Our 2011 College Preview Series is finally over, and with it the first chapter in our magazine’s history. The previews were one of our first ideas for feature articles for Skyd to cover. For us, the college series is the bread and butter of Ultimate. It is on the college quad that most people discover the beauty and glory of the disc, and the competitive career of many players ends with their last year of USA Ultimate college eligibility. The spirit and culture of Ultimate is perfectly exemplified with the college team, and this shone through in our previews. We were able to get an inside look at college Ultimate culture by previewing 132 of North America’s best college teams. Even better, the interviews afforded us the opportunity to assemble statistics about teams, and to gain a macro perspective of the entire college game.
The jersey industry for Ultimate has never been bigger than it is now, and in the past few years, major companies have gained a significant market share among college teams. To get an idea of which companies were most represented in college Ultimate, we asked each team who made their most recent jerseys. Here were the results of those who responded in percentages (click to enlarge):
Patagonia continues their reign at the top, with Five Ultimate close behind. Five was certainly helped by their college sponsorship contest, which awarded teams in different categories free team jerseys. An interesting data point was the lack of GAIA. Six years ago, GAIA was one of the only companies in the game, but they have since (until recently) moved out of the American market and focused on making gear out of their headquarters in Germany.
Who will win the 2011 College National Championships?
We also asked teams who their pick was to win the 2011 College National Championships. For the Open division, Carleton was the clear pick by far with 16 votes. Because we asked the questions during the fall, many teams declined to answer, citing a lack of knowledge about opposing teams. Many, however, recognized Carleton as a team that “simply reloads every year” with a great freshman class. On the Women’s side, the returning National Champion Oregon team garnered the most votes to win it all, coming off a 43-1 season. Full results below:
Carleton – 16 votes
Pitt – 6
Wisconsin – 4
Colorado – 3
Minnesota – 2
Berkeley – 3
Oregon – 2
Florida – 2
Oregon – 5 votes
Carleton – 3
UCSB – 3
Colorado – 2
Iowa – 2
Here are our favorite photos that teams sent over:
Our three favorite logos:
We asked teams what song they would pick for the soundtrack to their team’s 2011 highlight video. Here are the three picks we hope to see in some end of the season preview videos:
- Andrew Hathaway – Biggie Smalls Party in the USA Remix (Kalamazoo College Ultimate Buzz)
- Mistah FAB – Ghost Ride It (USC Ghettobirds)
- Chiddy Bang – Opposite of Adults (Bentley Icehouse)
Our vote for funniest preview goes to the Oregon State Beavers. OSU captain Timmy Perston is certainly one of the most interesting characters in Ultimate and reading his words gives us a happy feeling in our tummies. Honorable mentions: Middlebury Pranksters, Hartford Lighthouse.
We’d like to thank all teams again for participating, and we hope that we were able to bring the wide world of college Ultimate a little bit closer. We’ll see you next year for our 2012 college preview series.