Tag:Flourishing Five
Posted on: August 5, 2010 12:54 pm

Flourishing Five honorable mention

Over the past three weeks we've run a series on CBSSports.com ranking the five schools we believe have the best combined football/basketball programs. Not surprisingly, it stirred much debate regarding the order of the top five and the teams that got left out.

Flourishing Five series rundown
No. 5 Pittsburgh: Football | Basketball
No. 4 Wisconsin: Football | Basketball
No. 3 Ohio State: Football | Basketball
No. 2 Texas: Football | Basketball
No. 1 Florida: Football | Basketball
The "chosen ones" were determined by a small group that included myself (as the college basketball production editor), college football production editor J. Darin Darst, college football senior writer Dennis Dodd and college basketball senior writer Gary Parrish.

Now, hopefully, you didn't gloss over the italicized print at the top of every article with included the phrase: CBSSports.com ranks and profiles the schools who’ve positioned themselves for success now and into the future in both sports.

So it became of balance of recent/current performance (using a five-year span as our benchmark) and our expectations of what the future holds (looking five years ahead) for these programs.

Florida's four combined championships (two in football and two in basketball) over the past five years made them an easy choice for No. 1. Even without Tim Tebow, the football team is well positioned for continued success under coach Urban Meyer and basketball team is back on the rise after missing the NCAA tournament two straight seasons following their championship runs.

Deciding who was No. 2 between Texas and Ohio State was a little more difficult. Ultimately, Dodd felt that conference expansion wranglings this summer showed just how powerful Texas had become in college athletics and argued that gave them the edge. In reality, we're splitting hairs as both programs are exceptional.

Now where it really got interesting for us was choosing teams 4 and 5. In alphabetical order the teams we brought up for consideration were: BYU, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

After doing the statistical research, we were rather surprised at just how well Wisconsin showed in both sports. Nothing flashy, just solid results year in and year out. And they do so without the high-profile recruits you find at other major college programs. They're the epitome of blue collar teams.

At No. 5, it came down to Big East rivals West Virginia and Pitt. The consternation of Mountaineers fans didn't got unnoticed when Pitt came in at No. 5 and Wisconsin was unveiled at No. 4 a few days later.

To break this particular tie, it was feelings on the futures of the two football programs that broke the tie. Both basketball teams are superb, each accruing eight NCAA tournament wins over the past five seasons. Notably Pitt was the only team that we considered for the Flourishing Five series that managed at least one tournament victory in each of the past five years.

Now clearly West Virginia has had more overall success in football the past five years. But Dodd believes that Pitt is on the rise under coach Dave Wannstedt and isn't sold that West Virginia will remain a power under Bill Stewart. Therefore the Panthers came in at No. 5, while West Virginia just missed out.

BYU, Oklahoma and North Carolina were a little bit further behind.

BYU, like Wisconsin, has been solid for the past several years in both sports, but what eliminated the Cougars from top five consideration was the fact they had managed to make it out of the first round just once in the past five years.

Oklahoma just didn't have the past stats and the basketball team could soon be facing sanctions for NCAA recruiting violations. The Sooners have lost three of their past five bowl games and have finished the season with three or more losses in four of the past five seasons.

North Carolina is an interesting one. A year after winning the title, the Tar Heels missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. However, all signs point to the team returning to prominence in 2010. But the football team under Butch Davis is still somewhat of a question mark. While improved the team has yet to win a bowl game under Davis, losing to West Virginia 31-30 in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl and falling to Pittsburgh 19-17 in the 2009 Car Care Bowl.

And with that, we close the book on our Flourishing Five series. My guess is the griping still isn't done, but at least now you've gained a little more insight into how the final rankings came to be.

Posted on: August 5, 2010 12:50 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 3:39 pm

Worst combined NCAA football/basketball schools

It's pretty clear which schools are among the best combined football/basketball programs, but what about the worst?

Flourishing Five series rundown
No. 5 Pittsburgh: Football | Basketball
No. 4 Wisconsin: Football | Basketball
No. 3 Ohio State: Football | Basketball
No. 2 Texas: Football | Basketball
No. 1 Florida: Football | Basketball
Among the BCS schools, there aren't many that are absolutely atrocious in both sports. Bad in one and average to good in the other or simply mediocre, but not awful.

Washington State is part of the former. They're very bad in football, going 18-42 over the past five seasons and 3-22 the last two years. But in basketball they're nothing better than average after reaching the tournament in 2007 and 2008. Prior to those breakout seasons, the Cougars had 10 straight losing seasons. They've been 17-16 and 16-15 the past two seasons.

Indiana is another team you can throw into the mix for BCS worst. The Hoosiers are 23-37 in football over last five years, but we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that the team was hit by tragedy in 2007 when coach Terry Hoeppner succumbed to complications from brain cancer. Recruiting violations under former coach Kelvin Sampson has rocked the basketball program. Tom Crean has been tasked with trying to dig out from the rubble, but it's not an easy process. The Hoosiers were 6-25 in 2008-09 and 10-21 last season.

Inconsistency has dogged the Michigan program. Lloyd Carr's final season as coach in 2007 was marred by a stunning loss to D-I FCS team Appalachian State. Rich Rodriguez took over and he's 8-16 in two season (3-9 in 2008, 5-7 last season). Though the Wolverines basketball team did reach the NCAA tournament in 2009, they were 10-22 during the 2007-08 season and 15-17 last year.

We could be here all day picking on non-BCS schools. Among the worst we came across ...

Eastern Michigan: 12-47 in football over the past five years, 0-12 last year and 1-11 in 2006. The basketball team was actually pretty decent last year going 17-15. It was the first time they finished above .500 in 10 years.

FIU: The Golden Panthers are 14-45 in football over the past five years. They went 0-12 in 2006 and 1-11 in 2007. They haven't had a winning season in basketball since 1999-2000 and have averaged only 10 wins a season the past five seasons.

Tulane: The Green Wave are 15-44 in football over five years, 3-9 and 2-10 the past two seasons. The basketball team has also take a nosedive, falling to 8-22 last season.

Hawaii: At the start of the decade, the Warriors were actually a pretty decent hoops team with eight straight winnings season. But the last three years performance has dropped with finishes of 11-19, 13-17 and 10-20.  The football team enjoyed a resurgence under head coach Junes Jones. It's tough to say where the program is headed under Greg McMackin, who is 13-14 in his two seasons since taking over for Jones, who left for SMU.

I couldn't bring myself to add Army to the list. Yes, they've been bad (very bad) in both sports, but they also operate in a different manner than most other schools. I wasn't sure it was a fair comparison.

So who are some other schools who deserve to be on the worst list?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com