NCAA thoughts

10/14/2006 6:23 am
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Years ago, and I mean roughly ten or so years ago, I was thinking about what college would be most likely to win both the men's and women's NCAA basketball championship in the same year. It hadn't been done at that point and so I put some thought into it and decided that Duke would have the best chances of doing it. Fast forward to 2004 and it actually turns out UConn became the first to do it.
Fast forward again to last spring. I got to thinking about how Texas had just won the football championship and how they had a men's bball team with a pretty high ranking. So I began a "thought exercise" which would actually occupy my brain for way too many hours. I began to think about which schools would be likely to win the football and (men's) basketball titles in the same year. (I decided that the order of titles really shouldn't matter since it's arguable which season actually comes "first".)
I don't know if it's ever been done before, and frankly I don't really care. I'm concerned about who would be most likely to do it in the (near) future. That is, who would be the first to do it from this point on.
Here are some thoughts I had:

1) It's a shame Duke is so bad at football. They are probably the team with the best chances to win in basketball in this era and yet have virtually no chance to win the football title. Likewise, many other top bball teams have a similar situation; UConn, Kansas, North Carolina are the cream of the basketball crop and yet Carolina is the only one to have even one good football year that I can remember.
Football obviously has a similar situation, with teams like Penn State, but I think it's more pronounced with more teams for basketball dominance.

2)There's LIKELY, there's Likely and there's "likely".
There are a number of schools that can qualify as legitimate contenders in both sports. They're not too hard to think of, they're the big schools in the big conferences usually. But because of the enormity of the feat, there are really a select few that seem to really have a shot and a collection of others that are contenders but not quite at the same level. Take a few schools from the big ten as examples. Michigan and Michigan State, while not always good in both sports at the same time, are actually among the elite overall. Michigan has won both titles in my lifetime, and Michigan State has won the bball title once in my lifetime and gotten quite close a handful of times. Plus, while not extremely great in football, they are usually pretty good. The next level down would be schools like Wisconsin. Wisconsin is almost perennially a top 25 football team recently and have made the final four once in my lifetime and made some legitimate tournament runs, but a national championship in either would be unbelievable enough. Both in the same year might be a bit of a stretch. The other category of "contenders" would be a school like Iowa. They are the kind of school that has a solid program in both sports, so they are among the schools with a shot at the double, but one title would be unlikely enough. Two titles would be almost unimaginable.

3) There are long term contenders that currently aren't really contenders. If you think about "who would be the next team to do it," there are obviously some teams that could do it within the next couple years, but the odds aren't really that great for anyone to do it, so the next school to do it could easily be a school that isn't great now, but regularly is very good. So a history of excellence does count a little bit toward your chances of being the team to accomplish this, even if you're not great now. (I'm not really concerned with this aspect of it for now though.)

4) Since the sports are staggered, there's always going to be a school with one leg completed, so unless they are just complete duds in the other sport, they would likely be at or near the top of the list for "most likely to hold both titles."

Now to actually ranking them.

So last spring, Texas was obviously the football champion and they had a #2 seed in the tournament for Basketball. They were the clear cut #1 in my mind. So the real question was, "who would be the next most likely?"
I'm no expert in college athletics, but what I did know was that Ohio State was also having a good bball year, plus they were likely to open the football season at #1, PLUS they were expecting the top recruit in basketball next year, Greg Oden. To me, that qualified them as #2 pretty easily. Obviously the question would be who is #3 then? After much consideration (and remember, this is pre-tournament) I decided that if I were making the list, I would put Florida in the three spot. I was planning on writing about all of this back then, on this very website, but like most of my ideas, I never got around to it. Anyway, I imagined that me picking Florida would actually draw a bit of criticism at that point. But in my mind, Urban Meyer would probably have a good team in the next few years, and Billy Donovan was a good coach and maybe Florida could win the tournament one year pretty soon. Of course, Florida actually went on to win that very tournament, exceeding my own high expectations for them.

Anyway, I am not really bringing this all up to toot my own horn for vague, unnanounced predictions. I do bring it up because today, in a matter of hours from when I am typing this, Florida will take the football field ranked #2 in the nation with a chance to be one step closer to that second national championship. Obviously, the current rankings in this 2 championship pursuit have to have Florida at the top. Ohio State, by the way, hasn't faltered and actually is #1 in football and thus easily gets my #2 ranking for the "deuce" now as well. Granted, they're not a lock to be great in basketball, but they certainly should be one of the top teams. Which brings me to my point: This is kind of exciting. I mean, first of all, Florida is in relatively really good shape to get the two "biggest" NCAA titles at one time. And if they don't, Ohio State looks like they have a decent shot, granted it's a relative "decent shot", at contending for both titles. I'm excited, ok interested, to see how it turns out.

