Who are the best wrestlers that never won a title?

mcpat

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Mar 13, 2021
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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.
Gotcha. I thought you meant someone already identified checked all three boxes.
 

Antaeus

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Nov 23, 2016
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Doesn't James Green at least deserves a shout out? A close but no cigar folkstyle career of placing 7th, 7th, 3rd and 3rd coupled with an outstanding medaled freestyle career of:
World Championships:
Silver medal – second place 2017 Paris 70 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Las Vegas 70 kg
World Cup:
Gold medal – first place 2018 Iowa City 70 kg
Silver medal – second place 2017 Kermanshah 70 kg
Pan American Championships:
Gold medal – first place 2018 Lima 70 kg
Gold medal – first place 2017 Salvador 70 kg
Silver medal – second place 2016 Frisco 70 kg
Yasar Dogu Tournament:
Silver medal – second place 2022 Istanbul 70 kg
World University Championships:
Silver medal – second place 2014 Pecs 70 kg
US National Championships:
Gold medal – first place 2021 Coralville 70 kg
Gold medal – first place 2017 Las Vegas 70 kg
Silver medal – second place 2019 Las Vegas 70 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Las Vegas
 
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Cali_Nittany

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Jan 5, 2016
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The PRC
Doesn't James Green at least deserves a shout out? A close but no cigar folkstyle career of placing 7th, 7th, 3rd and 3rd coupled with an outstanding medaled freestyle career of:
World Championships:
Silver medal – second place 2017 Paris 70 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Las Vegas 70 kg
World Cup:
Gold medal – first place 2018 Iowa City 70 kg
Silver medal – second place 2017 Kermanshah 70 kg
Pan American Championships:
Gold medal – first place 2018 Lima 70 kg
Gold medal – first place 2017 Salvador 70 kg
Silver medal – second place 2016 Frisco 70 kg
Yasar Dogu Tournament:
Silver medal – second place 2022 Istanbul 70 kg
World University Championships:
Silver medal – second place 2014 Pecs 70 kg
US National Championships:
Gold medal – first place 2021 Coralville 70 kg
Gold medal – first place 2017 Las Vegas 70 kg
Silver medal – second place 2019 Las Vegas 70 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Las Vegas

Mike is not impressed. (Correctamundo @El-Jefe ?)

01252014_iowawrestlingvsminnesota_mike-evans-013.jpg
 

donboy6499

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Jul 4, 2005
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Michigan can very well go Coon/Parris at Heavyweight consecutively and never get a title at the weight. They have, what, one more shot at it with Parris (I am admittedly lost on eligibility at this point with Covid years being mixed in).
 

El-Jefe

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Michigan can very well go Coon/Parris at Heavyweight consecutively and never get a title at the weight. They have, what, one more shot at it with Parris (I am admittedly lost on eligibility at this point with Covid years being mixed in).
You're right, Parris has one more year (plus a shirt) remaining.

Pretty amazing that those 2 will likely combine for zero titles.

Then again, HWT has been so strong in the past few years -- with Gwiz, Snyder, Steveson, and Coon all being senior world medalists; and Kerk, Parris, Cass, and Schultz all being age-group world champs. (And Cassar was on his way to medaling at JR Worlds before blowing out his shoulder.) It's probably our strongest recent NCAA weight.
 
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STAND with PRIDE

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Sep 9, 2018
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Michigan can very well go Coon/Parris at Heavyweight consecutively and never get a title at the weight. They have, what, one more shot at it with Parris (I am admittedly lost on eligibility at this point with Covid years being mixed in).
This was MP’s third nationals, so he SHOULD have 2 more, if he so desires. Right?
 

Random4598375

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Jan 10, 2020
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This is how the question is posed:

"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."

This doesn't mean who got the closest but never quite did it (e.g. Fix potentially a 5-time RU), but rather, who was the most hyped and had the highest expectations but never did it. Under this wording, someone like PD3 or Bull or even Jimmy Gulibon (or even Gavin Teasdale if you want to factor in how far they ended up from their expectations...) might be as good of an answer as Fix even though they never really got close. It's an interesting question. I don't know if I have an answer myself.

Realistically, the two guys standing on the podium with RBY are both excellent potential answers...
 

AgSurfer

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Aug 9, 2013
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You older guys might remember Gerry Abas from Fresno State. (Another Clovis area guy) He was a 3X finalist who never won a title. His first attempt was particularly memorable when he went against Lincoln McIlravy from Iowa who Gable had just recently pulled out of redshirt status. Abas was up by a pretty good margin early in the match, but McIlravy just kept attacking until he pulled ahead. I think the final score was 16-14. Jaden Abas at Stanford is Gerry's son.
 

donboy6499

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Jul 4, 2005
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This is how the question is posed:

"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."

This doesn't mean who got the closest but never quite did it (e.g. Fix potentially a 5-time RU), but rather, who was the most hyped and had the highest expectations but never did it. Under this wording, someone like PD3 or Bull or even Jimmy Gulibon (or even Gavin Teasdale if you want to factor in how far they ended up from their expectations...) might be as good of an answer as Fix even though they never really got close. It's an interesting question. I don't know if I have an answer myself.

Realistically, the two guys standing on the podium with RBY are both excellent potential answers...
Good post.

If we expand it THAT far (to guys who never really even wrestled an NCAA tournament), is Aaron Pico the open and shut winner?

