STACK Elite 50 2009

Get better at the sports you play and the life you lead at STACK. Improve your training, nutrition and lifestyle with daily

Stanford University is Top School for Academically Minded Athletes, Finds STACK Media's Annual "Elite 50" Ranking

Most Recognized, Comprehensive College Rankings & Resource for High School Athletes Awards Highest Honor to Stanford University for 2nd Straight Year

Survey Lists Overall Elite 50 & Individual Team Rankings for 21 Varsity Sports

NEW YORK, NY – (December 14, 2009) – STACK Media, the leading producer and distributor of sports performance, instruction and lifestyle content for high school athletes, today announced the findings from its third annual "STACK Elite 50 College Rankings" – which is the most recognized, comprehensive college rankings and resource of its kind and a powerful research tool for any high school athlete looking to compete and study at the next level. For the second straight year, Stanford University came out on top by finishing number one in seven of the 21 sport-specific rankings. Aside from the overall Elite 50 standings, which highlights the best schools in terms of a strong overall athletic presence, individual team rankings for 21 varsity sports are also listed. The full rankings can be found in STACK Media's Holiday print edition, which is out today.

In addition to rankings and stories about top ranked schools in the Holiday edition of STACK Magazine, STACK Media has also compiled exclusive interviews with Elite 50 colleges' coaches, athletes and academic advisors on the dedicated section of the Web site.

"Serious high school athletes want to elevate their game to the next level with credible information on training and performance, but reliable sources on their best options for schools with top academic and athletic programs are extremely limited for them to turn to," said Nick Palazzo, Co-founder and Co-CEO of STACK Media. "The college recruiting and selection process is demanding, time consuming and stressful, and we aim to make it easier for students in researching and calculating the top colleges out there with the STACK Elite 50 College Rankings. Whatever your sport of choice may be, we've listed the right college for you."

*Stanford University claims top spot
Stanford University was the first ever repeat winner by coming out number one in eight sports and fielding 17 top-15 squads, along with being ranked by U.S. News as America's fourth best academic college/university. Florida nailed down the number two overall ranking with only one top-ranked sport (softball), but had 15 top-15 squads and was ranked 47 by U.S. News. The school jumped from last year's number five listing.

The North Carolina Tar Heels, who were number one in '07 and number three in '08, claim their third consecutive top-five overall finish. UNC dominates the baseball diamond with an Elite 50 "Triple Crown" – three years running as the top baseball program. This was combined with a well-respected U.S. News spot at 28 and 11 top-15 teams. The Texas Longhorns came in at number four, but dropped from number two overall last year. And rounding out the top five is the University of Southern California thanks to a sneaky four-sport attack, led by the football squad's three-peat. Women's golf, men's tennis and men's T&F also ranked number one.

"It was another competitive year for the top spot, with many worthy contenders," Palazzo added. "We congratulate Stanford University for yet another number one ranking. The men and women of Palo Alto can be very proud for upholding the title of best college for academically minded athletes. And any high school athlete looking to play at the collegiate level has 50 fantastic schools from our Elite 50 list that they should have on their radar screen, as they are all top-notch schools in terms of both academics and sports."

*College rankings by sport
Below are the top five college rankings in each of the sports that were included in the Elite 50 rankings:

Football
1. USC
2. Florida
3. Ohio State
4. Texas
5. Georgia

Men's Basketball
1. UNC
2. UCLA
3. Kansas
4. Duke
5. Memphis

Women's Basketball
1. Stanford
2. Uconn
3. UNC
4. Duke
5. Maryland

Baseball
1. UNC
2. Rice
3. Virginia
4. ASU
5. Florida State

Men's Soccer
1. Wake Forest
2. Maryland
3. Notre Dame
4. Northwestern
5. Indiana

Women's Soccer
1. UNC
2. Notre Dame
3. UCLA
4. Stanford
5. USC

Men's Swimming
1. Stanford
2. Michigan
3. Cal
4. Florida
5. Texas

Women's Swimming
1. Stanford
2. Cal
3. Florida
4. Georgia
5. Texas

Hockey
1. Michigan
2. Notre Dame
3. Boston University
4. Miami (OH)
5. Boston College

Men's Track
1. USC
2. Texas
3. Stanford
4. Florida
5. Texas A&M

Women's Track
1. Michigan
2. Stanford
3. USC
4. Texas A&M
5. Florida

Wrestling
1. Michigan
2. Ohio State
3. Northwestern
4. Penn State
5. Cornell

Lacrosse
1. Duke
2. Virginia
3. Notre Dame
4. Cornell
5. UNC

Volleyball
1. Stanford
2. Penn State
3. Florida
4. Nebraska
5. Washington

Softball
1. Florida
2. Michigan
3. Alabama
4. Stanford
5. Arizona State University

In order to determine the sport-specific rankings, STACK Media uses five main indicators of excellence. One source is the 2010 U.S. News & World Report on America's best colleges, which each year ranks the nation's top colleges and universities, strictly in terms of academic prowess. Also considered is the Academic Progress Rate (APR) system that measures how well a collegiate athletic team's members progress toward graduation during their playing careers. A third indicator is the end-of-the-season national rankings and polls from various national outlets that sum up the entire season's results. A team's win-loss record is also considered, where the number of games over .500 for each team is calculated over the past three seasons, and then awarded points based on that total. Finally, there's the 'STACK Factor,' or the strength of the overall athletic community in terms of the level of athletic support and ability throughout all 21 varsity sports covered.

About STACK?
A diversified media company, operating both print publishing and digital media business units, STACK is a leading provider of original "how-to" sports performance information, inspiring and engaging active males. The publishing unit includes the company's flagship publication, STACK Magazine, periodic special issues and a line of books. The internet unit includes STACK.com, STACK TV and STACK Media, a distributed media network powered by STACK's large library of online videos. STACK Media is one of the top sports properties on the Internet, with an average of more than 4 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore. In both print and online, STACK continues to deliver authoritative information on safe, effective drug-free training—for strength, speed, conditioning, agility and flexibility.

Media Contact:
Scott Cianciulli
Brainerd Communicators
Cianciulli@braincomm.com
(212) 986-6667


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock