However, in today's intercollegiate athletics, competition has become so balanced and so competitive that it is virtually impossible to maintain a high level of consistency.
Yet the Atlantic Coast Conference has defied the odds. Now in its 57th year of competition, the ACC has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. And that is not mere conjecture, the numbers support it.
Since the league's inception in 1953, ACC schools have captured 105 national championships, including 56 in women's competition and 49 in men's. In addition, NCAA individual titles have gone to ACC student-athletes 139 times in men's competition and 86 times in women's action.
The first ACC championship was held in swimming on February 25, 1954. The conference did not conduct championships in cross country, wrestling or tennis during the first year.
The 12 sports for men include football, cross country, soccer, basketball, swimming, indoor and outdoor track, wrestling, baseball, tennis, golf and lacrosse. Fencing, which was started in 1971, was discontinued in 1981.
Women's sports were initiated in 1977 with the first championship meet being held in tennis at Wake Forest University.
Championships for women are currently conducted in cross country, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, basketball, swimming, indoor and outdoor track, tennis, golf, lacrosse, softball and rowing.