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Ruth All-Time?

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Ok, point made, but you are still ignoring a premier fact that if football were the same way, the only team worth mentioning would be the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Some fans dont' even accredit Greg Jones, and he won 3 titles and only faced defeat 3 times in his career. Yet he didn't win four and he didn't go undefeated. Sorry, that I think he's still worth mentioning in spite of those horrible mishaps within his career. Forgive me.

 

Same could be said about Dwayne Keller, who just like Gable, only lost the very last match of his collegiate career....the day after having a child born. But somehow he is never mentioned as one of the all-time greats.

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My all time top ~50 since 1970 graduating class based on credentials. Obvious greats such as Smith, Burroughs, Monday, D. Schultz not included due to overall inconsistency through college career, but obviously would be included in subjective all-time list. This is just one man's opinion, but I tried to be as objective as possible but am sure subjective opinions leaks through as I am only 33 years old and have not seen some of the older wrestlers. National titles, finals appearances, AAs reigned supreme in determining list.

 

***- Indicates wrestler still competing and optimistically assumes wins out.

 

Top tier (either 4x champ or 3x champ and 4x finalist)

1. Cael Sanderson (Iowa State)-1st, 1st, 1st, 1st. 4x undefeated champ. Can't do better.

2. Kyle Dake (Cornell)-1st, 1st, 1st, 1st. 4x champ in 4 years going up 4 weights without RS. Pretty awesome.

3. Pat Smith (Oklahoma State)-1st, 1st, 1st, 1st. 1st 4 champ. Won as frosh without redshirt.

4. ***Logan Stieber (Ohio State)-1st, 1st, 1st, 1st. Could add to 4x champ list. Several losses particularly as true frosh drop him a bit (injury may have played a part). Could be higher than Smith but Smith was 1st 4xer and champ as true frosh so gave him the nod.

5. Lee Kemp (Wisconsin)- 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st. 3x champ. 4x finalist.

6. Lincoln McIlravy (Iowa)- 1st, 1st, 2nd , 1st. Won as true frosh. Dominant. 3x champ. 4x finalist. Behind Kemp because lost later in career however does have better win percentage.

7. Ed Banach (Iowa)-1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st. Lost later in career (albeit to Schultz) hence lower on my list. Still 3x champ and 4x finalist. Lower win percentage than McIlravy.

 

 

Second tier (Either 3x champ and 4x AA or 2x champ and 4x finalist or Dan Gable)

8. ***Ed Ruth (Penn State)- 3rd, 1st, 1st, 1st. 3x champ and better win percentage than other 3x champs. Very dominant.

9. Stephen Abas (Fresno State)- 4th, 1st, 1st, 1st. Excellent win percentage compared to other 3xers but likely less competition.

10. Tom Brands (Iowa)- 4th, 1st, 1st, 1st. Beat very tough Fried several times otherwise he may have been on this list.

11. Mark Churella (Michigan)-3rd, 1st, 1st, 1st.

12. Eric Guerrero (Oklahoma State)- 5th, 1st, 1st, 1st.

13. Dan Gable (Iowa)-1st, 1st, 2nd. Legend and very high on all-time win percentage. Low because only won 2/3 chances and lost as senior.

14. Jim Zalesky (Iowa)- 5th, 1st, 1st, 1st.

15. Joe Williams (Iowa)- 7th, 1st, 1st, 1st.

16. Barry Davis (Iowa)- 7th, 1st, 1st, 1st.

17. ***David Taylor (Penn State)-2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st. Best win percentage of 2x champs and 4x finalists. Could be higher as would likely have been 3xer with one loss if not for top tier Dake.

18. Ben Askren (Missouri)- 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st. Excellent win percentage. Could also have been higher if not for Pendleton.

19. Steve Mocco (Oklahoma State/Iowa)- 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd. Better win percentage than Askren but lost senior year.

20. Jake Varner (Iowa State)- 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st. Probably should have been 3xer.

21. Mark Branch (Oklahoma State)- 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 1st.

22. Jake Rosholt (Oklahoma State) - 1st, 3rd, 1st, 1st. 3x champ but weakest of 3x'ers with 4 AA honors in my opinion. Lots of in season losses. Ahead of rest of three timers due to other 3rd place finish.

