Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Pac-12 had 88 medalists and 50 golds awarded at the 2012 London Games. The SEC and Big Ten had 88 medals combined, and the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 had 50 gold medals combined.
The Pac-12 might not be able to top the SEC yet on the college football stage. But they comfortably proved why they were the conference of champions by besting the SEC and every other major FBS conference by winning 88 individual medals at the London Olympic Games. The event medal list would have been narrower, but it still would've ended with the Pac-12 beating out the SEC.
In terms of individual medals, unofficially, the Pac-12 earned as many medals for its athletes as the next two conferences combined. In terms of individual gold medals, the Pac-12 notched 50, as many as the next three conferences combined.
1) Pac-12 - 88 individual medals, 50 golds
We've gone over this, but again, the dominance of the women's team sports was crucial. There were so many representatives from the conference in men's basketball, women's water polo, women's soccer, women's rowing and women's volleyball that it helped significantly tilt the college conference Olympic balance toward the Pac-12.
Additionally, there were also a host of track stars that earned medals for USC and Oregon, good rowing performances for Cal, Stanford and Washington, as well as a bunch of swimmers that come from Cal and USC. There were big track performances from Oregon, and Arizona notched three swimming medals. UCLA and Arizona State had representatives in women's soccer, women's water polo, and men's basketball.
2) SEC - 60 individual medals, 29 golds
The SEC have pretty solid programs almost everywhere in swimming and track that rival the best of the Pac-12, and the University of Florida earned almost all their medals that way. Led by notables such as Ryan Lochte in the pool, Christian Taylor in the track, and Abby Wambach on the pitch, the Gators are pretty star-studded.
Tennessee also did pretty well thanks to their excellent track athletes as well as their women's hoopsters. Georgia was led on by Allison Schmitt. Auburn managed four swimming medals, three Aggies won gold in relays in Eric Shantau and Tyler McGill, LSU had two USA women's basketball players in Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles, Arkansas had track stars Veronica Campbell-Brown and Tyson Gay, and South Carolina had silver medalists in Lashinda Demus and Jason Richardson. Alabama and Kentucky had only one medal each, but they were prominent athletes who won gold (Kirani James's gold in the 400 meters for the Tide, and Anthony Davis's gold in men's basketball).
Michigan got all their medals in water events like swimming (Tyler Clary), water polo (Betsey Armstrong) and rowing. Penn State had representatives in track, women's soccer and women's volleyball. Minnesota had the women's javelin winner and Lindsey Whalen on the US women's team. Nebraska was repped by Jordan Burroughs who won gold in men's freestyle wrestling. Northwestern got all their medals (and by proxy all their golds) from Matt Grevers. David Boudia got individual gold in platform diving for Purdue, Deron Williams managed Indiana gold for Team USA basketball, and Indiana managed one swimming medal.
4) Big 12 - 24 individual medals, 10 golds
If Pac-12 were the Pac-16, they would have cracked 100 medals and been right up there with China and the United States. Texas led the way with 13 medals thanks to their swimming program, plus great performances by Sanya Richards-Ross on the track and Kevin Durant on the hardwood. Texas Tech put up three medals thanks to their international track stars from Kenya, the Bahamas and Jamaica. Kansas had Sasha Kaun on the Russian men's basketball team that won bronze, TCU had relay track stars, and West Virginia had the Italian shooting medalist Nic Campriani. Kansas State won a medal in the men's high jump, Oklahoma State a medal in freestyle wrestling.
5) Big East - 17 individual medals, 10 golds
UConn women's basketball led the way with six gold medals (all six medals for UConn) for Team USA. No wonder that schmuck Geno Auriemma keeps on coaching them. Notre Dame got one gold thanks to Shannon Boxx. Rutgers claims two soccer medals, including gold medal match hero Carli Lloyd. Syracuse has Carmelo Anthony to rely on for gold. Louisville can thank Angel McCoughtry. Villanova earned a cycling medal.
6) ACC - 14 individual medals, 8 golds
North Carolina had two gold medalists on the women's soccer team in Tobin Heath and Heather O'Reilly. NC State got all three of their medals from Cullen Jones. Virginia managed three medals in soccer and swimming. Duke won two diving medals. Miami had one track relay gold, Wake Forest has Chris Paul and Georgia Tech also had a relay medal.