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SI's America's Best Sports Colleges

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SI's America's Best Sports Colleges

Sports Illustrated combined a variety of factors in arriving at its 2002 rankings of Division I schools, including performance during the 2001-02 school year in the big five sports (baseball, football, hockey and men's and women basketball); position in the '01-'02 Sears Cup NCAA all-sports standings; number of varsity, club and intramural sports; range of recreational facilities; and whether or not spirit-boosting events like Midnight Madness were held.

1. Texas

2. Stanford

3. OKLAHOMA Sooners made men's and women's Final Fours and just missed BCS berth (football team finished No. 6). Gymnastics won NCAA title, wrestling was No. 3 and softball No. 8. School is on the rise, with rec facilities being upgraded (OU already has a top 10 golf course) and hot coaches in Bob Stoops (football) and Kelvin Sampson (basketball).

4. FLORIDA Loss of Steve Spurrier to NFL one of few setbacks in year that saw 11 Gators teams (including No. 3 football) finish in top 25. Excellent women's programs and rabid student fans, who make the Swamp a loud, nasty place to devour gridiron foes. Campus is a rec-sports dreamland: 85% of students play intramurals.

5. SOUTH CAROLINA Gamecocks finished No. 1 in women's track, No. 2 in baseball, No. 6 in women's basketball and No. 13 in football. A $48 million recreation center will open in February. Insiders say: "It's an exciting time to be a Carolina student. Thanks to Lou Holtz our football game has finally caught up to our tailgating game."

6. LSU Tigers won men's and women's track titles, finished No. 7 in football and led nation in baseball attendance for seventh straight season. Alum Shaquille O'Neal had a decent year too. Few college arenas rock harder than Tiger Stadium and the Deaf Dome. Insiders say: "The worst part is recovering from all the football parties."

7. MINNESOTA No surprise that hockey team won its fourth NCAA title, but wrestling squad won its second straight and unheralded Gophers golfers were national champs too. Nine other teams made top 25, including men's and women's cross-country and gymnastics. "The U" has glorious football history, invented cheerleading and has alums ranging from Bronko Nagurski to Yanni.

8. NORTH CAROLINA In fall season alone Tar Heels won national title in men's soccer, finished second in women's soccer and made top 20 in four other sports. Football team produced two of first six NFL draftees (Julius Peppers, Ryan Sims). Overall, 22 of 28 teams made NCAA postseason. Did someone mention men's basketball (8-20)? Didn't think so.

9. TENNESSEE On top of usual success in football (final rank: No. 4) and women's basketball (No. 3), Volunteers made top 5 in men's and women's tennis and men's track (won NCAA indoor championship). Knoxville school is so flush with sports riches that it has two Olympic-sized pools--and excellent swimmers to put in them.

10. MICHIGAN Wolverines led the nation in football attendance for 27th time in 28 years, and team made top 20. Ann Arbor was nirvana for both kinds of hockey: women won national title in field version and men were No. 4 on ice. Insiders say: "The best place to see a game here is Yost Ice Arena. It's the Cameron Indoor Stadium of college hockey."

11. UCLA SI's No. 1 school in '97 had 11 top 10 teams last year, but none in major sports; its 10 individual titles were all won by women

12. OHIO STATE Top 10 in eight sports; top 20 in hockey, hoops; students jump in freezing lake for good luck in football against Michigan

13. GEORGIA Five minor-sports teams made top 5; six NCAA individual champs; FB 8-4; has best rec center (430,000 sq. ft., three pools)

14. COLORADO Football rout of Nebraska made Buffaloes' year; won NCAA cross-country; top 10 in FB, women's hoops; Boulder running capital of U.S.

15. NOTRE DAME Baseball, both hoops teams made NCAAs; top 10 in six sports, but not football (5-6); intramurals include full-pads tackle FB

16. MIAMI National FB champs; baseball, four other teams made top 20; hoops wilted in NCAAs; fun IM: arena flag FB; beach 15 minutes away

17. NEBRASKA Top 10 in baseball, football, four women's sports; flag-FB hotbed; one bogey: Johnny Carson's alma mater dead last in Big 12 golf

18. ARIZONA Four top 5 women's teams (golf, softball v-ball, X-C); No. 10 in hoops; disabled sports big; Annika Sorenstam, Trevor Hoffman alums

19. DUKE Two top 5 hoops teams, No. 1 in women's golf, top 10 in lax, tennis; Achilles heel: FB (0-11); alums: Elton Brand, John Feinstein

20. OREGON No. 2 in football, No. 6 in hoops; $90 million FB stadium expansion; heavenly running trails; best sports-management school

21. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Won tennis, eight individual titles; No. 12 in baseball; first-round exit from hoops NCAAs; has most men's team championships (71)

22. ILLINOIS First school in 18 years to sweep Big Ten FB and hoops titles; Orange Krush fans rule; claims to have invented homecoming (1910)

23. INDIANA Knight-less Hoosiers runners-up at Final Four; IU also took second in NCAA soccer; 50 club sports; Little 500 bike race a gem

24. MARYLAND Terps' best combined showing in hoops (1st), FB (10th); women No. 2 in field hockey, No. 8 in lax; alums: Steve Francis, Connie Chung