P.S. Maybe you feel like I just wasted your time. Hopefully not. If you want, you can submit your suggestions for the current #3 team. Here are some possible candidates: LSU, Texas, Louisville, Tennessee, California, UCLA, Wisconsin, Michigan, Boston College...
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
10/14/2006 @ 01:17:34 PM
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in a related note, the Badgers are the first school ever to own both Mens and Womens hockey national titles. Women's hockey has only been around since 2001, but still.

Another note: In 2002 and 2003, U of Minnesota Mens Hockey won back to back Titles, then in 2004 and 2005 Denver won back to back titles. A Team hadn't gone back to back in hockey since 1972, and Wisconsin has a realistic chance to make it a 3rd straight school to repeat.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
10/16/2006 @ 11:45:44 PM
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This may not be mathematically provable yet, but in my opinion Florida is now out of it (a full 2 tenths behind Michigan and USC in the BCS).

That leaves Ohio State, Michigan, and USC as the likely champion at this point. I'd like to think I'm a pretty big big ten follower, and as such I feel Michigan has pretty much no chance to win in basketball. USC probably doesn't either. After Florida's young team won it last year, I'd have to give Ohio State the best odds, though they will be very, very young and probably won't be seeded that high. So honestly, I don't think it will happen. Still here's my current rankings (and these are going to assume quite a few upsets are possible in the football season yet).

Ohio State, Florida, Louisville, USC, Michigan

I'd really like to put Wisconsin in there, but that would probably require multiple losses for Ohio State and Michigan not to mention the other conferences. Andy Katz does have them listed as the Big Ten favorite in bball right now, so a tourney win in March could lead to a football championship the next year. I just perused the roster and they don't have that many seniors. Stocco, Stellmacher, Rogers, and Zalewski were the only names that jumped out at me (although QB is of course the most important position). In fact, here's my new list:

Ohio State, Florida, Louisville, Wisconsin, USC

And yes this is a complete waste of time, but one that I will continue to partake in.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
10/17/2006 @ 06:25:25 AM
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Hey thanks for taking the time. Isn't it fun? At least in a "the odds of any of these happening isn't that great" sort of way? It's like deciding which supermodel I will date next. Which by the way will be a feature right here on this website very soon.

I think obviously Florida losing was a big setback, but right now I'd still list them at number one. If they win out and then beat a team like Auburn in the SEC championship game they might be able to sneak into the bcs championsihp game. Sure there would have to be a few losses by other teams but a lot could happen. Since they already have the basketball championship, that really pushes them over the top in my mind. (I don't know if anyone else besides matt and I saw the auburn game, but if the refs would have noted leak's arm going forward and called it an incomplete pass like I thought it should have been, we wouldn't even need to debate this probably since Florida could have won.)

As for third, I would kind of like Texas there, but their BCS ranking is fairly low and just behind Louisville at this point and I don't know how much it can climb. Interestingly, though, the straight vote "human" polls have Texas fifth, but the complex formula part of the BCS which they call the "computer" part have them at 15 so they end up at ninth. So for now Louisville is a good pick but that could change pretty easily and then who knows what would happen. Also, not that anyone asked but I would say that on an "any given year" kind of long term basis, Texas is one of the schools at the top.

As for Wisconsin, I saw that Katz picked them to win the conference and Dick Vitale has them at eleven overall I think. I was surprised and kind of excited. They really are one of the schools that could win either or both championships.
That's all for now.
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Jon messed with this 3 times, last at 10/17/2006 6:28:51 am
newalex.jpgAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
10/30/2006 @ 12:11:24 AM
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A new poll means time for an update.

I didn't realize that USC would drop back so far after one loss. Florida is still very much alive yet, so I'll have to put them back to #1 (plus they're the preseason #1 in basketball). Besides that, it still seems like Ohio State is most likely to win it all. And even though I think West Virginia's basketball team lost a lot of seniors and probably doesn't have much of a chance there I'll give them USC's spot, because USC doesn't have much chance in basketball either.

