Though it has not seemed much like it lately, at least one person out there in the world believes the Boston College Eagles are a top 75 all-time basketball program.
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Daniel Zillmer of FanSided’s mothership wrote a piece entitled, in great SEO fashion, The 75 Greatest College Basketball Programs of All-Time Statistically Ranked. He had written another one earlier about the top 50 football programs ever, and I expected to see the Eagles sneak in at maybe 48 or 49.
Nope, but somehow, we cracked the basketball list in a tie for 72nd.
As for criteria involved, the author uses a points scale based off of accomplishments; for example, two points for making the Tournament and three for a Sweet Sixteen.
He factored in Boston College’s 18 NCAA Tournament appearances and three Elite Eights, with a conference tournament championship in the modern era.
Now, Wichita State rocketed past us in the last several years, putting the Shockers above us on the list thanks to a Final Four appearance under Gregg Marshall, along with a great run in general for their program over the last eight years or so. Also, Idaho State is ahead of Boston College based largely on a number of championships they have won in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and Big Sky, though nobody would probably mistake them for being great.
Admittedly, it’s an imperfect system, but any way of trying to quantify the best all-time basketball programs (or any other group of teams) is. If anything, it puts into perspective for Boston College basketball fans that the program has had more success than over 200 other programs. Again, none lately, but it happened, and there is some hoops history here.
This system, however, does eliminate some recency bias. For example, if someone now were to subjectively choose the 75 best all-time basketball programs without any sort of uniform scoring system, only based on their perception of things as they are, they would not only exclude the Eagles from the top 75, they might not even make the top 100 or 125. Such is life when your program has been down for five years and counting.
We can argue about how the figure was arrived upon, but ultimately, is it fair to say Boston College is a top 75 all-time basketball program? It is not completely unreasonable. What would have been unreasonable is an extreme: for example, the Eagles are in the top 30 or 40 or the Eagles are outside the top 150, considering just how many of the 350 or so Division I schools are at lower tiers of the game.
Once more, it is imperfect, but the Eagles — who have had some especially good years and had long stretches of being consistently good — are in about the right spot. They are not overrated, but this accounts for the many fine seasons they have had.