Ranking the Top College Basketball/Football Coaching Duos in America

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2011

Ranking the Top College Basketball/Football Coaching Duos in America

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    With the college bowl season about to get underway and college basketball having just started, one can't help but to wonder how college programs maintain success in both football and basketball.

    The SEC is known as the best conference in all of college football, but one of the weakest college basketball conferences, with the exception of Kentucky and Florida.

    On the other end, the Big East is consistently known as the top conference in college hoops, but football is the exact opposite, with one team, West Virginia, finishing in the Top 25 this college football season.

    With any good team comes good coaching. So we ask, what schools have the best college basketball and football coaching combinations?

    Let's break it down right here, right now!

    Bleacher Report Style!

10. Billy Donovan/Will Muschamp, Florida

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    When it comes to the best college basketball/football combos in America, Florida certainly is among the best.

    Billy Donovan has enjoyed a ton of success in his time as Florida's head basketball coach. Donovan is currently in his 16th season at Florida and has more wins than any coach in Gator history.

    Heading into this weekend, Donovan has won 367 total games at Florida since taking the head coaching job back in 1996. He has coached a total of seven former first round NBA Draft picks.

    Muschamp, on the other hand, is only in his first season as Florida's head coach, which explains why this duo is not higher up on this list. Nonetheless, Muschamp is a very good coach, given his previous resume as the defensive coordinator at Texas. He was 6-6 in his first year at Florida.

    Given a few more years and a few more successful seasons for Muschamp, this duo could shoot up this list in no time. 

9. Brady Hoke/John Beilein, Michigan

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    Like Muschamp, Hoke is also in his first year as a head coach with a new team, but he did have plenty of success during his time at San Diego State before taking the Michigan job.

    This season, Hoke came in and completely changed the culture at Michigan for the better. He led the Wolverines to a 10-2 record and a spot in a BCS game. His Michigan team also ended a long drought by beating Big 10 rival, Ohio State.

    Beilein is in his fifth season at Michigan, but he has helped the program get back to national relevance. In those five years, the Wolverines have enjoyed two winning seasons, both of which resulted in NCAA Tournament berths. This season, Michigan is off to an 8-2 start and is ranked in the Top 25 in the nation.

    Both of these coaches took over jobs when the Michigan program was down, and both of them are making strides to get it back to national relevance while gaining respect across the country. 

8. David Rose/Bronco Mendenhall, BYU

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    BYU is certainly one of the smaller, more under-the-radar programs in college sports today. But when it comes to success, they can simply not be ignored. That is a credit to basketball coach David Rose and football coach Bronco Mendenhall.

    Rose was named the head basketball coach at BYU in 2006 and has produced at least 20 wins in every one of his seasons at the head. He has led the Cougars to four Mountain West titles in six seasons and an NCAA Tournament berth in five of those seasons.

    Mendenhall has been the Cougars' coach since 2005 and has also enjoyed plenty of success. He coached BYU to 10 or more wins in four seasons and has the chance to do so again this year if BYU wins its bowl game.

    In seven seasons, Mendenhall is 65-24 as BYU's head coach.

    Both coaches are young and have enjoyed great success thus far.

7. Steve Sarkisian/Lorenzo Romar, Washington

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    Washington football is on the rise and Washington basketball has been solid as always. You can thank Steve Sarkisian and Lorenzo Romar for that.

    Sarkisian has helped bring Washington back from being one of the worst teams in all of college football. Under his guidance, the Huskies are 19-18 in his three seasons and could improve on that record this season with a win in the Alamo Bowl.

    Romar has been the head coach at Washington since 2002 and has enjoyed plenty of success. He has a record of 198-102 in his time as the Huskies' coach. That includes four Sweet 16 appearances.

    It's tough to think that coaching duos get much better than this. 

6. Nick Saban/Anthony Grant, Alabama

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    When it comes to the best college coaches in football, you can't start the conversation without speaking about Alabama's Nick Saban.

    When it comes to the best up-and-coming coaches in college basketball, you can't start without talking about Alabama's Anthony Grant.

    Together, they make the No. 6 coaching combo in college sports.

    Saban has won two National Championships with two separate teams over the past decade. He has a 54-12 record in his five seasons at Alabama and his Tide will play for another National Title on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.