Florida, Ohio State, Louisville, Wisconsin (07-08), West Virginia
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Alex messed with this at 10/30/2006 12:12:18 am
newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
11/06/2006 @ 11:16:49 PM
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The top 3 remain unchanged as Florida moves up to 4th in the BCS (highest ranked 1 loss team) and is preseason number #1 in every bball poll, Ohio State wins (rather unimpressively, but still), and Louisville hops up to #3 in BCS and will most likely make the championship game if they win out (they'll most likely lose too, but still). Wisconsin (07-08) stays put as well, partly just because and partly because it's pretty cool that I can actually make a legimate argument for them to be in these rankings.

West Virginia is outtie after their loss, so I need a new #5. Looking at the preseason bball rankings, there's only one team in the top 25 that really has a chance for football this year and that's Texas at #5 in the BCS.

Florida, Ohio State, Louisville, Wisconsin (07-08), Texas
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
11/06/2006 @ 11:22:51 PM
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Hey, whose ranking system is this anyway?

Actually, I've had those same thoughts lately so without doing any research myself I would tend to agree with that list. Except without the years attached to Wisconsin, since it's just about who does it next anyway.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
11/12/2006 @ 07:11:01 PM
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Quite the week in college football. Ohio State and Michigan dominate, a bunch of other contenders choke. College basketball has also started too so we can start factoring some of those results in. In fact after OSU's big bball game and Florida's poor showing in a football game that they didn't deserve to win I'll be having a switch at the top of my list and I'm going to add a few spots too.

Ohio State, Florida, Wisconsin, LSU, Texas, Arizona, Louisville

Other random BCS notes:
Wisconsin is up to 9th setting up a potential 3rd Big Ten BCS game. Wouldn't it be sweet if that happens and they all win? And I feel pretty good about moving the Badgers to third in my rankings after seeing what Donovan can do next year. Obviously they would have to get through Ohio and Michigan, but that's the strength of schedule that they're lacking this year.

Rutgers should be in the championship game if they go undefeated.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
11/14/2006 @ 09:17:23 PM
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My list is Florida, Ohio State, Wisconsin
just off the top of my head.

Also, this is somewhat crushing, but Wisconsin WILL NOT be in a BCS game this year. Only two per conference. I guess that is one of those rules.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
11/15/2006 @ 08:30:44 AM
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Ok, the BCS officially sucks if Wisconsin doesn't get the Rose Bowl this year. Absolutely sucks. They would be in Line for it this year, no doubt. Aaagh. The BCS is possibly the worst thing that happened to college sports. In fact, I would rather have a tie every year for the national champion than to have the BCS determine a winner.

Basically, despite the fact that the Badgers are clearly one of the best teams(top 10) in the nation, they will be denied a BCS bid simply because they are in a conference that is good? They're only loss is to the number 2 team in the nation. I will be officially pissed if Wisconsin loses out because of a technicality. If what Jon says is true, this entire season has been a waste for the Badgers. Thank you BCS, for completely wasting my entire season.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
11/15/2006 @ 08:37:19 AM
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Also it would have helped if Wisconsin had beaten Michigan.
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
11/15/2006 @ 12:47:00 PM
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I completely disagree with. The BCS isn't perfect (what is?) but it's better than simply having the polls determine the champion. At there is a one round playoff right now. I think the only 2 teams per conference in the BCS games is a bit hokie, but Wisconsin lost a game so they can't complain that much. I'm not sure they've gotten the national attention they deserved this year, but I don't think that the teams ahead of them are done losing yet either.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
11/15/2006 @ 02:37:38 PM
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But the BCS is contradicting itself. In the BCS rankings, the Badgers are ranked 9th. There are 10 teams playing in BCS bowls. If the Badgers are ranked 9th. Now I'm no good at math, but if the 10 best teams are going to play in the BCS Bowls, shouldn't the 9th best team also be there? Explain that to me. That's what I mean when I say that the BCS is screwed up. If Wisconsin is indeed the 9th best team in the Nation, and the BCS says that they are, then they should be in a Bowl. If the "system" breaks down when it finds that there are 3 teams from the same conference that are really really good, it's time for a new system.

Wisconsin lost 1 game to the number 2 ranked team in the nation. I think that's good reason to complain when a team like Florida, who had to block 3 field goals to beat 5-5 South Carolina by a point, is ranked ahead of them. Regardless, I hold out hope that some teams will still lose. But I'm still upset that this whole "2 teams per conference" rule is in effect.

