Who are the best wrestlers that never won a title?

PSUbluTX

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Feb 7, 2018
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Seems like we've had this discussion before but I couldn't find a specific thread.

I stumbled upon the pic below on Hawk Central of all places (I think the photographer is Joseph Cress at the Iowa City Press-Citizen). Interesting photo for several reasons, but it struck me that Daton Fix is now 0-3 in NCAA title attempts despite being heralded by many as the "next 4-timer" when he came to Okie State. It's a good reminder that this sport we love can be wildly unpredictable and that matches are won on the mat, not on paper.

Also made me wonder who some of the other noteworthy hammers are that were projected to dominate the NCAAs but never did, or at least not to the extent people expected. One example would be Gable Steveson, who ran into Ant the Champ on his way to the 4-timer coronation.

 
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dunkej01

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Dec 10, 2005
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Seems like we've had this discussion before but I couldn't find a specific thread.

I stumbled upon the pic below on Hawk Central of all places (I think the photographer is Joseph Cress at the Iowa City Press-Citizen). Interesting photo for several reasons, but it struck me that Daton Fix is now 0-3 in NCAA title attempts despite being heralded by many as the "next 4-timer" when he came to Okie State. It's a good reminder that this sport we love can be wildly unpredictable and that matches are won on the mat, not on paper.

Also made me wonder who some of the other noteworthy hammers are that were projected to dominate the NCAAs but never did, or at least not to the extent people expected. One example would be Gable Steveson, who ran into Ant the Champ on his way to the 4-timer coronation.

If a picture is worth a thousand words....

The facial expressions are priceless
 

mcpat

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Mar 13, 2021
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There’s been 17 four-time Big Ten Champs. Two never won an NCAA title. Marinelli and Mike Deanna. Deana was a 4-time AA and 2-time finalist.

My vote would be Deanna.

Honorable mention: Daniel Cormier.
 

smalls103

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Jan 25, 2006
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Snyder was better than DeAnna.

Snyder won Big 12's 4 times. 12 career losses. both finals losses were in OT rideouts under the old, old (two iterations ago) OT rules.

not saying he's the best, and you guys know our relationship, but he's up there.
 

mcruny42

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Mar 23, 2013
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Plus he might want to focus solely on freestyle for the 2024 olympics... he'd be crazy old to come back in 2025 after an olympic rs year
 

RealMicah

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Feb 12, 2020
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A lot of good names already mentioned.

Thomas Gilman - World Champion, World Silver and Olympic Bronze

Mark Angle was a beast in high school, was a multiple all American but never won an NCAA title.

I thought Jeremy Hunter and Cary Kolat would be guaranteed 4 timers
 
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nitlion6

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Mar 26, 2012
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Not kicking the Hawkeyes when they're down but Marinelli, Kemerer, DeSanto and Eireman.
No. Between the 4 named only two finals appearances. They are each very good, but if almost every year there are at least 2 guys better than you it is hard to claim you were one of the best to never win.
 

nitlion6

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Mitchell Port was a 2 time runner-up and a third place finisher.
The Ness kid from Minnesota who was so much fun to watch, was a 2 time runner-up.
The Stanford kid who beat Ruth and then took a beating from Ruth was second twice.
The Marion kid from Iowa was a 2 time runner-up.

That's all I got right now.
 
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APSPSUwrestlingfan

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I'm not saying he's it, but I still think he's in the conversation--look at who he took his Ls from. Mark Hall, Zahid Valencia, Ferrari, and AB. That's a pretty good list. How many other names mentioned here medaled at the Olympics?
My opinion is that the wrestler being discussed here must have lost either 3 or 4(or 5) times in the finals and have won multiple conference championships and international medals.
 

nerfstate

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My opinion is that the wrestler being discussed here must have lost either 3 or 4(or 5) times in the finals and have won multiple conference championships and international medals.
I think losing in the semi’s shouldn’t disqualify you from this hypothetical and not universally defined award. It shouldn’t matter which side of the bracket you are drawn on. Just minimal losses to elite competition, and other accolades. Myles bronze in Tokyo is at least as impressive as Fix’s silver this year against a depleted field.
 
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APSPSUwrestlingfan

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I think losing in the semi’s shouldn’t disqualify you from this hypothetical and not universally defined award. It shouldn’t matter which side of the bracket you are drawn on. Just minimal losses to elite competition, and other accolades. Myles bronze in Tokyo is at least as impressive as Fix’s silver this year against a depleted field.
You have a very reasonable case. I just think that if we are discussing an award, imaginary or not, setting up the standards will help to reduce opinions to a comparison of facts.
 

mcpat

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My opinion is that the wrestler being discussed here must have lost either 3 or 4(or 5) times in the finals and have won multiple conference championships and international medals.
All of those things?

>=3x finalist
>=2 conference championships
>=2 international medals

Who meets that criteria? Does Fix?
 

PAgeologist

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Jan 8, 2017
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I think losing in the semi’s shouldn’t disqualify you from this hypothetical and not universally defined award. It shouldn’t matter which side of the bracket you are drawn on. Just minimal losses to elite competition, and other accolades. Myles bronze in Tokyo is at least as impressive as Fix’s silver this year against a depleted field.
Do losses in the Quarterfinals count? Asking for the Bull.
 
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APSPSUwrestlingfan

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All of those things?

>=3x finalist
>=2 conference championships
>=2 international medals

Who meets that criteria? Does Fix?
In my opinion, the more times you make the finals, the better you are. The more conference championships you win, the better you are. The more international medals you win, the better you are. These are all measurable. A scale could be agreed upon. One possibility:

2 points for making the finals.
1 point for 3rd (0 for 4th, you lost twice).

2 points for a B1G title.
1.5 points for any other big 5 title.
1 point for any other D1 conference title.

2 points for the annual world senior gold or Olympic gold.
1.5 points for a world senior silver, U23 gold or Olympic silver.
1 point for a bronze in any of the above.

I have not checked extensively, but Fix scores well. Happy to read any other analysis tomorrow.
 

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