There are many reasons to choose a college. City or campus? How’s the nightlife? Is it too close to home or too far from home? How are the academics? Is it a good international relations school or better for economics majors? For some of us the most important question may be how good are the sports?
It’s a basic need for many of us, a tailgate every Saturday in the Fall as our university prepares to take on the next rival, camping out before big basketball games in order to get a good spot or even make it behind the crew of ESPN’s College Gameday. Sports are a way of life, and are definitely a make or break when it comes to deciding on a college.
Of course you have your revenue sports, basketball and football, the two kinds of college sports. But there are plenty of other sports and reasons to choose a school. From lacrosse, to gymnastics and even fencing, volleyball and swimming, there are plenty of options for everyone. And many of those teams have been incredibly successful, just look at Florida’s baseball team, the reigning College World Series champions. Or perhaps the University of Georgia’s gymnastics team and their collection of national championships. How about the Olympic athletes? Many of these universities have pumped out successful Olympic athletes one after another.
For this list, we’re also focused on the schools that give you the most options to take part in sports too, not just be a spectator. For example, Bowdoin College, which most of America has never heard of, has an insane percentage of students who play a varsity sport and Princeton bases class time on practice times. Even without varsity sports, many of these colleges and universities offer a long list of intramural sports to play.
When it comes to national championships, UCLA is at the top. Overall the university has 113 championships, the most in the Pac-12, and won 13 of them over the last decade. They have 11 basketball national championship titles, ten of them were own by teams coached by John Wooden, who is a legend of his own. Their 11 national titles are the most in college ball. As of March, there were 58 former UCLA athletes playing in professional leagues. Additionally, they had five players selected in the 2017 NFL draft and three in the 2017 NBA draft, including third overall pick Lonzo Ball.