Author’s Note: Men’s Soccer and Men’s Tennis probably had the “best” seasons, but for simplicity and for more discussion I chose to include only football, basketball, and baseball in my polls.
With the Wake Forest baseball season coming to an end in the Super Regionals in Florida, the 2016-17 Wake Forest sports season officially came to an end.
And what a season it was!
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out Ned’s season review.
But with the end of the season, I decided to conduct a two part Twitter poll gauging fan perceptions of the season for football, basketball, and baseball.
The first part of my poll asked fans to vote on which of the three teams had the BEST season in 2016-17. While you can certainly make a case for all three of them, and there is really no wrong answer, baseball overwhelmingly won this vote.
And it is easy to see why baseball overwhelmingly won this poll.
Football went to a bowl for the first time since 2011 and won a bowl for the first time since 2008.
Basketball went back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.
Both had great seasons, but baseball hosted a regional for the first time since 1999, and went to a Super Regional for the second time in school history. Baseball also had eight players taken in the MLB Draft, which set a new school record.
I would consider any of the three acceptable and valid answers, though my personal vote would also be for baseball. Having watched many games in all three sports, the baseball team was the one team that I would have given a good chance of winning every single night, especially as the season progressed in tough game situations.
Part 2 of my poll asked for fans to vote on the MOST IMPROVED team of Wake Forest’s basketball, baseball, and football teams. This one wasn’t nearly as much of a runaway, but basketball was still the clear winner.
For me this result isn’t that surprising, and I think this outcome was almost expected given the length of time that has surpassed since Wake Forest basketball was even relevant in the ACC and the desire by the fanbase to have any sort of hope to grasp onto.
Football improved doubled their win total from 3 to 6 (7 counting the bowl win) and deserves all credit where it is due. But they lacked a signature victory over a big time program, and still seem to be a year or two away from ACC relevance again.
Baseball had an outstanding year and won the vote for BEST season. But this team had already made it to a regional and drastically improved their win total from the year before last season (2016).
The basketball team was in my opinion by far the most improved, and again I think my perception is also colored by six straight seasons of constant losses.
At a traditional basketball school like Wake, NCAA Baseball Tournament appearances are a nice thing, but they don’t satisfy the majority of the fan base. A winning season and a bowl game appearance are a great thing and get a whole lot of fans excited, but football still isn’t the major draw. The basketball team making the NCAA Tournament and competing in the ACC is what gets the most attention from Wake fans in the community.
four years of Jeff Bzdelik four of the worst years in Wake Forest basketball history, fans craved literally any success, and after six LONG years without a postseason appearance we finally were reminded of what it’s like to be a participant in March Madness once again.
What are your thoughts on which of these three teams had the “BEST” and “MOST IMPROVED” season? Comment below! Regardless of your opinion, I’m just glad to finally have all of our sports competing successfully once again and be able to have discussions like this!