Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The PAC-10: America’s Conference.

As I’m sure many of you have picked up on over the recent months of reading we here at The Beardown are college sports fans, specifically Arizona, but as is the case with most college fans we root for our conference. Sure the SEC boasts about their football prowess, and that’s fine, they have more than earned it with their recent success. Other conferences are stuck looking like the Eastern Conference in the NBA, top-heavy talent. But there are more sports than football. So I decided to break down the top 5 collegiate sports programs as a whole. The sports world has been broken down into the Big 3 for a while now so I decided to keep with that tradition. But why limit it to only men’s sports. Here are the top College Athletic programs based on Top 10 appearances by the 6 major conferences in 5 major sports (Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Softball, Baseball).

5(t): Big East – The Big East is the home to 16 schools (8 in football season) and through this point in the 2008 year have appeared in the Top 10, 3 times. West Virginia (Football), UCONN and Rutgers (Women’s Basketball). Final Number: 3/72 (4.1%) of Big East teams rank in their respective Top Ten.

5 (t): Big Eleven – The Big Ten boasts 11 teams but refuses to change their name. In the last year they have placed 3 teams in the Top 10 in their respective sports. Ohio State (Football), Northwestern (Softball), and Michigan (Baseball). Final Number: 3/55 (5.4%) of Big Eleven teams rank in their respective Top Ten.

4: ACC – The Atlantic Coast Conference is home to 12 teams in two subdivisions. Despite having 12 teams in each of the 5 major sports, they only place 8 in their respective Top 10s. Virginia Tech and Boston College (Football), Maryland (Women’s Basketball), Miami (Baseball), Duke (Men’s Basketball), and North Carolina (Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Baseball). Final Number: 8/60 (13.3%) of ACC teams rank in their respective Top Ten.

3: Big XII – Once again the home of 12 teams in two subdivisions the Big XII places ten teams in their respective Top 10s. Missouri (Football and Baseball), Kansas (Football and Men’s Basketball), Oklahoma (Football and Softball), Texas (Football and Men’s Basketball), Baylor (Women’s Basketball), and Texas A&M (Softball). Final Number: 10/60 (16.6%) of Big XII teams rank in their respective Top Ten.

2: SEC – Another home of 12 teams that separates into subdivisions. Many are aware of their seemingly football dominance (despite having half (2) of the top ten teams of the Big XII (4)) but their real strength is softball fielding 4 of the Top Ten teams. The SEC proves home for 11 Top 10 Teams. LSU (Football, Women’s Basketball, and Softball), Tennessee (Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, and Softball), Georgia (Football), Alabama and Florida (Softball), and Vanderbilt and Mississippi (Baseball). Final Number: 11/60 (18.3%) of SEC teams rank in their respective Top Ten.

1: Pac-10 – Despite having less teams than any other division mentioned above the Pac-10 is the home of the most Top 10 ranked teams in the 5 major sports. They edge out the SEC with 12 Top Ten Teams. UCLA (Men’s Basketball, Softball, and Baseball), Arizona (Baseball and Softball), Arizona State (Baseball and Softball), Stanford (Men’s and Women’s Basketball), USC (Football), California (Women’s Basketball) and Oregon State (Baseball). Final Number: 12/50 (24%) of Pac-10 teams rank in their respective Top Ten.

I suppose maybe that might shed some light in some people’s eyes. Sure the SEC and Big XII are still powers, but don’t overlook the Pac-10. Sidenote, those are also the only 3 conferences to field a Top Ten team in all 5 sports. I figure it would come down to the SEC, Big XII, and Pac-10 again if you were talking girls instead of sports. Have you ever seen the girls at Duke? The South, West, and Southwest are the places to be for good college sports, and the best looking (scanitly clad ladies). It's the beauty of it down here, by mid-February the girls are walking around campus in bikini tops on their way to the Rec. But that's a battle for another time.