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Expansion By The Numbers 8: Athletic Success

Media markets and budgets.  Facilities and population base.  Recruiting ground and geographic location.  All will have some bearing on the conference expansion/realignment process that continues to shake the college sports landscape.  But what about the fun stuff?  What about pure athletic success?

In this installment of our simple, by-the-numbers look at 35 potential (though most are unlikely) SEC expansion possibilities, we take a gander at the programs that have had the most recent success.  First, we’ll show you how each school fared in the most recent Directors’ Cup rankings and then we’ll look at those schools that have had the most success in the two main money-making sports of football and basketball.  Tally those numbers up and you’ll get our ranking for recent on-field/on-court performance.

This Category:  Athletic Success

Why:  Media markets and population figures are incredibly important in the expansion process because those figures are what propel television network ratings and those ratings are what drive television networks to hand over barrels of cash to athletic conferences.  But there’s a reason Rutgers — while often mentioned as a potential candidate for the Big Ten and/or ACC — has yet to be selected.  The Big Ten went with Nebraska.  The ACC grabbed Syracuse and Pittsburgh.  Why?  Because obviously those schools are better athletically than Rutgers.

The Southeastern Conference is viewed inside and out as the top athletic conference in college sports.  The Pac-12 may grab a lot of overall trophies, but the SEC wins in the sports that people watch on television.  There’s a certain status that the SEC must uphold.  And don’t discount the role Mike Slive’s ego plays in all of this.  When speaking to sources at multiple SEC institutions as well as to two in the television and media rights fields, Slive’s desire to create a legacy — and to outshine Larry Scott and Jim Delany — was mentioned often.  So don’t expect Slive (or the SEC’s presidents) to have much interest in a school that hasn’t created at least some type of solid athletic reputation for itself.

Like any league, the SEC enjoys winning as many trophies as possible.  And the strength of a school’s total athletic department shows a commitment to winning that league administrators prefer.  That’s why we’ve included the Directors’ Cup standings in our list.

And, as we mentioned above, the SEC knows that when it comes to television dollars, two sports draw the most eyeballs — football and men’s basketball.  For that reason, we’ll look at the total number of NCAA Tournament bids and bowl bids that each of our 35 schools have racked up over the last 10 years.

Why not other numbers?  Well, in a later piece, we will take a look at national championships.  But we aren’t going to look at winning percentages because so much of that depends on scheduling and current conference alignment.  Yes, the bids category is influenced by that as well, but it seems an additional step removed.  Also — as was mentioned to us by one senior network executive — the more bowls and tourneys a school takes part in, the better its brand becomes.  So bids got the nod over winning percentage and national titles will play a role later.

In order to keep our two numbers (Directors’ Cup ranking and total bids) similar in value, we totaled both categories for all 35 schools and found that the Directors’ Cup score was roughly 50 times greater than the tally of bowl/tourney bids.  For that reason, we’ve multiplied the bid number by 50.13 and rounded.

Math majors, this exercise is not designed to be a provable formula.  There’s no such thing when it comes to expansion.  We’re only trying to give our readers an understanding of the areas and issues that we’ve been repeatedly told will matter to presidents, chancellors and commissioners when it comes to expansion.  So if you spend a lot of time arguing the details, you’re probably missing the greater point.

 

Rank  School Directors’ Cup ’10-’11 Points   NCAA Tourney/Bowl Bids (Last 10 Years)   Bids x 50.13   Total
1 Texas 996 19 952 1948
2 Oklahoma 1064 16 802 1866
3 N. Carolina 1160 12 602 1762
4 Florida State 1079 13 652 1731
5 Texas A&M 1090 12 602 1692
6 Duke 1171 10 501 1672
7 Maryland 858 13 652 1510
8 Notre Dame 833 12 602 1435
9 Penn State 996 8 401 1397
10 Virginia 1092 6 301 1393
11 Louisville 629 15 752 1381
12 Oklahoma State 635 14 702 1337
13 W. Virginia 542 15 752 1294
14 Texas Tech 465 14 702 1167
15 Connecticut 502 13 652 1154
16t Clemson 485 13 652 1137
16t Missouri 535 12 602 1137
18 Boston College 322 16 802 1124
19 Georgia Tech 350 14 702 1052
20 Virginia Tech 500 11 551 1051
21 Pittsburgh 135 17 852 987
22 Miami 416 11 551 967
23 NC State 312 11 551 863
24 Syracuse 348 10 501 849
25 TCU 395 9 451 846
26 Baylor 623 3 150 773
27 Kansas 265 10 501 766
28 Wake Forest 261 10 501 762
29 Kansas State 352 8 401 753
30 Cincinnati 100 12 602 702
31 Iowa State 348 6 301 649
32 Navy 191 8 401 592
33 S. Florida 208 6 301 509
34 E. Carolina 198 6 301 499
35 Rutgers 97 5 251 348

