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Posts Tagged ‘Sports in General’

Division Title Droughts in Professional Sports

Posted by Andrew McKillop on September 24, 2011

Post Highlights

  • The Los Angeles Clippers have the longest (41 years) current division title drought in major professional sports.
  • The city of Houston hasn’t had a pro team win a division title in the last ten years (since 2001).  It’s currently the longest division title drought by any city with two or more professional sports teams.  They were previously tied with the city of Milwaukee.
  • In the last few years the sports world has seen some of the longest division title droughts get snapped (i.e. Milwaukee Brewers 2011, 29 years).  In 2008, the Arizona Cardinals snapped a 33-year division title drought.  In 2009, the Cleveland Cavaliers also snapped a 33-year division title drought.

 

This has been the season for breaking division title droughts in baseball.  A week ago the Detroit Tigers won their first division title in 24 years, and last night the Milwaukee Brewers won their first division title in 29 years.   Before this season the Brewers and Tigers both had two of the ten longest division title droughts in the four major professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL).

Longest Current Division Title Droughts in Professional Sports

Important Note: What is a division? For the purpose of this article, a division was defined by a sub-group within a conference.  Meaning that even though it was called the Eastern Division in the AFL from 1960-1969, I didn’t count it as a division, since it wasn’t a sub-group within a conference.

First year of divisions (sub-groups within conferences): MLB: 1969, NBA: 1970-71, NFL: 1967/1970 (AFC), NHL: 1974-75

Only regular season division championships were counted for the NHL.

Years Last Team League
41 - Los Angeles Clippers NBA
35 1975-76 Golden State Warriors NBA
32 1978-79 Washington Wizards NBA
32 - Phoenix Coyotes NHL
30 1981 ¹ Washington Nationals MLB
26 1985 Kansas City Royals MLB
24 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers NHL
23 1987-88 New York Islanders NHL
21 1989 Cleveland Browns NFL
20 1990-91 Los Angeles Kings NHL
19 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates MLB
18 - Colorado Rockies MLB
18 - Florida Marlins MLB
18 1993 Toronto Blue Jays MLB
17 1993-94 Atlanta Hawks NBA
17 1993-94 Houston Rockets NBA
17 1993-94 New York Knicks NBA
17 1993 Detroit Lions NFL
17 1993-94 New York Rangers NHL
15 - Memphis Grizzlies NBA

¹ In 1981 MLB played a split-season.  The then Montreal Expos won their division in the second half of the split-season.

The Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos have the longest (30 years) current division title drought in MLB.

Longest Current Division Title Droughts in MLB

Years Last Team 
30 1981 Washington Nationals
26 1985 Kansas City Royals
19 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates
18 - Colorado Rockies
18 - Florida Marlins
18 1993 Toronto Blue Jays
14 1997 Baltimore Orioles
10 2001 Houston Astros
10 2001 Seattle Mariners
6 2005 Atlanta Braves


The Los Angeles Clippers have the longest (41 years) current division title drought in the NBA.

Longest Current Division Title Droughts in the NBA

Years Last Team 
41 - Los Angeles Clippers
35 1975-76 Golden State Warriors
32 1978-79 Washington Wizards
17 1993-94 Atlanta Hawks
17 1993-94 Houston Rockets
17 1993-94 New York Knicks
15 - Memphis Grizzlies
12 1998-99 Portland Trail Blazers
10 2000-01 Milwaukee Bucks
10 2000-01 Philadelphia 76ers


The Cleveland Browns have the longest (21 years) current division title drought in the NFL.

Longest Current Division Title Droughts in the NFL

Years Last Team 
21 1989 Cleveland Browns ¹
17 1993 Detroit Lions
15 1995 Buffalo Bills
11 1999 Jacksonville Jaguars
11 1999 Washington Redskins
8 2002 Houston Texans
8 2002 New York Jets
8 2002 Oakland Raiders
8 2002 San Francisco 49ers
7 2003 St. Louis Rams

¹ The Cleveland Browns suspended operations from 1996-99.

The Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets (I) have the longest (21 years) current division title drought in the NHL.

Longest Current Division Title Droughts in the NHL

Note: Only regular season division championships were counted for the NHL.

Years Last Team 
32 - Phoenix Coyotes
24 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers
23 1987-88 New York Islanders
20 1990-91 Los Angeles Kings
17 1993-94 New York Rangers
12 1998-99 Nashville Predators
11 1999-2000 St. Louis Blues
11 1999-2000 Toronto Maple Leafs
10 2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets
8 2002-03 Colorado Avalanche


Additional Facts

The city of Houston hasn’t had a pro team win a division title in the last ten years (since 2001).  It’s currently the longest division title drought by any city with two or more professional sports teams.  They were previously tied with the city of Milwaukee.

In the last few years the sports world has seen some of the longest division title droughts get snapped.  In 2008, the Arizona Cardinals snapped a 33-year division title drought.  In 2009, the Cleveland Cavaliers also snapped a 33-year division title drought.


Reference: Sports-Reference.com


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Winning Their “First” Titles Back to Back

Posted by Andrew McKillop on June 29, 2011

Last night South Carolina won their program’s second ever College World Series title and they did it in consecutive seasons.  Below is a simple list I put together showing all instances where a major sports franchise/program won their first ever titles in back to back seasons.

Baseball
Team Lge/Org Championships
Chicago Cubs MLB 1907-08
Philadelphia Athletics MLB 1910-11
Toronto Blue Jays MLB 1992-93
Texas NCAA Div I 1949-50
Stanford NCAA Div I 1987-88
Oregon St NCAA Div I 2006-07
South Carolina NCAA Div I 2010-11
Basketball
Team Lge/Org Championships
Chicago Bulls NBA 1991-93
Houston Rockets NBA 1994-95
Akron Firestone Non-Skids NBL 1939-40
Oshkosh All-Stars NBL 1941-42
Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons NBL 1944-45
Oklahoma St NCAA Men’s Div I 1945-46
Kentucky NCAA Men’s Div I 1948-49
San Francisco NCAA Men’s Div I 1955-56
Cincinnati NCAA Men’s Div I 1961-62
UCLA NCAA Men’s Div I 1964-65
Duke NCAA Men’s Div I 1991-92
Florida NCAA Men’s Div I 2006-07
USC NCAA Women’s Div I 1983-84
Football
Team Lge/Org Championships
Canton Bulldogs NFL 1922-23
Green Bay Packers NFL 1929-31
Philadelphia Eagles NFL 1948-49
Baltimore Colts NFL 1958-59
Miami Dolphins NFL 1972-73
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL 1974-75
Denver Broncos NFL 1997-98
Houston Oilers AFL 1960-61
Buffalo Bills AFL 1964-65
Cleveland Browns AAFC 1946-49
Army NCAA Div I-FBS 1944-45
Nebraska NCAA Div I-FBS 1970-71
Hockey
Team Lge/Org Championships
Ottawa Senators NHL 1920-21
Detroit Red Wings NHL 1936-37
Philadelphia Flyers NHL 1974-75
New York Islanders NHL 1980-83
Edmonton Oilers NHL 1984-85
Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 1991-92
Houston Aeros WHA 1974-75
Boston U NCAA Div I 1971-72

 

Reference: Sports-Reference: BB, BK, FB, HK, SportsDelve.com’s National Champions Database

 

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NCAA/NAIA National Championships: Database & Miscellaneous Facts

Posted by Andrew McKillop on June 20, 2011

As promised I have released an online database which contains a record for every official NCAA/NAIA team national champion.  You can check out the database here.  After this year’s Division I College World Series, I will update/correct the database of champions after every season (fall, winter, spring).

As I wrap up the launch of this project, I thought it would be fun to look over some trivial facts about national champions.

Just an important reminder that only NCAA/NAIA officially sponsored championship sports were included in the study.  To see a detailed list of sports included click here.  Vacated championship weren’t counted.

