Best of both worlds: Which schools are best in both football and basketball

In the thick of this ever-long offseason for college sports, we wanted to take a look across both college football and college basketball to determine which schools are proving to be the best in both arenas. You might be able to reel off three or four schools who've had success in recent years on the court and the field, but let's look deeper than that. We've established a national, inter-sport top 10, and we looked at many factors while doing so.

It was a lot of fun, full of debate, and there were many close calls. A top 15 would've been easier to compile than a top 10, but we had to draw the line somewhere.

So we went back to the start of this century to get a longer scope of which schools have found the most success through the course of many recruiting cycles. The criteria we used to determine the list:

  • Overall winning percentage
  • Postseason winning percentage
  • Conference championships
  • National titles
  • Final Four appearances
  • BCS bowl game appearances/College Football Playoff appearances
  • Sub-.500 seasons

A few really good basketball programs (Duke, Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Kansas) have been at the top of the sport in win percentage over the past 15-20 years, but the fact is those schools' football programs aren't close to the top 30 in that sport, so they weren't able to come close to cracking the list. Similarly, gridiron powerhouses like Georgia, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Clemson haven't been relevant for most of this century in college hoops, so they weren't in the discussion to crack the top 10. This makes it all the more fun -- and difficult -- to determine which 10 are the best.

And believe us, it wasn't easy to whittle this list. Also, keep in mind that this isn't about most-coveted jobs or "top 10 programs" or anything like that. We purely graded these schools based on accomplishments from their teams. You could make the case USC is a top-20 job in hoops and football, of course, but the basketball program's up-and-down nature easily prevented the Trojans from finding their way on our list.

Now, let's get to it. These 10 schools have been the best and most consistent in basketball and football since the turn of the century/the past 16 years:

10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Combined win percentage: .656

Combined postseason win percentage: .488

National titles: 0

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 5

Conference championships (only basketball applies): 1

Total weeks ranked: 260

Seasons below .500: 3

The Irish win the 10th spot here in an excruciatingly close call against a school you probably wouldn't guess if I gave you five chances. Not Stanford, not West Virginia, not Michigan, not Miami, not Pittsburgh. Not even BYU. All those programs were in the discussion to crack the top 10, the one who was closest to ND was ... Cincinnati! Go check out what the Bearcats have done this century in hoops and football. You'll be surprised by the sustained success.

So what gives Notre Dame the edge? Not much, but its move from the Big East to the ACC in hoops -- whereas Cincinnati went from C-USA to the Big East to the AAC -- combined with three more major bowl game appearances vs. the Bearcats barely lifted Notre Dame past UC. Truth be told, it wouldn't have been so close if the Golden Domers had been just a few games better each year in football, but so it goes. In basketball, Notre Dame's been a reliability in the polls in the regular season, and it's had just one coach (Mike Brey). The lack of postseason success in both sports is what keeps ND from moving any higher.

9. Oregon Ducks

Combined win percentage: .661

Combined postseason win percentage: .620

National titles: 0

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 6

Conference championships: 8

Total weeks ranked: 270

Seasons below .500: 3

No Final Fours in hoops, but the Ducks have the No. 6 win percentage in football in the past 16 seasons. And what's more, Oregon basketball has earned a No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1 seed this century, plus three Elite Eight appearances. Oregon's won 68 percent of its postseason games since 2000-01, too. The Nike hotbed is still missing a coveted national title in both sports, but the programs aren't slowing down.

Oregon will be a preseason top 10 team in hoops, and the football team will be in the top 25 in the preseason polls. The Ducks recruit exceedingly well in both sports, too. Football's regular-season dominance (six conference titles since 2000, 198 weeks in the polls) combined with the basketball program's ability to have really strong seasons on occasion warrants Oregon's inclusion. In many ways, this school has set the model for how to thrive in both sports in ways others believed near-impossible in the past.

