There were 1,256 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 313,433 in the last 365 days. Spotlights the Most Influential College Athletics Programs in 10 Sports

Sports images collage for college athletics

Which colleges & universities have sports programs that graduate influential athletes and alumni? ranks the top college athletics programs overall and for 10 sports…

All-star alumni players and the college sports programs that made them legends

DENTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, July 14, 2022 / -- For 2021, the NCAA reported collegiate athletics brought in nearly $19 billion dollars in revenue. Yes, academics remain the point of higher education. But college sports are important too. Athletics not only pay the bills for many schools, but top programs also attract student-athletes, many of whom go on to legendary careers in professional sports. Not only that, but an alumni group filled with pro sports stars is a gift that keeps on giving for many schools.

In short, many of the top schools have actually reached the pinnacle of higher education in part because of the allure of their athletics programs.

For that reason, explores 10 popular college sports—baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and track & field—and ranks each sport for both the 25 overall athletics programs of influence and for the top 25 programs in each individual sport:

Most Influential Colleges in Sports Today

The top 10 college athletics programs overall:
1. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
2. Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill , N.C.)
4. University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.)
5. Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
6. University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.)
7. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
8. Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.)
9. Duke University (Durham, N.C.)
10. University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas)

Visit the link above for the rest of the top 25 overall and for the top schools in each of the 10 sports profiled.

“The ideal in higher education has always included a mind-body connection, and as a result, colleges and universities love their student-athletes,” says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of and Wake Forest University professor of physics.

“However, college rankings have often underrepresented the importance of the student-athlete and the athletic programs that support them. We saw this need and used our InfluenceRanking Engine technology to find those college sports programs that graduate students who go on to be influential in their sport, in business, and in academia. Now, students have empirical insight into the schools that excel in their chosen sport.”

The article includes a ranking of the overall top 25 college and university sports programs for all sports, along with the influential athletes from each ranked school. In addition, each of the 10 sports receives its own ranking article, with alumni athletes listed specific to that sport’s ranked schools.

Along with the notable athletes from a specific college program, each college or university entry includes information on tuition and fees, acceptance and graduation rates, student body size, median test scores, and fields of influence. Students can also now use the new Favorites feature. Just click the heart icon next to any school to save it and request follow-up information.'s proprietary InfluenceRanking Engine technology—an innovative machine-learning technology developed for DARPA—measures the influence of students, faculty, and alumni associated with their colleges and universities. By analyzing massive data sources such as Wikipedia, Crossref, Semantic Scholar, and Wikidata, the InfluenceRanking Engine creates a numeric score of the impact people associated with schools have within their academic disciplines, thereby identifying schools with rich histories of developing influential academics and alumni.

“While these rankings are a great resource for college sports fans, they serve a much deeper purpose. continues to innovate ways to help colleges show prospective students how they excel,” says Macosko. “By featuring those college athletics programs that produce outstanding student-athletes who are influential long past their college careers, we inspire students to connect with schools that can help them become influential as well.” is the preeminent, technology-driven, academic rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond. See the About page for further details on the unique capabilities and advantages of its ranking technology.

Jed Macosko, Ph.D.
+1 502-517-7040
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