 

* Consider the ACC’s recent moves.  The fact that Pittsburgh and Syracuse were chosen over West Virginia seems to prove the idea that market/population size and academics can combine to trump athletics in the right set of circumstances.  But there is no set formula.  If there were, UConn would have been the choice over Syracuse due to its enormous nearby media markets and its greater athletic success in recent years.  So why Syracuse?  Perhaps because the ACC tried to land the Orangemen in 2003 and there were already previous relationships in place.  We’re showing you in this series the things we have been told matter to commissioners and presidents.  But it’s not meant to be used a magic bullet.  It’s a general guide.  And politics, relationships and such amorphous terms as “fit” will still play a role in these matters, too.

* No need to suggest that we should have weighted one column or the other more heavily.  Commissioner Slive won’t have a chart and slide rule when discussing possible expansion candidates with the league’s presidents.  Again, these numbers are designed purely to provide you with an idea of what’s being considered.  For that reason, we ranked Directors’ Cup success equal with football/basketball success.  In reality, the latter issue might matter two, three, or four times as much.  For that reason, you can look at the bids as a separate number and draw your own conclusions.  (And no matter what we listed here, there were going to be complaints.)

* Of the top 10 teams on our list, Maryland and Virginia are likely the only two that would surprise you.  UVA’s number is clearly driven by the strength of its overall athletic program rather than its football/basketball success.

* The top half of this list is made up of some of the strongest brands in sports.  The more you move down the list, the less the word “brand” applies.  In fact, the league might have to overcome baggage issues with some of those schools.

* Even if the bottom 10 schools on the list had an interest in the SEC, you could go ahead and scratch them from any expansion list.  Call me crazy.  Say it’s not fair.  But I’ll bet you all the tea in China that you won’t see one of those last 10 schools in the Southeastern Conference when this wave of expansion slows.  Won’t happen.

For the sake of comparison, below are the numbers from the schools already in the Southeastern Conference:

 

Rank  School Directors’ Cup ’10-’11 Points   NCAA Tourney/Bowl Bids (Last 10 Years)   Bids x 50.13   Total
1 Florida 1212 18 902 2114
2 LSU 831 14 702 1533
3 Georgia 829 13 652 1481
4 Tennessee 763 14 702 1465
5 Alabama 726 13 652 1378
6 Kentucky 585 14 702 1287
7 Arkansas 726 10 501 1227
8 Auburn 638 10 501 1139
9 S. Carolina 547 7 351 898
10 Vanderbilt 378 6 301 679
11 Miss. State 237 8 401 638
12 Ole Miss 319 5 251 570

 

* As you can see, Florida would rank on top of our list by a good margin if placed in with the other 35 schools we’ve been discussing.

* Florida, LSU and Tennessee — three of the top four in athletic performance — also happened to have the three highest SEC athletic department budgets in the last Department of Education figures.  The smallest budgets in the league belonged to Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Mississippi State… which just so happened to rank in the bottom three for athletic success, too.  No shock there.

* The average SEC school had a Directors’ Cup score of 649 points last year and has been to 11 NCAA Tournaments/Bowls in the last 10 years.

* The average SEC school would tally 1201 points in our system which would rank right about 14th among the 35 schools we examined.

Up next, we’ll look at academics, overall brand and cultural fits in Part 9 of our series.

 


37 comments
Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

and it's 15 million dollar basketball practice building.

Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

That will change when ECU opens it's 23 million dollar olympic sports complex.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

HoustonVol...

