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WVU Back In Top Ten

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When it comes to the 2016-2017 season, WVU is a top ten school.

Baylor v West Virginia Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

There is something to be said about being a blue-blood in college athletics. When you are an elite school, recruiting comes easy and with that influx of talent, national championships are not far behind. There can be a downside to being a national power in one of the major sports. Schools pool their resources and focus on what works. Kentucky and Duke are almost always guaranteed to be near the top of the basketball standings but languish behind in football. Alabama and Clemson recently played for the last two national championships in football but neither one made NCAA tournament in basketball.

However, some schools are able to navigate the rocky road of football and basketball, fielding Top 25 schools in both sports. Schools like Wisconsin, North Carolina, Louisville and the West Virginia Mountaineers all fielded teams that were near the top of both sports. USA Today has compiled a list and the Mountaineers came in tenth overall. Here is what they had to say about the Mountaineers,

Football: 10-3 (No. 17), lost Russell Athletic Bowl

Basketball: 28-9 (No. 12), reached Sweet 16

The football team was the bigger surprise – the Mountaineers were one of the great risers on the Power Five ranks, spending much of the season in the Amway Coaches Poll – while the basketball team had the unfortunate assignment of meeting Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. (And even then came up just three points short of an eventual Final Four team.)

The football team took advantage of a down Big 12 along with a weaker than expected out of conference schedule (though no fault of their own) and won 10 games. The Mountaineers got a tough draw in their bowl game against Miami, a team that matched up well against the spread of the Mountaineers. In basketball, Bob Huggins led the team to a Big 12 Tournament finals appearance, for the second straight year, and this time the team turned that into a Sweet 16 appearance. Ultimately, the Mountaineers never got their final shot off, losing a game that they did everything wrong and still had a chance at in the end.

Here is the total list from USA Today.

USA Today Top 10

Number School Football W-L Ranking Basketball W-L Ranking Notes
Number School Football W-L Ranking Basketball W-L Ranking Notes
1 Wisconsin 11-3 No. 9 27-10 No. 22 won Cotton Bowl, reached S16
2 Florida 9-4 No. 13 27-9 No. 17 won Outback Bowl, reached E8
3 Florida State 10-3 No. 8 26-9 No. 18 won Orange Bowl, reached R32
4 Michigan 10-3 No. 10 26-12 unranked lost Orange Bowl, reached S16
5 South Carolina 6-7 unranked 26-10 unranked lost Birmingham Bowl, reached F4
6 North Carolina 8-5 unranked 31-7 No. 8 lost Sun Bowl, reached F4
7 Kentucky 7-6 unranked 32-6 No. 5 lost Tax Slayer Bowl, reached E8
8 USC 10-3 No. 5 26-10 unranked won Rose Bowl, reached R32
9 Louisville 9-4 No. 20 25-9 No. 10 lost Citrus Bowl, reached R32
10 West Virginia 10-3 No. 17 28-9 No. 12 lost Russel Athletic Bowl, reached S16

I applaud the writers at USA Today for making this list, because I feel being good in both sports is something schools should strive for. Having good to very good football and basketball teams makes the seasons more enjoyable, instead of asking “Is it ____ season yet?”, right Kansas fans?

Yet, I take particular umbrage with this list. Wisconsin, Florida and Florida State at the top is correct. They all won top level bowls and finished the year ranked in both sports. Teams 4-8 all finished unranked in one of the two sports. Louisville at number 9 lost its bowl game and only reached the Round of 32. West Virginia may have lost its bowl game but they did reach the Sweet 16. Not only that, West Virginia fought to get ranked in football and stayed in the rankings throughout the year. Let us know in the poll below, do you agree with where WVU was ranked on this list?

Poll

Do you agree with WVU’s ranking?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Yes, we weren’t that good :/
    (225 votes)
  • 73%
    No, should be higher!
    (690 votes)
  • 2%
    No, we should be lower
    (24 votes)
939 votes total Vote Now