The combined LSU football and basketball programs rank at the top of a list compiled by ESPN staff writer C.L. Young in advance of the 2015-16 school year.
Young notes that the term “football school” and “basketball schools don’t really mix, making it difficult for universities to be relevant in the same academic year. Yet, he notes that it’s not impossible.
So he ranked the top five schools with the best football and best basketball programs, putting LSU at the top of the list of a post that featured photos of Tigers’ football star Leonard Fournette and freshman basketball player Ben Simmons.
In ranking LSU first, Young said, “There arguably won’t be an individual combination on any campus better than sophomore running back Leonard Fournette and freshman forward Ben Simmons.
“Fournette lived up to the impossible hype that preceded him to campus by setting a school freshman rushing record with 1,034 yards. Simmons also faces elevated expectations — he’s being pegged as the possible No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft — and if he comes close to that, LSU could return to its first Final Four since 2006.
“The football team is ranked 14th and ESPN College GameDay analysts Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit both predicted LSU to win the SEC, while Corso even picked the Tigers to win the College Football Playoff.”
The rest of Young’s top five includes Villanova, Oklahoma, Michigan State and Baylor.
LSU and Simmons will take on the Oklahoma basketball team in the Southeastern Conference/Big 12 Challenge on Jan. 30 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.