Bumped from a Fan Post. - BN Eds.
UCLA, back in December 2015, won its 113th NCAA championship. Until recently, we were in sole possession of the claim to more national championships than any other school in the country. Since that date, we have gone on to win a grand total of 0 nattys. Meanwhile, Stanford has won 5 and has tied us for the most titles.
As we enter the postseason for the fall, let's look and see how things are shaping up for the tie-breaking NCAA championship #114 and which school is in position to take it home (and the "best ever" bragging rights):
UCLA currently has a shot at a title in 2 sports: women's soccer (ranked 6th in the nation) and men's water polo (currently 3rd). Men's cross country and women's volleyball are ranked, but can't be considered contenders. We have absolutely no shot in women's cross country, field hockey (which is not a varsity sport at UCLA), men's soccer, or football.
Stanford currently has a shot at a title in 5 sports: men's soccer (ranked #5 and currently first in the Pac-12), women's soccer (ranked #1 and the Pac-12 champions as of this past weekend), women's volleyball (ranked #2 and currently first in the Pac-12), men's cross country (ranked #6 and the Pac-12 champions as of last week), and men's water polo (ranked #4, it's a long shot given how strong the MPSF is, but they still have a chance). They are also ranked in the Top 20 for field hockey, women's cross country, and football, but they would have to be considered long shots to win in those sports.
Out of eight fall sports, Stanford fields all 8 and all 8 are ranked in the Top 20, with 5 in the Top 10, 4 in the Top 5. Meanwhile, in Westwood, out of the 7 sports we are fielding, 4 are ranked in the Top 20, 2 in the Top 10, and only 1 in the Top 5.
The writing is on the wall and I suspect that we will lose the total championship tie sometime in the next two months. It's not just watching football and men's basketball (our signature program) flounder into national irrelevancy. It's the degradation of the UCLA Athletic Department as a whole. I don't know what it will take to change the culture of the Athletic Department and administration at UCLA. I fear that turning our backs on the athletic department by not buying tickets or gear will just fuel a perception by DG that fans don't really care, but passionate appeals to both Block and DG have been ignored.
I already feel a heaviness in my heart because the "most in the nation" tag really meant something to me and was a source of great pride to Bruin fans and alums alike. There used to be a time when we were an athletic juggernaut.
Now, it appears, we might have to look North and take comfort in what was.