|Posted by theknightswhosay on June 28, 2015 at 7:10 PM|
This may be my last blog for the next 4-6 weeks, but I'll try to check in during that time. I like MLB, but it's still early in the season; and with games every day, I just rarely take time out to write about it.
This isn't as much of a "teaser", but I can't figure out a good way of posting pictures and charts here, so you'll have to go to the main blog to see those anyway.
No championships, but some good performances in major men’s sports
If you missed it, this was my blog about LSU sports in particular over the 2014-15 academic year.
This section will discuss the SEC’s performance in the four traditional major men’s sports, which are football, basketball, outdoor track, and baseball in 2014-15. I made a chart dating back to the 2006-07 academic year when I wrote this blog on the same topic last year. Below is just a small version of the chart containing only this (academic) year’s results.
I’ll start with the bad news for SEC fans and the good news for people who don’t like the SEC. This is the first academic year since 1987-88 in which the SEC did not win a championship (just assume when I say this in this section I’m talking about the major men’s sports).
When LSU won the 1989 men’s outdoor track championship to begin the streak, that was actually the first major championship for the SEC since Georgia had won in football after the 1980 season.
That had been the SEC’s first men’s outdoor title since 1974 (Tennessee). The SEC did not win in baseball for the first time until 1990 (Georgia) but has been the clear leader among conferences since then. This also overlapped with droughts in basketball from 1978 (Kentucky) to 1994 (Arkansas) and in football from 1980 to 1992 (Alabama).
Arkansas and South Carolina football did not join the SEC until the 1992-93 year, but the winter and spring sports began SEC competition in the previous academic year. This was just in time for Arkansas to win its first of 8 consecutive track championships, and it saved the SEC from going 0/4 in the 1991-92 academic year.
There was also a two-week period in June of 2000 where the SEC was not the reigning champion of any of the four sports, but then LSU won the baseball title (by a run over Stanford) that year.
This year, the SEC had what was expected to be the superior team that went into both the College World Series and the Final Four but just couldn’t get it done. Of course, Kentucky had its only basketball loss the season in that semifinal game. In baseball, LSU only won a single game in the CWS, but both Vanderbilt and Florida made the semifinals.
Baseball was a bit of bad luck as well. I’m not saying Virginia didn’t deserve it, but in the formats of past years, Virginia would have been out with its second loss (which took place in the first game of the championship series). Until 2003, it was impossible to lose twice in the CWS without being eliminated. The Cavaliers had lost to Florida before the championship series began. So although the SEC didn’t win the CWS, they did get two wins against the champion. Also, had the Gators won their second game against the ’Hoos (which they lost by one run), there would have been an all-SEC final.
Still, having one of the top four football teams, one of the top four basketball teams, two of the top four baseball teams, and three of the top four track teams isn’t a bad year even without a championship. That would most probably be the best if there were three major conferences, and there are five.
Also, there were two other top-8 baseball teams (LSU and Arkansas), and two other top-8 track teams (Texas A&M and Mississippi St.). Football had two additional teams (Georgia and Missouri) finish in the top 14 of the final AP poll. Basketball didn’t have any other teams of note with only two wins (one of them a “first four” game) in the whole tournament not by Kentucky.
For the full blog, including some (relatively) minor sports, as well as my chart and some pictures, click here.