Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Longhorns maintain Big 12 mastery

Texas nips Texas A&M for all-sports title; Kansas slips to ninth


It's Texas again - but only by an eyelash this time.

The Big 12 all-sports rankings compiled by the Journal-World has the Longhorns right back where they usually are - first place among the 12 conference teams in overall on-field athletic performance.

But UT won by just 1â2 of a point over Texas A&M; - slipping ahead when the Longhorns claimed the Big 12 baseball title over the weekend.

Kansas University, despite an increasing budget and the rock-solid men's basketball team winning the league title again, failed to move up in the standings. KU finished with 85.5 points for ninth place, a step in the wrong direction after coming in eighth a year ago.

The formula used in compiling the overall standings is simple: 12 points for first place, 11 for second, 10 for third, etc. All 19 league-sponsored sports figure into the equation.

The Jayhawks had their share of points come from men's basketball, but the rest of the department struggled to carry its weight. Men's cross country helped by placing third, while the women were led by swimming's third-place finish and soccer's fourth-place finish.

Several sports, however, struggled in comparison to the rest of the league, including baseball, volleyball, women's tennis and women's basketball.

Kansas had a projected budget of $47,017,867 heading into fiscal year 2006-07, up about 15 percent from the 2005-06 total of $40.4 million. At least short-term, though, it didn't translate to more on-field success. Kansas finished 11th in the women's sports standings and ninth in men's sports.

Meanwhile, the top half of the rankings point to more parity than in past years, when Texas pretty much ran away in the standings. While the Longhorns did win again, their 156 total points barely edged Texas A&M; (155.5). The Aggies had five conference titles - in women's basketball (co-champs), women's golf, women's swimming, women's soccer and women's track and field - to pace the conference.

Even past the top two, though, come close calls. Nebraska, led by volleyball and gymnastics league titles, took third with 149 points. Oklahoma won the Big 12 in football and men's track and field and shared the title in women's basketball to garner 140 points, good enough for fourth.

Missouri, despite no conference championships, was solid in men's sports and placed fifth.

After the Huskers and Tigers, though, is a glaring weakness in the Big 12 North. The other four North teams make up the last four places in the rankings - Kansas, Colorado, Iowa State and Kansas State.

Kansas State had good seasons in football and men's basketball, the most visible sports in the department. But sub-par efforts almost everywhere else and a lack of participating sports gave the Wildcats just 50 points, 27 behind 11th-place Iowa State.


Gary McCullough 12 years, 9 months ago

Can you come up with a ranking of academic success? I remember when I was in gradute school, the Dept. of Psychology was one of the top 5 in the nation. And despite Jayhawker love for athletes, the real reason we matriculated was to walk down the Hill.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.