I’m a Pennsylvania native (but I'm not a Steelers or Eagles fan!) and have lived in the area for a couple years now. When I'm not working, I'm coaching swimming. If you want ask me a question, or don't like my blog, or just want to give me some coaching advice, I'd love to hear from you! -Christina Christina@MainlineDayton.com
Women Score but Men Still on Top
by Christina,posted Dec 22 2010 5:01PM
Last night while watching the UConn women’s basketball team easily defeat Florida State 93-62, for their 89th victory; it’s hard not to think they’re one of the best teams ever, easily beating teams by double digits. But, and this is a big but (insert Kim Kardashian joke) these are women and being a woman you’d think I’d be able to defend them, but sadly I cannot.
As impressive as 89 straight wins is, the bigger picture is that the competition is no where near what the Bruins faced, even 40 years after Title IX.
In the past decade, UConn has gone undefeated in three seasons: ‘01-‘02, ‘08-‘09, ‘09-’10; and had just one loss in the ‘02-‘03 season, breaking up their first run at the streak, with 70 straight wins, and are halfway to their fourth undefeated season in this decade.
So while compiling a list of the greatest collegiate team streaks, it wasn’t surprising that most of them were women’s teams: Penn State volleyball, UConn basketball, UNC soccer. The streaks are impressive, no doubt, but the level of competition isn’t.
As it stands the 5 best team streaks in college sports looks something like this:
5. Penn State Volleyball – During the streak of 109 straight wins, the Lady Lions won three national titles and lost only 19 sets – for anyone with an inkling of volleyball you know that’s damn impressive – and went an entire season without losing a set, until the final four. But it is only volleyball, where one or two tall girls can make a team, making it even more diluted then the other sports.
4. UConn Basketball – The women of Connecticut have won 89 straight and counting. The streak is beyond impressive with the double digit wins and numerous national championships but when a handful of teams are consistently in the title games, it’s not enough to rank any higher then fourth; add about 20 more wins to that and another title and then they’ll really get the respect they want.
3. UNC Soccer – The best sport at North Carolina isn’t basketball, it’s soccer, women’s soccer. The women of Chapel Hill have a crazy soccer program that unless you’re a soccer nerd, you’d have no idea how dominant they are. UNC won 92 straight games, between 1990 and 1994, and had a total of a 101 games without a loss during that time. This is beyond amazing considering they won a National Championship in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994. The case can be made that they are the most prevalent program in collegiate sports, ever. The Tar Heels have won 21 total NCAA titles and counting.
2. Oklahoma Football – The Sooners may have the smallest number, 47 straight victories, but it’s one of the streaks that if it hasn’t been broken by now, it will never be. From 1953 to 1957 they controlled college football, winning two national championships (1955 and 1956), and blanking opponents, averaging 5 shut outs per year. The closest any team has come to the streak was USC and Miami a few years back at 34 straight, and with competition getting even stronger, hello Boise State, it seems unlikely a team will hit 30 anytime soon.
1. UCLA Basketball – This is the one streak that all team streaks are compared to. John Wooden led his UCLA Bruins to an impressive 88-game winning streak that spanned from 1971-74, in that time the Bruins won three national championships, capping off seven straight titles. Even though UCLA was no where near as dominant as the Huskies have been, the level of competition was significantly stronger; the last time a team made it to the NCAA championship game without a loss was two years after the Bruins streak ended. Bobby Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers in 1976 were the last team to run the table, meaning the closest anyone in the past three decades has come to the streak has been about 30 consecutive wins. It’s the number one best streak going because anyone with a brain and some math skills can see that this streak will never be broken.