USA Today Sports’ Nicole Auerbach looks at some of the biggest story lines at this year’s national semifinals, including how the Tar Heels will be looking to finish the job.
USA TODAY Sports
Even when including the many selectors once involved in deciding college football’s national champion – believe it or not, that was once an extremely messy enterprise – there’s only a short list of schools to win national championship in both men’s basketball and major-college football in their history.
Let’s go back to 1960. How many schools have achieved this double-dip in the past five-plus decades? Try four: Ohio State, Arkansas, Michigan and Florida.
The Buckeyes won in basketball in 1960, and in football either four or five times since, depending on how much validity you give the championship awarded by the National Football Foundation in 1970. (Answer: not much.) Arkansas’ basketball title came in 1993, and the Razorbacks’ football crown via the Football Writers Association of America in 1964.
The list grows even smaller if we cut the timeline to the past three decades, for example. Then we’re at two, the Wolverines and the Gators. So to put it lightly: It’s possible to win a title in basketball and possible to do the same in football, but very hard – if nearly impossible – to do both.
In recognition of the upcoming Final Four, this week’s top 10 list takes a look at the best individual football-and-basketball seasons of the past year. Let’s define this time period as beginning in the fall and continuing through the spring – from the start of football in September through March Madness.
(All rankings are via the Amway Coaches Poll and the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. Basketball rankings are via the most recent update from March 13.)
Football: 11-3 (No. 9), won Cotton Bowl
Basketball: 27-10 (No. 22),…