25. ARIZONA STATE Alma mater of Barry Bonds, Phil Mickelson top 20 in baseball, golf, seven other sports; fans toss tortillas when FB team scores

26. ALABAMA No. 1 in gymnastics; top 15 in baseball, hoops; FB zapped by NCAA probation; NFL draftees every year since '71 (four in '02)

27. CLEMSON Tigers top 5 in baseball, golf, track; FB won a minor bowl; engineering students took national concrete canoe championship

28. BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougar women won NCAA cross-country, made hoops Sweet 16; FB ranked No. 24; Salt Lake Olympics added sizzle to Provo

29. MICHIGAN STATE No. 8 hockey team drew record 74,554 for game in FB stadium; hoops made NCAAs; Izzone hoops cheering section good 'n rowdy

30. FLORIDA STATE Politically incorrect Seminoles top 15 in FB, baseball, softball; spending $107 million on facilities renovations; IM go-kart racing

31. CONNECTICUT Women's hoops (39-0) may have been best college team ever, men made Elite Eight; FB (2-9) struggling since move up to I-A in '99

32. WASHINGTON Had 11 top 20 teams; home of "sailgating": No. 5 rowers shuttled fans from boats to lakeside stadium to watch No. 19 FB team

33. AUBURN No. 1 in women's swimming, top 20 in seven other sports; hoops last in SEC; campus museum has Charles Barkley mannequin

34. CALIFORNIA Awful (1-10) in FB, but No. 1 in softball, rugby, crew; top 20 in 10 other sports; swimmer Natalie Coughlin a future Olympic star

35. ARKANSAS Nolan Richardson fiasco shook Hogs hoops, but seven other teams made top 20; FB lost Cotton Bowl; slew of new sports facilities

36. GEORGIA TECH No. 2 in golf, No. 5 in baseball, top 25 in softball, FB; rec center (which houses '96 Olympic pool) tripled to 300,000 sq. ft.

37. WISCONSIN Top 10 in X-C, women's v-ball; both hoops teams in NCAAs; no bowl game for first time since '96; invented hockey's "sieve!" chant

38. VIRGINIA Seven top 10 teams; women's hoops made NCAAs; three alums were on U.S. World Cup squad; 94% of students use A+ rec facilities

39. WAKE FOREST Deacons made hoops, baseball NCAAs; Bea Bielik won women's tennis title; strong IMs; students "roll the quad" with TP after big wins

40. PENN STATE No. 1 fencers among five top 10 teams, but gridders 5-6, hoopsters 7-21; Christie Welsh national soccer player of year

41. HARVARD Most varsity teams of any school (41); hockey finished No. 13; Ivy champ FB team had first perfect season (9-0) since 1913

42. TEXAS TECH Bob Knight's hiring has boosted enrollment applications, donations; coming: new golf course, $84 million fix-up of FB facilities

43. BAYLOR Women's hoops, three other teams made top 20; strong intramurals (80% participate); Quartermiler U produced Michael Johnson

44. KENTUCKY Top 10 in tennis, riflery; basketball team made Sweet 16; football decline: from Tim Couch to 2-9, NCAA probation

45. RICE No. 6 in baseball, top 25 in women's track, swimming; inventive Marching Owl Band (MOB) tooted horns to 8-4 FB season

46. TEXAS A&M Top 10 in four sports; FB 8-4; 20,000-plus fans go to Midnight Yell Practice before football games; superb rec center

47. PURDUE Alma mater of 22 astronauts launched four teams into top 20, including women's hoops; two campus golf courses; IM home run derby

48. WASHINGTON STATE No. 10 in FB, top 20 in women's track; hot new rec center; has logger-sports club; Drew Bledsoe, Keith Jackson alums

49. KANSAS Reached Final Four; unsurpassed at Midnight Madness; Wilt's alma mater; James Naismith buried five miles from campus

50. PEPPERDINE Amazing success for school of 3,000: both hoops teams made NCAAs, top 10 in four sports; Malibu campus overlooks Pacific

51. MISSISSIPPI STATE John Grisham's alma mater No. 21 in hoops, top 20 in tennis, track; offers prized degree in sports-turf management

52. CINCINNATI Finished No. 8 in hoops; perennial No. 1 in--surprise!--intercollegiate cricket; plans major upgrade of weak rec facilities

53. KANSAS STATE Women made top 20 in hoops, track, v-ball, but FB fell from 11-3 to 6-6; Harleys circle stadium before annual biker-tribute FB game

54. BOSTON COLLEGE Both hoops teams made NCAAs; No. 21 in FB; 2,000-plus students drive 15 hours to South Bend when BC plays Notre Dame in FB

55. MISSOURI Quin Snyder-led hoops team No. 15; indoor track, wrestling, women's gymnastics also made top 20; Sheryl Crow, Brad Pitt alums

56. PRINCETON Top Ivy (21st) in NCAA all-sports rankings, but FB 3-6, hockey 11-18, hoops missed Big Dance; women No. 1 in lacrosse, men No. 2

57. NORTH CAROLINA STATE Hoops No. 25; rising FB program; golf, both four-star generals than any school but Army

58. SYRACUSE NCAA champ in lacrosse, No. 14 in FB; four top 20 women's teams; zip code is 13244 to honor 44 worn by Jim Brown and others

