Back in July, CBSSports.com ran a series going through the best athletic programs in the country. Titled “Best in College Sports,” the series counted down the top 13 programs – with Louisville coming out on top, followed by Oregon, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan and Oklahoma. The formula for the rankings factored in football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball – and a wild card spot.
Looking at the top five schools, though, it was clear that having a good football and men's basketball program was the biggest key – mainly because they were weighed the most in the formula. Louisville, Oregon, Florida, Ohio State and Michigan all finished in the top 25 rankings of each sport.
With that in mind, we decided to do a fun exercise for the quiet September weeks leading up to the start of college basketball practice. We're taking the top 25 teams in the AP poll – and re-ranking them for basketball.
Let's get right into it. (Football ranking in parenthesis.)
1. Louisville (7): The Cardinals have a good chance to repeat in our formula again, especially if they can make a third-straight trip to the Final Four. Defending champs might have more talent.
6. Oregon (2): No team in America underwent more personnel chances since April than the Ducks. Transfers Mike Moser (UNLV), Jason Calliste (Detroit) and potentially Joseph Young (Houston) will make a difference.
9. UCLA (16): This team belongs to Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams (and Steve Alford) now – which could be a good thing for the Bruins. Moreover, it's a last hurrah for the Wear twins before they graduate Westwood.
11. LSU (8): The Tigers surprisingly won 19 games last season, and they return most of their rotation. Four double-figure scorers are back, and freshman Jordan Mickey is ready to contribute.
18. Florida State (10): With Andrew Wiggins, this team would be a potential Sweet 16 contender. As it stands, returning perimeter players Devon Bookert, Ian Miller and Aaron Thomas will shoulder the load.
21. South Carolina (13): Frank Martin is still in the process of cleaning house and getting his sort of players in Columbia. With that said, there's some talent here. Look for frosh Sindarius Thornwell to make an impact.
24. Clemson (3): It's going to be another rebuilding year for the Tigers. Forward K.J. McDaniels is a solid piece, but one of the freshman will have to step up. Adonis Filer will also get more minutes.
25. TCU (24): The Horned Frogs went just 2-16 in the Big 12 last season, and this year won't be that much better. One reason for promise is the addition of top-50 freshman Karviar Shepherd.