Summer school Q&A: What are the best dynasties in college sports?

June 19, 2024
All they do is win, win, win, no matter what.
Summer school Q&A: What are the best dynasties in college sports?
Source: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The GIST: You ask, we answer! GISTers pose the most interesting NCAA questions, so if you have one, ask it here. On today’s lesson plan…

Q: What are the best dynasties in college sports?

A: The only thing NCAA fans love more than rooting for their teams is fighting about what counts as a dynasty. Is it overall wins and losses? Or, like UConn women’s basketball alum and WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart says, is it all about the ’ships? (She would know: She won four of ’em.)

  • There are tons of historic streaks in NCAA history — here are some of the most widely recognized dynasties in college sports.

🏀 UCLA men’s basketball, 1964–1975: Legendary head coach (HC) John Wooden’s time with the Bruins is one of college sports’ most impressive runs. With NBA legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton on his roster, Wooden won 10 titles in 12 years — including seven in a row.

⚽ UNC’s women’s soccer, 1982–2003: Things that began in 1982: NCAA women’s soccer and the Tar Heels’ stranglehold on the natty. UNC won 17 titles in the sport’s first 23 years, with nine straight from 1986 to 1994. HC Anson Dorrance, who started the program and still helms it, has developed some of the game’s greatest talent, including seven of the legendary USWNT 99ers.

🏀 UConn women’s basketball, 2000–2016: HC Geno Auriemma’s career stats are truly mind-boggling — and he’s still building his resume. But his Huskies’ most dominant stretch, when they won 10 of their NCAA–leading 11 titles, ended with the aforementioned Stewie’s fourth straight ’ship in 2016.

🏈 Alabama football, 2009–2020: Few modern programs can match the Nick Saban–era Crimson Tide’s dominance. Arguably the greatest college football HC ever, Saban hung up his whistle in January, leaving new HC Kalen DeBoer with big shoes — and trophy cases — to fill.

✌️Oklahoma’s double dynasty, 2013–present: Today’s Sooner women are near-unbeatable in two sports: softball and gymnastics. Although this year’s gym team missed out on a three-peat, they were peerless in the regular season, and softball just bagged their historic fourth straight ’ship. Boomer.