2013 D1CW Coaches Poll Results
What has become a stable of D1CW every other summer is the D1CW Coaches Poll. We as fans speculate on message board and social media about who is the best of the best, but for me its fun getting input on the same questions from the best coaches in the country. This years version of the Coaches Poll got the biggest response from coaches compared to the past two editions. Each day a new couple of categories will be released, culminating with the Best Pound for Pound Wrestler, Best Coach and a very special poll question.
Again lets go over the groundrules......
--This was limited to only DI Wrestlers
--Current wrestlers only
--Coaches were allowed to vote for their own wrestlers;if applicable
--Coaches were asked not to vote for coaches on their own staff
Best Leg Rider
1. Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) 27% of the Vote
2. David Taylor (Penn State) 20% of the Vote
3. Mike Nevinger (Cornell) 18% of the Vote
4. Alan Waters (Missouri) 6% of the Vote
Chris Perry's mat wrestling skills were essential in winning his first NCAA Championship. In both his NCAA Quarterfinal and Finals matches, Perry rode out his opponent during the tiebreaker criteria. Chris' leg riding and overall toughness on the mat separated him from the rest of the 2012-13 174lbers, a group that was seemingly very evenly matched talent-wise.
2011's Best Leg Rider: Scott Sentes (Central Michigan)
2009's Best Leg Rider: Lance Palmer (Ohio State)
1. Ed Ruth (Penn State) 55% of the vote
2. Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) 19% of the vote
3. Ryan Mango (Stanford) 9% of the vote
Who would have thought that the 184lber that frequently rolls through and exposes his back to get cradles (occasionally from his feet) would be the Best Athlete? It was a landslide win for the, now 2x NCAA Champion, Ed Ruth in this category. Fitting for a guy who has won two NCAA titles and rarely looks like he has even broken a sweat.
2011's Best Athlete: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)
2009's Best Athlete: Darrion Caldwell (NC State)
Hardest to Takedown
1. Tony Nelson (Minnesota) 24% of the vote
2. Ed Ruth (Penn State) 20% of the vote
3. Nico Megaludis (Penn State) 12% of the vote
4. Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) 10% of the vote
Make's sense doesn't it? The 2x NCAA Champion at 285lbs is the "Hardest to Takedown". Minnesota's Tony Nelson shut down his opponents on their feet, as well as any other position, racking up a 33-1 record en route to his 2nd Big Ten and NCAA Title. In 12 of Nelson's 33 wins he held his opponent to a single point or less.
2011's Hardest to Takedown: Kellen Russell (Michigan)
2009's Hardest to Takedown: Jake Varner (Iowa State)
Most Improved Wrestler
1. Mitchell Port (Edinboro) 15% of the vote
2. Michael Moreno (Iowa State) 12% of the vote
3. Jesse Delgado (Illinois) 10% of the vote
3. Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall) 10% of the vote
5. Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) 7% of the vote
In this category voters were given the freedom to choose a wrestler whom either improved the most over the course of his career or from one season to the next. This years winner Mitchell Port went from a round of 12 finisher as a Freshman, to NCAA Runner-Up as a Sophomore. Port upset the top seeded and then-undefeated Hunter Stieber in the NCAA Semi-Finals, after taking out the eventual sixth place finisher Evan Henderson in the Quarter-Finals. The Stieber victory avenged an early season defeat, one of only four on the year for the Fighting Scot.
2011's Most Improved Wrestler: Robert Hamlin (Lehigh)
2009's Most Improved Wrestler: Jarrod King (Edinboro)
1. Cael Sanderson (Penn State) 42% of the vote
2. Rob Koll (Cornell) 8% of the vote
2. Tom Ryan (Ohio State) 8% of the vote
4. Kevin Dresser (Virginia Tech) 6% of the vote
If this isn't well timed? Just last night Cael Sanderson got a fourth verbal commitment from the Class of 2014, all of which are arguably top overall ten recruits. The three time defending NCAA Champion Penn State Nittany Lions are positioned to keep their championship streak alive with this potental class, to go along with D1CW's #7 overall recruiting class in 2013 and #17 overall in 2012. Cael was also named the top recruiter in the 2011 poll.
2011's Best Recruiter: Cael Sanderson (Penn State)
1. Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) 43% of the vote
2. Tony Ramos (Iowa) 29% of the vote
3. Matt Brown (Penn State) 7% of the vote
Although not active on the college wrestling scene for the past two seasons due to an Olympic Redshirt followed by a regular redshirt, Andrew Howe has still left an impression on coaches around the country. Howe was also voted the Most Physical wrestler when the poll was conducted in 2011. With his punishing, griniding style he has fought his way into the top three at the NCAA Championships in each year he has competed.