23. Darryl Burley (Lehigh)-1st, 2nd, 2nd, 1st.

24. Pat Milkovich (Michigan State)- 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd. Got worse through career.

 

 

 

Third tier (Either 3x champ and 3x AA or 2x champ and 4x top-four AA or 2x champ and top 25 all-time win percentage)

25. Cary Kolat (Lock Haven/Penn State)- 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 1st. Absolute stud as true frosh. Excellent win percentage. I know outplaced by Jaworsky several times but I still feel better overall.

26. Jake Herbert (Northwestern)-3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st. Excellent win percentage. Tough losses to Askren.

27. Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)- 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st. Could have easily been 3xer.

28. Stephen Neal (Cal-State Bakersfield)- 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st.

29. Mark Schultz (Oklahoma)- DNP, 1st, 1st, 1st. Highest of 3x champs, 3x AA due to big time wins.

30. Nate Carr (Iowa State)- DNP, 1st, 1st, 1st.

31. Mark Perry (Iowa)- 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 1st.

32. Greg Johnson (Michigan State)- 1st, 1st, 1st. 3xer in 3 tries.

33, Greg Jones (West Virginia)- 1st, DNP, 1st, 1st. Dominant 3xer but had a DNP head scratcher. However great win percentage.

34. Johnny Hendricks (Oklahoma State)- 4th, 1st, 1st, 2nd. Lost late in career (albeit major upset to fellow 3rd tier all-timer).

35. TJ Jaworski (North Carolina)- DNP, 1st, 1st, 1st. Some big wins although never felt as though he was best in class.

36. Cole Konrad (Minnesota)- 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st. Beat Mocco.

37. Jimmy Jackson (Oklahoma State)- DNP, 1st, 1st, 1st.

38, Carlton Haselrig (Pitt-Johnstown)- DNP, 1st, 1st, 1st.

39. Ricky Bonomo (Bloomsburg)- DNP, 1st, 1st, 1st.

40. Eric Juergens (Iowa)- 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 1st.

41. Dwayne Keller (Oklahoma State)- 1st, 1st, 2nd. Only competed 3 years but only had one loss like Gable.

42. TJ Williams (Iowa)- 1st, 3rd, 1st. Only 2xer however did in 3 years and Top 25 all-time win percentage.

43. Brent Metcalf (Iowa)- 1st, 2nd, 1st. See above. Lower than TJ due to more and worse losses.

44. Gene Mills (Syracuse)- 3rd, 4th, 1st, 1st.

45. Rod Kilgore (Oklahoma)- 3rd, 1st, 4th, 1st.

46. Jarrett Hubbard (Michigan)- 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st.

47. Johnny Thompson (Oklahoma State)- 2nd, 1st, 1st, 3rd.

48. Chris Taylor (Oklahoma State)- 1st, 1st. Only competed 2 years but never lost and had only one tie.

 

 

***Jesse Delgado, Nico Megaludis, Tony Nelson could make list pending next several years.

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After this year, assuming that Taylor and Ruth win out, is it safe to say that they are the all-time best pair of teammates who graduate the same year? I don't think anyone else is close.

 

In my opinion, something else you have to consider for Taylor is his bonus point rate. It is important in wrestling for the team aspect of the sport. Consider that after this year, Taylor will likely be #2 all time in team points scored at NCAAs, behind Cael. He is also the most prolific bonus point scorer of all time (ahead of Cael) when you consider only wrestlers who competed all four years.

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After this year, assuming that Taylor and Ruth win out, is it safe to say that they are the all-time best pair of teammates who graduate the same year? I don't think anyone else is close.

 

They might have the best stats but the Brands' and Kellers graduated the same year. Define close.

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Not saying Ruth is not excellent. Head to head I would take Mark Shultz any day.

 

If you had seen Danny Hodge or Yojo Uetake wrestle you might realize Ruth has a way to go yet.

 

and Kemp, Gable and John Smith after his sophomore year along with a few others already mentioned.

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After this year, assuming that Taylor and Ruth win out, is it safe to say that they are the all-time best pair of teammates who graduate the same year? I don't think anyone else is close.

