There are an infinite number of ways to determine the ‘best sports college’ in America. You could do it based on the average ranking across all the varsity programs, or by the total revenue a program brings in based on its success, or you could use an elaborate formula. All of that would be a waste of time.
When it comes to college athletics there are really only 2.5 sports: Football (#1), Basketball (#2), and Baseball gets a half a point. These are the facts. I wish this wasn’t the case and sports like Lacrosse, Hockey, and Soccer got more respect at the collegiate level but they’re rarely if ever shown on national TV and are limited to broadcasts on local stations.
For the purposes of this article, ‘the best’ is determined by the combined average winning rate of the Football and Basketball programs. Redditor ‘CSUblew28-3lead’ crunched the numbers and found that there are only sixteen NCAA D-1 schools in America with combined winning rates of over 60% since 2010.
They are ranked based on the ‘combined’ winning percentage of the Football and Basketball programs, the number on the far right side of each line:
1. Ohio State University — Football 86.6%, Basketball 70.9%, Combined 78.75%
2. Wisconsin — Football 76.4%, Basketball 70.5%, Combined 73.45%
3. U. of Oregon — Football 75%, Basketball 71%, Combined 73%
4. Michigan State — Football 71.2%, Basketball 73.8%, Combined 72.5%
5. Boise State — 80.7%, Basketball 60.5%, Combined 70.6%
6. San Diego St. — Football 67.7%, Basketball 73.3%, Combined 70.5%
7. Florida State — Football 74.4%, Basketball 64.9%, Combined 69.65%
8. Michigan — Football 66.1%, Basketball 70.5%, Combined 68.3%
9. Louisville — Football 62.8%, Basketball 73.7%, Combined 68.25%
10. Notre Dame — Football 70.2%, Basketball 65.6%, Combined 67.9%
11. Cincinnati — Football 60.5%, Basketball 74.8%, Combined 67.65%
12. Florida — Football 63.3%, Basketball 69.2%, Combined 66.25%
13. Baylor — Football 63.6%, Basketball 66.3%, Combined 64.95%
14. Kansas State — Football 62.8%, Basketball 63.7%, Combined 63.25%
15. Houston — Football 64.5%, Basketball 61.2%, Combined 62.85%
16. West Virginia — Football 60.8%, Basketball 61.1%, Combined 60.95%
The top comment in the Reddit thread where these numbers came from is brilliant and it shows how great college sports could be in a world where pro sports didn’t exist and athletes didn’t fear that a minor collegiate injury could derail their entire adult lives: “16 team playoff, both the basketball team and football team show up, flip a coin, heads were playing basketball tails were playing football.”
I’m 100% here for this even though it would never be possible.
Also, I’m a little bit shocked to see W. Virginia, Houston, Kansas State, San Diego State, and Boise St. on this list with schools who historically bring in blue chip recruits every year but those schools have all been extremely successful in the past decade even if they’re not always (or ever) in the National Championship discussion. And I’d expect to see Memphis on here if they’re football program wasn’t such a dumpster fire until around 2013.
Redditor ‘CSUblew28-3lead’ came up with these numbers by using data from TeamRankings, in case you were curious about that. You can follow that link and check out the reddit thread if you want to sift through the comments.