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Thread: Modern day competition

  1. #1

    Default Modern day competition

    I got in a debate yesterday at work about the current competition in college wrestling. Here's the debate.

    Since there are far fewer colleges to choose from, elite wrestlers now have to share the room with each other. This is good in one sense because it provides better competition in the room, resulting in more skill on the mat. On the other hand, it could mean that there is less competition come tournament day. Kind of like the Ed Ruth, Matt Brown situation. I'm sure there are many more situations like that too. So the question is, was it harder to win the NCAAs when there were more schools competing which meant talent was spread out and guys weren't stuck on the bench or is it harder now because those that do crack the lineup are more polished when they get out there?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Modern day competition

    A couple other factors to consider:

    1) The general overall population is larger today; increasing the odds that more people will compete and the quality of competition will increase, both in and out of the room.
    2) Thanks to the increasing popularity of MMA and with greater exposure wrestling itself is more popular today; drawing a larger pool of individuals to the sport who otherwise might not have participated, thus also increasing the odds of a better quality and quantity of talent.

    Given that I would say that even though there are fewer colleges fielding teams today the quantity of talent is greater. Instead of each team having one or two studs they now have three or four, making it much more difficult to win NCAA's today than in the past.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Modern day competition

    I believe it's done both. That is; 1) improve the caliber of talent within each teams wrestling room, and 2) improve the level of competetion at conference tournaments and NCAA's.
    Division 1 programs went from 95 to 77 in the past 15 years or so, so the talent pool has improved all around, IMO.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Modern day competition

    Quote Originally Posted by BigTenFan View Post
    I believe it's done both. That is; 1) improve the caliber of talent within each teams wrestling room, and 2) improve the level of competetion at conference tournaments and NCAA's.
    Division 1 programs went from 95 to 77 in the past 15 years or so, so the talent pool has improved all around, IMO.
    Agree with all of these points. Generally, I think that today's guys are more technically proficient than they ever have been. The only thing I am not sure of is the "toughness" of the modern kids in comparison to, say, 20 or 30 years ago. To me, D1 guys just seemed to be plain tougher back in the day, like the 80's or 90's but when I think logically about it I come to the conclusion that today's guys must be just as tough. But there just doesn't seem to be the bruising type guys around now like (in my perception) there was 20 or 30 years ago.

    Which leads to the question, what era (if not now) do you consider to be the "glory days" of D1 wrestling? I would have to go from the mid 80's to the early 90's. Same quality of competition, just seemed to be more of it.

  5. #5
    Olympic Champ kr1963's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern day competition

    I think it is true that in most sports competition gets tougher. You can look at track & field or the NBA or NFL. Athletes work out now all year round. Off-season doesn't exist. Training routines, computer aided training & nutrition. All this stuff means everyone is looking for the slightest edge.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Modern day competition

    True KR, but if you are talking "tough", I have to go with guys like Hodge, Koll#1, Gable, the Keller twins, Dutchen, KInnen, Baughman and Blubaugh.
    The Art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.

  7. #7
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern day competition

    The "Tilt" and the "ankle pick" as they are used today were not even in the books 30 years ago. Wrestling was clearly more physical than it is today. Technique and technical proficiency dominates today thanks to the likes of Gable, John Smith, JRob and Bobby Douglas.
    Life's not the breaths you take, the breathing in and out that gets you through the day ain't what it's all about. It's the moments that take your breath away.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Modern day competition

    5-10 years ago, "funk" was used to describe a subset of wrestlers who weren't following the wrestling books from 30 years ago - and it wasn't always considered a complement. Haven't heard the 'funk' term used much lately -- because it's part of every top wrestler's skillset now. Guys like Baskren changed the landscape. But we shouldn't make any mistake -- the non-funk old-school guys were as tough to beat as anyone anywhere, the context has just changed a bit.

  9. #9
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern day competition

    I know from watching high school matches that these kids(HS) could have kicked anyone of my generation's ass barely breaking a sweat.These kids are stronger ,more athletic and better coached than 30 years ago .
    The pinners would fare just as well-look at Blubaugh and the Iranian-Blubaugh was getting beat like a drum until he stuck him. Not coming down on Coach yet it was true .
    I mean , when you go to HS states we now have freshman champions-freshman weren't allowed to compete at Ben Davis on the 10-12 level. T-shirt didn't break a sweat .Plus , there may have been 4-5 off season tournaments back in the day-these kids wrestle 52 weeks a year and their mat awareness is off the charts. Growing up in Indiana you are nearly a pariah if you are a great athlete and wrestle instead of sit the bench on the b-ball team . This year at States Indiana set another attendance record breaking the previous years'.
    You know, I think I would rather be a man than a god . We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do.

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