8. Alabama Crimson Tide

Combined win percentage: .630

Combined postseason win percentage: .605

National titles: 4

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 7

Conference championships: 5

Total weeks ranked: 257

Seasons below .500: 4

The ridiculous dynasty that is Crimson Tide football gets Bama on this list, but not all by itself. If it was just about dominance in one sport, you'd see Duke, Kentucky and Carolina here, but they're not. Bama basketball has done well, relatively speaking, since the turn of the century. Sure, four national titles under Nick Saban, and we know that Alabama has the best program in college football over the past decade.

But Bama hoops is the most underrated program in SEC basketball, really. Just one season under .500 over the past 16 years, and the average recruiting class ranking in basketball during that span is 29th. If you're cracking 40th or better on average across more than 15 years, that's really good. Bama being a top-two program in college football now, paired with the basketball program amounting to top-35 over the past 15 years, means the Crimson Tide has earned it.

7. Texas Longhorns

Combined win percentage: .702

Combined postseason win percentage: .563

National titles: 1

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 5

Conference championships: 4

Total weeks ranked: 362

Seasons below .500: 4

If we were listing universities whose football and basketball jobs were most coveted, Texas would be No. 1 in that power ranking. So it's no surprise UT winds up on our list, but if the Longhorns are lower than you'd expect, dig a little deeper and you'll see a lack of postseason success in hoops, some down years in football (surprisingly, just two conference titles for Texas since 2000), and so No. 7 is about right.

Rick Barnes got UT into the NCAAs every year except one, but he only made one Final Four. Texas was almost always relevant under his watch, but it never became the top-five national program people thought it should have been. Now Shaka Smart is aiming to do that, and I think he's got a good shot. In football, Mack Brown revitalized the program, had a Heisman winner in Vince Young, and won the 2005 national title. UT is top 10 in football wins this century. In basketball, the program won 69 percent of its games and was ranked for 130 out of a possible 306 weeks.

6. Michigan State Spartans

Combined win percentage: .692

Combined postseason win percentage: .613

National titles: 0

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 8

Conference championships: 7

Total weeks ranked: 332

Seasons below .500: 5

Let's hit on the basketball efforts first. Tom Izzo has not missed an NCAA Tournament this century, and MSU's gone to five Final Fours since winning the national title in 2000. Sparty has become a top-eight program in college basketball, and now Izzo's bringing in his mostly highly rated freshman class ever. The postseason success speaks for itself: a .680 win percentage in the NCAA Tournament since 2001.

In football, Michigan State has become the second best program in the Big Ten over the past half-decade. Mark Dantonio has built a powerhouse of a team. Michigan State's got three conference titles and beat Georgia, TCU, Stanford and Baylor in big-time bowl games as of late. The football program has won 62 percent of its games since 2000. Hardcore MSU fans will tell you the school, deep down, is more of a football school than a basketball one. We think it's the predominant example of both, equal parts football and basketball school, something you can't find anywhere else in the country at such a high level.

5. Louisville Cardinals

Combined win percentage: .712

Combined postseason win percentage: .642

National titles: 1

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 5

Conference championships: 10

Total weeks ranked: 299

Seasons below .500: 3

There are only two schools on this list that have won a title in college basketball in the past 16 seasons. Louisville (won it in 2013) is one of them. The university's athletic department has been reportedly the most profitable in of any in the country over the past half-decade. Rick Pitino basketball program is currently embroiled in a scandal involving strippers, but in terms of on-court success, Louisville's been a top-five program since Pitino got there in 2001.

The football program has won six conference titles, been ranked 98 times in the AP poll and has a .678 winning percentage. Cardinals football has gone to a bowl game in 13 of the past 16 seasons. In nine of those seasons, the program's won nine or more games. Louisville basketball is a blue blood program. Louisville football ranks 17th in wins in D-I this century. This is a top-five university when you combine the success in both sports vs. others around the country.

