Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Flying-Tiger

USA's All-Time Top Wrestlers List Updated

Recommended Posts

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

 

 

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. 

 

I think the important thing to consider here is whether you are trying to measure their success against other US wrestlers or against the international fields.  If you want to measure success against the US field then by all means include winning US Nationals or being the World / Olympic rep.  If you are going to include those but still wish to weight it more heavily towards success at the international level then you should increase the points for international medals accordingly.

 

One analogy to think about when comparing international wrestling success to NCAA success... making the US World team is a lot like earning the starting spot on your NCAA team or at best qualifying for the NCAA championships.  Making the US World team is what gets you to compete in the tournament that most everyone paying attention ot wrestling at that level cares about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be hard to do, but don't you have to consider eras. 

 

1. 1984 Olympic Medals (without Soviet bloc wrestlers) are not the same.

 

2. Medals post-dating the fall of the USSR, thus more competitors from the old USSR, and with fewer weight classes should be worth more.

Edited by NJDan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not necessarily helpful to attribute arbitrary numbers to different types of accomplishments and add them up to determine who the best is. There are too many variables. 

 

For example, back in the 60s and part of the 70s, you could only wrestle in the NCAA for three years. Wrestling was also a lot more rudimentary back then. 

 

Also, today there are far fewer international weight classes and many more competitive countries. There have also been a lot of rule changes, including how you win a medal. John Smith might not have won six golds in a row if one loss took him out of the running. (He lost a match at the 1992 Olympics.)

 

Pound-for-pound lists will always be imprecise and subjective. It's best to accept that. My top 5 is as follows:

 

1. Smith

2. Baumgartner, Kemp, Burroughs

5. Mark Schultz

 

Feel free to disagree!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is how I would do it:

 

Criteria 1:  # of world or olympic gold medals

 

Criteria 2:  # of world or olympic medals

 

Criteria 3:  # of world or olympic teams qualified for

 

Another criteria to consider is the 1980/1984 fiasco...Not sure how to count the 84 golds/medals or the 1979 team.

 

Any ties in criteria 1 are broken by criteria 2.  Any ties in criteria 2 are then broken by criteria three.  In my mind, to be considered one of the best wrestlers in US history you have to prove it on the mat, on the world stage, against adults.  Doesn't matter how many world medals could have won.  What matters is what they did win.  It also doesn't matter how many times they beat up on on 18-22 year olds when they were 18-22, but what they have proven against the best in the world.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, the list is complete. Here is how the list was compiled. I looked at World and Olympic results from 1960-2014 and NCAA placement.  This part will ruffle some feathers but with ncaa placement, I counted D1,2,3 finishes and in some guys cases, they wrestled d1 and d2 nationals in the same season. I took Flying Tigers suggestion of not awarding points for world and olympic team participants and only counted those that medaled internationally. I also adjusted the scoring criteria so that the ncaa placement is a small value and most likely won't raise guys up a lot higher than they otherwise would belong. ****Note****The math should be accurate but I've been looking at the screen for awhile so there is a chance something might be off but it should be good to go. Also, if a world/olympic medal placement is incorrect, let me know. I took the results off the USA wrestling page and there were a couple of mistakes as far as medal placement that I caught and corrected but there may be some of the people I'm not too familiar with that might have been messed up.

 

Point Criteria:

10pts-Olympic Gold

9pts-World Gold

8pts-Olympic Silver/Bronze

7pts-World Silver/Bronze

2pts-NCAA Champion

1pt-NCAA Runner-up

.5pt-NCAA AA

 

 

1. Bruce Baumgartner(100) Worlds(g,g,s,s,s,b,b,b), Olympics(g,g,s,b), NCAA(2,2,1)

2. John Smith(61), Worlds(g,g,g,g). Olympics(g,g), NCAA(2,2,1)

3. Dave Schultz(50.5) Worlds(g,s,s,b,b), Olympics(g), NCAA(3,2,1)

4. Rick Sanders(49.5) Worlds(g,s,b), Olympics(s,s), NCAA(1,3,1,1,2,1)

5. Lee Kemp(41) Worlds(g,g,g,b),NCAA(2,1,1,1)

    Bill Scherr(41) Worlds(g,s,s,b), Olympics(b), NCAA(4.3.1)

7. Larry Kristoff(40) Worlds(s,s,s,b,b), NCAA(2,1,1)

8. Jordan Burroughs(39.5) Worlds(g,g,b), Olympics(g), NCAA(3,1,1)

9. Kenny Monday(38) Worlds(g,s), Olympics(g,s), NCAA(2,2,1)

10. Mark Schults(34) Worlds(g,g), Olympics(g),NCAA(1,1,1)

 

