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The_Education

Kyle Dake's gamble

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Cael has a better legacy because he was much more mysterious and never lost, ever, in official competition. Cael was pre-flo era and many people never really even got to see him compete.

 

I've seen Dake in a bathtub on FLO and he's lost to some random guys...way less mystique but smart enough to win at any weight class against anybody...

 

 

Normally, I would assume you mean you were in the bathtub watching a video of Dake's match. Knowing Flow, however, I could totally see Marty trying to interview Dake while he's taking a bath: "So...um...what type of...um...uh...conditioner are you using, Kyle?"

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Oh he'll get the SI cover, the Wheaties box, an ESPY, and on and on. This is monumental what he's going for. He may even get a Hodge...

 

Seriously, who would have thought a guy could win 3 national titles in his first 3 seasons at 3 different weights, with one of those seasons going undefeated, and NOT earn a Hodge trophy!? I understand there was no screw-job here, that's just the way it all played out. It's still somewhat unbelievable.

 

 

Dake

2010: 34-2. 7 falls, 2 Tech Falls, 5 Majors

2011: 31-2. 7 falls, 2 Tech Falls, 11 majors

2012: 35-0. 12 falls, 3 Tech Falls, 6 majors

 

 

So when was he supposed to win the Hodge Trophy? The award that is by many considered to be the College Heisman/MVP trophy but is awarded to the wrestler who is most dominant on the season.

 

Was it last year, the only year he was undefeated? That would be the closest case you could make for him deserving of the award. But it went to Taylor who was also undefeated at 32-0 with 15 falls, 9 Techs, and 6 majors. Only 2 of his matches were kept to a decision. Dake had 14 matches go to decision.

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Oh he'll get the SI cover, the Wheaties box, an ESPY, and on and on. This is monumental what he's going for. He may even get a Hodge...

 

Seriously, who would have thought a guy could win 3 national titles in his first 3 seasons at 3 different weights, with one of those seasons going undefeated, and NOT earn a Hodge trophy!? I understand there was no screw-job here, that's just the way it all played out. It's still somewhat unbelievable.

 

 

Dake

2010: 34-2. 7 falls, 2 Tech Falls, 5 Majors

2011: 31-2. 7 falls, 2 Tech Falls, 11 majors

2012: 35-0. 12 falls, 3 Tech Falls, 6 majors

 

 

So when was he supposed to win the Hodge Trophy? The award that is by many considered to be the College Heisman/MVP trophy but is awarded to the wrestler who is most dominant on the season.

 

Was it last year, the only year he was undefeated? That would be the closest case you could make for him deserving of the award. But it went to Taylor who was also undefeated at 32-0 with 15 falls, 9 Techs, and 6 majors. Only 2 of his matches were kept to a decision. Dake had 14 matches go to decision.

 

I think he made it pretty clear that he wasn't arguing that Dake got screwed out of a hodge...aka he didn't deserve to win it at any point. He was just pointing out its odd (not off*) for someone to win 3 titles and not win it...

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IMO Kyle Dake's gamble is really just about the Hodge. He will likely wrestle both Caldwell and Taylor multiple times this season. If he should lose one of those matches, even if the only loss is during the season and not at NCAA's; he will not win the hodge if Ruth goes undefeated, racks up a lot of pins and tech's, and beats the returning 184 champion along the way.

 

Again IMO, the 4 different weight class accolade is more of a statistical distinction and certainly worthy of high recognition, but is not necessarily a proportionate measure of distintive talent. It's not like he is still weighing in at 149 and winning titles at 157 and 165. He has grown physically and has continued to beat guys the same size as him. Most elite wrestlers distinguished themselves by beating guys the same size as them; they simply didn't grow as much during their college career. If he wins it this year he will certainly be legendary for being a 4 timer and getting his forth in a weight class with Taylor. I'll also think it cool that he did it at 4 different weights but that fact won't elevate my assesment of him as a legendary talent, and won't need to.

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Thanks for breaking all that down.... I wasn't trying to make a case for Dake deserving the Hodge in any past season. You have shown why that would be a bad argument.

 

I think PA-fan understood what I meant.

 

However, if Dake wins it this year with a similar approach; not the most pins, techs, or majors, but a 4th title, then he should get the Hodge based on his amazing career. Just my opinion.

 

What do you guys think?

Past credentials is one of the criteria. However, when Ness won, W.I.N. magazine said; "Varner has had better past credentials as a four-time finalist, but the award is a single season award. Past credentials are used in tiebreaker situations where pin numbers, for example, are nearly equal." This factor, along with the quality of competiton criterion, may be enough justify awarding the Hodge to Dake - assuming he puts up similar numbers to last year, when he finished third.

