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Triple Threat: Power Programs

So here is something that could generate some fun discussion during this long 4th of July weekend.

The folks at have tried to put together a ranking of best schools based on the combination of successful football, basketball, and baseball program. Here is the formula they used:

Share of National Title = 10 points
Runner-up = 7 points*
Top 4 ranking = 5 points
No. 5-8 = 3 points
No. 9-16 = 2 points
Bowl win, outside top 16 = 1 point
Bowl loss, outside top 16 = 0.5 points


National Title = 10 points
Runner-up = 7 points
Final Four = 5 points
Elite Eight = 3 points
Sweet 16 = 2 points
Round of 32 = 1 points
First-round loss (since 1979) = 0.5 points


College World Series title = 10 points
CWS Runner-up = 7 points
Third or fourth in CWS = 5 points
Third or fourth in CWS = 3 points
Super regional loser = 2 points**
Regional runner-up = 1 points***
Regional participant = 0.5 points

* - In the pre-BCS era, the No. 2 team in the AP poll was awarded the 7 points. However, during the BCS era, the BCS title game loser was awarded 7 points.
** - The NCAA didn't start using the super regional format until 1999. For years before 1999, the second-place team in each of the eight regionals received 2 points each.
*** - The regional runner-up received two points each before the 1999 season, when the eight regional winners advanced to the College World Series. Before 1999, teams that finished in third or fourth place in their respective regionals earned 1 point each, with the fifth- or sixth-place teams getting a half-point. Since 1999, only teams that finished second in their regionals received 1 point. The rest of the regional participants earned a half-point.

 So first they did a ranking for the BCS era. Texas topped the list. Bruins came in 9th:

9. UCLA (7.5 football, 24 basketball, 7 baseball, 38.5 total points)

The buzz: The Bruins have made the Final Four each of the past three seasons, finished eighth in the AP football rankings in 1998 and reached baseball super regionals in 2000 and 2007. UCLA was 12th before baseball was considered. 

Yes, if you are wondering, Southern Cal is number 6 in that list.

They also extended their analysis to find out which school enjoyed the most success in these three sports since the 1974-75 season since that was the year “more than one school from each conference could earn an NCAA Tournament bid in basketball.” Texas also topped that list, while the Bruins came in 10 th:

10. UCLA (38 football, 79.5 basketball, 21 baseball, 138.5 total points)

The buzz: The Bruins only have one College World Series appearance (1997), but they've won two national titles in basketball during this era (1974 and 1995) and have reached the Final Four each of the past three years. The Bruins fell from seventh once baseball was added. 

Trojans came in 7th in that list but they only made it because of their “tournament appearance last spring,” which arguably shouldn’t count or should come with an asterisk given the cloud of controversy around OJ2. Then again all their recent rankings should be marked with asterisk given the situation with Reggie Bush.

Anyway, going back to our Bruins, our place in this list is not bad given how long we had Peter Dalis in charge, who was responsible for slow deterioration of all of these major programs through the 90s due to one bad coaching hires (or lack there of it in the case of baseball) after another. Also consider the fact despite going through the mediocre to horrific years of the entire Dorrell era, and the later years of Donahue/Toledo era, UCLA has had a top-25 ranked football program since 1974. Basketball was number 5 (despite going through coaches such as Farmer, Hazzard and you know who). Baseball was nowhere in the top-25 list. I would imagine our position in these rankings are going to only improve given the upgrade in baseball via John Savage, the promise of Neuheisel, and the incredible foundation Howland has built for our basketball program.

So, It will be interesting to see how we will stack up in these rankings after next 5 years. Given the coaches we have in charge in all three sports, we have lot of reasons to be fired up.