Women win all-sports title

Tennessee is the SEC all-sports champion for the third year in a row … among women's programs.

The Tennessee men, on the other hand, haven't won a league title in any sport the past three years.

It isn't quite as bad as it sounds, though. The guys won an SEC East football title in 2004 and an SEC East basketball title in 2005-06. The baseball team made it to the 2005 College World Series. Moreover, the Vol athletics department finished eighth in the Director's Cup – a national all-sports rating – during the 2004-05 school year, despite zero conference championships. It was the men's highest finish ever in the Director's Cup.

Still, Tennessee hasn't won an SEC title in a men's sport since 2002, when the Vols captured league championships in both tennis and indoor track.

The only men's programs that came close to league titles in 2005-06 were indoor track and basketball -- both of whom finished second. Conversely, three UT programs floundered – football (tied for seventh in league competition), golf (ninth) and tennis (10th).

While the UT men are struggling, the UT women are winning conference titles left and right. The Lady Vols claimed SEC crowns in cross country and soccer during the 2005-06 school year and captured tourney titles in basketball, soccer and softball.

Using the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group formula, that netted the Lady Vols 79.50 points in eight varsity sports, or 9.94 points per sport. Georgia had 89.00 total points. Because the Lady Bulldogs field nine varsity sports, however, they averaged just 9.89 points per sport and finished second.

Women's athletics director Joan Cronan is understandably proud of the latest all-sports title.

"To win this championship for the third consecutive year is a significant feat for our student-athletes and the women's athletics department at UT," she said in a statement released by the sports information department. "It is indeed an honor and extremely special since I believe the SEC is the best conference in America for women's sports.

"Not only did we win two league titles but we also captured three SEC Tournament Championships. All of our teams finished in the top five in the league, which is a tremendous accomplishment."

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