June 3, 2010

Best of both: Gators top combined standings

MORE: Combined football-basketball standings in the BCS era

Alabama currently reigns atop the college football world and Duke is the king of college basketball.

That much is undisputed.

But what schools have done the best jobs of combining football prowess with men's basketball excellence during the BCS era? That's what we wanted to find out.

THE SCORING SYSTEM
Football
Share of national title: 10 points
BCS championship game loser: 7 points
Top-4 ranking: 5 points
No. 5-8: 3 points
No. 9-16: 2 points
No. 17-25: 1 point
Unranked team with bowl bid: 0.5 points
Basketball
National title: 10 points
Runner-up: 7 points
Final Four: 5 points
Elite Eight: 3 points
Sweet 16: 2 points
Round of 32: 1 point
First-round loss: 0.5 points
We put together a mathematical formula to determine which schools have enjoyed the most combined success in football and men's basketball since the 1998-99 school year, when the BCS began. We decided to release it this week, just before the start of baseball's postseason, because we're planning to do a similar chart after the College World Series to see how these standings would change after we add baseball to the mix.

It likely comes as little surprise that Florida topped the list with a commanding lead over Ohio State and Texas, which tied for second place.

Florida ranked first when we put together similar rankings two years ago. The Gators haven't won an NCAA tournament game since then, but they boosted their point total quite a bit by winning the 2008 BCS championship.

We did tweak our formula from the last time we put together these rankings.

This time, we awarded football teams 10 points for a national title, seven points for a loss in the BCS championship game, five points for a top-four finish in the coaches' poll that didn't include an appearance in the title game, three points for finishing fifth through eighth in the coaches' poll, two points for finishing ninth through 16th and one point for finishing 17th through 25th. Teams that played in a bowl but didn't appear in the final rankings received half a point.

When we did this two years ago, we awarded football teams 10 points for a national title, seven points for a loss in the BCS championship game, five points for a top-four final Associated Press ranking that didn't include an appearance in the title game, three points for finishing fifth through eighth in the Associated Press poll, two points for finishing ninth through 16th, one point for a bowl win and half a point for a bowl loss.

We figured that old scoring formula gave too much credit to teams that won minor bowl games after mediocre seasons. We also decided to ditch the AP poll in favor of the coaches' poll, since that's the one that is actually used in determining BCS rankings.

We did grant a couple of exceptions to the scoring system. USC and LSU each received 10 points for their football national titles in 2003, and Alabama received two points for finishing 11th in the AP rankings in 2002, when probation prevented the Crimson Tide from appearing in the coaches' poll.

We maintained the same scoring system as before with basketball: Schools received 10 points for a national title, seven points for a loss in the NCAA tournament final, five points for an NCAA semifinal loss, three points for a regional final loss, two points for a Sweet 16 loss, one point for a second-round loss and half a point for a first-round loss.

Here's one critical point: We wanted to reward balance, so our final rankings included only schools that amassed at least five points in each sport. That's why you won't find basketball powers Duke and Kansas or football heavyweights Florida State and Miami in our rankings. We also have attached a chart that shows what the rankings would have looked like if we hadn't included this requirement.

MORE: Combined football-basketball standings in the BCS era

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com.




 

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