As Dick Vitale would say about winning, “It’s awesome, baby.”
Going to a school with winning sports programs will make school fun because of the increased school spirit, the parties and celebrations and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a winner? The more fans your school has, the better you are, just ask Drake.
I’ve had friends who have gone to schools with bad sports programs who complain about the lack of school spirit and general bad atmosphere. I’ve had others who have gone to great sports schools and had a blast celebrating bowl game wins, going to tailgates before prime-time games and trying to find crafty ways to be the first to get basketball tickets.
Now, here are, in my opinion, the top schools for freshmen that are most likely to be celebrating national titles this year.
1. University of Arizona
Although the Wildcats are losing star player on the basketball court, Stanley Johnson, Arizona is still going to be a Top 10 team in basketball. The basketball team has not been below .500 since 1983-84. The football team is also on the rise and the baseball team won the College World Series in 2012. The well-rounded Wildcats are our best bet to celebrate a national title. The best part is the students will likely celebrate outside thanks to Tucson’s nice year-round weather. Bear Down Wildcats!
2. Michigan State University
It’s basically now a guarantee now that the Spartans will make the Sweet 16 in basketball thanks to Tom Izzo’s great coaching. Coach Izzo can take any team to the postseason, even the New York Knicks. On second thought, no one can do that. But the point is the Spartans are a lock to at least make March Madness. The football team is getting back quarterback Connor Cook and good quarterbacks often lead to success. This school might not have the best players that would go to Michigan. But this school often goes on deep runs and definitely could make their students celebrate in the cold Michigan winters and springs.
3. Baylor University
The fast paced Bears may lose quarterback Bryce Petty, but the football team should still be competitive. Critics said the same thing when ironically, Petty’s predecessor, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III (or RGIII), left Baylor for the NFL. The men’s basketball team features one of the best front courts in college basketball and the women’s team is a top-five team in the nation and could upset Connecticut, a top team. Baylor in athletics has become a very solid, well-rounded school and has improved while rivals, such as the University of Texas, have gotten worse. There is likely a strong possibility of sinful partying over a national title deep in the heart of Texas at this Baptist university some time next year.
4. Louisiana State University
The football Tigers have a good chance to get in the College Football Playoff and win the whole enchilada that is the national championship since Alabama has many question marks after losing offensive stars, like Amari Cooper. The basketball team is getting five-star recruit Ben Simmons, or as some people nickname him, Bill Simmons’ illegitimate son. Simmons could follow the path of former Duke star Jahil Okafor and lead the Tigers to an improbable national title as a freshman. The men’s golf team also looks to repeat as national champs this upcoming year. So deep in the Bayou, the LSU students should look to celebrate a national title or another big victory this year either on the greens or on the court.
5. University of California, Los Angeles
The Bruins have a ton of talent on the basketball court and head coach Steve Alford is likely to get a lot out of them. Alford has done better with worse talent at New Mexico and now that he has a deep roster, expect the Bruins to compete with Arizona for the Pac-12 title. The football team is likely a Top 25 team despite losing quarterback Brett Hundley. The southern California school is also very competitive in other sports such as water polo, softball and baseball. So it’s likely that the already lucky (and probably beautiful) students who get to attend college in beautiful southern California will get luckier with a few national titles.
6. University of Oregon
The Ducks may be losing Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, but the Ducks have won 11 games in the past five seasons and still have a good running game led by Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner so there won’t be that much of a major drop off. The track teams are a lock to be successful and will be the favorite for the national title. And the women’s acrobatics and tumbling team has won the past four national titles. So it’s likely that Oregon students will likely be channeling the Oregon-based company, Nike — “Just do it” and celebrate a few national titles and big wins.
7. University of Connecticut
The Huskies are a powerhouse in women’s basketball and the likely favorite to win the national title every year. The men’s team won the national title as a No. 7 seed a few years ago so they can’t be ruled out this year despite not having as much talent as past teams. This school is on the list mainly because it’s an almost lock to win the women’s title this year. That’s how good the Huskies are at women’s basketball. Although Storrs, Connecticut may be cold in winter, the basketball teams will be hot from deep playoff runs and likely cause UConn students to be celebrating in early spring with Geno Auriemma adding another title to his resume.
8. Duke University
The Blue Devils look to repeat as basketball national champions and with a strong recruiting class coming in to Durham, North Carolina, Duke won’t be hurt badly by the departures of starters such as Justice Winslow and Jahil Okafor. The controversial lacrosse team is still elite, as well, as it is one of the top college lacrosse programs in the country. In addition, the women’s golf team is a powerhouse, having last won a national title in 2014. The very intelligent Duke students will likely have already realized this, but their school has very good odds of winning a national title this year.
9. University of Alabama
Although the football team isn’t as strong as it used to be, it’s still coached by top college coach Nick Saban. Saban has consistently put out a good product on the field thanks to good recruiting so the Crimson Tide have a shot to not feature a drop off in the standings and win the Southeastern Conference. Any team that wins the SEC is a lock for the football playoffs for all the non-sports fans here. It’s as certain as the sky being blue and for a post-2010 Adam Sandler movie to be a disappointment. The school also features strong golf, softball and gymnastics teams that will compete for a national title, but likely under the spotlight of the nationally acclaimed football team. Many Alabama students will likely be rolling with a national title in their future.
10. The Ohio State University
The football national champs have a huge quarterback controversy. However, despite this, the Urban Meyer-coached Buckeyes will likely still compete for a national title. The Buckeyes didn’t lose much on the football side, but historically quarterback controversies tend to hurt teams. The basketball team is good and will be an NCAA Tournament team despite losing do-it-all guard, D'Angelo Russell. The Buckeyes also feature national championship contending teams in wrestling and women’s rowing. Many OSU students will admit that their school will likely ignore the curses of other Ohio cities, such as Cleveland, and win maybe another national title.
Honorable Mentions: Texas Christian University, University of Kentucky, University of Texas and Florida State University
Lead Image Credit: Bleacher Report