By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Citing excellence in football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball, CBS Sports on Friday named Florida State the recipient of its “Best in College Sports” award.
While the National Association of College Directors of Athletics has annually ranked athletics departments for several years, CBS Sports’ formula is different in that it gives extra weight to sports it considers to “generate the broadest base of fan and media interest.”
CBS Sports ranks the departments based on performance in football, men’s and women’s basketball and two more “wild card” spectator sports. For FSU, those sports were baseball and softball.
From CBS: Football is 2.5 times as much as the other sports, while men’s basketball is worth twice as many points. Teams that did not finish in the final AP Top 25 in football but played in a bowl were awarded 62.5 points (25 x 2.5). Teams that made the NIT, CBI or CIT were given 20 points (10 x 2), while WNIT teams received 10 points. For all titles settled via bracket, point totals were based upon how many teams participated. All champions in the other sports received 100 points for a national title. For example: Florida baseball received 100 points, while its second-place finish in softball received 90 points.
“We are very pleased and proud to be recognized among this distinguished group,” said Stan Wilcox, Florida State Vice President and Director of Athletics. “This reflects the hard work, dedication and talent of our student-athletes, coaches and staff as well as the support provided our programs by the university and Seminole Boosters.
“Our goal at FSU is comprehensive excellence and it is a tribute to our football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball programs that achieved this distinction. It makes me particularly proud given this comes just one day after we had our highest number (252) of student-athletes ever listed on the ACC’s Academic Honor Roll.”
Florida State finished with 491.25 points to edge out the University of Florida (489.75) and claim the top spot. FSU’s previous highest finish was fourth. Previous winners of the Best in College Sports award include Louisville (2013), Stanford (2014), Ohio State (2015) and Oklahoma (2016).
“This news makes me very proud of our entire Athletics program,” Florida State President John Thrasher said. “And I am especially proud of the student-athletes who were listed on the ACC’s Academic Honor Roll.”
The Florida State football team closed out a successful 2016 campaign by winning seven of its last eight games on the way to a dramatic victory over Michigan in the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles also swept rivals Florida and Miami for the fourth straight year, topped Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi in the season opener and watched junior running back Dalvin Cook become the school’s all-time leading rusher.
— FSU Seminoles (@Seminoles) July 7, 2017
FSU’s men’s basketball team enjoyed one of its best regular seasons in program history. Led by two future NBA draft picks (Jonathan Isaac, sixth overall to Orlando; Dwayne Bacon, 40th overall to New Orleans), the Seminoles reeled off 26 wins – the second-most in school history – and earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. Along the way, FSU went 5-1 in a stretch of six straight games against ranked teams and finished a perfect 18-0 at home.
The FSU women’s basketball team, meanwhile, continued to solidify its status as one of the top programs in the nation. The Seminoles won 28 games, boasted the ACC player of the year (junior forward Shakayla Thomas) and finished just a few points shy of a trip to the Final Four. FSU reached the Elite Eight by erasing a 17-point deficit against No. 2-seed Oregon State in Stockton, Calif. It was FSU’s second Elite Eight appearance in three years and third overall.
Florida State baseball finished its season where every college baseball team wants to be: Omaha, Neb. FSU caught fire in the months of May and June, tearing through a road trip to No. 2 Louisville and then winning the ACC tournament a week later. The Seminoles rallied to win the NCAA Tallahassee Regional then swept Sam Houston State in the Super Regional to clinch their first trip to the College World Series since 2012.
Florida State’s softball team spent its entire season either at or near the top of the national polls. Boasting the ACC player of the year (Jessie Warren), two-time ACC pitcher of the year (Jessica Burroughs) and ACC coach of the year (Lonni Alameda), the Seminoles reeled off 24 straight victories midway through the season and won the ACC championship for the fourth straight year.
FSU in the CBS Sports Best in College Sports rankings:
Football – 176.25
Men’s basketball – 100
Women’s basketball – 73
Baseball – 78
Softball – 64