J'den Cox, a three-time NCAA champion, was named to the All-Decade Team at 197 pounds (Photo/John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)
Want to start a fight?
One sure way to get something started: put together some sort of list of "all-time great" wrestlers.
Amateur Wrestling News -- the nation's oldest wrestling publication, covering the sport since the mid-1950s -- has carried on a longstanding tradition with its an All-Decade Team for 2010-2019, put together by the magazine's writers.
And what a decade it was! In the nearly 90-year history of NCAA D1 wrestling championships, only four men have earned four national titles ... and two of them did it in this decade: Ohio State's Logan Stieber ... and Cornell's Kyle Dake.
The magazine its selections for the top three wrestlers in NCAA Division I each weight class ... along with "honorable mention" choices. In presenting the list, AWN's Jim Kalin provided some of the ground rules: "Many of the decade's best wrestlers competed at multiple weight classes during their college careers. To help sort this dilemma, one of the guidelines for our writers was to place choices at the weight they had wrestled at least two seasons ..."
"The main stipulation was that the wrestler had to compete at least two seasons in this second decade (2010-2019). That eliminated greats such as Brent Metcalf/Iowa, Jake Varner/Iowa State, and Angel Escobedo/Indiana, all who were seniors in 2010."
Kalin anticipated the discussion/arguing about their choices.
"There will be disagreement from our readers regarding this All-Decade Team. There was disagreement amongst AWN writers."
As Kalin points out, the top three wrestlers in each weight class are ranked in order as named by AWN writers ... with their placements for each year at the NCAA Division I championships.
1. Spencer Lee, Iowa (1st place/1st place/TBD/TBD)
2. Jesse Delgado, Illinois (7/1/1/0)
3. Matt McDonough, Iowa (1/2/1/0)
Honorable mentions: Nico Megaludis, Penn State (3/2/2/1); Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State (1/3/3/3); Darien Cruz, Lehigh (0/7/1/5); Anthony Robles, Arizona State (0/4/7/1).
1. Logan Stieber, Ohio State (1st place x 4)
2. Cory Clark, Iowa (5/2/2/1)
3. Nick Suriano, Rutgers/Penn State (0/2/1/TBD)
Honorable mentions: Nashon Garrett, Cornell (3/2/5/1); Cody Brewer, Oklahoma (7/8/1/3); Seth Gross, South Dakota State (0/2/1/TBD); Tony Ramos, Iowa (0/3/2/1).
1. Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell (1st place/1st place/TBD/TBD)
2. Dean Heil, Oklahoma State (4/1/1/0)
Honorable mentions: Kendric Maple, Oklahoma (0/4/1/8); Bryce Meredith, Wyoming/North Carolina State (0/2/4/2).
1. Zain Retherford, Penn State (5th place/1st place/1st place/1st place)
2. Jordan Oliver, Oklahoma State (4/1/2/1)
3. Frank Molinaro, Penn State (8/5/2/1)
Honorable mentions: Anthony Ashnault, Rutgers (8/4/6/1); Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern/Arizona State (1/3/0/7); Kyle Dake (won his second NCAA title in 2011)
1. Jason Nolf, Penn State (2d place/1st place/1st place/1st place)
2. Isaiah Martinez, Illinois (1/1/2/2)
3. Derek St. John/Iowa (4/2/1/5)
Honorable mentions: James Green, Nebraska (7/7/3/3); Hayden Hidlay, North Carolina (2/4/TBD/TBD); Kyle Dake, Cornell (won his third NCAA title in 2012)
1. Kyle Dake, Cornell (1st place x 4 ... at four different weights)
2. David Taylor, Penn State (2/1/1/2)
3. Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State (3/1/1/1)
Honorable mentions: Vincenzo Joseph, Penn State (1st place/1st place/2d place/TBD); Jordan Burroughs, Nebraska (0/3/1/1); Tyler Caldwell, Oklahoma/Oklahoma State (5/2/3/2)
1. Zahid Valencia, Arizona State (3d place/1st place/1st place/TBD)
2. Mark Hall, Penn State (1/2/2/TBD)
3. Andrew Howe, Wisconsin/Oklahoma (2/1/3/2)
Honorable mentions: Jonathan Reader, Iowa State (7/4/0/1); Chris Perry, Oklahoma State (0/3/1/1); Bo Jordan, Ohio State (3/3/2/5)
1. Bo Nickal, Penn State (2d place/1st place/1st place/1st place)
2. Ed Ruth, Penn State (3/1/1/1)
3. Gabe Dean, Cornell (3/1/1/2)
Honorable mentions: Steve Bosak, Cornell (0/4/1/3); Myles Martin, Ohio State (1/5/2/3)
1. J'den Cox, Missouri (1st place/5th place/1st place/1st place)
2. Quentin Wright, Penn State (6/1/2/1)
3. Cam Simaz, Cornell (7/3/3/1)
Honorable mentions: Kyven Gadson, Iowa State (0/4/6/1); Dustin Kilgore, Kent State (0/7/1/2); Kollin Moore, Ohio State (3/4/2/TBD)
1. Kyle Snyder, Ohio State (2d place/1st place/1st place/1st place)
2. Nick Gwiazdowski, North Carolina State (8/1/1/2)
3. Tony Nelson, Minnesota (7/1/1/2)
Honorable mentions: Zack Rey, Lehigh (0/3/1/2); Adam Coon, Michigan (0/2/3/2); Mike McMillen, Northwestern (3/2/3/3).
Can't get enough all-time college wrestling rankings? Take a look at Craig Sesker's feature Ranking top college wrestlers of all-time and the InterMat Rewind feature listing the wrestlers named to the NCAA 75th Anniversary Team back in 2005 ... and this writer's choices for those who might have been worthy of inclusion.