With three ACC championships and consistent performance across the board, Florida State can make the claim of having the strongest all-around sports program in the conference.
Against conference competition, FSU teams finished higher in the standings on average than any of their 14 peers, and by a considerable margin. The Seminoles were followed by N.C. State in second, Duke in third and Clemson in fourth. Georgia Tech, whose golf team claimed its 17th ACC title earlier this month, was 12th.
Teams were rated using a system in which points were awarded based on placement in league standings. For sports in which all 15 teams competed, 15 points were awarded for first place, 14 for second and so on. The system corresponded for sports with fewer than the full 15 teams. In wrestling, for instance, a sport in which only six ACC teams compete, champion Virginia Tech received six points. (It is not an entirely equitable system; in proving themselves the best wrestling team in the ACC, the Hokies lowered their overall average. The rating system also doesn’t include sports that the ACC does not sponsor, such as ice hockey and gymnastics.)
The school’s point total then was divided by its number of teams. Cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field counted as one sport, with outdoor track comprising half of the total. (The system was borrowed from the one used by GateHouse Media to determine its SEC all-sports champion.)
Clemson had the highest average for men’s sports on the strength of its football championship and its baseball team, which finished the regular season tied with North Carolina for the best conference record. N.C. State and Florida State followed in second and third, respectively.
The FSU women’s teams topped the ACC, finishing first in the softball regular season (and also winning the conference tournament), winning the indoor track and field title and coming in second to golf in the ACC championship. N.C. State and Duke finished second and third, respectively.
The Tech men’s teams finished 11th. The women’s teams placed ninth.
In terms of points, Tech’s highest-scoring team was the women’s tennis team, which tied for second and earned 13.5 of the Yellow Jackets’ 79 points. The golf team kicked in 12 with its championship. The football team contributed 8.5 points with its 4-4 record, which tied for fifth best in the league. Bottom-third finishes by men’s basketball, men’s tennis, women’s swimming and diving and women’s track and field lowered the Yellow Jackets’ average. (Tech does not fully fund scholarships for swimming and diving and track and field/cross country).
Aside from a handful of highlights, it was something of a dismal year for the Yellow Jackets, who failed to gain bowl eligibility, whose men’s and women’s basketball teams didn’t make the NCAA tournament and whose baseball team likewise failed to earn an NCAA berth. Among power-conference schools, Tech was one of five to miss all four (Colorado, Illinois, Pitt and Rutgers were the others).