 

They might have the best stats but the Brands' and Kellers graduated the same year. Define close.

 

Whether it is close or not is obviously a subjective call.

 

Part of the reason I posted that comment is so others could chime in other amazing combinations of teammates.

 

The stats for Ruth and Taylor (assuming they each win out this year- 31-0 each)

Record: 266-5

Win Percentage: 98.1%

Regular Season/B1G record: 227-2

NCAA record: 39-3

Titles: 5

Finals appearances: 7

AA: 8

Worst finish: 3rd

List of finishes: 3. 2. 2. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1

B1G titles: 8

Falls: 72 (projected to reach 97 based on last year's 40% falls and 31 matches each this year)

Fall Percentage: 34.3% (projected to finish at 35.8%)

 

The stats for the Keller's

Record: 91-4

Win Percentage: 95.8%

Regular Season/Big 8 record: 75-3

NCAA record: 16-1

Titles: 4

Finals Appearances: 5

AA: 5

Worst finish: 2nd

List of finishes: 2, 1, 1, 1, 1

Big 8 titles: 4

Falls: 19

Fall Percentage: 20.0%

 

The stats for the Brands

Record: 295-14-2

Win Percentage: 94.9%

Regular Season/B1G record: 262-11-2

NCAA record: 33-3

Titles: 5

Finals appearances: 5

AA: 7

Worst finish: 4th*

List of finishes: 4, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

B1G titles: 6

Falls: 94

Fall Percent: 30.2%

 

*Terry Brands did not compete his freshman year in the NCAAs. He lost a late season wrestle off.

 

I will turn this into a table later.

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The Ruth/Taylor combination dominates no matter how you look at it.

 

There were only a few other combinations of even 4XAA teammates graduating in the same year

 

Cael Sanderson / Joe Heskett (Iowa State) - One of the all time great combos, mostly because of Sanderson, but Heskett also finished 3-2-2-1 with only nine career losses. Five combined titles.

Jake Rosholt / Steve Mocco (OK State) - I would discount this one since Mocco was at Iowa to begin his career.

Johnny Thompson / Tyrone Lewis (OK State) - Lewis never won a title

Jared Lawrence / Luke Becker (Minnesota) - Two combined titles

Mark Ironside / Joe Williams (Iowa) - A great combination, but neither Ironside nor Williams had stellar freshman years, finishing 6th and 7th respectively.

Mike Mena / Lincoln McIlravy (Iowa) - Mena never won a title

Shawn Charles / Ray Miller (AZ State) - One combined title

Andre Metzger / Steve Williams (Oklahoma) - Williams never won a title

Randy Lewis / Mike DeAnna (Iowa) - DeAnna never won a title

 

I would rank the all time teammate combo's as:

1. David Taylor / Ed Ruth (Penn State) - This assumes they win out

2. Cael Sanderson / Joe Heskett (Iowa State)

3. Tom Brands / Terry Brands (Iowa)

4. Mark Ironside / Joe Williams (Iowa)

 

Tough call between two and three, but Sanderson / Heskett have a better career record, more AA finishes, more finals appearances, more top 3 finishes.

 

All of these combo's have five titles.

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Banach brothers were a pretty decent combo. I know you started with 4 x AAs as criteria but then you included the Brands....

 

to compare those two great brother combos at least

 

Brands (worst to best AAs) 4, 2, 1,1,1,1,1

Banachs 3, 2, 1, 1,1,1,1

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The Ruth/Taylor combination dominates no matter how you look at it.

 

There were only a few other combinations of even 4XAA teammates graduating in the same year

 

Cael Sanderson / Joe Heskett (Iowa State) - One of the all time great combos, mostly because of Sanderson, but Heskett also finished 3-2-2-1 with only nine career losses. Five combined titles.

Jake Rosholt / Steve Mocco (OK State) - I would discount this one since Mocco was at Iowa to begin his career.

Johnny Thompson / Tyrone Lewis (OK State) - Lewis never won a title

Jared Lawrence / Luke Becker (Minnesota) - Two combined titles

Mark Ironside / Joe Williams (Iowa) - A great combination, but neither Ironside nor Williams had stellar freshman years, finishing 6th and 7th respectively.

