I certainly agree with my friend and co-worker Lance Ringler about sports being a great fodder for debate. And I really like the idea he’s running with about Mount Rushmore and college golf. How he came up with it, who knows (Lance’s mind often works in strange ways), but it’s good, a lot of fun and seems to be getting some nice responses.
As far as Lance’s four selections to his Mount Rushmore of men’s college golf – Oklahoma State, Houston, Yale and Georgia – I definitely agree with half.
I mean, Houston and Oklahoma State are no-brainers. In 45 NCAA Championship starts, the Cougars won a record 16 titles. In addition, they finished second four times and third, fourth and fifth, two times each.
The Cowboys, who own the record of 63 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, have 10 titles to their credit and – how about this – 15 second places, three thirds, 12 fourths and eight fifths.
And that’s not even getting into all the regular season tournaments they have won over the years.
So, no doubt, these two programs stand head and shoulders above all others in the realm of NCAA golf.
To me, the key here is NCAA golf. The sport did not come under the official NCAA umbrella until 1939. That’s where my thinking for my Mount Rushmore Four begins.
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly respect and admire all those “national” titles Yale has won, but I can’t help but believe that those in the late 1890s and early 1900s were against a small group of Northeastern schools – kind of like an Ivy League Championship.
So my final two picks for Mount Rushmore are based on performances from 1939 to the present.
Who are they?
No. 3 goes to Stanford. In 45 NCAA Championships, the Cardinal have captured the title seven times while finishing second three times, third on four occasions and fourth twice. Oh, and they also produced a guy named Tom Watson and another named Tiger Woods.
Like Lance, the fourth and final spot was a tough one. But I’m going with the guys from Gainesville and the University of Florida. The Gators have won four NCAA titles, finished second four times, third four times, fourth three times and fifth twice.
I have plenty of respect for Lance’s No. 4, Georgia, but it’s only been over the last dozen years or so that the Bulldogs have been consistent national title contenders. Their overall top-5 record in 41 NCAA Championship starts is two wins, two seconds, a third, a fourth and four fifths.
My other candidates included LSU and North Texas, both with four NCAA titles, and Wake Forest, with three championships and 13 other top 5s. Clemson – while having won only one NCAA crown, they’re still a leading national contender on a very consistent basis – was also a finalist
So, Lance, I’ll go with you with a Cougar and a Cowboy on the mountain, but I’m telling my people to tell your people they should also include a Cardinal and a Gator.
Now it is your turn to weigh in.
On March 1, we will present the Mount Rushmore of college golf as determined by you – the college golf fan.