 

Now, what could make it controversial is the possibility that Dake could lose a match (or even two) and still win a fourth title in March. While I think its unlikely, Dake could win his 4th title with two losses on the season. More feasibly, he could win his 4th while sustaining one loss. Now, what if Ruth has another season as good or better than last year, when he finished second in the Hodge voting? Or some other guy runs the table, and is as dominate or more so than Dake? (For example, McDonough is capable of such a feat. He also has impressive past credentials. Coming into his final season, McDonald was 100-4 with 35 falls over his career. Dake was 100-4 with 26 falls.)

 

In short, while its fun to speculate on what may occur, there could be a surprise or two before it's all over. That said, I think Dake is in the driver's seat to win the Hodge (and rightfully so, IMO). However, he needs to continue on the same pace, as a slip up or two could change the dynamics of this year's race.

 

P.S. If Oliver returns to winning form, he could also be a factor in this year's Hodge. Going into the NCAA championships, he was tied with Taylor for the NCAA's Most Dominate Wrestler award (with Ruth in third place). Despite losing twice, over the season he scored bonus points in 87% of his matches and pinned 60% of his opponents. (By comparison, Dake scored bonus in 63% of his matches and pinned 34% of his opponents.)

 

[highlight=#e1ebf2]2012 Dan Hodge Trophy [/highlight][highlight=#f3bfcc]Award[/highlight][highlight=#e1ebf2], Final Standings[/highlight]

[highlight=#e1ebf2]1.) David Taylor, Penn State, 165, 32-0, 15 Pins, 9 Techs, 6 Majors, 2 Decs.[/highlight]

[highlight=#e1ebf2]2.) Ed Ruth, Penn State, 174, 31-0, 10 pins, 6 techs, 10 majors, 4 Decs.[/highlight]

[highlight=#e1ebf2]3.) Kyle Dake, Cornell, 157, 35-0, 12 pins, 3 techs, 7 majors, 13 Decs.[/highlight]

[highlight=#e1ebf2]4.) Frank Molinaro, Penn State, 149, 33-0, 4 pins, 7 techs, 11 majors, 11 Dec.[/highlight]

[highlight=#e1ebf2]5.) Cam Simaz, Cornell, 197, 31-1, 12 pins, 7 Techs, 4 Majors, 2 Forfeits, 6 Dec.[/highlight]

[highlight=#e1ebf2]6.) Matt McDonough, Iowa, 125, 36-1, 12 pins, 1 Techs, 10 Majors, 13 Dec.[/highlight]

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Another interesting possibility is that Dake wins title number 4 and goes undefeated, but has far less pins than Ruth, or maybe even Oliver. You'd think that an undefeated guy getting his 4th title in the toughest weight class would get the nod, but past Hodge winners have demonstrated that almost nobody is guaranteed to get the Hodge, and criteria are sometimes valued differently from year to year.

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Another interesting possibility is that Dake wins title number 4 and goes undefeated, but has far less pins than Ruth, or maybe even Oliver. You'd think that an undefeated guy getting his 4th title in the toughest weight class would get the nod, but past Hodge winners have demonstrated that almost nobody is guaranteed to get the Hodge, and criteria are sometimes valued differently from year to year.

Yes, that would be interesting and may be one of the more likely hypothetical scenarios we've discussed.

 

Although still early in the season, with varying levels of competition faced, I took a look at some of the top guys (using data from d1collegewrestling). Basically, I used the NCAA Most Dominate Wrestler Award criteria to see where the # 1 ranked guys and former NCAA champs (less Bosak) would shake out for that award. Here's what I came up with:

 

[table] [tr] [td][/td][td][/td][/tr][/table][table] [tr] [td]Oliver[/td] [td]5.33[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Taylor[/td] [td]5.25[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Maple [/td] [td]5.22[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Stieber[/td] [td]5.00[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Perry[/td] [td]4.89[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Dake [/td] [td]4.67[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Ruth[/td] [td]4.50[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Kilgore[/td] [td]4.47[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]McDono[/td] [td]4.43[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]St John[/td] [td]4.29[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Wright[/td] [td]4.13[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]Nelson[/td] [td]3.83[/td] [/tr][/table]

Of course, W.I.N. doesn't use the NCAA's formula. And, since two of the Hodge criteria (dominance and pins) overlap significantly, they have a lot of leeway in what they may decide to emphasize. And, as you point out, they sometimes value their criteria differently from year to year.

 

I sorted the data in a couple of other ways (using bonus and pinning percentages) and Oliver came out on top each time. There wasn't much variance in any of the lists, except when emphasis was placed primarily on pinning - and that only seemed to effect certain guys. For example, McDonough moved up quite a bit as he has a relatively high pinning percentage.

 

Of the 12 wrestlers I looked at, four of them have scored bonus points in all their matches to date:

Oliver, Stieber, Taylor and Perry.

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