59. KENT STATE Hoops team made Cinderella run to Elite Eight; Golden Flashes No. 9 in field hockey; alma mater of Lou Holtz and Arsenio Hall

60. OKLAHOMA STATE Four top 20 teams, including wrestling (5th); hoops made NCAAs; FB 4-7 but beat hated Oklahoma; Cowboys have ice hockey club

61. IOWA STATE Best college wrestler ever, Cael Sanderson (159-0), led Cyclones grapplers to No. 2 finish; four women's teams made top 20

62. IOWA Wrestling 4th at NCAAs, gymnastics 5th; three other top 25 teams; FB won Alamo Bowl; John Irving, Tom Brokaw alums

63. VANDERBILT Commodores had five top 20 teams, led by No. 5 women's basketball; only SEC school ranked in U.S. News academic top 25

64. TCU Alma mater of Dan Jenkins made top 25 in golf, women's hoops, women's tennis; Horned Frogs blow 120-decibel train horn after wins

65. UTAH Women 3rd in skiing, 4th in gymnastics, 15th in v-ball; FB won Vegas Bowl; hoops made NCAAs; dorms were Olympic village

66. HAWAII Rainbows No. 1 in men's volleyball, No. 13 in women's; hoops made NCAAs; FB 9-3; fans wave fronds for luck; no surfing club

67. PITTSBURGH Hoops made Sweet 16; improved 7-5 FB team; top 25 swim squad; was first school to wear numbers on FB jerseys (1908)

68. COLORADO STATE Three women's teams made top 25 (hoops, volleyball, X-C); Rams' FB squad played in its third straight bowl; good rodeo club

69. NORTHERN IOWA Panthers reached I-AA FB semis; top 20 in three sports; women's rugby won second straight D-II title; Kurt Warner an alum

70. MAINE Bears were No. 2 in hockey, made NCAAs in baseball, I-AA FB; school sports events aired on Stephen King-owned radio station

71. FRESNO STATE Produced No. 1 NFL pick David Carr, Clippers first-rounder Melvin Ely, three-time 125-lb. wrestling champ Stephen Abas

72. PENN Hoops made NCAAs; FB 8-1; No. 9 in fencing, No. 11 in wrestling; fans like to throw toast; new rec center has golf simulator

73. DENVER Who needs a FB team? Winter-sport power won third straight skiing title, finished No. 5 in hockey, No. 14 in women's gymnastics

74. CORNELL No. 9 in hockey; both lax teams made top 5; No. 1 in women's polo; has America's biggest indoor natural-rock climbing wall

75. MONTANA I-AA FB champ; hoops made NCAAs; great school for skiing, hiking, fishing; alums: Carroll O'Connor, Marty Mornhinweg

76. BOSTON UNIVERSITY Terriers No. 6 in hockey, No. 16 in women's X-C; men's hoops made NCAAs; alum Mike Eruzione lit Salt Lake Olympic cauldron

77. VILLANOVA Women's hoops made NCAAs; top 10 in X-C, indoor track; Atlantic 10 FB champ; athlete in every Summer Olympics since '48

78. VIRGINIA TECH Top 20 in tennis, FB, golf; only school known as Hokies; FB fans do hokeypokey after third quarter; had eight NFL draftees in '02

79. NEW HAMPSHIRE Wildcats 3rd in hockey, 9th in skiing; strong in women's gymnastics; top team in Hockey East's new women's division

80. NORTHERN ARIZONA Top 15 in X-C; Harleys lead I-AA playoff FB team into stadium; four NFL coaches were Lumberjacks assistants; 7,000-foot altitude

81. SOUTH FLORIDA Bulls made top 25 in baseball, three other sports; fun IM: Average Joe Olympics (FB throw, etc.); Gigi Fernandez tennis coach

82. FURMAN Paladins No. 2 in I-AA FB; LPGAers Betsy King, Dottie Pepper, Beth Daniels alums of small S.C. school; cheer: "FU all the time!"

83. MISSISSIPPI Rebels No. 9 in tennis; hoops made NCAAs; Eli Manning-QB'd FB team went 7-4; catchy but nonsensical "Hotty Toddy" cheer

84. SMU Life after Death Penalty: three top 10s (track, soccer, women's swimming), four NCAA individual titles; 15 hoops wins; FB 4-7

85. HOUSTON Baseball was No. 10, women's swimming No. 22; two NCAA individual diving titles; spiffy new rec center; FB a disaster (0-11)

86. GEORGIA SOUTHERN Six-time I-AA FB champ Eagles made '01 semis; third straight trip to baseball NCAAs; FB field known for swarms of gnats

87. FLORIDA ATLANTIC Owls' hoops, baseball teams made NCAAs; Boca Raton school has palm-tree-lined fields; paintball club; Carrot Top an alum

88. GEORGETOWN Paul Tagliabue's alma mater 0-6 in Patriot League FB (3-7 overall); hoops went 19-11; women made top 5 in lacrosse, X-C

89. NORTHWESTERN Top 20 in swimming, women's tennis, but FB crashed (4-7); odd tradition: throwing marshmallows into tuba at FB games

90. TULANE Made NCAAs in baseball, women's hoops; set college baseball crowd record (27,673 in Superdome in April); FB fell to 3-9

91. LOUISVILLE FB won Liberty Bowl; baseball made NCAAs; No. 2 in hoops attendance behind Kentucky; Poland's ex-national coach runs fencing club

