Nebraska, according to USN&WR are ranked as the 96th best school academically, replacing Iowa, MSU and Indiana for worst in the Big Ten (all tied at 71). Does anyone think the Big Ten may have lowered their standards a bit to allow them? Or think it shows what the Big Ten is willing to accept in schools that may be added in the future?
US News rankings have reached the point where they've been so manipulated by schools for fairly irrelevant things (volumes in library, class sizes) that the academic standing has been rendered an afterthought.
Examples: Notre Dame is ranked 20th, ahead of Cal Berkeley, Michigan, Virginia, UNC, Wake Forest. Notre Dame is a fine school but academically it's quite simply not better than any of those schools.
USC is ahead of Michigan. Wisconsin (without a doubt the third best school in the B10) is tied with Illinois, and behind UC San Diego and Boston College. OSU is ahead of Indiana. MSU is anywhere above mediocre (hey, Michigan arrogance!).
Those rankings just aren't accurate as to academic reputation.
Which metric are you using that indicates Notre Dame is no better than Cal Berkeley, Michigan, Virginia, UNC, or Wake Forest?
Probably anything relating to graduate level research. All of those are great research schools which adds greatly to a schools academic reputation. ND is just now starting to put an emphasis on graduate level academics.
UCLA is at least on par if not better than Berkley, but yeah.
or maybe it shows that Iowa, MSU and Indiana benefit from being in the CiC while Nebraska will make a huge jump once they are in.
Besides undergrad rankings aren't what matters. It is research grants that really count.
Nebraska has been improving significantly and CIC membership and benefits should bring them up to standard.
After all, they have been slumming the past 14 years. Being in the B10 will help raise their profile automatically. Besides, it's a pretty tough hurdle to limit new schools to AAU members only. If we require they also be top 50 undergrad schools we will never end up with anyone. And it could be alot worse, aka TTU and Okie St. Standford and Cal gotta be lovin that!
They don't seem to be a great fit academically, but I'm sure Delaney cares more about the extra money that the BTN will earn than he does lowering the academic profile slighlty.
Does someone know how good PSU was academically before it came in?
I did some searching on this and US News reports from 1988-1992 (insert caveat here about these not being the be and end all), and they didn't list PSU, b/c only the top 25 were listed (U of M and NU were the only 2 Big 10 schools in there).
I did find some good quotes indicating it has helped:
PSU's spokesman said last month:
...being in the Big Ten has improved her university's academic reputation. Penn State, she said, also has benefited from collaborative opportunities offered by the CIC.
"Penn State is an international institution and our joining with the Big Ten has helped us become a more prominent player on the international level," she said.
Also, PSU's research funding has gone from $250 mil in 1990 to $700 mil in 2008.
...and the Big 10 makes up 5 of the Top 13 in research funding (PSU is #11)
Finally, PSU was admitted to the all-important AAU in 1958, six year before MSU. So while I don't have an exact #, it's fair to say a pretty good school was helped to become somewhat better by being a member of the Big 10.
As long as they actually even have a number - double-digits, even - and not a Tier 3 designation, they're fine IMO. I really don't think anyone's ever going to nitpick about the differences between Nebraska and Indiana.
AAU member since 1909, an assload in research expenditures, a rising academic profile, and like others have said, a prolonged boost in undergraduate statistical position from CIC membership. Definitely a school worthy of inclusion. Plus, they pass the Grouchy Papa Boutros test.