First and foremost. Thanks to everyone who reached out with kind words and congratulations to my family. We are happy to have another person join our crew, and I'm flattered to hear such nice thoughts thrown our way. With that being said, I miss wrestling. I miss talking about it with Tommy, and sharing our thoughts and opinions with people I haven't met. In the meantime, I have come up with some questions that I would like the crew to answer in my absence. Without further adieu, here are my questions.
At this point in the season, it appears to me that the Hodge Trophy has basically been decided. Outside of Dieringer being upset, does anyone else have a shot? Sure, Gwiz could win, and I-Mart could have a solid end to the season after a loss where he looked flat, but does Snyder win it if he beats Gwiz? Does anyone else at Heavyweight, or 165 for that matter, if they beat the top two guys at those respective weights? Who are the darkhorse guys for the Hodge? For my money, I have the next couple guys in this order, Retherford, Garrett, I-Mart.
This season has been full of peaks and valleys for teams. Which teams look poised to make a strong push in the last month and a half? At one point, we thought Oklahoma State was going to pull of all these red shirts and make a strong push for a team championship. Sadly, some injuries and questionable decisions by some young men have screwed that up. On the flip side, Michigan has looked less than the top 3 team that they were rated early on, but since the Christmas break has looked like they are headed in the right direction. In my eyes, the Wolverines, Hawkeyes, NC State Wolfpack, are the only real threats to take 2nd place... Penn State has this as they could have as many as 5 NCAA Champions in their "bounce back year".
Quick follow up question. Where does Cael rank historically among all time great College Wrestling Coaches? In looking for the list of most wins among College coaches, one thing was made crystal clear in my mind. Iowa State has made the worst possible coaching decisions for the last 50 years. Ready for this? They actively made the following decisions.
- To not offer Dan Gable a head coaching position.
- To not resign/ to fire Bobby Douglas (who is 17th among all time wins in college wrestling history) so that they could get Cael Sanderson locked in to their head coaching spot.
- To not pay Cael, who promptly left for Penn State where he appears to be on his way to a 5th NCAA Championship and a dynasty not unlike Dan Gables'.
Anyway, who else is on the list of all timers, and where does Cael rank in your mind? I've got Gable, Smith, Cael, J Rob, but Cael is close behind Johnny boy.
Is there enough talent (both in coaches and wrestlers) to get more teams at the Division 1 level? This is more of a random query than anything else. I was just thinking about how many terrible coaches there are (cough Minkel, cough cough), and how there is no way that there aren't excellent coaches who don't have the chance that they deserve because there aren't enough jobs. If Cael Sanderson can take a third string 149lber and turn him into an AA, do you believe that those guys could do it at other programs, or do they just end up products of a great room and good coaches? Do you think that there is enough talent that isn't being developed by good coaches out there to facilitate growth in programs? I am the eternal optimist, so I believe that there is, but I want to hear what others say as well.
Being from Michigan, I have Brent Metcalf as the being very high on the list of GREAT Iowa Wrestlers. Honestly, he is probably #1 in my book. With that being said, where does he rank on the list of Hawkeyes for other people? Here is my argument. He had 3 DOMINANT seasons. Like in any other sport, it's hard to beat anyone 3 times, let alone 3-5 times a year for 3 years. That's what he had to do with Lance Palmer (who beat him once), Frank Molinaro, Dustin Schlatter, Bubba Jenkins, and a handful of other guys. He was intimidating and dominant in his wins and finished off his career with 2 NCAA Titles, and losing in one of the all time biggest upsets in the finals. He was SO GOOD! Either way, thoughts?
That's all I have. I'm going to go back to sleeping during the day and catching up on TV from 10pm - 7am.