Since last Tuesday ACC schools have 3 National Titles. Duke won a national title in Men’s lacrosse. North Carolina won a national title in Women’s lacrosse, and the Virginia men’s tennis team won one too. Congratulations to all those schools and their fans. Sadly there are those that dismiss national titles won in anything other football and men’s basketball. While I’m not here to try and convince anyone that winning a title in tennis is bigger than winning a national title in football, they still matter and they still count.
You don’t think so? I took a screen shot of the front page of ESPN.com earlier today. There was Duke and future ACC member Syracuse’s national championship lacrosse matchup there. North Carolina was the top overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament. A tournament where the ACC led the country with 3 National Top 8 seeds. Virginia and Florida State joined UNC in the top 8. Even successful non football and basketball sports provide good publicity and notoriety for a school.
There’s more the Pac 12 had this article written about them last year on ESPN.
The moniker “Conference of Champions®” has been earned by the number of titles, but also the depth of success. Pac-12 teams have won championships in 27 of the 37 Division I sports the NCAA sponsors and has reached double digit titles in 19 of those sports.
Sounds like someone is talking about titles not just won in football and basketball. When South Carolina won back to back national titles in baseball, there was huge billboard displaying it on my ride home each day. The Gamecock fans let Clemson Tiger fans know it at every opportunity too, and Tiger fans would have done the same. Now I’m not saying in any way that these national titles in largely non-revenue sports change the landscape of college athletics. They don’t. In fact only football is capable of that. Not even men’s basketball can approach football in that regard. If it could we’d still have an intact Big East.
That said these sports do make up much of what forms conference networks, and they do have sizable followings. More than 58,000 fans attended the ACC baseball tournament, and over 100,000 attended the SEC Tournament. Nearly 30,000 were at the Men’s Lacrosse national title game, and that was actually down from several of the previous years.
You get the picture winning any national championship in any sport is a big positive for any school, its fans, and its conference.