The Birmingham News (which isn’t exactly the New York Times, but whatever) ranked the SEC’s athletic programs Sunday, going all the way back to the founding of the league in 1933. With added considerations for football and basketball championships, as well as baseball and women’s basketball being the most important non-revenue sports, you’d have a few usual suspects for top program; Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU. The Tigers have been competitive in all four of those sports with continued success in football, basketball and baseball, going back several decades. But guess who is Number One?
Naturally, schools specialize in particular sports and place more resources into some than others. GAP identifies the best of the best - those athletic departments that win in the popular sports and choose wisely in how to build successful all-around programs.
No one has done it better than
"We've had tremendous coaches and tremendous student-athletes, lots of resources and great alumni support," Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley said. "We've had people who have really taken a vested interest in Gator success across the board, not just football."
In ranking 18 SEC sports, as well as non-league sponsored sports and Directors’ Cup points,
Foley may still wear the black hat with some fans after his contentious relationship with Steve Spurrier. But it was Spurrier’s success with football that filled UF’s wallet and provided the cash needed to operate an all-sports powerhouse. Unlike schools that have had to play catch up and build women’s sports,
The Gators’ success in non-revenue sports is impressive, but it is a sign of a healthy athletic department. That is why it is so important for softball to continue being elite and for women’s lacrosse to show results. Basketball and football drive the blog posts and message board chatter, but that’s the body and engine of a great car. Without everything else, that car and