92. BROWN Champs in women's rowing, No. 2 in women's ice hockey; major facility upgrades under way; alums: Joe Paterno, Ted Turner, Chris Berman

93. NEW MEXICO No. 4 in skiing; women's basketball made NCAAs; has rodeo club, intramural mountaineering; the Pit is a classic arena

94. TULSA Both golf teams in top 12; hoops made NCAAs; FB 1-10; sometimes fills school swim pool with bass for intramural fishing

95. YALE Lightweight crew, fencer Sada Jacobsen NCAA champs; No. 13 in women's X-C; great golf course; Dick Ebersol an alum

96. TOLEDO Rockets 23rd in FB, 14th in golf; dorms right next to stadium; FB video-game tournament popular; Blue Crew fans don Jason masks

97. LIBERTY Jerry Falwell-founded Va. school made women's hoops NCAAs; 15th in women's track; 3-8 in I-AA FB; 3rd in national flag FB

98. UNLV Women's hoops went to NCAAs, men to NIT; top 25 golf team; strength coach Mark Philippi holds America's Strongest Man title

99. RUTGERS David Stern's school 18-13 in basketball; top 10 in soccer, fencing; FB went 2-9; pedal-car derby an offbeat intramural

100. WICHITA STATE Shockers top 20 in baseball, top 40 in track; mediocre hoops team draws 8,300 a game; 12 national bowling titles; alum: Bill Parcells

101. XAVIER Hot hoops program made NCAAs, had best record ever (25-5); women's riflery team No. 3 in nation; Cincy school has no FB team

102. EAST CAROLINA Baseball made NCAA regional; FB played in GMAC Bowl; Greenville, N.C., school has snowboarding club; fans dress as Pirates

103. CAL STATE-FULLERTON Southern Calif. school made baseball NCAAs; No. 9 in softball, top 25 in women's fencing and gymnastics; alum: Phil Nevin

104. OLD DOMINION Storied women's hoops program; Monarchs made Elite Eight in '02; new arena set to open; No. 1 in women's sailing; no FB

105. WEST VIRGINIA Mountaineers No. 7 in riflery; mascot shoots musket; 13th in wrestling, 19th in women's gymnastics; Country Road played after wins

106. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL Five teams made NCAAs, including baseball, women's basketball; launched FB (I-AA); students from 144 nations; alum: Pat Bradley

107. LONG BEACH STATE Top 30 baseball team known as Dirtbags at Jason Giambi's alma mater; No. 2 in women's v-ball; has beach-bowling club

108. DARTMOUTH Seventh in skiing, 13th in women's soccer; FB 1-8; 34 varsity teams; Winter Carnival a snow-and-ice sportsfest; alum: Jay Fiedler

109. AIR FORCE Top 40 in four sports; all 4,000 cadets march on field at every FB game; all must play a club, IM or varsity sport every semester

110. OREGON STATE Top 20 in women's gymnastics, softball; losing year in FB, hoops; 26 clubs include four for different styles of horseback riding

111. RICHMOND Spiders baseball team No. 16; hoops made NIT; FB rivalry with William & Mary is South's oldest; alums: Sean Casey, Brian Jordan

112. WILLIAM & MARY Tribe reached I-AA FB playoffs; stadium designed for both FB and livestock shows; IMG founder Mark McCormack an alum

113. SOUTH ALABAMA Baseball, golf, both tennis teams made NCAAs; Jaguars to launch FB in '04; Luis Gonzalez an alum; chant: "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

114. CENTRAL MICHIGAN Chippewas finished in top 25 in softball, women's gymnastics; alma mater of Dick Enberg, Dan Majerle; school has no mascot

115. JAMES MADISON Dukes made NCAA baseball regionals; spelunking club explores Virginia caves; more sports (28) than most schools

116. ST. JOHN'S (N.Y.) Red Storm made hoops NCAAs; No. 3 in soccer; three fencers won national titles; alums: Mario Cuomo, Jayson Williams

117. SAN JOSE STATE No. 24 in women's v-ball, No. 25 in baseball; judo powerhouse; rarity: most of FB staff is black; Bill Walsh, Dick Vermeil alums

118. MARQUETTE Top 20 in hoops, women's X-C; women's soccer made NCAAs; used to have IM event combining sumo and slam dunk contest

119. PORTLAND Alma mater of Kasey Keller, Tiffany Milbrett made both soccer NCAAs; top 10 in X-C; one-fifth the size of rival Portland State

120. PACIFIC Tigers from Calif. No. 9 in women's v-ball, top 25 in golf; fans paint bodies orange; alums: agents Scott Boras, Leonard Armato

121. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS Hoops made Sweet 16 but FB went 1-10; holds cardboard-boat regatta; roller-hockey is big; Walt Frazier, Steve Finley alums

122. NEVADA Reno school finished No. 6 in skiing, No. 10 in riflery; three NCAA individual champs; boxing club faces foes like Air Force

123. MASSACHUSETTS No. 1 overall in Atlantic 10; five Minutemen teams made top 20, including lax (5th), field hockey (9th), gymnastics (9th)

124. SANTA CLARA Brandi Chastain's alma mater won NCAA women's soccer title; just renovated arena where Steve Nash played his college hoops

