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Best College Programs: Basketball & Football

Rivals has done an interesting thing in trying to rank each college program on football & basketball during the BCS Era, combine the two and see which programs are the best for each. Here is the article in it’s entirety. I’ll list the top-25 here and then comment on it. It’s pretty interesting to be sure.

1. Florida
2T. Ohio St.
2T. Texas
4. Oklahoma
5. USC
6. Michigan St.
7. LSU
8T. Tennessee
8T. Wisconsin
10. UCLA
11. Maryland
12. Alabama
13. Arizona
14. Louisville
15. West Virginia
16. Oregon
17. Auburn
18. Georgia Tech
19. Pittsburgh
20T. Purdue
20T. Utah
22. Missouri
23. Boston College
24. Washington
25T. Cincinnati
25T. Notre Dame
27. Texas A&M
28. NC State

Florida is an obvious #1 seeing how they’ve won 2 National Championships in both football & basketball. Broken down by conference we get:

PAC 10: 5 (# 4, 10, 13, 16, 24)
SEC: 5 (# 1, 7, 8, 12, 17)
BIG EAST: 4.5 (# 14, 15, 19, 25, 25) (note: Notre Dame gets a half b/c of basketball)
BIG TEN: 4 (# 2, 6, 8, 20)
BIG XII: 4 (# 2, 4, 22, 27)
ACC: 4 (# 11, 18, 23, 28)
MWC: 1 (# 20)

Only the Big 10 & SEC have 3 in the Top-10. A few notes on the teams that didn’t make the list by conference:

Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina: The Tar Heels ranked 3rd in basketball but were so bad in football they couldn’t crack the top-28. Ridiculous to say the least. Give the Heels some time under Butch Davis and they’ll be in.

Florida St.: The reverse of UNC. FSU was 7th in football but was poor in basketball. Leonard Hamilton definitely has top shelf recruits coming to Florida St. so it’s only a matter of time before the Seminoles crack this ranking.

Miami-FL: Ranked 8th in football. A pretty tough spot to be in really. Miami-FL basketball is getting better & better, but playing in the ACC isn’t exactly easy. The football team is poised to start dominating on the national scene once again and THE U could be on this list from shear force of the football squad.

Big 10 Conference

Indiana: It’s embarrassing to Hoosiers to see Purdue on this list and not Indiana. Indiana ranked 25th in basketball although you’d have to think that the BCS era also coincides with the worst era in Indiana basketball history. The football program is in shambles, but the basketball program, if restored, could get Indiana on this list.

Michigan: Ranked 16th in football in a brutal period for Michigan athletics. Basically the Wolverines should be a lot better under RichRod in the upcoming years if the the Michigan brass stays patient. There are rough days ahead for the basketball team though.

Illinois: Ranked 14th in basketball. Illinois should be better all the way around, but I’m not a big fan of Bruce Weber and I don’t think Ron Zook is a good coach despite being an exceptional recruiter. If Wisconsin & Purdue make the list, Illinois certainly should although that athletic department is probably headed in the wrong direction. Zook might be on his way out which would do a lot to right the ship.

Southeastern Conference

Kentucky: Tough to actually put Kentucky here. They ranked 10th in basketball despite the Gillespie era and in reality I suppose it’s just a matter of time before the NCAA strips Calipari of something while he’s in Lexington. Their football program is atrocious and won’t get better in the SEC.

Arkansas: Sort of like Illinois. Arkansas should probably rank a bit higher but doesn’t. This could change fairly dramatically. I like John Pelphrey as a HC for the basketball squad and I love Bobby Petrino in the college game. Arkansas could make significant strides here.

Big Twelve Conference

Oklahoma St.: It’s insane that the Cowboys aren’t on either list for football or basketball! Mike Gundy is slowly changing that and I think Travis Ford will do a good job in Stillwater with the basketball players. Playing the Big XII South isn’t easy to be sure, but if Texas A&M can crack the list then I think Oklahoma St. should be able to as well.

Kansas St.: The Wildcats could start to make some noise here. Frank Martin is doing great things with the basketball team while Bill Snyder is back in charge on the gridiron. I don’t think Snyder is going to get K-State back to where he had them during his first go around in Manhattan, but they’ll be a winning team.

Nebraska/Kansas: Sort of opposites. Kansas is good at basketball. Nebraska is good at football. These are a couple of programs like Indiana in that they have one dominant sport and really need the other one to come up. KU looked to be making strides with QB Todd Reesing & HC Mark Mangino, but Reesing graduated and Mangino was let go.

Baylor: Baylor is a program I’d watch like a hawk! Scott Drew is an exceptional basketball coach as is Art Briles with football. Baylor is slowly working their way into being the dominant basketball school in the Big XII South. Football is another matter entirely because the Big XII South is MURDEROUS on a school like Baylor, but Briles can coach and both men have convinced top shelf recruits to come to Baylor.

Pacific Ten

Arizona St.: This simply doesn’t make sense. If Arizona in on here, Arizona St. should be. To me this seems like a gigantic waste. Dennis Erickson is on the hot seat as HC of the football team and I’m not sure he makes it out of the 2010 season alive. The basketball team isn’t anything great, but they’ll be helped out a bit of the football squad reaches its potential. What is it anyway with the Pac 10 & basketball?

Oregon St.: Crazy to think Oregon St. didn’t crack the top-25 in football! Mike Riley is an outstanding coach and Oregon St. is one of my favorite college football teams. I think the Beavers are more than solid enough on the gridiron in the upcoming years. They’ll need the basketball team to step it up a bit.

Big East

Connecticut: UConn didn’t make the list but could in the future. Randy Edsall has the Huskies football team playing very well and UConn is always going to be a force on the hardwood. UConn ranked 5th in basketball so a few good years by the football team could have them pressing to crack this list. Then again, if the football landscape changes and the Big East contracts, UConn could find the road in football a bit more difficult.

South Florida: The Bulls didn’t rank in either football or basketball but Jim Leavitt built a top-25 program for the football team and I think Skip Holtz could be a coach who could get them over the hump. They are getting better at basketball too. I think anytime you are doing a combined ranking like this, it’s difficult to leave out Florida programs. Athletes love the warm weather so it’s basically a matter of getting the program into the right hands.

Very interesting stuff indeed.

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June 3, 2010 - Posted by | Basketball, Football, Top Programs

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