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Flying-Tiger

USA's All-Time Top Wrestlers List Updated

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I had this over on the college board but I think it probably belongs over here.

 

Couple Notes: 

 

*Olympic Medals are valued a little more because it usually has the deepest fields and is considered more prestigious

 

*Some thought the college scoring were a bit overvalued, but if you look at the totals, the vast majority of points are from international medals. In the end, the college results just make a nice tie breaker.  

 

* This is a career list so there may be guys that people feel were pound-for-pound better at their peak over some others ranked ahead of them. That's a whole other discussion and I'm not going down that path, lol. 

 

*If I missed anyone, please let me know and I will add them.

 

Olympic Champion = 7 points

World Champion = 6 points

Olympic Silver/Bronze = 5 points

World Silver/Bronze = 4 points

NCAA National Title = 2 points

NCAA Finalist = 1 point

NCAA All-American = 0.5 point

 

 

1. Bruce Baumgartner (70) 2 Olympic Gold/3 World Gold/1 Olympic Silver/3 World Silver/1 Olympic Bronze/3 World Bronze/1 NCAA Title/2 NCAA Finals

2. John Smith (43) 2 Olympic Gold/4 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

3. Dave Schultz (36) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/3 World Silver/2 World Bronze/1 NCAA Title/2 NCAA AA

4. Lee Kemp (29) 3 World Gold/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

5. Jordan Burroughs (27.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

6. Mark Schultz (25) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/3 NCAA Titles

7. Terry Brands (22) 2 World Gold/1 Olympic Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

8. Kevin Jackson (21.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/1 NCAA Final/3 NCAA AA

9.   Kenny Monday (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Gold/1 NCAA Title     

      Lincoln Mcllravy (20) 1 Olympic Bronze/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Chris Campbell (20) 1 Olympic Bronze/ 1 World Gold/1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Ben Peterson (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles

      John Peterson (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze

      Wayne Wells (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/1 World Silver/1 NCAA Title/ 1 NCAA Final

15. Tom Brands (19.5) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/3 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

      Sammie Henson (19.5) 1 Olympic Silver/1 World Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

17. Cael Sanderson (19) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Silver/4 NCAA Titles

18. Dan Gable (18) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Kurt Angle (18) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Melvin Douglas (18) 1 World Gold/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA championships

21. Jake Varner (17) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/2 NCAA Finals

22. Barry Davis (15.5) 1 Olympic Silver/1 World Silver/3 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

23. Cary Kolat (14.5) 1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

23. Ed Banach (14) 1 Olympic Gold/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Finals

      Greg Gibson (14) 2 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Finals

26. Randy Lewis (12.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

27. Stephen Neal (11.5) 1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

28. Lou Banach (11) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles

      Bill Smith (11) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles

30. Jake Herbert (9.5) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

31. Coleman Scott (9) 1 Olympic Bronze/1 NCAA Title/1 NCAA FInal/2 NCAA AA

      Don Pritzlaff (9) 1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/ 2 NCAA AA

33. Bill Zadick (8.5) 1 World Title/1 NCAA Title/ 1 NCAA AA

      Kerry McCoy (8.5) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

35. Tervel Dlagnev(8) 2 World Bronze

      Royce Alger (8) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles

 

 

*Honorable Mention: Yojiro Uetake-Obata (20) 2 Olympic Gold (Japan)/3 NCAA Titles

Edited by Flying-Tiger

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Interesting read, thanks.

 

Not to be too critical, but the ranking is very subjective. For example, I'm not sure there's a wrestler on the planet who wouldn't trade 10 Olympic silvers for one Olympic gold. Valuing a gold relative to other medals is just too hard to do numerically. Also, I think freestyle and folkstyle cannot and should not be mixed.

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The thing is, folk style is part of our wrestling culture and if we are going to have an all-time american wrestler list, I think college results should be included to some extent.  As stated above, in the end, the only impact they seem to have is as a tie breaker.  