2011's Most Physical: Andrew Howe (Wisconsin)
2009's Most Physical: Brent Metcalf (Iowa)
Toughest on Top
1. Logan Stieber (Ohio State) 32% of the vote
2. David Taylor (Penn State) 28% of the vote
3. Aaron Schopp (Edinboro) 17% of the vote
4. Ed Ruth (Penn State) 8% of the vote
Logan Stieber dominated his way to a second NCAA Title at 133lbs during the 2012-13 season. He is most dangerous on the mat, where Stieber racked up 14 falls in 27 matches. Six other matches ended in technical falls. In fact, only three of Logan's bouts were decided via regular decisions. Perhaps the most dangerous part of Steiber's top game is his bar series, which accounts for a large portion of his pins.
2011's Toughest on Top: Kyle Dake (Cornell)
2009's Toughest on Top: Anthony Robles (Arizona State)
Best Mental Toughness
1. Tony Ramos (Iowa) 28% of the vote
2. Logan Stieber (Ohio State) 17% of the vote
3. Derek St. John (Iowa) 10% of the vote
4. Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) 8% of the vote
4. Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) 8% of the vote
This is a new category for the 2013 edition of the poll. NCAA Runner-Up Tony Ramos is the first winner and probably would have also won the award for "Best Pre-Match Scowl" if there was such an "honor". Ramos is the epitome of the "Iowa Style", pushing and beating on your opponent until he breaks. This was never more evident than in the NCAA Semi-Finals in his comeback victory over Wisconsin's Tyler Graff.
Best Assistant Coach
1. Lou Rosselli (Ohio State) 18% of the vote
2. Cody Sanderson (Penn State) 14% of the vote
2. Casey Cunningham (Penn State) 14% of the vote
4. Brandon Eggum (Minnesota) 10% of the vote
5. Damion Hahn (Cornell) 6% of the vote
5. Terry Brands (Iowa) 6% of the vote
This category tends to be one of the most competitive each year the poll has been conducted and this season is no different. For the second time in three polls, Lou Rosselli has been named the Best Assistant Coach. Rosselli's lightweights over the past five years have included the Stieber brothers, Nikko Triggas, Reece Humphrey, and J Jaggers. They have combined for 4x NCAA Titles, and 10 All-American honors (and counting). D1CW usually does not follow the Freestyle/Greco circuit like the collegiate style, but it should be noted that four of the seven members of the 2013 US World Freestyle Team train under Lou Rosselli at the Ohio RTC.
2011's Best Assistant Coach: Donny Pritzlaff (Michigan)
2009's Best Assistant Coach: Lou Rosselli (Ohio State)
Incoming Freshman who will Have the Best Career
1. Bo Jordan (Ohio State) 28% of the vote
2. Zane Retherford (Penn State) 12% of the vote
2. Ben Whitford (Michigan) 12% of the vote
4. J'Den Cox (Missouri) 9% of the vote
5. Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) 6% of the vote
It was just four years ago that an Incoming Freshman middleweight and 4x State Champ from Graham HS in St. Paris, Ohio occupied the top spot in this category. Bo Jordan, unlike David Taylor before him, chose to stay at home and compete for the Ohio State Buckeyes. If you watch Jordan, I think his style does compare to Taylor's as well. He actually appears to be more "college-ready" from a physical standpoint than David Taylor did at this same point. Right now it looks as if Jordan will redshirt in 2013-14, but Buckeyes Head Coach Tom Ryan has never been shy about throwing a talented True Freshman in to tOSU's lineup.
2011's Incoming Freshman with the Best Career: Morgan McIntosh (Penn State)
2009's Incoming Freshman with the Best Career: David Taylor (Penn State)
Best Variety of Takedowns
1. David Taylor (Penn State) 48% of the vote
2. Ed Ruth (Penn State) 12% of the vote
3. Logan Stieber (Ohio State) 10% of the vote
Although he is most closely associated with his ability to hit ankle picks, 3x NCAA Finalist David Taylor was thought to have the Best Variety of Takedowns. Taylor's flurries of offense, combined with a potent mat game, have helped him to a 101-3 career record and a 2012 Hodge Trophy after his NCAA Championship. He has a chance to be the eighth wrestler in the past 20 years to make four NCAA Finals and also could be the first PSU grappler to win four Big Ten Championships.
2011's Best Variety of Takedowns: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)
2009's Best Variety of Takedowns: Darrion Caldwell (NC State)
Best Double Leg
1. Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) 30% of the vote
2. James Green (Nebraska) 21% of the vote
3. Ed Ruth (Penn State) 19% of the vote
In the NCAA Quarterfinals, Nahshon Garrett hit the "Double-Leg Heard 'Round the Wrestling World" when he took down 2x NCAA Champion Matt McDonough in sudden victory overtime. Though he fell in the Semi-Finals, Garrett rebounded to finish in third place. He entered the NCAA Championships as the 6th seed and took out the top seed (Alan Waters), the third seed (McDonough) and the fifth seed (Jarrod Garnett).