11. John Peterson(32) Worlds(s,b),Olympics(g,s)

12. Greg Gibson(31) Worlds(s,s,b), Olympics(s), NCAA(2,2)

     Terry Brands(31) Worlds(g,g), Olympics(b), NCAA(1,2,1)

14. Kevin Jackson(30.5) Worlds(g,g), Olympics(g), NCAA(3,3,7,2)

15. Ben Peterson(29.5) Worlds(b), Olympics(g,s), NCAA(4,1,1)

16. Chris Campbell(29)Worlds(g,s), Olympics(b), NCAA(2,1,1)

      Wayne Wells(29) Worlds(g,s), Olympics(g), NCAA(2,1)

      Lincoln McIlravy(29) Worlds(s,b), Olympics(b), NCAA(1,1,2,1)

      Matt Ghaffari(29) Worlds(s,s,b), Olympics(s)

20. Sammie Henson(28.5) Worlds(g,b), Olympics(s), NCAA(5,1,1)

      Barry Davis(28.5) Worlds(s,s), Olympics(s), NCAA(7,1,1,1)

 

22. Rulon Gardner(27.5) Worlds(g), Olympics(g,b), NCAA(4)

      Dennis Koslowski(27.5) Worlds(s), Olympics(s,b),NCAA(5,1,1)

24. Melvin Douglas(27) Worlds(g,s,b),NCAA(1,1)

25. Stan Dziedzic(26.5) Worlds(g),Olympics(b), NCAA(3.1.1.1.2.1)

      Andre Metzger(26.5) Worlds(s,b,b), NCAA(5,2,1,1)

27. Cael Sanderson(26) Worlds(s), Olympics(g), NCAA(1,1,1,1)

      Zeke Jones(26) Worlds(g,b), Olympics(s), NCAA(6,4,2)

29. Tom Brands(25.5) Worlds(g), Olympics(g), NCAA(4,1,1,1)

30. Dennis Hall(24) Worlds(g,b), Olympics(s)

      Kurt Angle(24) Worlds(g), Olympics(g), NCAA(1,2,1)

      Dan Gable(24) Worlds(g), Olympics(g), NCAA(1,1,2)

 

33.Joe Williams(23.5) Worlds(b,b),NCAA(3,1,1,1)

     Don Behm(23.5) Worlds(s,s), Olympics(s), NCAA(3,2)

     Jim Scherr(23.5) Worlds(s,s,b), NCAA(6,1)

36. Dremiel Byers(23) Worlds(g,s,b)

      Jake Varner(23), Worlds(b), Olympics(g), NCAA(2,2,1,1)

38. Russ Hellickson(22) Worlds(s,b), Olympics(s)

39. Les Gutches(20.5) Worlds(g,b), NCAA(5,1,1)

40. Tervel Dlagnev(19.5) Worlds(b,b), NCAA(6,2,1,1)

       Cary Kolat(19.5) Worlds(s,b), NCAA(2,3,1,1)

 

42. Lloyd Keaser(18) Worlds(g), Olympics(s) NCAA(4,3)

43. Bobby Weaver(17.5)Worlds(s), Olympics(g), NCAA(3)

44. Ed Banach(17) Olympics(g), NCAA(1,1,2,1)

      Garrett Lowney(17) Olympics(b,b), NCAA(3.5)

46. Jeff Blatnick(16) Olympics(g), NCAA(2,6,1,3,1)

      Jim Martinez(16) Worlds(b), Olympics(b), NCAA(3,3)

      James Haines(16) Worlds(s,b), NCAA(1)

49. Brandon Paulson(15.5) Worlds(s), Olympics(s), NCAA(7)

      Randy Lewis(15.5) Olympics(g), NCAA(2,1,1,7)

 

51. Bobby Douglas(15) Worlds(s,b), NCAA(2)

      Daniel Brand(15) Worlds(b), Olympics(b)

      Matt Lindland(15) Worlds(s),Olympics(s)

54. Stephen Neal(14.5) Worlds(g), NCAA(4,2,1,1)

      Lou Banach(14.5) Olympics(g), NCAA(1,3,1)

      Terry McCann(14.5) Olympics(g), NCAA(3,1,1)

      Stephen Abas(14.5), Olympics(s), NCAA(3,1,1,1)

