Interesting report listing the top 25 academic football teams.
I did not make this headline up
Interesting report listing the top 25 academic football teams.
Not quite. That is ranking of the current top 25 only. So being 21st out of 25 isn't exactly impressive.
"the New America Foundation bases its rankings on several factors: how a football team’s graduation rate compares to that of the school’s overall male student body, how a team’s black-white graduation gap compares to the male black-white graduation gap in the general student population, and the spread between a football team’s black graduation rate and the school’s overall graduation rate for black men."
That doesn't sound like it's ranking the quality of a school's academics.
Yeah seriously. Northern Illinois gets a bunch of points because it's players graduate higher than the general student body (72% white players/63% black players - 56% white general student/30% black general student), even though their overall player graduation rate is a 66%
Yeah.... if this were ranking the schools as a whole and not limiting to the football teams, we'd be somewhere between 3 and 5 on this list.
The fact that Boise State and San Jose State are in the top six tells you enough about these rankings.
On the flip side, look at the team from Michigan, a school with a strong academic reputation, yet finishes near the bottom of these rankings. While Michigan graduates 88% of its students, only 59% of Wolverine football players get their diplomas. While the black-white graduate gap on the football team is only four points worse than black-white gap for all male students, just 47% of Michigan’s black football players graduate, compared with 70% of Michigan’s black male students overall.
Less than half of Michigan's black football players are graduating? That seems really, really low. And I mean that in a "I follow the team/roster close enough that I'm usually aware when kids leave school before graduateing" way, not an educational statistics way. I assume that includes transfers, but still. Less than half? I'm legitimately surprised.
And a 59% rate for the entire team is only slightly less surprising.
They use a "federal graduation rate" which does not take into account attrition by transfer or early entry to NFL like the GSR. The formula also takes into account APR which Michigan is slowly recovering from after damaged in Rich Rod years.
I expect our ranking will rise in the next couple years after our attrition rate normalizes back to average.
This only counts guys who graduate within a 5-6 year window. Players who go on to the NFL often don't graduate that soon, though they often return eventually in the offseason and finish their degrees.
This metric is deeply flawed (does anyone really believe Boise's football team is better academically than Stanford's?), but that still doesn't excuse that Michigan is near the bottom.
Yeah....that list is bogus. No way 20 of those schools are better institutions than UM. Hell, number four, Boise State, couldn't join the PAC-10(at the time) because of academics.
I have my problems with it, too, but "bogus" doesn't quite stretch to cover a complex set of criteria, IMO.
I'm OK with "bogus" as a description for the list. "Bogus" is in the dictionary between "biased" and "bullshit."
There is at least the potential, perhaps even the liklihood in many cases, that a school that is less rigorous academically would come out higher using the article's system.
Indeed. Boise State is essentially a 4 year community college.
In addition, any players who leave early for the NFL draft are going to count as not graduating. While it's commendable to stick it out 4 years and get a degree, I would have had a hard time turning down a few guaranteed million job offer when I was a junior in college.
Thankfully, no one in the real world (for me, medical school admissions) agrees with that, as I'm constantly complimented on the rigor of my undergrad education...there's simply no way that UM isn't one of the top 10 educational institutions in the United States.
Wait... top 10? Are we talking about the medical school still?
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Chicago, Columbia, MIT, Stanford, Penn, Caltech, Northwestern etc. off the top of my head may disagree.
It really depends on the program too. Michigan engineering, for example, is far better than any of the Ivy League schools' engineering programs. But nobody would say that Michigan is better than Harvard, etc. in maybe core science or other literature programs. Not to say Michigan isn't up there though. One of the reasons we aren't in the top 10 on most rankings list is just because of the size of the school. Since there's a large number of slots, even though the top percentiles for things like ACT score is awfully high, the 25th percentile is still on the lower end if we were to be a top 10 school, and college rankings sites take things like that into account way too much.