Also, surprised to not see Cody Gardner yet.
 

Random4598375

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Jan 10, 2020
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Good post.

If we expand it THAT far (to guys who never really even wrestled an NCAA tournament), is Aaron Pico the open and shut winner?

Also, surprised to not see Cody Gardner yet.
Pico is an interesting case because it depends on whether you consider at least ever intending to wrestle in college as part of the criteria. The difference between Pico and Teasdale (or A difference since there are many) is that Teasdale at least committed to wrestling in college whereas Pico gave the finger to college wrestling (and college in general) from the start, so realistically, there were never any expectations that he would win an NCAA championship.
 

Antaeus

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This is how the question is posed:

"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."....
Perhaps a title change from "Who are the best wrestlers that never won a title?" to "Who were the best wrestlers out of high school that never won an NCAA title?" might help those of us with short memories that only remember the large print. Based on the criteria above someone with access to all the #1 PFP high school rankings over the years could edit the list down to those that didn't win and narrow the discussion pool.
 
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PSUcup1

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Nov 6, 2012
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Perhaps a title change from "Who are the best wrestlers that never won a title?" to "Who were the best wrestlers out of high school that never won an NCAA title?" might help those of us with short memories that only remember the large print. Based on the criteria above someone with access to all the #1 PFP high school rankings over the years could edit the list down to those that didn't win and narrow the discussion pool.
Kwortnik… 3x AA who battled bad knee injuries throughout college
 
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horace19040

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Aug 12, 2021
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Perhaps a title change from "Who are the best wrestlers that never won a title?" to "Who were the best wrestlers out of high school that never won an NCAA title?" might help those of us with short memories that only remember the large print. Based on the criteria above someone with access to all the #1 PFP high school rankings over the years could edit the list down to those that didn't win and narrow the discussion pool.

Ty Moore.
 
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horace19040

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Aug 12, 2021
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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.


That is your personal criteria. How would Fix do if he had to go up a weight for four years?

I think twins get screwed. One twin usually has to switch weights. Rochy bonomo bumped up a weight. He was 3 time AA. His brother was 3 time champ.
 

psuflyguy

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Mar 23, 2013
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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.

Brandon Sorensen had unfortunate timing coinciding with Retherford.
I thought Joey Wildisin would make noise in college but it didn’t happen.
 
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El-Jefe

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Brandon Sorensen had unfortunate timing coinciding with Retherford.
I thought Joey Wildisin would make noise in college but it didn’t happen.
Wildesin is the poster child against cutting too much weight. Back injuries from cutting away muscle to get to 118.
 
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nitlion6

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Mar 26, 2012
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That is your personal criteria. How would Fix do if he had to go up a weight for four years?

I think twins get screwed. One twin usually has to switch weights. Rochy bonomo bumped up a weight. He was 3 time AA. His brother was 3 time champ.
Yeah, but Rocky got to eat occasionally. Richie, only right after weigh-ins.
 

OzarkLion

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Jan 4, 2022
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Stud high schoolers that underperformed at college would have to include Nathan Galloway from State High. 3x'er that looked absolutely bored wrestling in high school but never put it together in college, eventually transferring from PSU to Rider. Think he qualified for 4 NCAAs, but never made the podium.
 
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El-Jefe

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Stud high schoolers that underperformed at college would have to include Nathan Galloway from State High. 3x'er that looked absolutely bored wrestling in high school but never put it together in college, eventually transferring from PSU to Rider. Think he qualified for 4 NCAAs, but never made the podium.
Garrett Scott, for much more serious and sad reasons.
 

OzarkLion

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Garrett Scott, for much more serious and sad reasons.
Sad deal there. Phenomenal talent, had the wrestling thing figured out. Unfortunately, life is a lot harder to figure out sometimes. Same story as a lot of great athletes. Unfortunately, there's some who can't escape their bad choices and see that life is better after the partying dies down.
 

GLCoast

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May 26, 2019
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Brandon Sorensen had unfortunate timing coinciding with Retherford.
I thought Joey Wildisin would make noise in college but it didn’t happen.
Speaking of unfortunate timing Michigan's (and Erie PA's) Bob Fehrs was a three time runner up to Lehigh's Mike Caruso back when freshmen were not eligible. However, he did make SI's Faces in the Crowd.
 

lions#1

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I will go with Tyler Caldwell that finished 5, 2, 3, and 2.

Lost in the NCAA finals to Jordan Burroughs and David Taylor which won the Dan Hodge Trophy those years and both went on to win Olympic Gold Medals.

Can anybody else say they got by beat in the NCAA finals by two guys that would move on to capture Olympic Golds"? To lazy to look up.......
 
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goStanford18

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Dec 4, 2016
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Great thread with great shout outs. I’ll throw in another vote for McIntosh and Eierman. I’ll also add in McKenna for someone who hasn’t been named.


It’s been said, but McIntosh is the only person to beat both Cox and Snyder in the NCAA. That’s an insane feat. I think there’s only one wrestler in the world who can do that now that isn’t a heavyweight


Eierman didn’t have a great weekend, but that doesn’t discount his career. He can say he’s the last man to beat Nick Lee and the only man to beat Yianni. In addition, he has wins against Heil, Ashnault, McKenna, and Kolodzik. That is an elite list of wins.


I think McKenna could be another name added here. He was very, very close against Yianni. He has wins over Lee, Eierman, Ashnault, Jack, and Kolodzik.