Fullerton was ranked No. 47 and was one of only two included schools (University of Portland tied at No. 44) that does not field a football team. Fullerton is the only member of the Big West Conference on the list and is ranked just ahead of Michigan State, Colorado and Baylor.
Stack created the Elite 50 to rank the best schools for academically minded athletes. Criteria included wins and losses, championship titles, school rankings and academic progress. Measurements included the 2008 U.S. News & World Report on America's Best Colleges, the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate, national rankings and team's finishes in national tournaments, won-lost records and the strength of a school's overall athletic community and its level of support for athletics.
The Titans' perennially strong baseball program was a major factor in Fullerton's inclusion.
The complete list:
1. North Carolina 2. Texas 3. Stanford 4. UCLA 5. Duke 6. Florida 7. Michigan 8. USC 9. Ohio State 10. Wisconsin 11. Virginia 12. Georgia 13. Notre Dame 14. California 15. Tennessee 16. LSU 17. Auburn 18. Illinois 19. Washington 20. Penn State 21. Arizona State 22. Florida State (tie) Northwestern (tie) 24. Rice 25. Maryland 26. Texas A&M 27. Georgetown 28. Minnesota 29. Oregon State 30. Clemson 31. Georgia Tech 32. Wake Forest 33. Vanderbilt (tie) Connecticut (tie) 35. Boston College 36. Rutgers 37. Kansas 38. Arizona 39. Cornell 40. Alabama 41. Nebraska (tie) Louisville (tie) 43. SMU 44. Portland (tie) BYU (tie) 46. Indiana 47. Cal State Fullerton 48. Michigan State 49. Colorado 50. Baylor