By The Numbers: PSU's Decade Of Dominance

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Today marks not just the beginning of the college wrestling season, but the beginning of a new wrestling decade.

But let's put a bow on the previous one first. It was certainly a dandy as Penn State put up mind-melting numbers, and did it with style.

From 1928 through 1972, Oklahoma State reigned supreme. They won 27 national titles. The rest of the country, well they won just 14. Later in the '70s, a guy named Dan Gable began an unprecedented his run, winning nine team titles in a row twice and 20 of 25 until the turn of the century. 

The 2000s brought perhaps the most parity in college wrestling ever. Oklahoma State regained top dog status but the spoils were spread around. The Cowboys won four of the 10 team titles in the decade with Minnesota and Iowa taking three apiece.

Then Cael moved to Happy Valley.

A new dynasty was built as Penn State won the decade, taking home top honors in eight of 10 from 2010-19.

Below are some stats and factoids to chew on as we close out last decade and enter a new one.


Most Titles In A Decade

DecadeSchoolTitles
2010-19Penn State8
1990-99Iowa8
1930-39OK State8
1980-89Iowa7
1940-49OK State6*
1960-69OK State5
1950-59OK State5
2000-09OK State4
1970-79Iowa/ISU4

• Until 1958, Oklahoma State was named Oklahoma A&M.

• No tournament was held in 1943, '44, and '45 due to World War II.


Team Points And Placings For Penn State 2010-19

Penn StateNCAA PlacePointsRecruiting Rank
20191137.530
20181141.51
20171146.53
201611232
2015667.518
20141109.51
20131123.56
2012114318
20111107.54
20109493
Averages2.3114.858.6

•  PSU surpassed 120pts. six times during the decade.

• Only twice have did they not hit triple digits: Cael's second year and the "punt" year in '15 in which they redshirted about everyone that they could.


Hodge Trophies


WinnersPSU Finalists
2010Jayson NessNone
2011Jordn BurroughsNone
2012David TaylorMolinaro / Ruth
2013Kyle DakeEd Ruth
2014David TaylorEd Ruth
2015Logan StieberNone
2016Alex DieringerZain Retherford
2017Zain RetherfordJason Nolf
2018Zain RetherfordBo Nickal
2019Bo NickalJason Nolf

• Nittany Lions claimed half the Hodge Trophies of the decade, awarded to the most dominant wrestler of the year.

• In every season a Nittany Lion won the Hodge, the #2  vote-getter was also a Nittany Lion. 

• In seven of the 10 years, they had a top-two finisher in the voting.

• Six individual Nittany Lions were named Hodge finalists. No other school had more than two.

• Nolf would have been a finalist in 2018 without his injury.


NCAA Winning Percentage By Round


Blood RoundQuarterfinalsSemifinalistsFinalistsAll Americans
201024213
201137435
201227556
201326555
201425427
201545214
201616556
201737556
201837558
201916657
Totals2360433757
Wins14433726---
Win % 61%71%86%70%5.7 / YR

• In 2017, Penn State became just the third team in NCAA history to have five champs in a year. The others were  2005 OK State and 1997 Iowa.

• That was the only team to have champions in five consecutive weights (149-184). 

• Penn State put half their lineup in the finals in six out of 10 years. <- Read again. 

• Penn State put half their lineup in the finals the four years.

• The most finalists possible in one decade is 100. Penn State had 37 for a .370 average, which would have won the AL Batting title this year by 35 percentage points.

• Of all the outstanding stats, the semifinalist winning percentage might be the most ridiculous. They punched their way to the finals at nearly a 9/10 rate.

• In the last four NCAA tournaments, Penn State is 21-1 in the semifinals for a .9545 win rate. Nick Lee lost to Joey McKenna 4-3 last year.


PSU All Americans By Weight This Decade


Champs2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8thTotal
125121



15
133

1
11
14
141



3


3
14941

1
1
7
157321

1

7
16543





7
174341
1


9
18451





6
197211


2
6
2851


1


3

• Penn State won half the titles at 184lbs.

• From 149 through 184, PSU wrestlers won 38 percent of the NCAA titles, 19 of 50. 

• In those same weights, Penn State had 30 percent of the decade's finalists, 30 of 100.


PSU All Americans By Year


125133141149157165174184197285AA's
2010


5th6th2nd



3
2011
3rd
2nd2nd
3rd1st

5
20122nd

1st3rd1st1st2nd

6
20132nd



2nd2nd1st1st
5
20143rd
5th7th
1st5th1st7th
7
20158th5th



1st
3rd
4
20161st6th
1st2nd
2nd
2nd
6
2017


1st1st1st1st1st
5th6
2018

5th1st1st1st2nd1st7th7th8
2019
8th5th
1st2nd2nd
1st1st7

• Penn State AA'd in eight of the 10 weights in at least half the years.

• From 149 through 197, PSU AA'd 32 out of a possible 50 times, a 64-percent rate.


Individual Accomplishments

• In the history of DI wrestling, there have been 33 four- or three-time champs. Five of them are from PSU this decade: David Taylor, Ed Ruth, Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, and Bo Nickal.

• Vincenzo Joseph can make it six next year.

• Eight PSU wrestlers graduated in the decade that AA'd four times: Frank Molinaro, Quentin Wright, Ruth, Taylor, Nico Megaludis, Retherford, Nolf, Bo. 

• Cenzo and Mark Hall can join that group next year.

• Taylor, Nolf, and Bo made a final every year.

• Cenzo and Mark Hall can join that group next year.

• To go along with Taylor, Nolf, and Bo, Nico and Ed make it five guys this decade to place 3rd or better every year.

• Cenzo and Mark Hall can join that group next year.

• To go along with Taylor, Nolf, Bo, Nico and Ed, Retherford makes it six Nittany Lion wrestlers that had four losses or less in their four years at NCAAs.

• Cenzo and Mark Hall can join that group next year.

• Everyone mentioned in this section has made at least three finals except Molinaro, who made two. 

• The 10 guys mentioned in this section combined for 32 finals appearances for an average of 3.2 finals per guy. Cenzo and Mark Hall can make it 3.4 next year. The most is 4.0. Do you realize how ridiculous that is?!

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