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Can't Wait For Saturday | These schools achieving the double whammy in big-two sports

Mar. 17—Sign up for our daily Illini football newsletter here

Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmussen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves.

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Championship Week got me thinking: What schools have the best combination of of football and men's basketball programs? Today.

Using The Associated Press football poll (I'm a voter) and the NET rankings for basketball, there is a healthy list,

Of course, you can eliminate more than a handful of the top basketball programs because they either don't have football or don't play at a big-time level. That means you Creighton, Marquette, Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and Dayton for starters.

St. John's, Villanova and Princeton too.

No reason to consider the defending champion in football. Michigan just fired its basketball coach Juwan Howard after suffering the most losses in program history for a season.

And no reason to consider defending basketball champion UConn, which is again a title threat on the court, but in a serious rebuild on the football field under Jim Mora.

So, here's who I came up. Feel free to disagree and let me hear about it:

1. Alabama. Yes, football and basketball can coexist in Tuscaloosa. There is a new football boss in Kalen DeBoer, who has Nate Oats' basketball team to entertain on recruiting visits. Oats is getting a new contract that will bump his pay toward DeBoer territory.

The Wildcats are joining the Big 12 next season after the Pac-12 fell apart. Basketball is king with Tommy Lloyd in charge, but football is rolling again. Jedd Fisch just left for Washington, but Brent Brennan will win in Tucson too. He was hired away from San Jose State.

3. Texas. The Longhorns are my preseason No. 1 in football for 2024. Steve Sarkisian is going to be a pain for the SEC. The basketball program is headed back to the NCAA tournament with coach Rodney Terry.

4. Oregon. This is a football lean for another former member of the Pac-12. But Dana Altman's basketball team played Colorado for a spot in the NCAA tournament Saturday night so that counts. Oregon football under Dan Lanning is one of the preseason contenders for the College Football playoffs.

5. Tennessee. Sorry to tell the football-crazed fabs, but the basketball program run by Rick Barnes is in better shape than Josh Heupel's team. But there is hope for the guys who play at Neyland Stadium.