NCAA Official - "Oh, sorry Wisconsin. I know you're good and all, but you obviously aren't that good if there are 2 teams in your conference better than you. What? You're in a 2-way tie for 2nd? Sorry, doesn't matter. 2 loss West Virginia needs to find a way to fit into the BCS. We have to be fair and let some not-so-good teams in. We can't let the Big Ten have all the fun just because they have the most good teams. Better luck next year."
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
11/15/2006 @ 02:38:14 PM
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That was a real transcript from an NCAA official.
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jon.jpgJon - infinity + 1 posts
11/15/2006 @ 06:28:43 PM
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I don't think the BCS is that bad.
Anyway, the rule is probably there because the schools split money with their conferences and they don't want soo much money to go to one conference.
Besides it sort of makes sense that the conferences don't get tooo unevenly represented. You might end up giving three big games to a conference that happened to just beat up on bad opponents.
With soooo many teams in the country there's really almost no basis to tell who's really that good and who's not.
Wisconsin lost to Michigan, who we assume is good so they should have lost to them, but who has Wisconsin beaten that's so good? And maybe Michigan isn't that good anyway. They beat Notre Dame, but many people doubt if they are as good as people think they are. And you can't pick apart Florida's almost loss and not point out that Wisconsin barely beat Iowa.
Plus, I'm not sure what you're talking about us losing out on the Rose Bowl for, since we wouldn't have gone there under the old system either.

And finally, this is not a BCS blog. Get with the system.
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Jon edited this at 11/15/2006 6:30:35 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
11/15/2006 @ 07:08:07 PM
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I think the tie breaker for the Rose bowl is the team that was there less recently. I guess Wisconsin has been there more recently than Ohio State.

The BCS isn't bad, but if it contradicts itself, which it is doing (there's no arguing that a 9th ranked team in the BCS not getting a BCS bid isn't contradictory) then the system is a bad system. If I were working for a business as a systems analyst, and I created a system that worked this way, I would probably get fired.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
11/15/2006 @ 07:23:32 PM
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Well the old system was asking a bunch of people who couldn't possibly take into consideration enough things and put way too much stock on how a team finished.
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
11/15/2006 @ 08:07:27 PM
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Do we have the ability to splinter off new blogs from existing ones yet? That'd be sweet.

Wisconsin is not tied with Ohio State nor will they be.

F- for the systems analyst comment.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
11/15/2006 @ 08:09:00 PM
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"Splinter Off"?
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
11/15/2006 @ 08:13:05 PM
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Well, this isn't a BCS blog so someone (maybe Jon since it's his blog) can go in and select the last x number of comments and toss them into a brand new blog.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
11/15/2006 @ 08:15:27 PM
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That would be fine if half the "new blogs" wouldn't end up being "these comments don't have anything to do with my blog"
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jon.jpgJon - 1000000 posts (and counting!)
11/17/2006 @ 07:56:51 PM
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Get off my Blog!!!!
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2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
11/19/2006 @ 06:38:40 PM
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No changes this week. Certainly seems like OSU will get the football championship.

Ohio State, Florida, Wisconsin, LSU, Texas, Arizona, Louisville
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jon.jpgJon - 1000000 posts (and counting!)
11/20/2006 @ 07:57:19 PM
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Until Florida is eliminated from the football championship they have to be my number 1. By the way, the best scenario for Florida, I hear, is if USC beats Notre Dame and then loses to UCLA. And of course Florida wins out. The Notre Dame thing is due to Michigan's defeat of the Irish. If they lose, it lessens the value of Michigan's win.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
11/20/2006 @ 08:11:04 PM
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Michigan is definitely rooting for Notre Dame this week.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
12/03/2006 @ 07:35:49 PM
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I really didn't think Florida would get there, but they did so:

Florida, Ohio State, Wisconsin, LSU, Texas, Arizona, Louisville
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jon.jpgJon - many posts
12/22/2006 @ 01:12:50 AM
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Looks like ESPN is stealing our ideas again.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
01/06/2007 @ 08:30:00 PM
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how did no one comment on my last comment?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
01/06/2007 @ 11:16:18 PM
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I have lots of comments that I think should warrant follow ups, and I get nothing.

You'll get nothing an like it!
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newalex.jpgAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
01/07/2007 @ 02:44:53 AM
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I had already read the article. Your comment was old news to me.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
01/08/2007 @ 12:50:02 AM
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Time for a pre championship game update. Basically I'm just dropping Louisville since the basketball team is MIA and their football coach just bolted to the Falcons. And although I think Ohio State will win tomorrow Florida is still closer at the moment. And if Florida does win I'm moving Wisconsin up to #2.