Mike Mena / Lincoln McIlravy (Iowa) - Mena never won a title

Shawn Charles / Ray Miller (AZ State) - One combined title

Andre Metzger / Steve Williams (Oklahoma) - Williams never won a title

Randy Lewis / Mike DeAnna (Iowa) - DeAnna never won a title

 

I would rank the all time teammate combo's as:

1. David Taylor / Ed Ruth (Penn State) - This assumes they win out

2. Cael Sanderson / Joe Heskett (Iowa State)

3. Tom Brands / Terry Brands (Iowa)

4. Mark Ironside / Joe Williams (Iowa)

 

Tough call between two and three, but Sanderson / Heskett have a better career record, more AA finishes, more finals appearances, more top 3 finishes.

 

All of these combo's have five titles.

 

Sorry, you are right that I forgot the Banach's. Although their career record of 233-23-4 is far from the top 3 pairs. Can anyone say why Lou didn't wrestle in the NCAA tournament his freshman year?

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Ruth is top ten all time IMO. Maybe only Cael was more dominant as a freshman. I know Ruth lost twice that year, but who else beat studs the way he did? Lewnes and Heinrich were complete studs and Ruth handled both of them. Other than Cael, who else was that dominate AS A WHOLE their freshman season? I'm struggling to think of anybody. Taylor is is up there but I'd say Ruth was more dominating. And that was obviously Ruth's worst year. Majoring Amuch. and Hamlin -two guys that were 3x top 4 and 2x finalists- in the NCAA finals? C'mon!

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propositionjoe:Sorry, you are right that I forgot the Banach's. Although their career record of 233-23-4 is far from the top 3 pairs. Can anyone say why Lou didn't wrestle in the NCAA tournament his freshman year?

Lou I believe got tired of cutting weight and quit the team but being the great Coach Gable was took him the rest of the story is well know 1/3/1 NCAA at HWT.

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My father has been watching college wrestling for over 40 years. His practice partner in college was Daryl Burley. This will be his 30th year coaching high school wrestling. When I told him I think Ed Ruth is the greatest folkstyle wrestler of all time, he just nods in agreement. This is a great time for college wrestling. We have a potential 4-timer in Stieber, a potential 3-timer who is head and shoulders better than everyone in his weight class, and Taylor, who might end up as the greatest 2x champ ever. Can't wait for this season to start.

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My father has been watching college wrestling for over 40 years. His practice partner in college was Daryl Burley. This will be his 30th year coaching high school wrestling. When I told him I think Ed Ruth is the greatest folkstyle wrestler of all time, he just nods in agreement. This is a great time for college wrestling. We have a potential 4-timer in Stieber, a potential 3-timer who is head and shoulders better than everyone in his weight class, and Taylor, who might end up as the greatest 2x champ ever. Can't wait for this season to start.

Ruth is on course to be a all time great but not the greatest folkstyle wrestler of all time please end the talk now his coach is the greatest folkstyle wrestler of all time not even a debate on these.

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Another great combination of teammates is Alan Fried and Pat Smith. Fried only lost six times in his career and won a title. Smith won four titles and lost five times.

 

Combined,

Record: 250-11-2

NCAA Record: 34-2

Regular Season/Big 8 Record: 216-9-2

Titles: 5

Finals appearances: 7

Big 8 Titles: 7

List of Finishes: 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1*

 

Fried did not compete in the postseason during 1993 (his junior year). Does anyone know why? He was undefeated on the year at 33-0.

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Another great combination of teammates is Alan Fried and Pat Smith. Fried only lost six times in his career and won a title. Smith won four titles and lost five times.

 

Combined,

Record: 250-11-2

NCAA Record: 34-2

Regular Season/Big 8 Record: 216-9-2

Titles: 5

Finals appearances: 7

Big 8 Titles: 7

List of Finishes: 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1*

 

Fried did not compete in the postseason during 1993 (his junior year). Does anyone know why? He was undefeated on the year at 33-0.

 

The NCAA Infractions Committee barred them from competing in the 1993 NCAA Tournament.

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