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The 10 colleges that do football *and* basketball the best

The Big Ten and Pac-12 are dominating this list right now.

SB Nation 2015 March Madness Bracket

Your school's athletic program is probably known either for being a football school or a men's basketball school, sometimes vacillating based on the success of each program. Most fans will funnel most of their energy into one sport in particular, hanging their hat of school pride on the success of that team.

Then there are those schools whose teams seem to be great at everything.

With March Madness now underway a few months after the first College Football Playoff, it's a reasonable time to rank the strongest combined football and men's basketball programs. We (Kevin Trahan and Pete Volk contributed rankings) based this in part on regular season win-loss results over the last 10 years and combined and Football Outsiders F/+ ratings over the last five years, with postseason runs and subjective assessments also factored in.

10. Notre Dame

Notre Dame always seems to be in the picture but never dominant enough to secure titles. The football program is in strong shape with Brian Kelly at the helm, while basketball coach Mike Brey consistently reaches the tournament but has yet to make the round of 16.

Five-year and F/+ rank: Seventh (29.4 average)

Decade highlights

Football: One BCS Championship appearance, two top-10 AP finishes

Basketball: One ACC Tournament championship, seven NCAA appearances

9. Baylor

Not only does Baylor have two consecutive Big 12 titles and a near-Playoff appearance in football, they've also taken advantage of the rise of AAU basketball in Texas. With Dallas and Houston regularly producing future NBA players, Bears basketball has made multiple strong postseason runs under head coach Scott Drew.

While the Bears did just manage to blow a 10-point lead in the first round of the 2015 tournament, as long as Art Briles and Drew remain in Waco, Baylor should be counted as a top athletic department.

Five-year and F/+ rank: 12th (31.5 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Two Big 12 titles, two BCS/New Year's appearances, three top-15 finishes

Basketball: Two Elite Eights, five NCAA appearances

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8. Oregon

Football success has continued unabated in the wake of Chip Kelly's ascendance to the NFL. It shows no signs of slowing down, as Stanford falls back without Jim Harbaugh and USC and UCLA marshal their strength down south.

They're here mostly for their football prowess, but in basketball, Dana Altman now has them in the tournament regularly and competing for Pac-12 titles.

Five-year and F/+ rank: Sixth (26.8 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Four Pac-12 titles, two title appearances, three BCS/Playoff wins, six top-10 finishes

Basketball: Two Pac-12 Tournament championships, one Elite Eight, five NCAA appearances

7. Arizona

The Wildcats are an oft-forgotten program, but with Rich Rodriguez and Sean Miller in the coaching seats, it's hard to argue against them. Rich Rod has not yet managed to win the Pac-12, but Miller might have a team that could win the Wildcats their first national championship since 1997.

Five-year and F/+ rank: Ninth (30.2 average)

Decade highlights

Football: One Pac-12 South title, one top-20 finish and Fiesta Bowl appearance

Basketball: Three Pac-12 titles, two Elite Eights, eight NCAA appearances


Although the basketball program has slipped since Ben Howland's amazing run from 2006 to 2008, when they were in the Final Four every season, last year's team put them back on the map. Future NBA Draft choices Zach LaVine and Kyle Anderson have Bruin fans dreaming of past glory coming back.

In football, they're stronger than they've been since the 1990s, with Jim Mora coaching top athletes like Brett Hundley and challenging USC's control of the Pac-12 South.

Five-year and F/+ rank: 27th (43.5 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Two Pac-12 South titles, three top-20 finishes

Basketball: Four Pac-12 titles, three Final Fours, seven NCAA appearances

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5. Florida

The only reason for the Gators finishing outside of the top three is the decline of the football program that won two national championships before collapsing at the end of the Urban Meyer era. Their success under Billy Donovan, a two-time national champion in basketball, keeps them near the top while new coach Jim McElwain tries to get the Gators going again on the gridiron.

Five-year and F/+ rank: Fifth (22.9 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Two SEC titles, three SEC East titles, two BCS championships, six top-15 finishes

Basketball: Four SEC titles, three Final Fours, two national championships, seven NCAA appearances

4. Louisville

With Charlie Strong, Bobby Petrino, and Rick Pitino all calling Louisville home in the last two years, the Cardinals have not lacked for coaching talent.

While Strong and now Petrino have been able to keep Louisville in conference contention, even in their new home in the ACC, Pitino has dominated most of college basketball. With neither coach set to move anytime soon, Louisville is poised for an impressive run of athletics success.

Five-year and F/+ rank: Fourth (19.6 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Three conference titles, two BCS wins, three top-15 finishes

Basketball: Three conference titles, two Final Fours, one national championship, nine NCAA appearances

3. Wisconsin

The Badgers have always had good basketball teams under Bo Ryan and had good football teams under the direction of Barry Alvarez. But the recent era of Badger sports has taken off thanks to local superstars like JJ Watt, Melvin Gordon, and Frank Kaminsky.

Their consistent standing near the top of the the Big Ten and presence in the second weekend of the tournament (advanced to the Sweet 16 or deeper in five of the last 10 years) keeps them in the college sports fan's consciousness on a nearly year-round basis.

Five-year and F/+ rank: First, tied (11.5 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Three Big Ten titles, six 10-win seasons, eight top-25 finishes

Basketball: Two Big Ten titles, one Final Four, 10 NCAA appearances

2. Michigan State

Spartans football under Mark Dantonio took full advantage of Michigan's gridiron mediocrity and Ohio State's NCAA sanctions. Now that defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi has moved on to Pitt, we'll see if Dantonio's Spartans are built to last.

The 2015 basketball season nearly killed Tom Izzo, but as long as he's running the show, no one will doubt Michigan State's place as an elite basketball program.

Five-year and F/+ rank: Third (15.2 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Two Big Ten titles, Rose Bowl win, four top-15 finishes

Basketball: Three Big Ten titles, two Final Fours, 10 NCAA appearances

1. Ohio State

Urban Meyer claiming the first Playoff while knocking off Nick Saban's Alabama and the high-flying Ducks was the clinching factor in finishing at the top of this list. But even without that their case would be strong, thanks to their long run around the top of Big Ten football and Thad Matta's NBA minor league franchise.

If you're betting on one of these schools to produce a national championship in both football and basketball over the next five years, you're paying the steepest price for Ohio State.

Five-year and F/+ rank: First, tied (11.5 average)

Decade highlights

Football: Six Big Ten titles, one national championship, eight BCS/Playoff appearances, eight top-10 finishes

Basketball: Five Big Ten titles, two Final Fours, nine NCAA appearances

Honorable mentions


The Longhorns have wandered in the wilderness, much of their standing replaced by other in-state schools. Before 2010, Texas was on a roll with a football title, a Final Four, and conference championships.

Five-year and F/+ rank: 20th (38.2 average)


Michigan's post-Lloyd Carr football struggles are well-documented, but John Beilein has the basketball program in shape with two Big Ten season titles and a Final Four already.

Five-year and F/+ rank: 10th (30.7 average)


The Tide cracked the statistical top 10 on the strength of their football program, as their basketball program averaged a ranking of 57.4.

Five-year and F/+ rank: Eighth (29.5)

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