2018-2019 Hoops & Helmets Top Ten
10. UCF Knights
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 34
Football: 12-1 overall, 8-0 in conference, 1st in AAC East
Basketball: 24-9 overall, 13-5 in conference, T3rd in AAC
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? Amazing. Josh Heupel kept the football fun going with another unbeaten regular season – don’t forget how much pressure was on his shoulders – with an AAC title and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. It was a loss, but the Knights came up with a late push against LSU. The basketball team was a missed layup away from knocking out Duke in a second round NCAA Tournament classic.
9. LSU Tigers
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 48
Football: 10-3 overall, 5-3 in conference, T2nd in SEC West
Basketball: 28-7 overall, 16-2 in conference, 1st in SEC
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? The Tigers were outstanding in a fun year in both big sports. After projections of doom and gloom – or, at least, mediocrity – the football team won ten games and beat UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. The basketball side had a strong year before running into Michigan State in the Sweet 16.
8. Michigan State Spartans
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 6
Football: 7-6 overall, 5-4 in conference, 4th in Big Ten East
Basketball: 32-7 overall, 16-4 in conference, T1st in Big Ten
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? Winning the Big Ten and getting to the Final Four was amazing no matter what, even if the Spartans were out-toughed by Texas Tech in a ten-point loss in Minneapolis. The football team wasted a special season by the defense. The lack of offense was a killer, especially int eh Redbox Bowl loss to Oregon.
7. Auburn Tigers
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 5
Football: 8-5 overall, 3-5 in conference, 5th in SEC West
Basketball: 30-10 overall, 11-7 in conference, T4th in SEC West
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? The Tiger basketball team came within a missed double-dribble call of playing for the national title. But it was a magical and fun season with an SEC tournament title and trip to the Final Four. The football team was a disappointment, but it closed out with a 63-14 win over Purdue in the Music City Bowl.
6. Clemson Tigers
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 2
Football: 15-0 overall, 8-0 in conference, 1st in ACC Atlantic
Basketball: 20-14 overall, 9-9 in conference, T8th in ACC
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? Winning a national championship in football – especially with an epic blowout win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship – is enough to trump just about everything else. The basketball team was hardly a clunker. It enjoyed a winning campaign with a victory in the NIT before getting knocked out by Wichita State.
That, combined with a CFP championship, was enough to get this high up. But not getting the basketball team into the NCAA Tournament keeps Clemson out of the top five.
5. Michigan Wolverines
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 4
Football: 10-3 overall, 8-1 in conference, T1st in Big Ten East
Basketball: 30-7 overall, 15-5 in conference, 3rd in Big Ten
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? It was this close to being an amazing football season. The 10-1 start was totally forgotten after losing to Ohio State and in the Peach Bowl to Florida by a combined score of 103-54 in the two games. The basketball team was No. 1 for a stretch, but it lost to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, and got blown out by Texas Tech in the Sweet 16.
4. Washington Huskies
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 43
Football: 10-4 overall, 7-2 in conference, T1st in Pac-12 North
Basketball: 27-9 overall, 15-3 in conference, 1st in Pac-12
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? The Huskies won the Pac-12 basketball regular season title and got to the conference title game, but was bounced out of the NCAA second round by North Carolina. The football team won the Pac-12 title and got to the Rose Bowl for the first time in almost two decades, but lost to Ohio State.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 3
Football: 13-1 overall, 8-1 in conference, T1st in Big Ten East
Basketball: 20-15 overall, 8-12 in conference, T8th in Big Ten
How Was The Football/Basketball Season? Missing out on the College Football Playoff wasn’t fair – thanks, Purdue – and it was a clunky start to the campaign, but ripping out Michigan’s heart, winning the Big Ten title, and winning the Rose Bowl was amazing. The basketball team died down the regular season stretch, but it stunned Iowa State in the NCAAs before getting knocked out by Houston in the second round.
2. Oklahoma Sooners
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 7
Football: 12-2 overall, 8-1 in conference, 1st in Big 12
Basketball: 20-14 overall, 7-11 in conference, T7th in Big 12
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? Remember, in this, it’s where the hoops team finished – finishing seventh in the league doesn’t matter. Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame didn’t even make the NCAA Tournament.
Another year, another Big 12 football championship, and another Heisman. There was absolutely no shame in losing to Alabama in the Orange Bowl – at least the Sooners got to the College Football Playoff. The basketball team got off the bubble and into the NCAAs, blowing out Ole Miss in the first round but getting knocked out by Virginia in the second.
1. Virginia Cavaliers
2018 Hoops & Helmets Ranking: 20
Football: 8-5 overall, 4-4 in conference, T3rd in ACC Coastal
Basketball: 33-3 overall, 16-2 in conference, T1st in ACC
How Were The Football/Basketball Seasons? Winning a national title in basketball and a bowl game is enough to get it done and earn the No. 1 spot.
So the football team didn’t get to the ACC title game, and it lost three of its last four regular season games – including yet another painful game against Virginia Tech – but it pitched a perfect game in the 28-0 win over South Carolina in the Belk Bowl. And then there was the basketball team – it wasn’t bad. It didn’t win the ACC Tournament, but it survived and advanced its way to Monday night in early April.