That one's impossible to track. First -- like home attendance -- the bowl's never give out accurate numbers. Many of their tickets are returned by the schools and given to charity. The schools, however, have to buy them... even though many times they can't sell all of them.

The numbers would be really, really inflated and inaccurate. That's why we didn't use any attendance numbers.

Thanks as always for reading,
John

strickinms
strickinms

Hey John,
Don't you think that the beancounters at the SEC have already performed a study such as this? I think that the SEC already has a short list and has come up with this short list based on all factors that you have discussed in this article as well as many that you haven't considered. There is way too much money involved for the SEC not to be ready for any situation that could materialize. I think that you should spend your time and efforts on other topics. Not meant to be a smart ass but just stating my opinion.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I think the purpose of these articles is to give this type of information to the fans at large. I'm sure the officials at the SEC have taken this type of information and even more into account.

I think putting out info like this helps the average fan better understand what's going on behind the scenes. You keep seeing fans on this site and all the others basing their thoughts on all sorts of irrelevant factors. Putting stuff like this out there gives more people a better idea of what the SEC officials are thinking.

Much to the chagrin of Mama Nudos, this information serves a good purpose and is very helpful.

UofA72
UofA72

AllTideUp

Right on analysis and comment.

BTW, thanks for looking up the Mama Nudos thing the other day.

Stan Cardwell
Stan Cardwell

some more slanted stats - director's cup based on number of programs not "per capita" or average of the programs the school has. Again WVU is doing more with less - living within its means. With less football revenue, olympic sports suffer. All that changes when/if we get the money from a stable conference.

and if this is only ultimately about football, why spend so much energy looking at all sports - football and basketball - everything else is filler.

the intro to this series sounded promising, but the rankings have shown as much bias but covered by the "mask" of objective analysis.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Stan Cardwell...

We're just using easy to find data. It's not skewed. WVU ranks high in a category, I hear nothing from you. The rank low, and boom the data must be skewed and the author biased.

Come on. I don't even know who's going to finish on top of this. As we said from the start, this is just an exercise in showing people what will be important in presidents' decision-making processes. We're using a formula, but we've stated it's just for show and you can build your own. The point is the categories. And WVU scores high in some... low in others.

And you can debate it all you like, but my sources have said repeatedly that WVU is an SEC fallback at best. Not my call. I like WVU. And have stated it would be a good cultural fit. Of course, you've never commented on that, either.

John

jack
jack

I think this just makes ECU look bad. You need to project where ECU would be if was in the SEC and now had AQ status. That is what inclusion to the SEC would do.

jack
jack

Any chance you will post my comment?

Willie!T
Willie!T

Florida, Florida St, Georgia, USC, North Carolina, Duke = will one day comprise the new Eastern Division
Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Miss. St = will one day comprise the Central Division
LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Mizzou, Kansas = will one day comprise the Western Division

Three division champs. Throw in a "wildcard" & you can stage a mini playoff. OR, leave out the wildcard and stage 1 play-in game between the two lower-ranked div champs. Personally, I like the wildcard as it gives the #2s something to play for & if 1 play-in game for the SECCG is worth $$s, then two would be worth megabuck$!

If I am counting correctly, that's 8 AAU members, to satisfy the academics

NC, Duke, Kentucky, & Kansas give a solid, top tier in basketball. Recent success with the round ball by Florida, Mizzou, Tam all provide exciting roundball. historical LSU & Arkansas success and programs on the rise like Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama give mens roundball a pretty compelling conference TV lineup. with 18 teams, the conference tourney could just leave out the two bottom-dwellers OR stage 2 play-in games between the bottom 4 OR give the top 4 a first round bye. Either way, you can construct a bracket for basketball. With the prospect of a final four in the SEC tourney consisting of NC, Duke, Kentucky, & Kansas, the question isn't how many cable boxes are in the footprint, the question is will the SEC tourney upstage the NCAA's!

