Cael SandersonPut together any kind of ranking of wrestlers or wrestling programs.
Some examples: InterMat's feature on top college wrestlers of all time or feature providing details of late historian Jay Hammond's three biggest upsets in NCAA Division I finals ... and, 2005, InterMat's analysis of the NCAA 75th Anniversary Team of the fifteen top college wrestlers of all time, commemorating the first NCAA wrestling championships seventy-five years earlier, in 1928.
NCAA Wrestling recently shared a brief video on its Twitter page, titled "The Best of the Best! These are the top 5 NCAA wrestlers of all time."
Weighing in at just over 90 seconds, the video shows action footage (with narration) of NCAA Wrestling's choices for the five greatest college wrestlers in history, starting with their No. 5 selection, Cornell's Kyle Dake ... and concluding with Iowa State's Cael Sanderson as their choice for top wrestler of all time. Here, presented as on the video in descending order, are the wrestlers selected by NCAA Wrestling:
5. Kyle Dake, Cornell
A native of Ithaca, N.Y., Dake joined an elite group of NCAA Division I wrestlers to have won four national titles ... but earned a one-of-a-kind place in history by becoming the first to win four national titles in four different weight classes: 141 pounds in 2010 ... 149 in 2011 ... 157 in 2012 ... and 165 pounds in 2013. Dake also tallied three EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) titles in 2010, 2012 and 2013, earning the conference's Wrestler of the Year award those same years. He capped his collegiate career by winning the 2013 Hodge Trophy as the Wrestler of the Year.
4. Dan Gable, Iowa State
Dan Mack Gable was a three-time, undefeated Iowa high school state champ who then continued his mat career with similar success at Iowa State, where he was a three-time Big Eight champ ((1968-1970) and was a two-time NCAA champ as a sophomore and junior (1968, 1969). As a Cyclone, Gable pinned 83 of 118 opponents, for a 70.3% pin rate. He suffered one loss -- his final match in college, falling to University of Washington sophomore Larry Owings in the 142-pound title match at the 1970 NCAAs, 13-11 ... considered to be the greatest upset in college wrestling.
3. Yojiro Uetake, Oklahoma State
A native of Japan, Yojiro Uetake Obata was a three-time NCAA champion and won a like number of Big Eight titlewinner for the Cowboys at 130 pounds in 1964-1966. He earned Outstanding Wrestler honors at the NCAAs twice, in his junior and senior seaons. Uetake completed his collegiate career with a perfect 57-0 record.
2. Dan Hodge, Oklahoma
Dan Allen Hodge was born in May 1932 on a farm outside Perry, Oklahoma. He wrestled at Perry High School, where he won an Oklahoma state title in 1951. Hodge continued his mat career with the Oklahoma Sooners as the 177-pound starter in the mid-1950s, compiling a perfect 46-0 record; 36 of those wins were by 36 were by fall, for a pinning percentage of 78%. He tallied three Big Seven conference crowns in 1955-1957, and three NCAA titles those same years. Hodge also earned Outstanding Wrestler honors at the '56 and '57 Nationals. The Hodge Trophy, presented each year to the nation's best college wrestler, is named in his honor.
1. Cael Sanderson, Iowa State
A four-time state champ from Utah, Cael Norman Sanderson came to the Midwest to continue his wrestling career at Iowa State, crafting a flawless 159-0 record. In addition, Sanderson racked up four Big Eight conference titles, four NCAA crowns, and four NCAA Outstanding Wrestler Awards in 1999-2002. Sanderson became the first freshman to earn Outstanding Wrestler honors at the NCAAs ... then was presented with the Hodge Trophy, college wrestling's version of the Heisman Trophy, in each of his final three seasons.
Now that you've seen NCAA Wrestling's choices for the five best NCAA wrestlers of all time, let the arguing begin!