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Wake Forest Athletics: Perception may mean everything but results don’t lie

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Even with bowl game wins and monumental upsets, Wake continues to have a certain reputation.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

As a Wake Forest alum not living in North Carolina anymore, I’m sure many persons can relate to the questions raised when people learn about where I went for university.

“Lake Forest in Chicago right?”

“Isn’t your mascot like an old angry white man?”

“Doesn’t your school have like 10,000 undergrads?”

“How was Atlanta in college (confusion with Georgia Tech)?”

And then of course, there are the typical sports-related questions that we can’t avoid.

“Aren’t you guys like REALLY good at basketball?”

“Were you there when Chris Paul was there?”

“Your football team isn’t very good right?”

Time and time again, these are interesting questions to receive and even more astonishing to answer for those who do not follow or pay attention as attentively as most of the Demon Deacon faithful. While Wake Forest continues to only improve in most athletics, the reputation of LOWF (Little Ole’ Wake Forest) continues to remain in the national water cooler conversations.

The football program continues to have a relatively weak perception around the country. Even with my trip to Wake’s recent bowl game in Birmingham, Alabama, people were puzzled that Wake Forest had an undergraduate enrollment that barely cracked 5,000 students. More shocking to them was the fact that this was Wake’s third consecutive bowl game victory.

Ironically, the basketball program has endured a lot of grace. Perhaps it is the continued reputation of Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, Al-Farouq Aminu, and others but people still believe the Wake program is at the very least a middle-tier program. Wake basketball has been very rough to say the least (although recruiting has been trending up with players like Jaylen Hoard). The program’s upset over N.C. State last night was a huge deal as it was the first ACC win of the season and first win over a ranked opponent in nearly two years.

Overall, for the fall season, Wake Forest earned a top-10 finish in the Fall D1 Learfield Director’s Cup. The Director’s Cup was developed to award institutions for athletic success with a point system for NCAA accomplishments. Among the top-ten teams (in order) were Stanford, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, BYU, Wake Forest, Duke, Washington, Notre Dame, N.C. State.

While Wake Forest may never have the reputation of other powerhouse schools, the results do not lie. Regardless of what people think, Wake Forest athletics continues to show success and promise.