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Better wrestling career on mat - DT or Cael? Who has more prestige?

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Pls do not consider coaching.  I expect most will say Taylor due to number and color of senior freestyle medals.  And many discount heavily all folkstyle and all non Olympic results.  But I do wonder if people would pick Cael on the career front.

 

On the prestige Q, pls ignore coaching.  So go back to right when Cael retired.  Compare to DT post Olympics.  Contrived I know.  But it seemed like Cael was thought of as a walking god.  DT didn’t quite make it to that tier.  Curious on perspectives.

Helps to understand how people think about the different parts of a career and what elevated ones thinking of a person.  I bet it is multifaceted.

 

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Cael for now. 4x undefeated NCAA champ and Olympic champ, then retirement. DT has one more world gold but didn't even make the team for a long time. DT had a much, much tougher foe for his golds than Cael at the Olympics, but Cael's perfect college record and the brevity of his senior career give him the edge for now. If DT wins another gold and/or another Olympics, case closed, DT.

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You place those 2 NCAA championships over a world gold and world silver? (Edit, they both have a world silver so can say those ‘cancel’ .. both lost to studs)

Or .. you don’t … and you are factoring in Taylors senior level loses before making a world team.  And on the whole this brings DT down a bit.

Edited by nom

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Part of what makes Cael so unique is that he retired from competition at his peak. 8 years later he competes on a whim and makes the World Team. Really without much opposition domestically. Makes you wonder how many medals he could have had if he didn't get into coaching right away. We'll be saying the same thing about Gable and his legacy down the road. 

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It's Cael. He had more success in a shorter time. DT is wrestling at a time when there is more money in the sport so he can compete longer. But you can't fault Cael for not piling on the titles when he won he best title at an early age.

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57 minutes ago, nom said:

You place those 2 NCAA championships over a world gold and world silver? (Edit, they both have a world silver so can say those ‘cancel’ .. both lost to studs)

Or .. you don’t … and you are factoring in Taylors senior level loses before making a world team.  And on the whole this brings DT down a bit.

Of course, the latter

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14 minutes ago, PSUSMC said:

Cael - Made a world team while in college.

World Silver, Olympic Gold.

Didn't have benefactors to help him hang-around the sport - whether on the WT or not.

Had benefactors to help him hang-around the sport - coaching

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33 minutes ago, scribe said:

Carl doesn’t get the woulda coulda pass because retiring in his prime. 

It's not woulda coulda. It's what he did in a short time. OTOH, you can't ignore all those domestic losses that DT took and all the years he did not make a team.

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I think Taylor has the better resume, no doubt. 

Carl has a legendary reputation based on his unparalleled success beating 18-23 year olds in the USA.  He was unable to replicate that on a bigger stage, but for some reason he is held in higher regard than others more successful than himself.  I think Carl will ultimately be regarded as the best coach in US history.  He is doing a phenomenal job at PSU and building big things at NLWC.  I love how the NLWC is open to former rivals.

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Please keep coaching out of it.  Can move to a different thread.

@Plasmodium - I think Taylor has more accolades.  But I do wonder about the resume.  I'm a bit torn.  

Prestige wise - Cael was so high up there .. before coaching.  Seems like US wrestling was in a bit of a lull on the world stage.  And he was so epic on the college level, we needed to show that he deserved the praise there.  He followed up with an Olympic gold.  Proved the believers right.  And cemented him at a pinnacle.  If we had many other gold medal threats, I wonder if it would have seemed the same.

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In Russian circles Sad's coach Sajidov is held in very high regard. The highest of regards by guys in Dagestan. Why because he is the reason 7 time champ Gatsalov went up a weight and 12 time champs B & A Satiev stayed at 163 or were kicked off the team. B Satiev wnted to bump up his last cycle but could not beat Sajidov. And guess what Carl won the Olympics with their idol and now coach. Sad is now wrestling Snyder who is coached by Carl. So Carl is better than Taylor.  In all honesty Cael at the moment carries the most prestige of any american wrestler. 

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If you ask a wrestling fan who's on the Mt. Rushmore of wrestling (coaching excluded), almost everyone will say Cael, and no one will say Taylor.  That's not a knock on Taylor, but just a realization that being a 4x undefeated NCAA champion is an unprecedented and never-replicated accomplishment, which is given enormous weight given our folkstyle tradition.  Cael might be ahead even without the Olympic gold since he's collegiate GOAT.  But with the Olympic gold, I think it would take a Smith/JB-like number of additional golds for Taylor to be considered on par.

Now, if we're only talking about international wrestling, Taylor's already clearly ahead.  Nom refers to Cael as being thought of as a "walking god," which is true, but almost entirely because of his folkstyle prowess.  He never fully took to freestyle, and the truth is his Olympic gold was a surprise.  Sajidov had his number, and it was only the Mongolians' upset of Sajidov in the semis that paved the way.  But of course Cael was right there, with some excellent freestyle wins (Romero, Saitiev), and his comeback in 2011 shows that he'd likely have had many more freestyle medals if he'd stuck with it.  But he didn't, and even if he had, I don't know it would have been better than Taylor's will be.

Still, for the same reason John Smith would be on that Mr. Rushmore purely by virtue of being the freestyle GOAT (with his 2 NCAA titles being mere gravy), so too I think Cael would be ahead of Taylor and almost everyone else based on his unparalleled folkstyle career.

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1 minute ago, Billyhoyle said:

Taylor had the better career. NCAA titles are meaningless compared to international medals, and you don’t get credit for “I would have medaled if I showed up.”

Cael was the better wrestler though. 

If you asked Taylor if he'd swap his 2018 world gold to have been a 4x undefeated NCAA champion (including 4 Hodges), with all else in his career staying the same, do you think he'd take the deal?

I'd think that's a VERY small price to pay.  And once you make that swap, their careers are essentially identical, no? 

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4 minutes ago, BAC said:

If you asked Taylor if he'd swap his 2018 world gold to have been a 4x undefeated NCAA champion (including 4 Hodges), with all else in his career staying the same, do you think he'd take the deal?

I'd think that's a VERY small price to pay.  And once you make that swap, their careers are essentially identical, no? 

Cael had the more notable career because he is the only ncaa wrestler to go 4X undefeated, so yeah he’d make that swap. But NCAA wrestling is meaningless compared to international. The US is not the major wrestling power in the world, and this was even more true when Cael was beating up on college athletes. So in terms of career success, I value the accomplishments done in a professional setting rather than age-group. Same reason I don’t care about Tim Tebow’s NCAA greatness when judging him as a QB. 

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