Death, Taxes, the Longhorns and Crimson Tide in the Post Season

Jason DuniganCorrespondent IJune 27, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 02:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks off the field after the Utah Utes defeated the Crimson Tide 31-17 in the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Utes defeated the Crimson Tide 31-17.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Ever have that conversation with a friend? The "which school has the best athletic department" conversation? I found myself having that very discussion recently. It wasn't pretty.

To make a long story short, let's just say that if your friend has to bring up how many Women's Swimming National Championships his school has won in order to prove his point, he really doesn't have a leg to stand on.

That said, and with all due respect to the College World Series and the NCAA Hockey National Championship, the only two college sports that really matter in the "Land of the Free" are football and men's basketball.

Over the years there have been many theories and many formulae proposed to decide just which school can boast of being the best of the best. Everything from the number of national championships won, to overall winning percentage, to how many Hall of Fame players and coaches a school has produced regularly gets thrown into the equation.

How to go about determining which school truly reigns supreme can be debated from now until doomsday, and with every conjured theory, a case can be made for it being the right way to do so.

The truth is, however, there is no right way or wrong way to decide which school is the best.

Still, I wanted a way to prove my point, and it had to be as fair as possible so everyone would be on equal footing with the next guy. That was when my friend suggested the most simple, yet logical, way to determine whose school was truly the best.

Before I get into the details of his concept, I should clarify a few things. First, merely claiming a national championship in a particular sport doesn't mean that your school has an upper echelon program. Maybe Rhode Island A&M Tech won a national championship in 1922, but that doesn't mean you should place their name in the same category as a school like Florida which has recently won championships in both football and basketball.

Face it, any school is capable of pulling off a great year once every 50 years or so. One great year does not a program make.

Further, your school may produce a lot of professional players that go on to be inducted into the NFL or NBA Halls of Fame. The thing is, those are professional accomplishments for individuals. We are trying to decide which amateur program is No. 1, so we can't judge a college program based on what athletes do post-college participation.


The simplest way to decide which program is head and shoulders above everyone else is based off of post season appearances in bowl and NCAA tournament bids earned.

It is a fairly simple concept. Everytime a school gets invited to a bowl game or receives an NCAA tournament bid, the school receives one point. If the school has been to 13 bowl games, it receives 13 points. Likewise if that same school has received 13 NCAA tournament bids, it will receive another 13 points.

NIT bids do not count, nor does how many Heisman Trophy winners your school has produced. The standard is a bowl game appearance and/or an NCAA Tournament bid. When a question about a post season appearances came into play, a judgement call was made.

Once it is determined how many points a school receives for each sport, the points are added together for the final score. The school with the highest final score wins the right to claim superiority over other programs with smaller scores.

After doing a little research, I discovered that there was not a single, individual school that could lay claim to being the best, but that there are two schools that are tied for the most all-time combined post season appearances.

Alabama and Texas each finished with 75 total points to tie for first place overall. The third place school—UCLA—was the only other school to reach 70 points or more, their total coming to 72 points.

In all, points were tallied for all 120 FBS schools. There were many variables to consider, such as NCAA sanctions vacating post season appearances and also the fact that some schools have not been participating as an FBS program long enough to really prove their merit. 

As was previously mentioned however, those questionable situations came down to making a judgement call.

For space and time consideration, the cut-off for making this list is a minimum of 20 total points earned by a school. Overall, 81 schools made the list based on the criteria stated. The list is in order from most total points to least total points. Many schools tied for the same amount of points and the rankings reflect those ties.

Some of the results may surprise you. 


1) Alabama - 75

1) Texas - 75

3) UCLA - 72

4) Oklahoma - 68

5) UNC - 67

6) Arkansas - 65

6) Ohio State - 65

8) Tennessee - 64

9) Kentucky - 63

10) USC - 62

11) LSU - 60

12) Notre Dame - 58

13) Michigan - 56

14) Syracuse - 55

15) Georgia - 54

16) Georgia Tech - 52

17) BYU - 51

17) Nebraska - 51

19) Florida - 50

19) Kansas - 50

19) West Virginia - 50

22) Louisville - 49

22) Penn State - 49

24) Florida State - 48

24) Missouri - 48

26) Maryland - 46

26) NC State - 46

26) Pittsburgh - 46

26) Texas Tech - 46

30) Iowa - 45

31) Indiana - 44

32) Illinois - 43

33) Washington - 43

34) Arizona - 42

34) Auburn - 42

34) Michigan State - 42

34) Oklahoma State - 42

38) Duke - 41

38) Utah - 41

40) Clemson - 40

40) Texas A&M - 40

42) Boston College - 38

42) Colorado - 38

42) Miami(FL) - 38

42) Ole Miss - 38

42) Purdue - 38

47) Arizona State - 37

48) Houston - 36

48) Kansas State - 36

48) Stanford - 36

51) Wisconsin - 35

52) California - 34

52) Cincinnati - 34

54) Virginia - 33

55) UConn - 32

55) Oregon - 32

55) TCU - 32

58) Temple - 31

59) Virginia Tech - 30

59) Wake Forest - 30

61) Memphis - 28

61) Oregon State - 28

61) Tulsa - 28

61) UTEP - 28

65) Navy - 26

66) Miami(OH) - 25

66) Wyoming - 25

68) Utah State - 23

68) Mississippi State - 23

68) Minnesota - 23

68) Fresno State - 23

68) Air Force - 23

73) Iowa State - 22

73) New Mexico - 22

73) South Carolina - 22

76) Western Kentucky - 21

76) SMU - 21

76) Baylor - 21

79) New Mexico State - 20

79) UNLV - 20

79) Colorado State - 20


    Report: Jackson's Academic Issue Resolved

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Report: Jackson's Academic Issue Resolved

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Leach Tweets Out Fake Obama Conspiracy Vid

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Leach Tweets Out Fake Obama Conspiracy Vid

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Leach's Hoax Tweet Showed Why Bigger Schools Won't Hire Him

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Leach's Hoax Tweet Showed Why Bigger Schools Won't Hire Him

    Dan Wolken
    via USA TODAY

    Pitt Lands 9 Commits on Father's Day

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Pitt Lands 9 Commits on Father's Day

    Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports
    via USA TODAY High School Sports