No Way to Diminish Cajuns’ Accomplishments – From the Bird’s Nest
Recently, UL supporter Glen Raggio released his annual report on the winning percentage of the top five sports (football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball) that UL participates in. The results, called the Pentathlum, showed the Lousiiana Ragin' Cajuns with the 3rd best winning percentage in UL's five major sports of any FBS school in America. And the result was, the Cajuns had the 3rd highest winning percentage of all FBS schools in America. Only Florida State and Louisville were better.
Detractors of those findings pointed to the fact that all sports were treated the same. Winning in football didn't mean any more or less than a winning percentage in softball. And, if you didn't play all five sports, you weren't included in the results.
Now, that, in some ways, may be a valid argument. But there's not much debate about the validity of the recent results posted on CBSsports.com.
When looking at their formula, the Cajuns were the #34 ranked athletic program in the country.
Only schools which were considered to be BCS programs during the 2013-14 athletic season were rated above the Cajuns. And, if you look at the teams ranked below UL, you'd be impressed:
More than thirty programs from schools affiliated with BCS leagues this past year (which means they had a considerably bigger athletic budget), finished below the Cajuns. That included five schools from the Southeastern Conference.
In this formula, football success counted three times as much as other sports; men's basketball twice as much. Women's basketball and baseball were equal and schools got a "wild card" slot for their best "other" sport, whether it be lacrosse, hockey or, in the case of UL, softball.
That's about as equitable a formula as you will get in order to rate the strength of an athletic program.
LSU was ranked number nine. Of the other FBS schools in Louisiana, Tulane at number 74 was next in line.
Louisiana Tech was the lowest.
I don't think there's much question if you factor in the size of athletic budgets, Louisiana probably got more "bang for the buck" than any other school in America. That's a tribute to...well...everyone...the administration, the coaches, the student athletes and the fans, including those who give their fare share to the university's athletic department.
It's tough, given the disparity in money, to get an apples to apples comparison of how strong a school's program is.
But it's hard to argue with the results of that CBSsports.com formula.
No matter how you carve it up, the Ragin' Cajuns had one heckuva year in athletics.
And there's no one with have a brain that would dispute that.