Ranking The Programs: #1

Ranking The Programs: #1

Sometimes picking the #1 at anything is a difficult task. In identifying the athletic program occupying that position at West Virginia University, it's just the opposite.

To the surprise of no one, West Virginia's dominant rifle team is the top program on campus, besting the excellent women's soccer program for the top spot. As it's the top program in the nation, though, the gap between rifle and every other discipline at WVU is considerable.

We couldn't even manufacture a bit of drama by holding off the final installment of this series. Rifle laps the field, or more accurately, hits the bullseye, far more often than any other Mountaineer program.

RIFLE
PROGRAM
VOTER
RANKING
POINTS
RIFLE
Greg
1st
16
RIFLE
Matt
1st
16
RIFLE
Michael
1st
16
RIFLE
Kevin
1st
16

Greg Hunter: (1st) Having won its second straight NCAA team title, and the 16th in the program’s history, certainly the WVU rifle ranks at the top of the list of West Virginia’s intercollegiate athletic squads. Few college sports programs nationally can claim the long-term success of WVU’s rifle program (only 12 others have won more than 16 NCAA team titles), and certainly none at West Virginia can match rifle when it comes its achievements, both past and present. On top of all that, WVU’s rifle team had a perfect APR of 1,000 this past year. About the only negatives you can say about the rifle team is that its budget and its rifle range are both small, but coach Jon Hammond’s program delivers a lot of bang for the buck.

Matt Keller: (1st) Two consecutive national titles and collegiate dominance despite a buget-enforced hiatus makes this the crown jewel of Mountaineer athletics.

Michael Carvelli: (1st) Every sport has its blue-blood programs. In college football, it’s Alabama. College basketball has the likes of Duke and Kansas. But in college rifle, that program is West Virginia University. It’s hard to not put the Mountaineer rifle team as the best program at WVU after winning back-to-back national titles – the most recent giving West Virginia its 16th rifle championship. It’s very likely that things won’t be changing much any time soon, as Jon Hammond has continued to bring in world-class shooters every year.

Kevin Kinder: (1st) This was the easiest pick, but the true dominance of this program revealed itself to me when I was able to cover the national championships at Murray State last spring. The discipline and focus of everyone in the program, and the respect with which they were treated by other teams, showed me just how highly this program rates. It defines the word dynasty, and it might just be the best Division I collegiate sports program of all time.

WVU ATHLETIC PROGRAM RANKINGS
PROGRAM
RANKINGS
POINTS
SCORE
RIFLE
1/1/1/1
64
16
WOMEN'S SOCCER
2/2/2/2
60
15
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
3/3/3/3
56
14
WOMEN'S XCOUNTRY
4/5/5/4
51
12.75
BASEBALL
7/5/4/5
47
11.75
MEN'S BBALL
5/6/7/6
44
11
FOOTBALL
6/8/9/9
36
9
GYMNASTICS
8/10/8/7
35
8.75
VBALL
11/9/6/12
30
7.5
M SWIM
13/7/11/8
29
7.25
M SOCCER
9/13/10/11
25
6.25
W SWIMMING
14/12/12/10
20
5
W TRACK
12/11/13/13
19
4.75
WRESTLING
10/14/14/14
16
4
W ROWING
15/15/16/15
7
1.75
W TENNIS
16/16/15/16
5
1.25

Previous Stories:

Women's Soccer #2

Women's Basketball #3

Women's Cross Country #4

Baseball #5

Men's Basketball #6

Football #7

Gymnastics #8

Volleyball #9

Men's Swimming #10

Men's Soccer #11

Women's Swimming & Diving #12

Women's Track #13

Wrestling #14

Rowing #15

Women's Tennis #16

Rankings Introduction

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