Willie!T
Willie!T

The thing is, Mike Slive doesn't have the vision (or kahunas) to pull something like this off. But if he can get Mizzou this round, maybe the NEXT commissioner will be able to complete the trifecta.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

My opinion is some who argue the lowest common denominator may just be trying to cover a fear or source. It is hard to find a 100% pure disinterested party when it comes to conference realignment because real schools will win, and others will fall down. The home pay sites like Chip have a vested interest in media that slants to the home team. Likewise, sites like ESPN benefit the most when the masses take a side and fight each other. It is great for ratings, but solves very little. While I may not agree with John @ MrSEC on all his points, I do applaud his methodical approach and getting beyond the ADD and micro text messages of the modern internet. If Chip Brown is the one eyed king, he indeed rules over the land of the blind.

I also believe that not hiding behind a pay wall leads to open discussion from across the nation, and hopefully a better understanding from folks living in the actual places involved. Having folks from the B1G, B12, PAC, SEC, ACC, and BE on on a single site communicating with each other and exchanging ideas is good for the fans of all schools as a whole. I may be "old school" but I would rather cheer my team than boo yours. This said, the trolls will still come, but fortunately in their arguments they expose themselves for who they are. I will step out on a limb to offer another possible explanation.

Back in 07, 08, and 09 there was already debate in B1G circles about conference realignment, and I read many in that group who believed they would land Notre Dame, Texas, TAMU (as a tag long "little brother" if they had to), UNC, and Duke. I kid you not! They were blind then, and that same group is blind now. Granted they are a minority in my opinion, but they are a vocal lot. Even then their thought was that Texas, TAMU, and OU would wind up in the PAC, and never in the SEC. Now TAMU has landed in the SEC and these folks (mixed in with some Texas fans who felt similar entitlement) are angry and lashing back. It is easier to attack "them" than to see the person at fault is "us". This is human nature in a nutshell so it is not unexpected. Reason does not work, and they are just a minority like an annoying fly in the presence of giants.

Mama Nudos, It would be great if MrSEC or any other site had the ability to track all things, but my guess is that would involve more staff, and more resources than MrSEC has at this time. I still think the Gold Star of stalking goes to the good folks of Oregon for not only tracking the planes, but having folks on the ground to see who was actually getting off. They were lucky tho because it just involved 1 plane, 1 person, and 1 airport. Realignment tracking would involve following at least a few dozen folks, across many states and locations.

HoustonVol, I agree that actual tickets and actual gate attendance are better metrics. It is a very good source of real fan support. Missouri lists 71,000 seats but they never break the top 25 in national attendance according to the NCAA. 95% of 71,000 is 67,450 (almost the exact seating of current SEC member Kentucky) yet Missouri never seems to beat UK attendance numbers. Contrast this with Virginia Tech making the Top 25 when their stadium only seats 66,000 and you can see there is better fan support based on actual ticket numbers, and not just empty seats. I do tend to agree, and stated so in an earlier response, that the Big 12 was really the Big 4 - UT, TAMU, OU, UNL - and now 2 of those 4 are gone.

I still believe the SEC stadiums a decade from now will average close to 90,000 (less Vandy) because small schools like USC and UK have some of the most optimistic fans in the country, as much as teams like Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Tennessee will be able to maintain Top 20 status over time. In any serious debate of future SEC members I still think the ability to seat 80,000 at home and put 10,000 on the road are not unreasonable metrics from the football end of the spectrum. Now that TAMU is SEC bound they are already talking about a 115,000 seat stadium in the near future, and like USC or UK, I have little doubt they will fail to fill it up in victory and in loss (50,000 students a year can put butts in the seats). Granted a school like UNC seating 60,000 could work, but they also bring an elite basketball team, and excellent academics. While I have not been on the road with Tar Heel football fans, I have been on the road with Tar Heel basketball fans. I can say with absolute certainty from firsthand experience that they travel in force.

Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

Do you really think UNC is going anywhere without Duke?

Enough!
Enough!

This series of articles is really interesting, but I would think you would want to provide additional weighting to schools that may actually want to move to the SEC. This is about Mizzou, WVU and maybe two ACC schools, not 35 other schools. There is no way on god's green earth the schools that continually top your lists are coming to the SEC. If Mizzou stays put, all indications are that WVU is next in line. Even WVU would prefer the ACC over the SEC, so get over yourselves already. I just think this whole series and rankings will look foolish when SEC offers membership to someone in the middle or bottom of your rankings. It will just show how off-base you were with a ranking system you obviously spent weeks or months developing.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Enough!...