    Grant, on the other hand, has helped bring the Tide back to relevance. He is 51-30 in his three seasons as the head coach. Alabama was the NIT runner-up last year. The team is already off to a 9-2 start this season and is ranked in the AP and Coaches Top 25 rankings.  

5. Bill Snyder/Frank Martin, Kansas State

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    Frank Martin and Bill Snyder could not be more polar opposites, but together they certainly make up one of the best college basketball-football coaching combos in the nation.

    Snyder began coaching at Kansas State back in 1989 and lasted until 2005 when he announced his own retirement from the school. However, after being away for several years, he returned to his old position in 2009 and is still the coach to this day.

    Snyder is 159-82-1 at his time at Kansas State, including a 90-66 record against Big 12 opponents. 

    Frank Martin has also enjoyed plenty of success in his time at Kansas State. He just reached his 100th win in his fifth season at K-State. He has reached the NCAA Tournament in three seasons and his team looks poised for another run this year.

    This duo has had plenty of success.

4. Brett Bielema/Bo Ryan, Wisconsin

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    This is where it gets tricky as we get near the four top coaching duos in America.

    When it comes to Wisconsin, success has always been the standard, in both basketball and football. Ask any student there if the school is a basketball or football school, and chances are you might get plenty of conflicted answers.

    Brett Bielema took over the Wisconsin head coaching job in 2006 and has flourished in the position. He has posted a 60-18 record as the head man, including back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances over the past two seasons in Madison.

    Bo Ryan might not be the most liked coach in America, but his teams just flat-out get it done on the basketball court under his direction. The Badgers are 251-93 since Ryan took over the head coaching duties back in 2001. That includes three Big 10 titles, three Sweet 16 appearances and one Elite 8 run.

    It's pretty tough to argue against this duo's resume. 

3. Mack Brown/Rick Barnes, Texas

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    This coaching duo has been exceptional at the University of Texas.

    Brown, who has been at Texas since 1998, is 140-39 in his time in Austin. He is 8-4 in bowl games at Texas, including memorable Rose Bowl wins in 2004 and 2005, and also a Fiesta Bowl win in 2008.

    Barnes has also been at Texas since 1998 and has also enjoyed plenty of success as a head coach for the Longhorns. He has totaled 324 wins in his time in Austin, including a Final Four appearance in the 2002-03 season.

    His Texas teams have made the NCAA Tournament every year that Barnes has been the head coach and have finished in the top-two in the Big 12 in eight of his 14 seasons.

    This duo is one of the best and there is no sign of either of them slowing down any time soon. 

2. Urban Meyer/Thad Matta, Ohio State

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    Ask anyone and they will say that Ohio State is and always will be a football school. But Thad Matta is certainly doing all he can to make sure that isn't necessarily the case in Columbus.

    As for Urban Meyer, he has yet to coach a game at OSU, but his college pedigree makes this duo a lock near the top of this list.

    Meyer has had success at every coaching stop he has had. He was 17-6 in two years at Bowling Green, 22-2 in two years at Utah and 65-15 in six years at Florida, including two BCS National Championship victories.

    He is considered by many to be one of, if not the top coach in all of college football and now has his dream job at Ohio State.

    Matta took over the OSU job in 2004 and has enjoyed plenty of success in his time in Columbus. Matta is 199-58 in his eighth year as the Buckeyes' head coach. That record includes four conference titles and a spot in the 2006-07 National Championship game.

    It's tough to top this duo. 

1. Mark Dantonio/Tom Izzo, Michigan State

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    When it comes to the best basketball coaches in America, Tom Izzo tops the list. And when it comes to the top up-and-coming coaches in college football, Mark Dantonio has to top that list. Because of that, this Michigan State coaching combo is the top duo in college sports.

    Izzo has been spectacular in his college coaching career at Michigan State. He took over the job in 1995 and his teams have made the NCAA Tournament in 14 straight seasons. He has taken his Michigan State teams to six Final Fours and two National Championships, including winning the Title in the 2000 season.

    Izzo has coached Michigan State to six Big Ten titles and has produced 14 NBA players in his time at MSU.

    Mark Dantonio does not have the resume that Izzo does, but his resume is as impressive as any coaches over a 5-year span. He has posted a 43-22 record at MSU, including back-to-back first place finishes in the Big Ten regular season.

    There isn't a single coaching duo in the nation that has had this much success or this many championships at the same school.

    It simply dosen't get any better than this duo right here.