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Kentucky finishes 2nd in CBS ranking for Best in College Sports award

It was a great year all around.

UK Athletics

Just a few weeks after finishing 14th in the Governor’s Cup Standings, the University of Kentucky is once again being recognized for its consistent success in athletics.

In CBS Sports’ annual rankings, UK came in second to Michigan, who was given the Best in College Sports Award.

CBS, of course, uses a formula that differs from the Governor’s Cup calculations. For FBS schools, CBS considers performance in women’s basketball, football, and men’s basketball. The next two sports with the most success, called wildcard sports, are added into the mix to come up with a school’s final score. However, football is given 2.5 times as much emphasis and men’s basketball 2.0 times as much as all the other sports.

Kentucky actually finished higher than Michigan is both football and men’s basketball, and tied in women’s basketball. But Michigan’s wildcard sports (baseball and men’s gymnastics) scored significantly higher than Kentucky’s (men’s soccer and volleyball/softball), giving the Wolverines the overall victory.

Kentucky’s scores broke down like this:

  • 161.25 – Football (12th in final AP Poll)
  • 146 – Men’s basketball (Elite Eight)
  • 50 – Women’s basketball (second round)
  • 73 – Men’s soccer (Elite Eight)
  • 64 – Softball/volleyball (both advanced to round of 16)
  • Total score: 494.25

In case you were wondering, Duke finished 18th, Tennessee finished 34th, and Louisville finished 42nd.

Had it not been for Michigan’s Cinderella run in the College World Series, Kentucky likely would have won the whole thing. And if cheerleading was included, the Wildcats would have won in a landslide.

Regardless, this is yet another indication of the quality that Kentucky has produced throughout its athletic programs. Now that the bar has been set, can they take a step forward next year?