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Graphic by Mike Meredith

Consistency is the name of the game each year in CBS Sports' Best in College Sports rankings, and no team was more dependable across the board across the last athletic season than the Michigan Wolverines. With 588.50 points, the Wolverines soared past Notre Dame to take home the crown for 2021-22, earning the Best in College Sports award for the second time in the last three seasons it has been awarded. UM is the first two-time winner in the award's eight-season existence.

The Fighting Irish finished second with 512.50 points, while Ohio State was third with 506.75 points. Michigan's dominance can be contextualized as such: Its 76-point margin over second-place Notre Dame was greater than ND's margin over fifth-place Arkansas.

Michigan had quite the year athletically. The football team bounced back under coach Jim Harbaugh to finish 12-2 and earn a trip to the College Football Playoff, completing its best season since 2011. Men's basketball (19-15) reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, while women's basketball (25-7) reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Wrestling (12-1) finished as the NCAA runner-up, and men's gymnastics (24-3) finished third nationally.

Even though only two "wild card" sports are counted in our award formula, Michigan also excelled in numerous high-profile sports: men's ice hockey reached the Frozen Four, women's gymnastics finished seventh nationally, women's lacrosse made the NCAA Tournament and both baseball and softball reached their respective NCAA Regionals.   

Georgia, which won the CFP National Championship in football, finished ninth overall after receiving no points in men's basketball. 


The National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has ranked athletic programs for years by weighing every sport equally. (For example: National titles in football and water polo are worth the same number of points.) In 2013, CBS Sports began presenting its Best in College Sports award utilizing a weighted formula that recognizes sports with more broad interest. Every FBS program is rated in three sports -- football, men's basketball and women's basketball -- along with two "wild cards" among the school's most successful spectator sports: baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse, hockey and wrestling.

The weighted formula puts 2.5 times as much emphasis on football and 2.0 times as much on men's basketball compared to the rest of the sports. Teams that do not finish in the final AP Top 25 in football but play in a bowl are awarded 62.5 points (25 x 2.5). (Teams that either opted out of bowl games or saw postseason contests canceled received 62.5 points in football.) Those that make the men's NIT are given 20 points (10 x 2), while WNIT teams receive 10 points. For all titles settled via bracket, such as the NCAA Tournament, point totals are based on number of participants. All champions in the other sports receive 100 points for a national championship in the formula created by long-time CBS Sports producer J. Darin Darst.