Seeing as schools from the state of California have won the most national championships, it’s fairly predictable that the two largest California metro areas (L.A. and San Francisco) would also lead the nation in national championships. Check out the list below.

Rk Metro Area Championships NCAA NAIA
1 Los Angeles (CA) 360 313 47
2 San Francisco (CA) 142 139 3
3 Oklahoma City (OK) 83 33 50
4 Philadelphia (PA) 78 78
5 New York (NY) 73 70 3
6 Abilene (TX) 69 60 9
7 St. Louis (MO) 65 47 18
8 Minneapolis (MN) 63 51 12
9 Vancouver (BC) 59 59
18 Stillwater (OK) 47 47
10t Chicago (IL) 57 47 10
10t Mount Vernon (OH) 57 57
12t Alamosa (CO) 51 25 26
12t Ann Arbor (MI) 51 38 13
12t Baton Rouge (LA) 51 45 6
12t Durham (NC) 51 50 1
16t Austin (TX) 50 47 3
16t Trenton (NJ) 50 48 2
19t Houston (TX) 46 18 28
19t Miami (FL) 46 32 14
21t Fayetteville (AR) 42 41 1
21t San Diego (CA) 42 34 8
21t Seattle (WA) 42 17 25
24t La Crosse (WI) 41 34 7
24t Oshkosh (WI) 41 32 9
24t State College (PA) 41 41



Using 2009 population estimates retrieved from Wikipedia, it shows that Indianapolis is the largest metro area without a national championship.  In the last two years Butler not only came close to bringing home their schools first national championship (runner-up in NCAA Men’s Basketball), but also their city’s.

Public schools have won 58% of all national championships.  Check out the breakdown below.

Type Championships NCAA I NCAA II NCAA III NAIA I NAIA II
Private 1869 484 303 502 525 55
Public 2572 1198 576 308 478 12



I thought it would be fun to create a figure that divides school enrollment by championships won.  I used Fall 2009 semester enrollment figures provided by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.  Kenyon (OH) leads the list with a championship per every 28.6 students.

Rk School Enrollment Students Per Champion
1 Kenyon (OH) 1633 28.6
2 St. Augustine’s (NC) 1529 49.3
3 Adams St (CO) 3121 61.2
4 Abilene Christian (TX) 4813 74.0
5 Middlebury (VT) 2482 85.6
6 Williams (MA) 2141 85.6
7 Methodist (NC) 2183 87.3
8 Florida Southern 2426 89.9
9 Central St (OH) 2436 90.2
10 Oklahoma City 3829 106.4
11 North Central (IL) 2798 107.6
12 Kentucky Wesleyan 876 109.5
13 BYU-Hawaii 2586 112.4
14 Lynn (FL) 2224 117.1
15 Lubbock Christian (TX) 1906 136.1



The largest school in the NCAA/NAIA to never have won a national championship is Ashford (IA).  Ashford (IA) had an official enrollment of 46,835 students for the Fall 2009 semester.  Mainly due to it’s for-profit online degree programs.

Principia (IL) is the smallest school to have ever won a national championships.  Principia’s Fall 2009 enrollment was 527.  They won the 1983 NCAA Division III women’s title.


There are four schools which no longer exist that have won national championships.

School Sport Year(s) Org Div
George Williams (WI) Men’s Volleyball 1974, 77, 78 NAIA I
Hawaii Loa Softball 1991 NAIA I
Southern Benedictine (AL) Men’s Golf 1971 NAIA I
Tarkio (MO) Men’s Basketball 1940 NAIA I



It’s important to keep in mind that championships sponsored by the NCAA and NAIA make up only a part of the “national championships” won every year.  Check out this Wikipedia article for a listing of other intercollegiate national champions.  The NJCAA sponsors national championships for junior colleges.  Be sure to check out their record book section for more on the topic.


Reference:  Sources used to compile list of NCAA/NAIA national champions.

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