If asked to create a Top Ten ranking for best athletics program, many people would rattle off schools like Stanford, Michigan, Florida State, Texas, Oregon, UCLA, Penn State or Duke.Today, you can add Iowa State to that elite company and here’s why. The NCAA sponsors eight fall sports (football, men’s & women’s soccer, men’s & women’s cross country, field hockey, volleyball and water polo) and the above schools are the only ones in Division 1A that have at least four of their 2012 fall programs ranked in the national Top 25. Stanford leads the way with seven rated squads followed by UCLA (six) and Florida State (five).
The other schools have four Top 25 programs. The Cyclones’ ranked teams include women’s cross country (2nd), volleyball (22nd), football (24th) and men’s cross country (25th).Since not every school sponsors every sport, it’s even more interesting to note the percentage of ranked teams among the ones offered by the schools. The Seminoles are at 100% (five of five), Stanford is 87.5% (seven of eight), UCLA is 85.7% (six of seven) and the Cyclones, Ducks and Longhorns are at 80% (four of five). Polls are a snapshot in time as they fluctuate from week-to-week. But, the picture of Iowa State Athletics heading into mid-October is certainly impressive. P.S. Don’t forget about the ISU women’s golfers. Although golf is not considered a fall sport, the Cyclones recently climbed as high as 14th in the GolfStat poll (an all-time program high). [Polls used: ACVA, NSCAA, USTFCCCA, CWPA, NFHCA and BCS standings]
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