4. Oklahoma Sooners

Combined win percentage: .712

Combined postseason win percentage: .587

National titles: 1

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 10

Conference championships: 10

Total weeks ranked: 403

Seasons below .500: 3

The Sooners are coming off a great year in basketball -- and a great year overall. CBS Sports deemed OU to be the best college sports school in 2015-16. Buddy Hield was a player of the year winner, the team made the Final Four, and Lon Kruger got one step closer to being in the Hall of Fame. In hoops, Oklahoma's been a 3 seed or better six times since 2001. They've won 67 percent of their games, overall, and 61 percent of the time in the postseason. But due to Kansas' dominance in the Big 12, OU has half as many league titles (one) to Final Four appearances (two) since 2001.

In football, the program won the national title in 2000. The Sooners and Bob Stoops have won the Big 12 nine times and been in the polls for 243 weeks. No question about it, Oklahoma has been a top-five program in football this century, and the Stoops hire was a game-changer in that league. The knock against Oklahoma has been how its programs fail to show up in big games, but that's not always true, and when you look at so many other programs who reach BCS-level or Final Four-level games, you'll find many of them lose just as often. And most don't win as frequently in both sports as OU.

3. Wisconsin Badgers

Combined win percentage: .718

Combined postseason win percentage: .586

National titles: 0

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 6

Conference championships: 7

Total weeks ranked: 339

Seasons below .500: 1

The Badgers are solidly in at No. 3. Wisconsin's made two Final Fours, a national title game and never missed the NCAA Tournament this century. It never finished worse than fourth in the Big Ten in hoops. In football, the program's spent 156 weeks ranked in the AP, won three Big Ten league titles and won 70 percent of its games since 2000. Now, unlike the two programs ranked above it, plus Oklahoma, Louisville, Alabama, Michigan State and Texas, Wisconsin lacks a national title in either sport this century. But national titles aren't everything.

In terms of win percentage, Wisconsin is right there near the top. It's 13th in football since 2000 and top 10 in hoops. Bo Ryan was a wizard with how he always had the Badgers near the top of the Big Ten. The football program has gone through a few coaches yet never taken a big dip. UW has the resources to win a national title eventually. Even without it, the school has been good-to-great every year in both sports.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

Combined win percentage: .739

Combined postseason win percentage: .630

National titles: 2

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 12

Conference championships: 13

Total weeks ranked: 388

Seasons below .500: 2

Many believe the Buckeyes have the best college football program right now. Dating back to that BCS title game win over Miami in 2002, that's when it really all started. OSU has been in the polls for 236 weeks, won seven Big Ten titles and completely revitalized its program by hiring one of the best college football coaches ever in Urban Meyer. In hoops, Thad Matta's taken OSU to two Final Fours and helped the team win six Big Ten titles. Yes, six.

Because the school is so frenzied over football, Ohio State's basketball prowess is often overlooked, but it's without a doubt a top-15 program this century on the court. Matta's won 73 percent of his games and coached multiple top-five draft picks. With Ohio State emerging as such a juggernaut in football yet again, combined with Matta earning a No. 1 or No. 2 seed six times in the past decade, then yeah, putting the Buckeyes in the 2 spot seems a no-brainer.

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Combined win percentage: .724

Combined postseason win percentage: .683

National titles: 4

Final Four/BCS/College Football Playoff appearances: 10

Conference championships: 8

Total weeks ranked: 400

Seasons below .500: 2

The Gators are the easy top choice here because Florida is the only program on this list with a national title in both sports this century. Not only that, but UF has won two national crowns apiece in football and basketball. There have been some down years for football and hoops, sure, but not nearly enough to warrant bumping UF from the top of the mountain.

It's certainly going to be an interesting few years ahead for the school. Jeremy Foley, a man considered one of the best athletic directors in the business over the past 20 years, is leaving his post later this year. So a new AD will pair with coaches still trying to define their identities in new jobs: Mike White with the basketball program and Jim McElwain in football. Florida's football team has three SEC titles, 204 weeks in the polls since 2000 and won 147 games, ninth-most in the nation this century. The Gators are the only team in the past 25 years to win back-to-back titles in college basketball, plus they have five SEC titles and four Final Four showings. A clear-cut winner.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. This is his 10th season reporting on college basketball for CBS. He also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics... Full Bio

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