Which college athletic program had the best season in 2016-17? We here at CBS Sports decided to find out, and an odd season in which no one program truly ...and more »
Which college athletic program had the best season in 2016-17? We here at CBS Sports decided to find out, and an odd season in which no one program truly dominated the collegiate landscape (as has happened in the past) left us with our closest results ever.
Florida State (491.25) edged rival Florida (489.75) thanks in large part to its success in women's basketball. The two Sunshine State programs were followed closely by USC (482.5), which like UF was unable to make up for a void of points for that sport.
The Seminoles put together an outstanding overall season with football finishing 10-3, beating Michigan in the Orange Bowl and ranking No. 8 in the nation. Men's (26-9, No. 16) and women's basketball (28-7, No. 10) both made the NCAA Tournament. Baseball (46-23) made its first College World Series appearance in five seasons, while softball ended its season in the Super Regional.
While the Gators put up a fight with a bowl victory, Elite Eight appearance for men's basketball, College World Series win for baseball and Women's College World Series loss for softball, women's basketball (15-16) received 0 points. The Trojans suffered a similar fate with a bowl win, NCAA Tournament appearance and national title in women's soccer only to see women's hoops (14-16) let them down.
Graphic illustration by Michael MeredithThe National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has been ranking athletic programs for years by weighing every sport equally, meaning a football national title is worth the same number of points (100) as a women's water polo title. We tweaked the formula back in 2013 to weigh it more heavily toward sports that generate the broadest base of fan and media interest. We rate every FBS school in three sports -- football, men's basketball and women's basketball -- along with two "wild cards" among the school's most successful spectator sports: baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse, hockey and wrestling.
The weighted formula: Football is 2.5 times as much as the other sports, while men's basketball is worth twice as many points. Teams that did not finish in the final AP Top 25 in football but played in a bowl were awarded 62.5 points (25 x 2.5). Teams that made the NIT, CBI or CIT were given 20 points (10 x 2), while WNIT teams received 10 points. For all titles settled via bracket, point totals were based upon how many teams participated. All champions in the other sports received 100 points for a national title. For example: Florida baseball received 100 points, while its second-place finish in softball received 90 points.
Previous winners of the CBS Sports Best in College Sports honor include Louisville in 2013, Stanford in 2014, Ohio State in 2015 and Oklahoma in 2016. Florida State's previous best finish was fourth.
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