Staring up at Oklahoma and Texas A&M goes over as well as beans in chili and Carolina barbecue sauce on brisket to most Longhorn fans.
But they’ll have to stomach the thought after CBS revealed its list of the best athletic departments in college sports on Wednesday.
With Ohio State and Alabama leading the rankings as the best departments in college athletics for the 2017-2018 year, Oklahoma (No. 3) and Texas A&M (No. 16) land on the list before the Longhorns, who barely make the top 25, coming in at No. 22. Texas makes the top 25 with a lot of help from two “wild card” rankings — thanks baseball, volleyball and swimming and diving — that got factored in with rankings from football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.
While the ranking seems mediocre, it’s probably an upgrade from the last several years, when women’s basketball, volleyball and swimming and diving were the most successful programs on campus as football, men’s basketball and baseball went through struggles. This past season, Texas played in its first bowl game since Charlie Strong’s debut season, men’s basketball returned to the tournament (and had a winning record) after a disastrous 2016-2017 season, and baseball returned to the College World Series, the biggest accomplishment of the year for the department.
The bowl win over Missouri in December is probably the biggest highlight of the year, given that A) it’s football, which this ranking values more than any other sport and B) it’s football winning a bowl game for the first time since 2012.
Texas’ point total was 322.5, with 62.5 points coming from football, followed by 50 from men’s basketball, 64 from women’s basketball and two 73 scores from two wildcard factors.
Ohio State earned CBS’ award in 2015, while Oklahoma was the honoree in 2016.
Texas A&M was No. 16 on the list with men’s basketball yielding the program 128 points.
While this focuses on actual on-field success, off the field, Texas is still considered the king of college athletics. The program, according to a Business Insider report in November 2017, is the biggest money maker in college athletics, earning $182.1 million. However, Ohio State, Alabama and Oklahoma are second, third and fourth on that same list.
Things could be improving soon. New athletic director Chris Del Conte has already hired two new coaches for softball and track and field and a new cross country coach could be on the way as well.
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