Some NCAA Division I schools specialize in football. Others are best known for basketball. Maintaining success in both sports is a challenge, but a few schools have been up to the task. According to the 2013 NCAA record book, 10 elite schools have won NCAA titles in both Division I basketball and in football’s top division, currently known as the Football Bowl Subdivision. Prior to 1998, a variety of organizations selected national football champions, resulting in shared titles in many of those years.
Three schools that currently play in the Big Ten conference have won national championships in both football and basketball. The University of Michigan won or shared nine NCAA football titles between 1901 and 1997. The latter team was led by Charles Woodson, the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy. Michigan won the basketball championship under unusual circumstances in 1989. At the end of the regular season, head coach Bill Frieder announced he would leave for Arizona State the following season. He was then replaced by assistant coach Steve Fisher, who guided the Wolverines to the title.
Ohio State has won or shared seven football titles, most recently winning the 2002 BCS title game 31-24 against Miami in double overtime to complete a 14-0 season. The Buckeyes won the NCAA basketball tournament in 1960.
Michigan State won the football title by itself in 1952 and shared honors in 1965 and 1966. The 1966 team ended its season with a de facto championship game against Notre Dame, which ended in a 10-10 tie when the Irish chose to run out the clock after gaining possession on their 30-yard line with 1:10 remaining. Led by Magic Johnson, Michigan State won the 1979 NCAA basketball tournament. It earned its second basketball title in 2000.
Three current members of the Pac-12 conference have earned dual titles, beginning with Stanford. The Cardinal tied Alabama 7-7 in the Rose Bowl game following the 1926 season and the teams shared the national title. Stanford then won the NCAA basketball title in 1942.
The University of California won or shared three consecutive football championships, from 1920 to 22, plus the 1959 basketball championship.
UCLA shared the 1954 football title with Ohio State, but it is best known for winning 11 NCAA basketball titles. The Bruins won 10 championships in 12 seasons under coach John Wooden from 1964 through 1975, then won again in 1995. Four of Wooden’s teams went undefeated. His Bruins featured stars such as Gail Goodrich, Lew Alcindor -- later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- and Bill Walton.
The SEC has dominated college football in the 21st century, but two of the conference’s schools have added basketball titles to their football championships. Arkansas shared the 1964 football national title with another SEC school, Alabama, plus Notre Dame. The Razorbacks also won the 1994 NCAA championship game -- with President Bill Clinton, the former Arkansas governor, in attendance.
Florida has three undisputed football titles, including BCS championship game victories in 2006 and 2008. Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, contributed to the 2006 victory and was the offensive most valuable player of the 2008 title game. The Gators also earned consecutive basketball championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, Florida became the first school to win the NCAA football and basketball championships in the same season.
Atlantic Coast Conference
ACC schools Maryland and Syracuse have each earned one NCAA football and basketball championship. Maryland, which moves to the Big Ten in the fall of 2014, won the football title in 1953 and the basketball crown in 2002. Syracuse earned its football title in 1959, then won the NCAA basketball tournament in 2003 with a young team led by freshman Carmelo Anthony.