In order to name the nation’s top franchise, ESPN The Magazine’s annual “Franchise Issue” ranks anything and everything related to major American sports. It takes into account factors from concession prices to winning. This year ESPN named the Memphis Grizzles America’s best professional franchise for 2013.
The Mag also researched on-field success, off-field success and traditions of success for every college football and basketball team over the last 15 years. With the help of consultant Jeff Phillips, principal at the Parthenon Group, and alumnus of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, ESPN The Magazine editors sought to find the most successful duo in revenue sports.
Their findings? Far and away the most successful football-basketball duo since 1998 is the mighty Florida Gators.
GatorZone brings us ESPN’s rationale for putting the Gators atop the college football and basketball heap.
Since 1998, Florida is the only program to win championships in both sports – and the Gators did it twice in each (football in ’06 and ’08; hoops: ’06 and ’07). They’ve hauled in the most ESPN 150 football recruits (77) and rank behind only Ohio State and USC for player success. On the hardwood, UF ranks outside the top 25 in just one category (revenue, No. 27), and if Urban Meyer were still around to form a one-two coaching punch with Billy Donovan (No. 6), our rankings wouldn’t have been as close. (Will Muschamp ranks 51st.)
The rest of the top 10 features four Big Ten teams, the two Big 12 behemoths, one Pac-12 squad and last season’s combatants in the BCS title game:
2. Ohio State
6. Michigan State
10. Notre Dame