A couple of days ago, someone sent me an e-mail that touted the success of athletes at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing who had attended my undergraduate alma mater, Auburn University. Auburn athletes were indeed successful, garnering 18 medals. The writer of the e-mail had compared this total to that of other countries, and surprisingly, Auburn athletes did as well as Canada and Spain and better than countries like the Netherlands and Brazil.
The writer did not, however, compare Auburn with other universities, so I decided to search around and see how some other universities noted for their intercollegiate athletics programs did. Here are the results:
|University of Southern California||21||9||10||2|
|University of California, Berkeley||17||5||9||3|
|University of California, Los Angeles||15||4||9||2|
|University of Texas at Austin||14||10||2||2|
|University of Florida||14||5||4||5|
|University of Michigan||12||9||1||2|
|University of Tennessee||6||3||3||0|
|Louisiana State University||4||2||2||0|
|University of Georgia||4||0||3||1|
Auburn’s medals came in only two sports, swimming and track & field. Only two medalists from Auburn competed for the United States. Stanford’s 25 medals came in 13 different sports (counting men’s and women’s sports separately). Eight of Michigan’s nine gold medals are solely attributable to Michael Phelps. Texas, my graduate alma mater, wins the gold medal count among these schools.