We said in Part One that we were including so many schools just because anyone we left out... we'd get their fans hollering. Sure enough, I've had multiple requests for C-USA teams to be included.

We intend to discuss "fits" in the series and that will cull the herd.

As for being way off-base on these topics, again, I'll trust the network TV executive I've spoken to... the VP of a large media rights group I've spoken to... the sources at BCS schools outside the SEC who I've spoken to... the sources inside SEC schools who I've spoken to... and a couple of sources inside the SEC offices who I've spoken to.

If you don't like this over-simplified look at the areas that matter in expansion, that's fine. But ignore the categories at your own risk. I'll go with the multiple people I've spoken with on this topic.

John

UofA72
UofA72

John,

I've really enjoyed the 8 part (so far) series on expansion. You've collected a huge amount of information from a lot of sources and laid it out very well. Your research efforts are obvious, at least to those not trying to ignore it.

In regards to the SEC, nowhere else can you come to one source and find it all, along with links to see more Thanks for the great job!.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

John, here is an idea for one of your list - average number of fans that travel to away games, bowl games. I think bowl tickets would be easier to track than away games. There is a big stink down here about Baylor only selling 800 tickets to their game at A&M this year. I was having fun pointing out to the Baylor and A&M fans in my office the fact that Montana sold over a 1000 tickets to their game at UT this year, but Baylor could only sell 800 to A&M. Baylor to A&M a <2 hour drive (80 miles) from all of the major cities in Texas. Montana to Knoxville 2600 miles, or three flights. Baylor was outclassed by a FCS school. Any wonder why no conference wants them?

Willie!T
Willie!T

I completely buy the idea that Slive will stop at 14. After all, the formula that was conceived by Harvey Schiller & implemented by Roy Kramer has worked almost flawlessly for 18+ years. Keeping that formula for another 5-10 years is not unreasonable. Slive won't secure his legacy with such a move, but I don't think he has the kahunas to change the face of big-time college athletics the way Schiller & Kramer did.

Hopefully, he gets either Mizzou or FSU. These are the teams that position the SEC best for the next expansion opportunity. They fit neatly into the current format (FSU perhaps best now that Ta&m is on board), will grow revenue appropriately, and will provide some excitement in football & basketball.

The future expansion? well, in another 5-10 years, when it's time to change the world again, hopefully the SEC will have a visionary like Schiller at the helm.

Badgercat
Badgercat

Banter and chatter last night was all about WVU and an announcement tomorrow. W VA scribes seem to be all over it today as well. What you hearing John?

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

Seems pretty clear to me that of the teams who have not denied interest in the SEC, Florida State makes the most sense. They have an overall good athletics program and a rabid football following that would fit with SEC culture. Missouri is a fine school, but they are Midwestern, not Southern. I doubt they will bring a lot of fans with them on the road considering their closest road trip is a 5+ hour drive to Arkansas.

I understand the media market arguments, but if it was me, I would pick FSU.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Mizzou does not travel. None of the B12 schools do except OU, TU and A&M. That is going to be the biggest culture shock for A&M and College Station is the influx of fans for the games. I know that Houston and Dallas has two of the largest alumni chapters in the nation. We are all excited about being able to see our school play in Texas on a regular schedule.

deltaboy
deltaboy

I would pursue [in our own genteel way] FSU also. The clear remedy for the scheduling dilemma when we get to 14 schools is to go to a nine game conference schedule. SEC schools can easily replace one of their 3 or 4 annual cupcake games with another real game.

AnswersInBooks
AnswersInBooks

John,

If Mizzou is added, logically a team has to move the the East - most talk has been of Auburn. This kills one of two great rivalries, Iron Bowl or Third Saturday in October. Has anyone mentioned Mississippi St. as a possibility? While geographically it is not "East", its move would not kill these great rivalries. Mississippi St could keep Ole MIss as a cross-divisional rival and I looked at the total travel by road for fans using an online map service - if would be almost exactly the same if they stay in the West.

What is your thought about how to handle division realignment if #14 does come from the West?

