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The Most Academically And Athletically Dominant Colleges In America

The results are in: These schools combine excellent athletics with high academic standards.

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BuzzFeed plotted Forbes' academic rankings of colleges and universities against USA Today's tally of total athletic expenses (which doesn't include private schools like Stanford or Notre Dame, FYI) to determine which schools value both athletics and academics. Then we weighted both ranks equally and tallied them up for our top 10:

10. University of Wisconsin


At eighth in athletics and 147th in academics, the Badgers come in at No. 10 for our combined ranking. Current NFL quarterback Russell Wilson attended Wisconsin in 2011.

9. University of Georgia


The Georgia Bulldogs are No. 9 overall, ranked 125th academically and 17th athletically. Two-time Super Bowl champion Terrell Davis attended Georgia from 1992–1994.


8. University of Illinois


The University of Illinois is No. 8 overall, ranked 86th academically and 28th athletically. Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus played at Illinois from 1962–1964.

7. University of California, Berkeley


UC Berkeley comes in at No. 7 overall, ranked 33rd athletically and 50th academically. U.S. Olympian Alex Morgan graduated in 2010 and went on to win a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics.



UCLA is No. 6 overall. The Bruins rank 31st athletically and 45th academically. Jackie Joyner-Kersee attended UCLA from 1980–1985, red-shirting during 1983–1984. She remains the current world record holder in the heptathlon and was voted greatest female athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated.

5. University of Virginia


The University of Virginia comes in at 29th athletically and 36th academically, making the Cavaliers No. 5 overall. Current Houston Texans starting quarterback Matt Schaub graduated in 2003.

4. University of North Carolina


The Tarheels come in at No. 4 overall, ranking 24th in athletics and 47th in academics. Michael Jordan attended UNC from 1982–1984 and returned in 1986 to complete his degree.

3. University of Texas


The University of Texas is ranked first athletically and 104th academically, making it No. 3 overall. U.S. Olympian Sanya Richards went to school here from 2002–2005. She currently has four Olympic gold medals in track and field.

2. University of Florida


The Gators are No. 2 overall, ranked sixth athletically and 80th academically. NFL(?) stud Tim Tebow won two national championships and a Heisman Trophy during his four years in Gainesville.

1. University of Michigan


The University of Michigan tops our list. The Wolverines rank third athletically and 57th academically. Three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady graduated from the Big House in 1999.

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