Florida, Ohio State, Wisconsin, LSU, Texas, Arizona
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Alex perfected this at 01/08/2007 12:41:25 pm
2887.gifAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
01/09/2007 @ 12:31:27 AM
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So since Florida currently holds the 2 sport title, I'm assuming that if they win basketball again that counts as "doing it again"? Also, in the original post you half-heartedly wondered if such a feat had been accomplished before and it had not until this evening.

Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Texas, LSU, Arizona
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
01/11/2007 @ 01:29:36 AM
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First of all, thanks go to Alex for recognizing a great blog post discussion when he sees it.

Secondly, it seems rather egotistical for me to do this, but I feel like the Florida victory was a personal victory for me on some level. I mean, I had them at #3 in the rankings way back before they won the first title. TOOOOOOOOOOOOOT! My horn is gonna need an oil change pretty soon. It's getting a workout.

Third, my brain has put in some time working out what the new rankings should look like.
Philosophical questions arise. Does Florida stay at number one since they are there now? Permanently even?
Does their count reset? I would lean toward not resetting completely but from here just treat them as if they were any other team that just won the football and needs the basketball. Basically what Alex said. And even though I would rank them number one anyway under that method, I think any school that does what they did should automatically stay on top for at least like a week or something. Though I still like just keeping them there indefinitely. They earned it.

Anyway. 1.Florida 2.Wisconsin and it gets fuzzy from there on out. I would say LSU third. Actually I feel like I can make that official. Contenders include: Texas,
Ohio State

On the rise: USC (I hear they could make some noise outside of football), Alabama(in the coming years)

This might never happen in our lifetimes again. But maybe it will.
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Jon messed with this 2 times, last at 01/11/2007 1:31:49 am
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
10/05/2008 @ 01:57:24 PM
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I really have no idea what made me remember this thread, but with the Brewers and Packers losing I need something to do besides cry into my coffee.

Since Kansas holds the basketball title and they ranked around 15th in football, I think they have to be the new #1. Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama, and Ohio State look to me like the teams currently in the rankings in football who are also expected to have at least a chance in the next basketball season. I'll put Texas second because they've been good in both sports for a while and are top 5 in both currently. Oklahoma is my favorite to get the football championship at the moment so they go 3rd. Florida 4th just for old time's sake. USC and Alabama have better chances in football and well actually I would say Ohio State's football chances are probably better at the moment than their basketball chances too. Wisconsin still on the radar but not really for this football season. I'll toss LSU on the end mostly cause of football.

Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, USC, Alabama, Wisconsin, Ohio State, LSU
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - www.digi.com
10/05/2008 @ 09:00:54 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:57:24 PM
I really have no idea what made me remember this thread, but with the Brewers and Packers losing I need something to do besides cry into my coffee.


So uh, what kind of coffee, and what did you put in it besides tears?
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
10/05/2008 @ 10:13:23 PM
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No, seriously, it was just coffee, not "coffee". Great Value 100% Colombian with amaretto creamer.
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - A Vote for me is a Vote against Terrorism! ...or atleast just wasted.
10/06/2008 @ 10:24:39 AM
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That was the question exactly, and you answered it without knowing.

I drink a 50% French Roast, 25% Hazlenut, 25% Kona (from Archer Farms) with some french vanilla creamer. At work I drink coffee filtered through card-board with the same creamer.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
10/06/2008 @ 10:54:03 AM
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I enjoy that, like alcohol, half the objective of drinking beverages that contain coffee is masking the awful coffee taste.
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - "If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style."
10/06/2008 @ 12:13:10 PM
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Not in the least- they don't mask the "awful coffee taste" but enhance the excellent taste and make the benefits from drinking coffee more enjoyable. If I wanted to mask coffee with cream wouldn't I just pop a nodoze and wash it down with warm milk for the same end-result?
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Carlos44ec messed with this at 10/06/2008 12:13:31 pm
jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
10/06/2008 @ 04:56:53 PM
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I think a team to watch out for is North Carolina. They're consistently top 5 in basketball and now Butch Davis has the football team playing well. I actually doubt they'll finish very high this year in football, but they could. So they have to be mentioned, at least for now. Still, long term, they're approaching status as a double contender, and since, in basketball, they're as good as any other single school, that puts them among the elite.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
11/25/2008 @ 10:49:02 PM
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So football this year is down to Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. That means I need to move Kansas down, plus long term I think it will be very tough for them to ever emerge from the Big 12 to the championship game in football. And I'm sick of being Big Ten hopeful for the moment, particularly on the football side. Pittsburgh is the other team currently in the top 25 in both sports.

Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Pittsburgh
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