125. WESTERN KENTUCKY FB made I-AA playoffs, basketball made NCAAs; flourishing intramurals program includes Ugly Pants golf tournament

126. SAN DIEGO STATE Basketball made NCAAs; both tennis teams in top 40; Tony Gwynn is baseball coach; Marshall Faulk, Joe Gibbs are alums

127. UC SANTA BARBARA Jim Rome's school made NCAAs in men's, women's hoops; surfing big on oceanfront campus; Gauchos band even plays surf tunes

128. CENTRAL FLORIDA Atlantic Sun's No. 1 athletic school made baseball NCAAs, had winning records in all major sports; alum: Daunte Culpepper

129. EASTERN ILLINOIS No. 1 overall in Ohio Valley Conf.; football made I-AA playoffs; women's sports strong; alums: Mike Shanahan, John Malkovich

130. VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH Richmond school made baseball NCAAs; both tennis teams finished in top 20; no FB; Tigers catcher Brandon Inge an alum

131. SOUTHERN-BATON ROUGE Jaguars won SWAC titles in seven sports, including women's hoops; FB 7-4; four players drafted from 45-10 baseball team

132. LEHIGH FB unbeaten until loss in I-AA playoffs; Rob Rohn NCAA 184-pound wrestling champ; set school record for baseball wins (29)

133. SOUTHWEST MISSOURI STATE Made NCAAs in baseball; winning records in all major sports; 6-5 best FB mark since '96; Bill Mueller, John Goodman alums

134. ORAL ROBERTS No. 1 sports school in Mid-Continent; made baseball NCAAs; Frank Lloyd Wright designed arena; Kathy Lee Gifford an alum

135. BOISE STATE Top 25 in wrestling, women's gymnastics; blue artificial turf for FB; winners of IM Toilet Bowl game get names etched on toilet

136. APPALACHIAN STATE FB-minded N.C. school made I-AA playoffs; fans jump in pond after wins; good for rock climbing, whitewater rafting

137. GONZAGA Zags from Spokane finished No. 16 in basketball, made soccer NCAAs; no football team; John Stockton an alum

138. MARSHALL Randy Moss's W.Va. alma mater went 11-2 to win MAC FB title; alum LeeAnn Parsley took silver medal in skeleton at Salt Lake

139. PROVIDENCE Two top 10 X-C teams; women's hockey won ECAC title; no FB or baseball; alums: Lenny Wilkens, Lou Lamoriello

140. MURRAY STATE Ky. school made hoops NCAAs; No. 4 in women's riflery; thoroughbred circles track before Racers home football games

141. AMERICAN D.C. school No. 14 in soccer; regular-season hoops champ in Patriot League; students from 165 countries, athletes from a dozen

142. DRAKE Women made Sweet 16; Iowa school's last losing FB season was '91 (team 5-5 in '01); students do street paintings for annual relays

143. TEMPLE Women's hoops (coached by two-time Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley) made NCAAs, men the NIT; 15th in women's lax

144. UNC WILMINGTON Seahawks made basketball NCAAs for fourth time in five years; has intramural par-3 golf; students surf in nearby Atlantic

145. ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM Blazers ninth in soccer, third in synchro swimming; students love Friday golf IM; DE Bryan Thomas N.Y. Jets' No. 1 pick in '02

146. ARMY Cadets beat Navy in football; top men's sports program in Patriot League; Michie Stadium gorgeous setting for FB

147. MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY Perennial No. 1 sports school in Northeast Conf.; made round of 16 in NCAA women's lax; No. 22 in women's indoor track; no FB

148. NAVY FB winless, but baseball made NCAAs; Middies 116-38-2 vs. Army in all sports over last five years; 85% earned HS letters

149. SAN DIEGO San Diego State's much smaller rival made baseball NCAAs; top 25 in soccer, women's v-ball; has giant blowup matador mascot

150. CREIGHTON Both hoops teams made NCAAs; top 40 in soccer; Bob Gibson, Paul Silas alums; Neb. school has annual all-night v-ball for charity

151. McNEESE STATE Cowboys made I-AA FB playoffs, hoops NCAAs; fans ring cowbells; La. school has IM field goal kicking; alum: Joe Dumars

152. SETON HALL Pirates from N.J. top 20 in soccer; hoops went only 12-18; no FB team; alums: Dick Vitale, Mo Vaughn, Matt Morris

153. CAL POLY-SAN LUIS OBISPO Alma mater of John Madden and Bobby Beathard made I-AA FB playoffs; Ozzie Smith went here too; minutes from beach

154. MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE Blue Raiders top 40 in tennis; 8-3 in third season of I-A FB; tailgating centers on converted school bus called Hillbilly Hilton

155. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE Ron Guidry's alma mater made NCAAs in baseball, softball; hoops made NIT; Ragin' Cajuns fans do funky Hot Boudin chant

156. WEBER STATE Utah school won Big Sky's all-sports trophy; women's hoops made NCAAs; top rodeo club; avg. student is 25-year-old commuter

157. LOUISIANA TECH WAC FB champ; women's hoops made NCAAs but lost famed coach Leon Barmore; powerlifting club a perennial national champ

158. DAYTON Alma mater of Jon Gruden and Chuck Noll had 25th straight winning FB season; hoops made NIT; renovated arena to open in Nov.

