Cal Berkeley is pretty dumpy these days.
But the Bears don’t have anywhere close to the level of fan support, money, interest and recruiting advantage that A&M or Penn State have and they have an elite academic barrier - like Northwestern and Stanford - that very few schools have to contend with.
The overwhelming majority of that is Chicagoland, which is more than 2 hours from Champaign and is closer to Northwestern, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Purdue (plus DePaul in basketball). Minnesota is in the main population center, is an easy drive from basically the whole state, and has no local competition.
People also underrate how much success Illinois has had. The football team has been to multiple NY6 games since the turn of the century. In the past two decades the basketball team has been to a national championship game and has won multiple Big 10 titles.
Cal - talent rich state, academics are very strong (but they can get pretty much anyone in), large alumni base, ridiculous money, great weather and strong facilities. They just need to unchain some of the crazies from the trees and get them into the games.
Sorry, are you referring to Cal Berkeley when you say “Cal”? I was confused. If so, they don’t have a lot of money for sports. I read an article a while back saying they were running in the red.
What about those seven National Championship banners Minnesota has hanging in their stadium?
Texas A+M, Arizona State, and UCLA.
Are we talking about revenue sports overall or just football?
For revenue sports overall, how about Maryland? They won 2 football national championships, but those were early in the 1950s. They’ve won only 1 men’s basketball championship, and only been to 2 Final 4s. Most of their national championships are in niche sports: field hockey and lacrosse. They sit in a talent-rich area, the I-95 corridor between Richmond and Baltimore. Other programs seem to lure the best high school talent away, see all of the players from DeMatha who have gone elsewhere. And they have Under Armour bankrolling their athletics programs.
I assumed we were talking about football. It’s too broad otherwise. The PAC-12 is the Conferfnce of Champions overall historically. And Vanderbilt is a dominant force in Baseball. Stick to football for this discussion.
Yes - that Cal. Texas can run in the red if they spend unwisely. Cal has the same number of living alums as OSU but with much greater wealth - they just don’t harness it like OSU. I thought we were talking about potential and underperformance of football? If so that’s a pretty strong combo of in state talent, alumni base and wealth.
Yeah, OK. But deliberate underachievement probably shouldn’t count. Unlike A&M or Penn State, there is no culture of commitment to football superiority or any real interest in the sport within the overall university community. Like Harvard or Yale, 90% of alumni and University administration interest is focused simply on one game a year - claiming the Axe from Stanford.
A&M and Penn State on the other hand are fully committed to football dominance but are simply unable to achieve it.
Cincinnati is the obvious winner.
Pitt is pointless. So is VaTech.
The last of those was the year my parents were born, so you’ll understand if I discount those a bit.
I’d agree - for schools that really try on all fronts I’m not sure anyone tries as hard as TXA&M. Being able to select the right coaching fit is still an art.
I remember watching the ROSEBOWL WHEN Minnesota won the 1960 National Championship. The others were way before me as well. Bronco Nagurski.
Disagree. They’ve never had near the resources of some underperforming B1G teams, and they’ve had a huge amount of G5 success in the last 15 years: a BCS bowl, a NY6 bowl and a CFP appearance that catapulted them into a P5 conference.
Plenty to hate about Cincy, but their football program does not underperform.
Agree. But let’s beat them again next year in Oxford and trigger their plunge back into pre-BCS underachievement - where they dwelled for decades.