Ahhh… the long weekend is over, and in case you missed it, the College World Series brackets came out this weekend. This ingenious concept – an on-the-field tournament to crown a college champion – just might catch on after all! Although this blog is devoted to college hoops, we also recognize that each team is part of a larger athletic program in terms of all the normal considerations – fans, dollars, merchandising, and the derivative feedback loops - which merit occasional reflection beyond the hardwood.
As such, it’s interesting to see which programs had the most successful 2006-07 in a different light than the
Stanford Sears Director’s Cup rankings, which the Cardinal dominates every year (twelve in a row going into the 2006-07 academic year). Recognizing that football and basketball comprise the vast majority of athletic revenues and expenses at Division 1 schools, it still might be interesting and informative to see which programs are also successful at America’s third major sport, baseball. To start the ball rolling, we took a look at the 2006-07 academic year in the three major college sports.
Stanford always wins the Sears Cup, but how does it perform in the big three major sports?
In our analysis, we only considered schools invited to the postseason. In college baseball and basketball, this is a fair indicator, as roughly 20% of schools are selected for the postseason (NCAA Tournament or CWS) in a given year. In college football, over half the teams are selected annually for postseason bowls, which skews the definition of “success” somewhat; but we couldn’t figure a way to reliably eliminate some bowls while including others, so we kept them all in.
Still, even with those rather broad parameters, only six Division 1 schools were invited to the postseason in all three major sports -baseball, basketball and football. If you guessed large state institutions in (mostly) warm-weather areas, you had a decent chance of naming these six – Arkansas, Louisville, Ohio St., Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA. Interestingly, Florida won both the football and basketball titles, but was not invited to the College World Series – clearly they should fire an incompetent like Jeremy Foley immediately. Stanford, who will undoubtedly win the Sears Cup again this year, had a short-lived stay in the NCAA Tournament (for about one tv timeout, as we recall), but did not make the CWS or a bowl game, proving that their emphasis on smaller, non-revenue sports makes all the difference in those standings.