A Look At The Power Conferences In NCAA Cross-Country – The Ivy League Leads The Way?

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PAC-12 Has Most Top-Five Ranked Teams But Ivy League Has Highest Percentage Of Qualifiers

by LetsRun.com
November 18, 2013

Someone break up the Ivy League.

In preparations for Saturday’s 2013 NCAA Cross-Country Nationals, we decided to do a little research to see what conferences were strong/weak at cross-country.

Leading the way, with 43.75% of its teams at Nationals is …

… the Ivy League?

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Yes, that’s right, 7 of the 16 teams in the Ivy League will be at the Big Dance and that 43.75% ratio is the best in the country.

In terms of absolute number of teams, the Ivy League, with 7 teams at NCAAs (4 men, 3 women), is fourth overall. The ACC leads the way with 9 teams overall (5 men, which also is #1 for the men, and 4 women), which caused message board poster “ACC proud” to declare last week: ACC Power Conference of Men’s XC. But given that there are 29 teams that participate in the ACC in cross-country versus just 16 in the Ivy League, meaning in percentage terms at 31.03%, the ACC is just the 5th most powerful cross-country conference.

You can see the results of our research below.

Percentage Of Teams Making NCAAs # Of Teams Making NCAAs
Ivy League 43.75% ACC 9
Big 10 39.13% Big 10 9
PAC-12 38.10% PAC-12 8
Big East 31.58% Ivy League 7
ACC 31.03% Big East 6
Big 12 21.05% SEC 5
Mountain West 21.05% Big 12 4
West Coast 21.05% Mountain West 4
SEC 18.52% West Coast 4
CAA 12.50% AAC 1
AAC 10.00% Big Sky 1
Big Sky 9.09% CAA 1
MAAC 9.09% MAAC 1
Ohio Valley 8.33% Ohio Valley 1
USA 7.69% USA 1

 

Percentage Of Men’s Teams Making NCAAs # Of Men’s Teams Making NCAAs Percentage Of Women’s Teams Making NCAAs # Of Women’s Teams Making NCAAs
Ivy League 50.00% ACC 5 Big 10 50.00% Big 10 6
Mountain West 37.50% Ivy League 4 PAC-12 41.67% PAC-12 5
ACC 35.71% Big 10 3 Big East 40.00% ACC 4
PAC-12 33.33% Mountain West 3 Ivy League 37.50% Big East 4
Big 10 27.27% PAC-12 3 ACC 26.67% Big 12 2
SEC 23.08% SEC 3 Big 12 20.00% Ivy League 3
Big 12 22.22% Big 12 2 West Coast 20.00% SEC 2
Big East 22.22% Big East 2 SEC 14.29% West Coast 2
West Coast 22.22% West Coast 2 CAA 12.50% AAC 1
Big Sky 9.09% Big Sky 1 AAC 10.00% CAA 1
MAAC 9.09% MAAC 1 Mountain West 9.09% Mountain West 1
Ohio Valley 8.33% Ohio Valley 1
USA 7.69% USA 1
Abbey D'Agostino and her coach Mark Coogan in advance of the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Abbey D’Agostino and her coach Mark Coogan will have plenty of familiar company at NCAAs this year (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly).

Quick Take #1: The prowess of the Ivy League in 2013 is in large part because 50% of it’s 8 men’s teams made the Big Dance this year, which is a bit ironic for three reasons.

One, the last two teams to advance on the men’s side this year were Ivy Leaguers Harvard and Dartmouth and they got in because Harvard pushed Dartmouth in thanks to Harvard having a lot of early success when it had a powerful 1-2 combo up front in James Leakos (the Paul Short winner) and Maksim Korolev (Wisconsin runner-up). But Leakos has been hurt and both he and Harvard are a shadow of their former selves (Leakos was only 33rd at Regionals).

Secondly, in the decade from 2001-2010, a grand total of three Ivy League men’s teams made it to NCAAs (Dartmouth ’01, ’05 and Princeton ’10) and yet four have done so this year alone. From 2001 to 2010, the Ivy League was more well known for its women’s prowess as 17 Ivy women’s teams made it during that time frame (Brown ’01, Columbia ’01-’05, Cornell ’01, Dartmouth ’01, Princeton ’03-’10, Yale ’01).

Speaking of the women’s Ivy League.

We’ve just finished a photo gallery of the 2013 Ivy League Heps Cross Country Championships. It includes the men’s award ceremony and women’s race and award ceremony.

You can enjoy it below: 2013 Ivy League Heps Cross Country Photo Gallery

Quick Take #2: The highest Ivy League team is the Columbia men at #12 in the country. In terms of conference power up front, there is no doubt. The Pac 12 rules supreme.

A ridiculous 23.81% of the teams in their conference are ranked in the top five in the country.

Conference

# in top 5

%

Conference

# in Top 10

%

Pac 12

5

23.81%

Pac 12

5

23.81%

Big Sky

1

9.09%

Big East

3

15.79%

Big 12

1

5.26%

Big 12

2

10.53%

Big East

1

5.26%

ACC

3

10.34%

SEC

1

3.70%

Big Sky

1

9.09%

ACC

1

3.45%

USA

1

7.69%

SEC

2

7.41%

Mountain West

1

5.26%

West Coast

1

5.26%

Full Disclosure: LetsRun.com was founded by two Ivy Leaguers (Wejo-Yale, Rojo -Princeton) and Rojo coached at Cornell. 


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