2021-22 Best in College Sports

School Total FB MBB WBB WC I WC II
1st -- 588.50212 128 739085
2nd -- 512.50187.5100648378
3rd -- 506.75183.75100 5010073
4th -- 470.5062.51806410064
5th -- 459.50132.5146258373
6th -- 438.75168.752050100100
7th -- 401.50187.5 100 50640
8th -- 396.25225500 71.2550
9th -- 395.502500 50 5045.5
10th -- 373.25127.550 50 8560.75
11th -- 371.25172.5100066.7532
12th -- 356.0062.515650 5037.5
13th -- 354.5062.5100646464
14th -- 346.25161.250508550
15th -- 345.75140502566.7564
16th -- 340.0016502510050
T17th -- 336.50137.520 25 9064
T17th -- 336.5062.5128645725
19th -- 336.000100739073
20th -- 331.2562.51281066.7564
21st -- 326.5 62.50 100010064
22nd -- 325.501350 7367.550
23rd -- 323.80180008360.8
24th -- 320.5062.510008078
25th -- 317.75153.7500100 64
26th -- 314.000200 50640
T27th -- 313.50 157.500 8373
T27th -- 313.5062.512807350
29th -- 309.5062.506410083
30th -- 306.000128507850
31st -- 303.0001660 7364
32nd -- 298.50142.51560 00
33rd -- 292.5062.50 838364
34th -- 284.00150 2006460
35th -- 280.0062.5506453.550
36th -- 275.5062.520259078
37th -- 272.0062.5502570.564
38th -- 265.5062.512805025
39th -- 263.5062.53508383
40th -- 260.562.50 100 7325
41st -- 256.00008310073
42nd -- 237.5013020 2537.525
T42nd -- 237.5062.5 0 2510050
44th -- 233.75146.250 05037.5
45th -- 229.00050906425
46th -- 228.00 0 10006464
T47th -- 226.5062.5 0 506450
T47th -- 226.50 62.5 0 506450
49th -- 222.50122.550 0500
50th -- 219.7562.50 0 8374.25
51st -- 216.5062.52007064
52nd -- 215.5062.520 08350
53rd -- 214.000100 0 6450
54th-- 212.50 62.50 100 0 500
55th -- 210.0062.50 107364.5
56th -- 207.5062.520 255050
57th -- 206.5062.50 0 8064
58th -- 205.75 62.50 0 0 74.2569
59th -- 200.002000 000
60th -- 198.5012520 0 53.50
61st -- 195.0000 259080
62nd -- 194.00 0 50646416
63rd -- 177.5062.5 0 0 7342
64th -- 171.5062.52006425
65th -- 165.00001510050
T66th -- 162.5062.550 0 500
T66th -- 162.5062.5 0 10 900
T68th -- 159.50 62.50 105037
T68th -- 159.5062.5 0 06037
70th -- 158.5062.53510 510
71st -- 156.500 0 0 8373.5
72nd -- 154.00 0 0 0 9064
73rd -- 148.0000 257350
74th -- 147.0062.5 0 0 5034.5
75th -- 142.5062.520 10500
T76th -- 137.5062.50 50250
T76th -- 137.5062.550 0 250
78th -- 136.5062.5010 64 0
79th -- 134.5062.5 0 0 37.534.5
80th -- 132.5062.520 0500
81st -- 129.5062.50 0 34.532.5
82nd -- 126.5062.50 0640
T83rd -- 125.000100 0 250
T83rd -- 125.0062.50 0 37.525
T83rd -- 125.000 50 0 5025
T86th -- 112.5062.550 00 0
T86th --112.50 62.50 0 500
T86th -- 112.5062.5 0 0 500
T86th -- 112.50 62.5 0 0 500
T86th -- 112.50 62.5 0 0 50 0
91st -- 108.5062.5 0 0 460
92nd -- 100.00 62.50 0 37.50
93rd -- 99.250 0 0 66.7532.5
94th -- 97.50 62.50 10 25 0
95th -- 95.00 0 0 0 70 25
96th -- 87.50 0 0 2537.525
97th -- 84.0062.5 0 021.5 0
98th -- 82.5062.520 000
99th -- 78.562.50 0 160
T100th -- 75.000500 25 0
T100th -- 75.00 00 252525
T100th -- 75.000 0 0 5025
T100th -- 70.000 20 0 50 0
T100th -- 70.00020 0 50 0
105th -- 64.00 0 0 0 64 0
T106th -- 62.50 62.50 0 0 0 0
T106th -- 62.50 62.50 0 0 0 0
T106th -- 62.50 62.50 0 0 0 0
T106th -- 62.50 62.50 0 0 0 0
T106th -- 62.50 62.5 0 000
111th -- 60.00 0 50 10 00
112th -- 57.00 0 0 0 32.524.5
T113th -- 50.00 0 02525 0
T113th -- 50.00 0 0 0 50 0
T113th -- 50.00 0 0 0 500
T113th -- 50.00 0 0 0 2525
117th -- 45.00 0 20 250 0
T118th -- 37.50 0 0 0 37.5 0
T118th -- 37.50 0 0 0 37.5 0
120th -- 37.00 0 0 0 37 0
121st -- 35.00 0 0 10 25 0
T122nd -- 25.00 0 0 250 0
T122nd- 25.00 0 0200 0
T124th-- 0.00 0 0 0 0 0
T124th -- 0.00 0 0 0 0 0
T124th -- 0.00 0 0 0 0 0
T124th -- 0.00 0 0 0 0 0
T124th -- 0.00 0 0 0 0 0
T124th -- 0.00 0 0 0 0 0
T124th -- 0.00 0 0 0 0 0

CBS Sports' Best in College Sports winners

  • 2021-22: Michigan
  • 2020-21: Alabama
  • 2019-20: Not awarded (COVID-19)
  • 2018-19: Michigan
  • 2017-18: Ohio State
  • 2016-17: Florida State
  • 2015-16: Oklahoma
  • 2014-15: Stanford
  • 2013-14: Louisville