The Gators' success is fueled by six SEC Championships in the past school year. The Gators took top honors in Football, Men's Basketball, Women's Tennis, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics. Florida also got solid performances in swimming and diving (Men 2nd, women 3rd) Women's Golf and Men's Cross Country (2nd) and softball (4th). It's the kind of balance throughout the program that Florida aims for every year.
SEC Needs to Get Involved
I've been doing this for long enough to remember when the SEC awarded an All-Sports trophy and it was a big deal. The league presented the trophy at the annual May meetings and the winning athletic director would preen around like a peacock. But just a few years after the Gators began winning the trophy, the league stopped awarding it. That left it up to former Gainesville Sun Publisher John Fitzwater to create a scoring system and purchase trophies to be presented by the "New York Times Regional Newspaper Group". While it's good that someone kept the award going, the SEC should step back in. The league could create a better scoring system for openers, but it could and should also do something to acknowledge the best all-around programs in the league. There's no excuse for not doing so.
The current system scores the average of your placing in the sports you compete in with 12 points to the champ and one for 12th place. It's a poor system in my view, because it rewards schools for not fielding teams in certain sports, thus focusing their resources on fewer teams. It also needs to do a better job of rewarding championships. I squawked about that shortcoming in the national rankings for years until they finally made changes that made sense.
For the SEC it should be something like this:
|1st.......25 points||7th.......6 points|
|2nd.......20 points||8th.......5 points|
|3rd.......17 points||9th.......4 points|
|4th.......14 points||10th.......3 points|
|5th.......11 points||11th.......2 points|
|6th.......8 points||12th.......1 point|
There needs to be a calculation for track/cross country that makes sense. You could go with the highest finish or average the finishes with 50 percent allocated towards outdoor and 25percent each for indoor and cross country.
Total points settles the competition, not averages so if you don't compete in a sport the SEC sanctions a championship in, you get nada, squat, bupkus.
Coming up, we'll update where the Gators and their chief rivals stand in the national all-sports standings.