58. Nate Carr(14) Olympics(b), NCAA(1,1,1)

      Justin Lester(14) Worlds(b,b)

      David Hazewinkel(14) Worlds(s,b)

 

61. Doug Blubaugh(13.5) Olympics(g), NCAA(3,2,1)

62. Kendall Cross(13) Olympics(g), NCAA(6,1,2)

63. Jake Herbert(12.5), Worlds(s), NCAA(3,2,1,1)

      Fred Fozzard(12.5) Worlds(g), NCAA(2,1,3)

65. Chris Taylor(12) Olympics(b), NCAA(1,1)

      Donny Pritzlaff(12) Worlds(b), NCAA(6,5,1,1)

      Coleman Scott(12) Olympics(b), NCAA(8,5,2,1)

      Shelby Wilson(12) Olympics(g), NCAA(2,2)

69. Kerry McCoy(11.5) Worlds(s), NCAA(1,3,1)

      Bill Zadick (11.5) Worlds(g), NCAA(5,1)

      Royce Alger(11.5) Worlds(s), NCAA(5,1,1)

      Andy Rein(11.5) Olympics(s), NCAA(2,6,1)

 

73. Brad Penrith(11) Worlds(s), NCAA(1,2,2)

      Brad Rheingans(11)Worlds(b), NCAA(6,2,4,1)

      Gene Davis(11) Olympics(b), NCAA(4,1,3)

      Bill Harlow(11) Worlds(s),NCAA(2,2,1)

      Steve Fraser(11)Olympics(g), NCAA(6,5)

78. Shawn Sheldon(10.5) Worlds(s), NCAA(6,1,2)

      Kevin Darkus(10.5)Worlds(s), NCAA(2,5,1)

 

80. Joe McFarland(10)Worlds(s), NCAA(5,6,2,2)

      Henry Cejudo(10)Olympics(g),

      Brad Vering(10) Worlds(s), NCAA(4,1,7)

      Tolly Thompson(10) Worlds(b), NCAA(1,3,3)

      Kirk Trost(10) Worlds(b), NCAA(2,1)

      Lee Roy Smith(10) Worlds(s), NCAA(5,4,1)

86. Joe Warren(9.5) Worlds(g), NCAA(3)

      Mark Coleman(9,5) Worlds(s), NCAA(4,1)

      Jack Reinwand(9.5) Worlds(b), NCAA(4,1)

89. Rodney Smith(9) Olympics(b), NCAA(4,5)

      Mike Houck(9) Worlds(g)

      Brandon Eggum(9) Worlds(s), NCAA(5,2,3)

 

92. Lindsey Durlacher(8.5) Worlds(b), NCAA(4,2)

      Mike Zadick(8.5) Worlds(s), NCAA(7,3,7)

94. Justin Ruiz(8) Worlds(b), NCAA(5,5)

      Daniel Cormer(8) Worlds(b), NCAA(2)

      Adam Wheeler(8) Olympics(b)

      Jamill Kelly(8) Olympics(s)

      Townsend Saunders(8) Olympics(s)

99. Joe Corso(7.5)Worlds(b) NCAA(3)

      William Rosado(7.5)Worlds(b) NCAA(5)

      Jim Humphrey(7.5)Worlds(b) NCAA(4)

 

102. Michael Young(7) Worlds(b)

        Henk Schenk(7) Worlds(b)

        James Raschke(7) Worlds(b)

        James Burke(7) Worlds(b)

        James Ferguson(7) Worlds(b)

        Bob Walker(7) Worlds(b)

        Abdurrahim Kuzu(7) Worlds(s)

        Andy Bisek(7) Worlds(b)

        Michial Foy(7) Worlds(s)

Edited by tec87

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not necessarily helpful to attribute arbitrary numbers to different types of accomplishments and add them up to determine who the best is. There are too many variables. 

 

For example, back in the 60s and part of the 70s, you could only wrestle in the NCAA for three years. Wrestling was also a lot more rudimentary back then. 

 

Also, today there are far fewer international weight classes and many more competitive countries. There have also been a lot of rule changes, including how you win a medal. John Smith might not have won six golds in a row if one loss took him out of the running. (He lost a match at the 1992 Olympics.)

 

Pound-for-pound lists will always be imprecise and subjective. It's best to accept that. My top 5 is as follows:

 

1. Smith

2. Baumgartner, Kemp, Burroughs

5. Mark Schultz

 

Feel free to disagree!

 

Big Bruce is a  clear #2 above your other two. He just has too much hardware not to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...