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Kenny Monday isn't even on the list with 2 olympic medals (one gold) and a world gold. Rulon isn't here, either with 3 world level medals. Any list that puts Cael at 16th (and Gable 17th) has something wrong with the metrics.

 

 

I'd love to see a list that calculates the points won as measured against the potemtial maximum points competed for. What I mean by this could best be explained by an example. 

 

If a wrestler competes in 2 Olympic games and 4 worlds then his potential maximum is (2 x 7) + (4 x 6) = 38. If he wins i Olympic Gold, 1 Olympic Bronze, 1 world gold, 1 world silver,  and 1 world bronze then his percentage won of the maximum would then be calculated as: 7+5+6+4+4 / 38 or 26/38 = .684, or 68.4% of the total points competed for. 

 

I think a calculation like this takes into account how many points were competed for as well as how many were won. 

Edited by TBar1977

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I added Kenny Monday but need some more info on his career at OSU. I know he won a title but what about the other 3 years, was he an AA, did he make the finals? Also realized as I'm typing, I need to add another OSU guy, Coleman Scott, a PA guy no less, shame on me. 

 

I am in agreement Gold needs to be worth more. Going to increase the points for Olympic Gold to 9, World Gold to 7 and also Olympic Silver/Bronze to 6.  Then that's it, let the chips fall where they may. 

Edited by Flying-Tiger

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Cael and Gable could have had Bruce B numbers had they continued but they did not so that's why they are 16th and 17th with say someone like Varner who is great but not in their elite league. I mean Cael can still beat Varner 10 years past his prime.

Edited by PRyan2012

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Also, pretty interesting to think one of our Olympic champs would not make the list.  Henry Cejudo, despite winning an Olympic gold having not continued on the World level and not competing in college leaves him with only 7 points.

Edited by Bearcat

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if youre just counting achievements and assigning them a weighted value, you cant really dispute the metric, all it does is show you the output given the function.

 

i'd probably also weight the Olympic and world gold higher, but i dont think it matters much in the grand scheme. what i would definitely add, which is easier said then done because it would take a lot of time to look up all this data, would be to add a column for making the world team, regardless of world finish. i also think being a national champ in free should be worth more than an NCAA title. 

 

thanks for putting this together F-T, it is quite interesting. 

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I had this over on the college board but I think it probably belongs over here.

 

Couple Notes: 

 

*Olympic Medals are valued a little more because it usually has the deepest fields and is considered more prestigious

 

*Some thought the college scoring were a bit overvalued, but if you look at the totals, the vast majority of points are from international medals. In the end, the college results just make a nice tie breaker.  

 

* This is a career list so there may be guys that people feel were pound-for-pound better at their peak over some others ranked ahead of them. That's a whole other discussion and I'm not going down that path, lol. 

 

*If I missed anyone, please let me know and I will add them.

 

Olympic Champion = 7 points

World Champion = 6 points

Olympic Silver/Bronze = 5 points

World Silver/Bronze = 4 points

NCAA National Title = 2 points

NCAA Finalist = 1 point

NCAA All-American = 0.5 point

 

 

1. Bruce Baumgartner (70) 2 Olympic Gold/3 World Gold/1 Olympic Silver/3 World Silver/1 Olympic Bronze/3 World Bronze/1 NCAA Title/2 NCAA Finals

2. John Smith (43) 2 Olympic Gold/4 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

3. Dave Schultz (36) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/3 World Silver/2 World Bronze/1 NCAA Title/2 NCAA AA

4. Lee Kemp (29) 3 World Gold/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

5. Jordan Burroughs (27.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

6. Mark Schultz (25) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/3 NCAA Titles

7. Terry Brands (22) 2 World Gold/1 Olympic Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

8. Kevin Jackson (21.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 World Gold/1 NCAA Final/3 NCAA AA

9.   Kenny Monday (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Gold/1 NCAA Title     

      Lincoln Mcllravy (20) 1 Olympic Bronze/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Chris Campbell (20) 1 Olympic Bronze/ 1 World Gold/1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Ben Peterson (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles

      John Peterson (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 Olympic Silver/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze

