Falcon had the greatest range and the most versatility, even if he didn't fulfill his potential. I was right near the spot where he tripped in 1986 at the XC nationals. He had just looked back to make sure he was clear, which he was, and he looked to just be cruising in. That looked to be a remarkably hilly course too. But you're correct. He was relied upon to double up and anchor many relays to score points.
George Atlas wrote:
Its a close call between Falcon and Cragg but the sad thing is Falcon never came close to his potential in his best event, which was the 5000. His pr in college was only 13:45 but he jogged it in an early season small meet just to get an NCAA qualifier. And after college I only recall the 13:20 he won at Pre where again ran just to win and easily dusted a good American field with a last lap around 54.0.
He won 7 NCAA titles and probably should have won 2 more had he not tripped. He won an NCAA cross country title and should have also won the year before when he tripped in the last 200 meters. He won an NCAA 10k title trying the 5000 and 10,000 double. I think he only ran 2 10ks on the track in college, that race and and winning the Penn 10k in 28:25 which looked like an easy tempo run.
By his junior year he was the one collegiate runner that was basically unbeatable from 1500-10,000. Whatever race he chose to focus on he was the favorite. But at that time Arkansas was winning titles and he was doubled a lot for points.
His obvious greatest race was winning the Oslo mile in 3:49 after college but I will always remember the Penn Relays DMR in 1989 with he and Kip Cherouyiot(a 3:33 Kenyan Olympian) on the anchor. Falcon was a rare star. When he was on he was amazing and wonderful to watch.
Craig is awesome in his own right, but I don't think he had the same versatility. Of course, Lincoln, the "walk-on," went on to be an Olympian and set the AR in the steeple before Jager broke it. So many great runners through that storied program, but Falcon was the best. It would've been awesome to see what the guy was capable of post-collegiately if he hadn't gotten injured.