Sorry in advance if you posted this before, I'm a new reader. This has become my go-to blog for SEC news. Keep up the great work.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Couple ideas:

1. Move Mizzou to the East

2. Move Auburn East (probably ends annual Third Saturday in October)

3. Move Auburn and Bama East, and move Vandy West (maintains rivalries but may stack the East too much)

AnswersInBooks
AnswersInBooks

I still think the Mississippi State move to the East will be the least painful.

@ MIZ_SEC
1) Mizzou recruuits in Texas and needs the exposure of Texas A&M. This won't happen.
2) This probably will happen, to the disgust of every college football fan.
3) This basically allows KSU to play for the title every year. East is way to powerful with this move.

The only move I see that allows Mizzou to play in Texas, save the rivalries and do minimal damage to the balance of power is Mississippi State to the East.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

MIZ_SEC...

I think Missouri would want to stay West. They recruit heavily in Texas and the SEC would love to add another potential rival for Arkansas as well.

The fact that we've already heard Auburn's president weigh in on a move East suggests that that's the most likely move. From what we've heard from our sources, everyone seems to believe AU would move East and that the league -- regardless of what coaches say -- would consider going to a 9-game schedule like the other major conferences.

Of course, that's contingent upon Mizzou leaving the Big 12 in the first place.

Thanks again,
John

Mama Nudos
Mama Nudos

Dear John,

Another text wall of public domain data? Do some real investigative reporting and get some real dirt on Team 14. Follow the paths of jet planes, follow Mike Slive, be on the phone 24/7 with lower-to-high level employees of potential expansion candidates ect.

Otherwise, you have nothing to "report".

Thanks,
Mama Nudos

UofA72
UofA72

Mama Nudos

You keep writing these "Dear John" letters, yet you keep coming back and back and back and back.

The only thing more stupid than constantly reading things you don't like is compulsively writing the same criticisms over and over.

What a loser!!!

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Mama, If you don't like the articles, then don't read them. Plus don't click on them to comment. Why because reading them and commenting on this shows that you are interested. I personally love these articles. Why? Not only does it allow us to gather information on schools that might be part of the SEC in the next year or two, it also allows me to compare my University to other schools. It allows me to see that the money that I donate might actually be doing some good to improve my university. So if you don't like this information please stop reading and commenting on it. We don't care, and I know that John does not care. He sees how much traffic is being generated by these articles and knows that it is paying off in increased readership, which leads to more advertising, which leads to more money for him.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Wow, what is your obsession with trolling this site? Is your life that terrible?

I don't understand why Mr. SEC doesn't IP ban some of the constant flamers. It really gets annoying having to wade through this crap in the comments section.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

MIZ_SEC...

When we ban people, they change IP addresses and come back and rip us for censorship. I've been called a "communist" more than a few times.

No win. Luckily, the majority of our readers hold college degrees and post-grad degrees. Sharp folks aren't likely to leave rants under every post.

Thanks for reading the site,
John

JaxGator
JaxGator

As the kids would say "U mad bro?"

The point of these articles, is to layout information on potential SEC members. I appreciate not having to dig up all of this info myself and put it into spreadsheets! This helps give us insights into potential schools and gives us a basis for discussion, and since this is the SEC, arguments!

Steve
Steve

No one seems to have sources regarding Missouri and their potential move to SEC. Even Chip Brown hasn't offered any clues.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

John,

Not surprised at MD with Yow at the helm, and UVA has always been an olympic sports type school. I might scratch the bottom 12 from the SEC, which includes Kansas with an elite basketball brand. KU being out of consideration for the B1G, PAC, and SEC may be the saddest school in conference realignment. The only thing they lack is a decent football team.

BamaWahoo
BamaWahoo

Actually, UVA has really built its olympic sports profile over the past decade or so. Before that we were great in Lacrosse and soccer but not so much in other Olympic sports. Our swimming, tennis, baseball, track and other success is rather new. Unfortunately, it has occurred while our basketball and football programs have suffered from coaching mishires. 20 years ago UVA was briefly #1 in football. When I was there in the mid 90s we beat FSU, beat Texas and were regularly top 20 and going to good bowls -- all while basketball won a regular season ACC title and nearly made the Final 4. I expect the commitment to Olympic sports to remain while our basketball and football (two straight top 25 recruiting classes) return to respectability.

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