      Wayne Wells (20) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/1 World Silver/1 NCAA Title/ 1 NCAA Final

15. Tom Brands (19.5) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/3 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

      Sammie Henson (19.5) 1 Olympic Silver/1 World Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA AA

17. Cael Sanderson (19) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Silver/4 NCAA Titles

18. Dan Gable (18) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Kurt Angle (18) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final

      Melvin Douglas (18) 1 World Gold/1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA championships

21. Jake Varner (17) 1 Olympic Gold/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/2 NCAA Finals

22. Barry Davis (15.5) 1 Olympic Silver/1 World Silver/3 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

23. Cary Kolat (14.5) 1 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

23. Ed Banach (14) 1 Olympic Gold/3 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Finals

      Greg Gibson (14) 2 World Silver/1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Finals

26. Randy Lewis (12.5) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

27. Stephen Neal (11.5) 1 World Gold/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

28. Lou Banach (11) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles

      Bill Smith (11) 1 Olympic Gold/2 NCAA Titles

30. Jake Herbert (9.5) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/1 NCAA Final/1 NCAA AA

31. Coleman Scott (9) 1 Olympic Bronze/1 NCAA Title/1 NCAA FInal/2 NCAA AA

      Don Pritzlaff (9) 1 World Bronze/2 NCAA Titles/ 2 NCAA AA

33. Bill Zadick (8.5) 1 World Title/1 NCAA Title/ 1 NCAA AA

      Kerry McCoy (8.5) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles/ 1 NCAA AA

35. Tervel Dlagnev(8) 2 World Bronze

      Royce Alger (8) 1 World Silver/2 NCAA Titles

 

 

*Honorable Mention: Yojiro Uetake-Obata (20) 2 Olympic Gold (Japan)/3 NCAA Titles

Nate Carr Oly Bronze/5 + 3 NCAA titles/6 = 11

Brandon Slay Oly Gold/7 + 2 NCAA finals/2 = 9

 

edit-also Bobby Weaver Oly Gold/7, World Silver/4, NCAA AA .5 = 11.5

Edited by KTG119

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Cael and Gable could have had Bruce B numbers had they continued but they did not so that's why they are 16th and 17th with say someone like Varner who is great but not in their elite league. I mean Cael can still beat Varner 10 years past his prime.

 

 

Beat Varner where, in practice?

 

You haven't learned a thing watching the USA beat Russia in meaningless exhibitions and then getting trounced when it counts.   

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Cael and Gable could have had Bruce B numbers had they continued but they did not so that's why they are 16th and 17th with say someone like Varner who is great but not in their elite league. I mean Cael can still beat Varner 10 years past his prime.

 

I do not think coulda, woulda, should of, should ever come into play.  With that thought Burroughs should have won this WC.  Maybe it was the injury or maybe not.  Point is he did not win.  You can not predict how these guys would have done.  Would they still have had the passion to compete at this level?  Would they have had the heart to train hard enough to stay on top?  It takes more than talent.  Being great for that many years is, well, being great for that many years.  And once you bring up injuries you introduce more variables.  Every one has the right to their opinion, but do not base it in what could have been.  Deal with the facts.

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I've got a lot of extra time on my hands at the moment so I'm working on crunching the numbers and adding to a bit of what FlyingTiger has already done. I'm working my way back through the years.

 

The criteria I was thinking of using after some of the suggestions given in here so far:

Olympic Champion-10pts

World Champion-9pts

Olympic Silver/Bronze-8pts

World Silver/Bronze-7pts

Olympic Team Member-6pts

World Team Member-5pts

US National Champion-4pts

NCAA Champion-3pts

NCAA Finalist-2pts

NCAA AA-1pt

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tec, I think you are going to run into all kind of problems trying that. Example, is Brent Metcalf's membership in two world teams really equal to the Olympic Gold Medal won by Dan Gable? That's one of the reason I stayed away from team membership and U.S. champs alone, not to mention the huge amount of extra work, lol. In my opinion, they should have to medal internationally to get the points. 

Edited by Flying-Tiger

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