2011's Best Double Leg: Ed Ruth (Penn State)
2011's Best Double Leg: Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska)
1. Jesse Delgado (Illinois) 34% of the vote
2. Dylan Ness (Minnesota) 31% of the vote
3. David Taylor (Penn State) 17% of the vote
Jesse Delgado's scrambling ability was a key in his run to an NCAA Championship in 2012-13. In the NCAA Final Delgado, funked his way out of a takedown attempt and found a cradle which ended up deciding the championship. His scrambling and athleticism also were a deciding factor when he defeated Matt McDonough in order to capture his first Big Ten Championship.
2011's Best Scrambler: David Taylor (Penn State)
2009's Best Scrambler: Max Askren (Missouri)
Biggest Gas Tank
1. Tony Ramos (Iowa) 41% of the vote
2. Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) 16% of the vote
3. Jesse Delgado (Illinois) 10% of the vote
4. Nico Megaludis (Penn State) 6% of the vote
The Best Gas Tank award stays in the Iowa Hawkeye family with Tony Ramos getting the nod this time around. Ramos' constant pressure resulted in falls in 14 of his 30 victories in the 2012-13 season. Additionally, he tech falled three other opponents. Tony Ramos enters his final season at Iowa as perhaps the best Senior without an NCAA Title.
2011's Biggest Gas Tank: Matt McDonough (Iowa)
2009's Biggest Gas Tank: Brent Metcalf (Iowa)
1. Logan Stieber (Ohio State) 33% of the vote
2. Ed Ruth (Penn State) 32% of the vote
3. David Taylor (Penn State) 28% of the vote
This category ended up with the closest voting margin, Logan Stieber edged Ed Ruth by one single percentage point. Stieber's 2012-13 total of 14 falls is actually lower than the 16 that he put up in his Freshman campaign (though he did appear in 8 more matches as a Freshman). The career pin total of 30 is about 43% of the matches that he has wrestled. He should be a front-runner for the Hodge Trophy in 2013-14, which puts a premium on falls.
2011's Best Pinner: Andrew Alton (Penn State)
2009's Best Pinner: Josh Patterson (Binghamton)
Best Head Coach
1. John Smith (Oklahoma State) 21% of the vote
2. Cael Sanderson (Penn State) 19% of the vote
3. Tom Brands (Iowa) 13% of the vote
3. Rob Koll (Cornell) 13% of the vote
The Coaches Poll Winner for Best Head Coach John Smith, was also named D1CW's Coach of the Year following the 2012-13 season. Smith led Oklahoma State to a National Runner-Up finish, narrowly losing to Penn State. Overall he has led the Cowboys to five NCAA Team Championships. Last season seven OSU wrestlers earned All-American honors and two (Jordan Oliver, Chris Perry) were NCAA Champions. The pair brings Smith's total individual NCAA Champion count up to 24 over his career.
2011's Best Head Coach: Mark Cody (Oklahoma)
2009's Best Head Coach: Tom Borrelli (Central Michigan)/Tom Brands (Iowa)
Best Wrestler Pound for Pound
1. Ed Ruth (Penn State) 41% of the vote
2. David Taylor (Penn State) 33% of the vote
3. Logan Stieber (Ohio State) 18% of the vote
Heading into his Senior season 2x NCAA Champion Ed Ruth is riding a cool 68 match winning streak, which dates back to the NCAA Quarter Finals in his Freshman season. He has a chance to become Penn State's first three-time NCAA Champion, as well as joining a very elite class of 4x Big Ten Champions. In the 2012-13 season Ruth earned bonus points in 27 of his 33 matches and two of the six regular decisions were over the defending 184lb Champion Steve Bosak of Cornell. Ed defeated both of his NCAA finals opponents, who were both 2x NCAA Runner's-Up, by major decisions.
2011's Best Wrestler Pound for Pound: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)
2009's Best Wrestler Pound for Pound: Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska)
Greatest Collegiate Wrestler of All-Time
1. Cael Sanderson (Iowa State) 67% of the vote
2. Kyle Dake (Cornell) 31% of the vote
3. Dan Gable (Iowa State) 2% of the vote
With Kyle Dake joining the 4x NCAA Champion Club the question has to be asked, who is the greatest of all-time? While Dake has a valid argument, 4 titles at 4 weights, no redshirt and competing at an Ivy League school, the biggest number still is 0. That is the career loss total for Cael Sanderson. It appears that until someone equal Cael's feat of four NCAA titles without a loss, all will play second fiddle to him in the eyes of our voters.