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Which Basketball Schools Are Pretending To Be Football Schools?


Determining a “football school” or a “basketball school” is an imprecise science. Long-standing traditions, not wins and losses, often determine whether most fans’ hearts belong to gridirons or hardwoods. Culturally, Florida State never stopped being a football school. recent stretch Nor did Michigan adopt the basketball school persona for its men’s team. Made multiple Final Fours 2010s (and its soccer has declined). And Kentucky is where men’s basketball coach John Calipari is. recent headlines To put it bluntly, it’s not a football school. an impressive revival For the Wildcats on Saturdays in recent years.

But at some point, excellence on the field or court replaced culture, and that point is now. To find the definitive answer as to what a football school is and what a basketball school is, we ranked the current 65 schools. power five Schools using a points system based on us erotic ranking Since 2001 in soccer, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.1 Points for a particular sport were assigned based on the team’s ranking of the average Elo in a given year, with full weights for soccer and half weights for men’s and women’s basketball.2 “Football School” earned at least half of its total points from soccer, and “Basketball School” earned at least half of it from basketball. In total, we get 36 football schools (or schools that get at least half their points from football) and 29 basketball schools.

Is your school a football or basketball school?

Current power five schools (by football or basketball school) based on a weighted points system derived from average Elo ratings for each sport from 2001 to 2022

Points were assigned based on average Elo rankings for a given year, with full weights for soccer and half weights for men’s and women’s basketball. A school was judged to be a “football school” if at least half of the goals were from football.

Includes years spent in non-Power Five conferences in the current P5 program.


Oklahoma, Louisiana, Ohio, Georgia and Alabama are some of the most decorated and recognizable brands in college sports. In men’s basketball, the top five are the traditional mainstays (Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina). Similarly, on the women’s side, current and former powerhouses Baylor, Stanford, Tennessee, Duke and Notre Dame scored the most points.3

However, some of these schools are doing well overall. Ohio State, for example, claims first overall in points total, not only thanks to its longtime national title contenders on the horseshoe, but also its consistent runs on hardwoods. 2007 When year 2012Notre Dame has been very successful in both sports, appearing in several playoffs and the New Year’s Six Bowl in football, with the women’s basketball juggernaut team. epic national championship In 2018 — and a pretty solid tournament team on the men’s side. And perhaps the most surprising finding of this whole exercise is that the Irish are classified by our system as “Basketball Schools”. (sorry, Knut Lokne.)

Of course, not all schools have the same balanced approach. As a counter-example, look at Durham, North Carolina, where Duke’s football team has ranked in the bottom 10 four times since 2001, with his average football average ranking 13 times in total. Meanwhile, the legendary Duke men’s basketball program carried loads with average Elos in the top 10 all but one year, and the women’s program saw a steady rise in the top 10 rankings from 2002 to 2015. — Men’s Team Contributing to a memorable sports vernal equinox Last fall, the football team won the SEC title game, beating No. 3 Gonzaga, and in 2021 the women’s team will advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly 20 years. Soccer is famous for bringing the bacon home to Tuscaloosa.

According to our method, the most imbalanced schools are: absolute difference Points between soccer and basketball:

Duke is the epitome of a basketball school

Largest point difference between basketball and football, according to total points derived from the annual Elo rankings from 2001 to 2022

school basketball point soccer point Abs.difference school type
duke 1227.5 234.0 993.5 basketball
Alabama 523.5 1151.0 627.5 football
Kansas 821.0 238.0 583.0 basketball
Syracuse 828.0 293.0 535.0 basketball
north carolina 1025.0 491.0 534.0 basketball
Clemson 446.5 975.0 528.5 football
auburn 520.0 1048.0 528.0 football
Maryland 976.0 460.0 516.0 basketball
USC 545.0 1061.0 516.0 football
Baylor 1027.5 513.0 514.5 basketball


However, these labels are not static. Think of Florida. The Seminoles have reclaimed football his school status in the early 2010s with national success, recovering from their leaner years on the ballpark during the Bobby Boden era. However, FSU’s despicable performance in men’s and women’s basketball since the mid-2010s has turned it back into a basketball school. Michigan has remained a firm first-place football player in the final years of the Lloyd Carr era, but over the past 14 years, basketball and football have been split almost evenly, and in 2021, basketball is still in points. accounted for nearly half of the share ofWhen football teams finally start living up to their big promises. And Miami, once college football treasurehas been seesawing back and forth from soccer to basketball since 2007.

Neither of these programs are considered “basketball schools” by their fans, but the numbers show that lesser-known hoop teams have outperformed football teams in recent decades. shows that it worked. That means traditional labels can change faster than we think. Even if Kentucky is unlikely to become a football school anytime soon due to its history and traditions, recent football school successes may ultimately lead to a shift in the balance of power in Lexington.

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