159. TENNESSEE TECH No. 23 in I-AA FB, No. 5 in riflery; hoops teams a combined 37-11; fans cover court with blizzard of tissues after big wins

160. HOFSTRA N.Y. school made I-AA playoffs; site of Jets' training camp; teams known as both Flying Dutchmen and Pride; Wayne Chrebet an alum

161. UTAH STATE Aggies finished No. 17 in women's volleyball; wideout Kevin Curtis led nation in passes caught; outdoorsy school has rodeo club

162. ILLINOIS-CHICAGO Hoops made NCAAs; baseball went 39-16; teams are called the Flames for the city's famous fire; a torch is lit before home games

163. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT Finished No. 3 in men's and women's water polo; good rugby club; ghost of Hank Gathers said to haunt Gersten Pavilion

164. BUTLER Best sports school in Horizon; No. 23 in X-C, top 40 in tennis, soccer; Hinkle arena site of high school upset portrayed in Hoosiers

165. LOYOLA COLLEGE (MD.) Jim McKay's alma mater was 10th in soccer; dog-pound hoops fans; oldest of the four schools that are named Loyola; no football

166. COLUMBIA Lions No. 5 in fencing, No. 22 in women's X-C; students ride subway to rec, FB fields 100 blocks away; Lou Gehrig an alum

167. SAM HOUSTON STATE Dan Rather's alma mater made I-AA FB quarterfinals; ROTC relay-runs game ball to Stephen F. Austin for rivalry matchup

168. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN Great bass fishing club; Lumberjacks (cheer: "Ax 'em, Jacks!") made women's hoops NCAAs for 14th consecutive year

169. WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE Top 40 in soccer, women's v-ball, baseball; best overall in Horizon two years ago; no FB; alum: U.S. World Cupper Tony Sanneh

170. NEW MEXICO STATE Rich Beem's alma mater; made NCAA baseball regionals; has intramural X Games; rings large bell when FB team scores

171. VERMONT Catamounts No. 5 in skiing; hoops teams a combined 44-17; good snowboarding club; Phish lead singer has hockey season tickets

172. NORTHWESTERN STATE Made I-AA FB playoffs; baseball 43-17; La. school competitive in nearly all sports; cheer: "Fork 'em, Demons!"

173. ILLINOIS STATE Top 40 in women's gymnastics; had NCAA indoor mile champ; new athletes get torchlit sports-history tour of campus

174. COASTAL CAROLINA Baseball made NCAAs; soccer in top 40; will launch FB (I-AA) in '03; 140 golf courses within 45 miles of S.C. campus

175. OHIO No. 9 in field hockey; top 30 in wrestling; hoops went 17-11; has 30 club sports; alums include Mike Schmidt, Bob Brenly

176. MEMPHIS Dajuan Wagner led hoops to NIT title, then split for NBA; top 40 in women's golf; FB team 5-6; tiger mascot lives on campus

177. CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE Made NCAAs in hoops, baseball, golf; had first NBA draftee (Corsley Edwards, Kings); alums: coaches Dave Campo, Mike Sherman

178. NORTHERN ILLINOIS Top 40 in wrestling, women's volleyball; fans shake keys at kickoff; new hoops arena; alum is voice of Homer Simpson

179. FLORIDA A&M Rattlers made I-AA FB playoffs; top 40 in women's v-ball; dazzling marching band; alums include Althea Gibson, Bob Hayes

180. WYOMING Men's hoops made NCAAs; student groups compete pushing car up stadium ramp; nation's highest campus (7,220 feet)

181. BALL STATE David Letterman's Indiana alma mater No. 3 in volleyball, top 40 in tennis; both hoops teams won 23-plus games, made NIT

182. HAMPTON Historically black Va. school No. 1 overall in MEAC women's sports; men's hoops made NCAAs; FB 7-4; tennis teams top 40

183. BOWLING GREEN One of six schools with at least eight D-I FB victories and 24 hoops wins in '01-02; students do Zulu war chant at games

184. SOUTHWEST TEXAS Bobcats won all-sports title in Southland Conf.; women's soccer made NCAAs; fan group brings wooden cow to games

185. GEORGE WASHINGTON Baseball made NCAAs; has only bowling lanes in D.C., except ones at White House; IMs played near Washington Monument

186. IDAHO Jerry Kramer's school 1-10 in FB but 108thv in NCAA all-sports rankings; decathlete Dan O'Brien an alum too; track finished No. 17

187. TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA Mocs (shortened from old nickname, Moccasins) made NCAAs in women's hoops; 17th in softball; alma mater of Terrell Owens

188. BUCKNELL Bison made top 40 in women's soccer and women's hoops; No. 1 overall in Patriot League; streaking tradition at lacrosse games

189. IDAHO STATE Bengals made NCAAs in women's soccer; 117th in all-sports rankings; some fans toss spuds; Stacy Dragila, Marvin Lewis alums

190. MIAMI (OHIO) No. 17 in women's soccer; synchro skating team No. 2 in world; FB 7-5; student fans wear red-and-white hardhats

191. MARIST Red Foxes from upstate N.Y. made baseball NCAAs; hoops 19-9; No. 1 sports school in MAAC for last four years; alum: Rik Smits

192. EASTERN MICHIGAN Eagles finished 19th in NCAA track: Boaz Cheboiywo won X-C and 10,000-meter titles; George Gervin, Charlie Batch alums

193. GEORGE MASON Patriots from Va. scored at swimming, wrestling NCAAs; have made postseason in hoops three of last four years (NIT in '02)

194. VALPARAISO Small Ind. school reached basketball NCAAs for sixth time in seven years; women made NIT; alum: Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon

195. DAVIDSON Basketball made NCAAs; 25% of 1,672 undergrads on varsity teams; high-SAT student body taunts foes: "We're not stu-pid!"

