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Blog Entry

Flourishing Five honorable mention

Posted on: August 5, 2010 12:54 pm
 

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.

Comments

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2010 9:28 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

BobBob you have many good points.  In the Big East Conference Universit
y of Pittsburgh has finished ahead of West Virginia University in basketball and football for the past 2 seasons.
If you want to argue with me, get your facts straight...


BE Football standings:

2009:
UC: 7-0
Pitt: 5-2
WVU:5-2 WVU beat Pitt 


2008:
UC: 6-1
Pitt: 5-2 Beat WVU
WVU: 5-2

They were T-2 both the last 2 seasons- take head to head if you want, and they split.


BE Basketball Standings:
2009:
Cuse: 15-3
WVU: 13-5, BET champs
Pitt: 13-5

2008: Pitt did beat WVU in the standings.


My statement was that Pitt has not once beaten WVU, in the last 5 years, in the BE standings- they haven't... And to say that they have beaten WVU in both sports the last 2 seasons is ignorant.



Since: Aug 1, 2010
Posted on: August 5, 2010 8:53 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

BobBob you have many good points.  In the Big East Conference Universit
y of Pittsburgh has finished ahead of West Virginia University in basketball and football for the past 2 seasons.



Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2010 8:34 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

I'm on the east coast, but how did you leave the entire west coast off of this list?Name a west coast school that has been successful in football and basketball over the last five years and heading into the next five.
 USC and Oregon were in the discussion, but they haven't been as good as the Top 5. BYU was definitely discussed, but their basketball program can't get out of the first round. Please tell us who we missed on the West Coast?
 I would appreciate it if all the employees of Sportsline who had anything to do with this article would name the schools they graduated from.  Since this is subjective material, it would be nice to see what underlining prejudices are being used in the weighting of the schools' "power".  Graduated from Florida International in 1996, and I nominated FIU for one of the worst. I tried not to let my bias and hatred for our rival Florida Atlantic get in the way. Laughing




Since: Aug 5, 2010
Posted on: August 5, 2010 7:00 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

I'm glad that in this terrible economy, that your owners can rationalize your salaries for writing articles such as this.  Seriously? The fact that you mentioned 3 schools that no one in the entire country would worry about facing in football is hilarious.  Ohio State is the best team in a conference that ESPN can't even argue is a top 5 conference... and THEY HAVE A CONTRACT TO COVER THEM!  Basketball is the step-child sport.  If you are going to even consider this article, you have to put things in perspective.  Football easily brings in more money than basketball, so it should be weighted higher than basketball.  
I'm on the east coast, but how did you leave the entire west coast off of this list?  There are several schools I can think of who have great football and basketball programs better than Wisconsin.  Now that I think about it, I would enjoy hearing what schools the contributing writers went to.  I'm going to guess somewhere in the Northeast or in schools in the Big 10.  Your first two choices were easy.  However, the next three are hilarious.  Sure they have teams in basketball who occasionally crack the top 10.  However, I'm not sure anyone is going to fill out their brackets with those teams making the final four every year.  When I think basketball, I think Duke, UNC, Kentucky, and Maryland.  However, those schools don't compete in the true football arena.  So how did you possibly leave off schools like LSU, UCLA, Cal, Michigan State and Oklahoma?
If Pitt, Wisconsin, or Ohio State played football in the SEC or the Big-12, they would be lucky to have a winning record.  So, to put those schools in the same conversation as Texas and Florida is absolutely ridiculous.
So now, I would appreciate it if all the employees of Sportsline who had anything to do with this article would name the schools they graduated from.  Since this is subjective material, it would be nice to see what underlining prejudices are being used in the weighting of the schools' "power".  I'm actually shocked that you didn't put Notre Dame in the list, like all of the other media morons.  Update... Notre Dame hasn't been significant since the 80's in either football or basketball.  Sure, they keep getting ranked. But. when you look at how many ranked teams that they've actually beaten in either sport... well, there aren't many.  Do your research.
Speaking of research, I just went back and looked at the Final Fours over the past 10 years.  In the past 10 years guess how many appearances Pittsburgh and Wisconsin have made in the Final Four?: NOT ONE.  Ohio State has only made one appearance in 10 years. Michigan State has made 5 appearances in the past 12 years.  So take Ohio State and their one appearance in the Final Four and combine it with what...? Oh, that's right... I just checked the numbers... For some reason Ohio State keeps getting ranked in football, playing in a weak conference, and what happens when they actually face a real football conference: In the past 5 years they have made 5 BCS bowl games.  They were able to beat Oregon(i'm actually impressed) and Notre Dame(SHOCKER!), but defeated by Florida, LSU, and Texas. Maybe the writers of Sportsline should write an article called "The positive bias of media in favor of Notre Dame and Ohio State".



Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2010 5:55 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

Would you like to make your point now?



Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:54 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

The stats don't lie I agree with you



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:53 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

@BobBob: Again, near-term future success was just as much a consideration as recent past success.That is why it is seems more egregious. 

I infer Dodd to be saying that Pitt will be at least that much better than WVU has been over Pitt going forward...

That is a huge limb to climb out on. 35-26 to 51-15.

It would be one thing if Pitt had a considerably better basketball resume. They don't. 

Pitt has 8-5 tourney record to WVU's 8-4.

They both have won one BE tournament title in the time. 

Pitt has been to 2 elite 8's and no Final Fours. WVU has 3 sweet 16's and a final four. 

It certainly seems like one little hunch swung the game- hell, Pitt is picked first in the BE preseason media poll, and WVU is picked all the way down at number two...



Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:44 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention


@BobBob: Again, near-term future success was just as much a consideration as recent past success. I'll admit I can see why Mountaineers fans may be a bit peeved. I was in favor of West Virginia, but I had Pitt right there. We'll find out soon enough if Dodd steered us in the right direction.

@SpartyHard: I'm with you on the basketball team, but it's hard to argue that the football team is poised for success coming off a 6-7 campaign. Perhaps they are, though expectations aren't very high for the team entering this season.

@CalHawk: Five years looking back and five years into the future. UNC was weeded out fairly quickly as football remains somewhat of a question mark. They look to be improving, but not as quickly as Pitt. Plus they had lost to both Pitt and West Virginia in bowl games the past two years. As for Kansas, the problem is the state of the football program at the present. They've regressed quite a bit since that 12-1 season in 2007 and nobody can say what Turner Gill really brings to the table quite yet.




Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:39 pm
 

Flourishing Five honorable mention

Wow!  Just one year ago, coming off high rankings and bowl victories in football, Kansas probably would have made the top 5.  One year later, after a last place finish in football and a second round bounce in basketball, the Jayhawks don't even merit discussion.

I'll assume that a couple of good bounce back seasons in both sports will put us back in the mix next year.


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