As dynamic duos go, it's hard to top what Melvin Gordon and Frank Kaminsky accomplished this past season at Wisconsin.
Gordon ran his way to a runner-up finish in the Heisman Trophy voting and broke a heap of records along the way, as the Badgers won 11 games and played in the Big Ten championship game. The San Diego Chargers drafted Gordon with the No. 15 pick in May's NFL draft.
On Thursday, Kaminsky is poised to join Gordon in the Badgers' first-round club. Frank the Tank is projected to go in the top 15 picks of the NBA draft. He's already the most decorated basketball player in Wisconsin history and swept the national player of the year awards for the 2014-15 season, including the Wooden and Naismith awards. Kaminsky led Wisconsin to a 36-4 record, Big Ten regular season and tournament championships and the school's first national championship game appearance since 1941.
What other football-hoops combos -- in the same school year -- would compare to Gordon and Kaminsky? We did a little research and ranked our top 10, keeping in mind that this is based on college accomplishments and what that duo achieved in the same football-basketball season. Team success was a major consideration in our selection process, but so was the overall talent of the duo and the mark they left on their respective sports.
Here's what we came up with:
1. Bo Jackson and Charles Barkley, Auburn, 1983-84
Jackson didn't win the Heisman Trophy until the 1985 season, but his sophomore season was equally spectacular. He rushed for 1,213 yards (averaging 7.7 yards per carry) on his way to earning consensus All-America honors and leading the Tigers to an SEC championship and Sugar Bowl victory over Michigan. While the legend of Bo was just beginning, Barkley was carving out his own niche as one of the more intriguing basketball players in decades. The "Round Mound of Rebound" was named SEC Player of the Year as a junior and earned second-team All-America honors. After leading the Tigers to an NCAA tournament appearance, he turned pro and was drafted No. 5 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
2. Sam Bradford and Blake Griffin, Oklahoma, 2008-09
Before they morphed into superstars at Oklahoma, Bradford and Griffin played summer basketball together while growing up in Oklahoma City. They each had sensational sophomore seasons at Oklahoma. Bradford won the Heisman Trophy and led the Sooners to the BCS National Championship Game. He threw 50 touchdown passes and passed for 4,721 yards. He was the No. 1 pick of the 2010 NFL draft after coming back for the 2009 season and injuring his shoulder. The high-flying Griffin swept all six national player of the year awards and averaged 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds that hoops season. He turned pro following his sophomore season and was selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NBA draft.
3. Gary Beban and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, UCLA, 1967-68
During the midst of UCLA's hoops dynasty, the Bruins also carved out one of their more memorable football seasons. Beban led UCLA to a No. 1 ranking en route to beating out O.J. Simpson for the 1967 Heisman Trophy, and he remains the Bruins' only winner of the award. UCLA lost to USC, however, in a 21-20 classic regarded as one of the greatest college football games ever played. Abdul-Jabbar, known then as Lew Alcindor, led UCLA to its fourth NCAA basketball championship in five years. He scored 34 points in the title game and was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. He was also named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year, making UCLA the first school in history to have the player of the year winner in both football and basketball in the same year.
4. Herschel Walker and Dominique Wilkins, Georgia, 1980-81
Just a freshman, Walker was before his time with the kind of size, speed and power that was rare for a running back in those days. He led the Bulldogs to a 12-0 record and national championship with 1,616 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns and finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Even though the basketball Dawgs didn't deliver any championships that season, Wilkins was nicknamed the "Human Highlight Film" for a reason. He dunked from dizzying heights and was named the SEC Player of the Year. The Bulldogs made their first postseason appearance in school history, playing in the NIT. A year later, Wilkins left following his junior season and was the No. 3 pick in the 1982 NBA draft.
5. Tim Tebow and Joakim Noah, Florida, 2006-07
It wouldn't be for another year that Tebow would become the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, but he led the Gators with eight rushing touchdowns as a freshman and was their go-to guy in short-yardage situations. The Gators won the first of two national championships in a three-year span, which was already old hat for Noah and the Florida basketball team. A second-team All-American as a junior, Noah was a driving force in the Gators winning back-to-back national championships in hoops. One of the more versatile players in the country, the 6-11 Noah averaged 12 points, 8.4 rebounds and led the team with 72 blocks. He turned pro after the season and was the No. 9 pick in the 2007 NBA draft.
6. Alex Smith and Andrew Bogut, Utah, 2004-05
Smith and Bogut put the Utes in the history books in 2005 when they both were selected No. 1 overall in the NFL and NBA drafts, making Utah the first school to have two No. 1 picks the same year in the NFL and NBA. Smith, a do-it-all quarterback in Urban Meyer's spread system, led Utah to a Fiesta Bowl victory, top-5 finish and unbeaten season. He accounted for 42 touchdowns. The 7-foot Bogut won the Wooden and Naismith awards and averaged 20.4 points, 12.2 rebounds and also blocked 65 shots in leading the Utes to the Sweet 16.
7. Art Still and Jack "Goose" Givens, Kentucky, 1977-78
Still, a recent selection to the College Football Hall of Fame, was a dominant defensive end for the Wildcats and the centerpiece of their 1977 team, the last Kentucky football team to go unbeaten in the SEC. The Wildcats held opponents to 10.1 points per game that season, and Still was the No. 2 pick in the 1978 NFL draft. The hoops season in the Bluegrass was equally memorable, as Givens turned in an epic performance in the national championship game with 41 points in the win over Duke. The "Goose" was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and selected No. 16 in the 1978 NBA draft.
8. Tommy Casanova and "Pistol" Pete Maravich, LSU, 1969-70
One of the more popular and versatile players in LSU history, Casanova was the only three-time All-American in school history. He helped lead LSU to a 9-1 season in 1969, but LSU refused a lesser bowl game after the Cotton Bowl took Notre Dame to face Texas. That 1969 LSU team is still considered one of the greatest in school history. On the hardwood, Maravich was working his magic on the Bayou. Floppy socks and all, the Pistol was named Naismith Player of the Year as a senior. He averaged 44.5 points and led the Tigers to a third-place NIT finish. He was taken third in the 1970 draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
9. Randy White and John Lucas, Maryland, 1974-75
White was a force for the Terrapins in the defensive line and nicknamed the "Manster." The reason? He was part-man, part-monster and played that way. He capped his Maryland career by winning the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award as a senior and was named ACC Player of the Year. Lucas was the point guard on some of Maryland's best basketball teams. He averaged 19.5 points as a junior and was a first-team All-American, leading the Terrapins to a 24-5 record and an Elite Eight appearance, where they lost to Louisville.
10. Troy Smith and Greg Oden, Ohio State, 2006-07
Smith won the Heisman Trophy in 2006 and led the Buckeyes to the BCS National Championship Game, where they lost to Florida. He passed for 30 touchdowns his senior season and endeared himself forever to Ohio State fans by quarterbacking the Buckeyes to three straight wins over rival Michigan. Oden, a first-team All-American as a freshman, led Ohio State to the national title game, also losing to Florida. He had 25 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in that game. He played just one season at Ohio State and was taken No. 1 overall in the 2007 NBA draft.