor can do is 2 titles, right? And that's if Howe doesn't go 165?

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Given Gable was a non-champ at one point, I think the better question is where Taylor and others rank. I'd put Taylor in a very elite group that, other than Gable amd himself, includes sophomore Alan Fried and Ben Askren.

 

Fried may be surprising to some of you. I think with little question, he is the best one-time champ of all time. Had he transferred when OSU lost a year as a team, I think few would question that he would've been as close to a lock to be a two-timer as anyone that year. The only reason he didnt win the other years is because a top 10 all-time great named Tom Brands also wrestled 134. And it's not like Brands completely dominated Fried either. Fried actually pinned Brands at the Midlands once. I think the fact that Fried was one guy away from being in contention to be a top 10 all-timer himself says something. I don't have all the stats in front of me, but did Fried even wrestle one close match in college other than against Brands?

 

We all know freestyle isn't folkstyle, but unlike most on this board, I thimk there is a very strong correlation between folkstyle and freestyle success. I think his was especially true when Fried wrestled freestyle, before all the inane rule changes of today. if I recall correctly, Fried beat Pat Smith in freestyle wrestling up a weight class even though they were two weights apart in folkstyle. I believe Pat was already a multi-time champ when this happened. It's not as if Fried bulked up to do it either. I am almost sure that he intended to wrestle 136.5 and missed weight, so he bumped up to wrestle 149.5 that day.

 

I consider Fried by far the most underrated NCAA champ as well as one of the best non-champs ever.

 

 

That's all true. In fairness to Pat Smith, he was dying from the weight cut when Fried beat him. Maybe this doesn't matter at all to you, but the fact that Fried beat his own weight drained teammate (who he saw everyday) takes off a lot for the impressiveness of that win to me. I have no bias, since I don't like Okie State, but all things equal, I don't think Fried was as good as Smith. Having said that, I agree with much of your post.

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If you'd seen him wrestle you might consider Yoshiro Fujita at the '72 NCAAs. As a high schooler he beat Uetake in the Japanese Olympic trials, and later came over to wrestle two seasons for Oklahoma State, winning the '71 NCAAs (49-1 career record). Undefeated #1 seed in ’72 dislocated his shoulder in the first period of his first match and had to default out. One of the quickest wrestlers I've ever seen.

Good choice - Uetake was Fujita's mentor and was responsible for him attending Oklahoma State. Fujita's win came in a 1-out-of-3 bout series when Uetake came out of semi-retirement to go for his second gold.

 

Interesting. When I started looking into wrestling history years ago, I came across this story while looking for details on a great japanese wrestler named Osamu Watanabe. Actually I was also looking for details for Uetake himself. Anywho, I checked around and was never able to confirm the validity of this story. It wasn't the norm for many countries to decide an Olympic team by a best of three type match series. For example, I don't believe that Watanabe or some of the other Japanese wrestlers had to compete for their spot that way. So the part about Fujita's win over Uetake has always seemed unclear to me, and I always got unclear answers when asking around.

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Scott Moore of Virginia in 2004 was pretty damn impressive. I can't access the bracket right now, as my computer won't load it, but I remember that he had a lot of pins against top notch opponents.

 

Stuck Nate Gallick and Jason Mester both in the first period.

 

I also believe that Moore had the most matches ever wrestled in a collegiate season. I think that the record still stands. Something close to 60 matches that year.

 

JT, Scott Moore sure did have a special season in '04 for UVA. Pretty sure he won the Gorrian award at NCAAs. And had a ton of falls during season. Finished like 50-1 or so? I think the most matches reference you made was actually the year before at Penn St, 55-8 or something...

 

Scott (and Josh)...fun to watch!

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Come on, never did I say Fried was better than Pat Smith. My point was that a 134 lber beat a 150 lber and one of the three best college wrestlers ever wrestling 149.5 freestyle while being close to 136.5, and that is a fact in support of how great Fried was, nothing more. The team mate argument is fair but works both ways too.

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