196. WINTHROP S.C. school made hoops NCAAs; top 40 in women's tennis; nation's best Frisbee golf course; 350-acre complex of fields, gyms

197. HOLY CROSS Basketball double: men to NCAAs, women to NIT; only New England school with College World Series title ('52); Bob Cousy an alum

198. UNC CHARLOTTE Made NCAAs in men's hoops, NIT in women's; top 5 cheerleaders; fans put basketballs on heads, paint faces green

199. UC IRVINE Second straight 20-win hoops season; two drafted from 33-26 baseball team; no FB; ex-Anteaters: Greg Louganis, Brady Anderson

200. ST. PETER'S I-AA FB team went 10-1; women's hoops made NCAAs; mini-Olympics part of lively intramurals program at N.J. school

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By Gene Menez, Sports Illustrated

For the record this was not my idea. One of the bigwigs at told me to put together a quick piece on my years at the University of Texas so that people can learn why the magazine has selected the school as the No. 1 athletic program in the country. "Uh, well," I began hesitantly, "when I went to school, it wasn't exactly ..."

"Great," he said. "Have it in by Tuesday."

So I canceled a tee time and started sifting through my sad collection of dusty newspaper clips (I worked all four years at the school paper, The Daily Texan), media guides and press credentials in the hope I'd find something helpful. The search only confirmed what I had thought: My stay at Texas (1991-'95) was the worst time to attend school there.

The football team lost all four games to Texas A&M, went to one bowl game, lost to TCU and Rice, and earned a share of just one conference championship -- and that only because Texas A&M was on probation. (The team went to the Cotton Bowl the year before I arrived and to the Sugar Bowl the year after I left.) Coach Tom Penders and the men's basketball team, which I covered for the paper in 1994, reached the Elite Eight in 1990 and the Sweet 16 in 1991, but never got past the second round while I was there. Neither did coach Jody Conradt 's women's basketball squad, which always had advanced deep in the tournament before I arrived. The baseball team was solid but not special, going to the College World Series twice but never winning it all.

In short, being a Texas student and fan those four years was like being a fan of good music in the late '80s (U2 notwithstanding). No question things have improved significantly and the university deserves to be No. 1 in our very scientific analysis. But had the rankings been made while I was in school, I'm not sure Texas even would have qualified as "Others receiving votes."

Still, there are moments I'll never forget. On the eve of the Texas-Oklahoma football game in 1992, while reveling with hundreds of others at the Across the Street bar in Dallas, I saw a member of the UT golf team quickly maneuver his way toward a portable toilet. But instead of going inside, he ducked to the left and vomited next to it. His course management has improved greatly; he's now on the PGA Tour.

In the spring semester in 1993 I was in drama class completing the end-of-the-year course/teacher evaluation form when I looked to my right and saw one of the players from the football team trying to copy my responses. He thought it was a test.

During spring football practice in March 1992 three suspended players, who had been charged with misdemeanors stemming from a fight, unexpectedly returned to the team. After practice John Mackovic , three months into his tenure as coach, fielded questions from other reporters about why the players had been reinstated. I asked, "Were their charges dropped?" and Mackovic glared at me as if I had just moved his wine collection to a boiler room. He then turned to another reporter and said, about me, "This guy is going to go somewhere." It was only after a few months of witnessing Mackovic's contempt for the local media that I learned he did not mean that as a compliment.

Nonetheless, I wouldn't trade my four years of college for Vin Diesel 's black book. The education was first-class; Austin, by far the best city in Texas, rocked. And if I ever want to experience a winning, big-time college athletic program, there's always grad school.

Hook 'em.

Sports Illustrated reporter Gene Menez is a 1995 graduate of the University of Texas.

By Kelli Anderson, Sports Illustrated

Stanford, a jock school? The sprawling athletic empire that Sports Illustrated just named the No. 2 program in the country is far removed from the place I attended back in the 1980s. The Sears Trophy hadn't been invented, the campus did not have a fitness center (but there was a bowling alley, a much more suitable venue for smoking the cheap cigars and drinking the generic beer favored by fitness-minded students at the time), and the idea of students camping out to secure men's basketball tickets -- as they did a few years ago -- was laughable. Sure, the Cardinal was spectacularly successful at the so-called country-club sports like swimming, tennis and golf. But many other teams, it seemed, tried to fill out their rosters at registration. Responding to flyers or personal entreaties, I played rugby for a semester and participated in practices for crew, water polo and ultimate frisbee -- four club sports I had no experience in nor any particular talent for. Everything I touched, apparently, cried out for upgrades. Women's crew and water polo are now serious varsity sports (the latter was national champion last year), and rugby and frisbee are serious club sports that have also won national titles.

