It’s been a fun September for college football in no small part because unsuspecting programs otherwise known for their basketball prowess have opened their seasons undefeated on the gridiron. Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Syracuse and UCLA — schools with 40 total national titles in men’s basketball — are a combined 18-0 through the first three weeks of the football season.
Check this. In more than 100 years of college football, those six traditional basketball powerhouses never — until now — all began the same season 3-0.
There’s a chance a few of these football teams could wind up having better seasons than their basketball counterparts this academic year. And if you’re wondering when the last time that happened for each of these schools, you’ve come to the right place.
Most recent seasons hoops powers were better in football
Yep, we don’t even have to go back a year to find the first time a basketball powerhouse was outdone by its football brethren. It’s a close one, but Wildcats football went 10-3 (.769 winning percentage) last season, which only beat out John Calipari’s Kentucky basketball team because — you guessed it — Kentucky (26-8, .765) lost to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Had Kentucky won just one more game — even if it lost in the second round to in-state little brother Murray State — UK would have finished with a .771 winning percentage at worst. But, it didn’t. So, Kentucky is first on the list.
The next most recent instance of Kentucky football besting UK hoops … you guessed it: 2020. Even with Mark Stoops’ team going 5-6 (.455), the doomed 2020-21 UK basketball season ensured football was better. Kentucky notoriously…