The major sports were also a lot more casual in my day, at least from the spectators' point of view. In my four years at the Farm, the men's basketball team had only one winning season, the women just two. I didn't even know what the NCAA tournament was until long after I had picked up my diploma. Tickets? Not a problem, especially if one followed a friend's sensible, time-saving plan: If the men's basketball team was within 20 points at halftime, he would depart Green Library and mosey on down to Maples to grab a seat -- any seat -- for the second half.

Then, as now, football was the main draw for students, though not because the results on the gridiron were any less mediocre than those on the hardwood. With John Elway at quarterback, however, winning was often a possibility. My freshman year, the only winning season I saw as a student, we had a small hope for a Rose Bowl bid, but only because half of the Pac-10 was on probation. Two years later the Cardinal flirted with another winning season and a bid to the Hall of Fame Bowl. To the Stanford Band -- of which I was a member -- this meant a holiday road trip to an exotic locale: Birmingham, Ala. All the Cardinal had to do was beat Cal in the Big Game at Berkeley, a feat that has been pulled off with thumping regularity in the past decade but was a much trickier task during my dark era.

As has been recorded in legend, the 1982 Big Game was a classic, even before its mind-bending ending. In what would be his last college game, Elway engineered a thrilling, last-minute drive for a 35-yard field goal that put Stanford ahead 20-19 with four seconds to go. We musicians, all wearing white hard hats to fend off the frozen citrus the hospitality-challenged Cal students loved to throw at us, were happily milling about the end zone as Stanford kicked off. We were going to a bowl game! In Birmingham!

But then The Play happened: Cal's impossible, five-lateral charge through the band that ended in a game-winning touchdown for the Bears and a crushed trombone -- and enduring celebrity -- for my friend Gary Tyrrell . Perhaps my most indelible sports memory from college was watching Elway and Stanford coach Paul Wiggin stalk by me that afternoon, murderously pissed off. The band eventually was exonerated from blame, and even Wiggin and Elway learned to laugh again, years later. But another soft spot in the Stanford athletic department had been exposed, and I, naturally, was part of it. As one spectator was quoted in SI a year later, "It appeared to me that the weakest part of the Stanford defense was the woodwinds." I have no doubt that unit has since been upgraded, too.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Kelli Anderson is a 1984 graduate of Stanford University.

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Old 10-04-02, 04:29 AM
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Frankly, I'm pretty surprised Texas is #1. I haven't finished reading all the articles in SI yet, but off the top of my head I would've thought #1 would be Stanford, UCLA, or Michigan.

Hawaii is the top WAC team! Woohoo! Yes, it's the WAC and the WAC sucks, but hey, we'll take what we can get!

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Old 10-04-02, 08:22 AM
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i am kinda surprised that my alma mater made it to #43. they need to just ditch the football team.
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Old 10-04-02, 09:33 AM
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Being an Oklahoma fan, I'd like to say I have an issue with Texas being #1, but I can't. Uggh.
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Old 10-04-02, 09:36 AM
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Well, at least the Terps have a hell of a Women's Field Hockey Team. That will indeed be comfort for the fans during the current football and upcoming basketball seasons.
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Old 10-04-02, 09:41 AM
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They consider lacrosse a sport?
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Old 10-04-02, 09:45 AM
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St. Peters SUCKS!!!
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Old 10-04-02, 10:20 AM
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My alma mater is #188!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Go Bison!
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Old 10-04-02, 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Red Dog
My alma mater is #188!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Go Bison!
But mine is first.

A double woo-hoo!!

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Old 10-04-02, 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by immortal_zeus
...but off the top of my head I would've thought #1 would be... ...Michigan.
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Old 10-04-02, 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by classicman2
But mine is first.

A double woo-hoo!!

That is certainly a considering the Horns have not a won a national championship in the only 2 college sports that really have any meaning in my lifetime.
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Old 10-04-02, 12:26 PM
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Hey, they missed something about Syracuse ... not only is the University zip code 13244 ... but the university phone numbers all begin with 443.

We're serious about our love for that number up here. (and #5, cuz of McNabb).

My alma mater was listed in the "out of the top 200" list though. Oh well.
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Old 10-04-02, 01:40 PM
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We're number 142!!
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Old 10-04-02, 04:14 PM
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Go Ducks! #20!
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Old 10-04-02, 04:16 PM
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Stanford #2? I guess in terms of SUCCESS, but man, they never sell out football games unless its Big Game. Not even when Notre Dame comes to town...

And being a Cal fan, I'm happy with our 3 national championships last year and our respectable #34 ranking.
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Old 10-04-02, 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by mnguye10
Stanford #2?
Spoken like a true Bear.

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Old 10-04-02, 08:58 PM
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USC....granted, last years wasn't a banner year.
Some titles in "minor sports" but we performed poorly in the major sports.
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Old 10-04-02, 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by Aghama
They consider lacrosse a sport?
Why wouldn't they?
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Old 10-04-02, 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
Well, at least the Terps have a hell of a Women's Field Hockey Team. That will indeed be comfort for the fans during the current football and upcoming basketball seasons.
Yeah if only the Terps could have that gymnastics team Texas has that your always posting about.

Last edited by zak52; 10-04-02 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 10-04-02, 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
But mine is first.

So it's true? You did fight at the Alamo?

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Old 10-05-02, 03:10 AM
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For my fellow longhorns, can I get a little Texas Fight?

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