I disagree that ACT/SAT scores are given too much emphasis. The quality of your students does affect the quality of your school. The ACT and SAT both have their flaws, but they do weed out high quality students from poor quality ones well enough. The average writing ability of students in a University of Michigan first year writing requirement class is so low that the level of instruction is lower than some high school classes (because the level of instruction was at the level of most of the students in the class). This isn't as big of a problem in math or science classes (and some others like economics) where if you get left behind you get left behind, but in the Humanities for instance where there's a lot of Socratic method being used it matters. Michigan is a good school, but it admits a lot of students that better schools would not. Consequently, there's some handholding that goes on (that isn't limited to remedial instruction).
I understand your point, and agree it's important, but I was saying that the size of Michigan has something to do with the lower standards too. We can't say we're going to accept 5,000 incoming freshman all with near-perfect scores, it just doesn't happen. It'd be a lot different if we only accepted 1,000 like a lot of schools ranked above us. Michigan's 25th percentile ACT score is something like 28 (that's the number I saw for a year or two ago, I think it went up since then), which ranks below a number of smaller schools. But our 75th percentile score is a 33 I believe (someone told me its even higher for engineers, but I'm not sure about that), which is very good, and extremely good for a public school. Just the size of the school leads to quite a bit of a range, and you can see that range if you ever see the grade distribution for a class like econ or organic chemistry, for example.
Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that Michigan is a top tier institution in both academics and campus life, in my opinion possibly the best mix of both anywhere in the country.
I'd rather spend winter in Palo Alto.
There are few institutions that can match the comprehensive rankings of UM, when considering the medical, law, business, engineering, and liberal arts departments.
U chicago, duke, brown and dartmouth probabaly. But as mentioned above, all of these schools aren't as comprehensive as far as all fields are concerned.
The attrition from coaching changes greatly affects these rankings.
When Alabama and Florida are ranked higher than Michigan based on academics...yea it's a joke. I lived in Florida and their school system is an utter joke. Even my friends that went to the University said it wasn't that much different from highschool. Sorry if there are any alums here, but just reporting on experience and from people that have graduated.
It only compares athletic grad rates to overall grad rates and the differences in those same rates between black and white students. Basically if your overall school has low grad rates that helps you in the academic rankings.
is rewarded because a huge percent of its student body doesn't graduate and doesn't ever have players leave for the NFL, whereas almost everyone from Michigan does graduate and the team does have players leave for the NFL, hmm...
He went to Boise State....that is all you need to know.
THIS RANKING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ACADEMIC QUALITY. Its a poorly titled article at best, misleading title at worst. Its about graduation rates. There is not one study in the world that links graduation rates to acedemic quality. Not a single person would argue that Northern Illinois is a "better" school than over half the schools on that list.
It might not be completely useless to compare player graduation rates to the overall school. I think a school should be making efforts to help student athletes to get those numbers as close as possible. But that has nothing to do with quality.
I just can't believe someone got paid to write about a ranking that is nothing more than a formula that put the schools in an order. Give me the data, and I can come up with thousands of formulas that will rank these schools. That doesn't mean it actually has any use.
Boise State is ranked above Stanford in an academic ranking of some sort.
And we are supposed to take this as legitimate?
Thats what I said, so looking looking further into it:
BSU Grad Rate is 26%
Football Grad Rate is 61%
Nice stupid stats they use.
Doesn't this measure neglect to factor in students who didn't graduate because they went to the pros?
the metric does not care if you flunk out, transfer or early entry to pros. It counts them all the same.
I think. Once we get the Rich Rod years and attrition from coaching transition off the books in 2014, our ranking will rise significantly. Does anyone else feel they did a poor job describing their method/formula in determining these rankings?
According to this document detailing the formula, they used a "federal graduation rate" that does NOT account for transfers (meaning attrition counts as players not graduating). This formula is flawed by that metric.
The question is why do our black players graduate at such a low rate? I am betting a big reason might be the attrition that has occurred over the pat few years.
Obviously good academic schools still did well on that list (NW, Stanford, ND toward the top) so us being so low has to do with other factors.
No, the good schools on that list are pretty equally distrubuted from the top to the bottom (in fact most of them are either at the top or the bottom, not so much in the middle). The top has NW, Stanford and ND, and the bottom has UM, UCLA and Texas. Maybe not a coincidence that the good public schools are at the bottom and the good private schools are at the top. Point is, the top of the list has good and bad schools, as does the bottom of the list, so I doubt this list has much correlation with quality of education.
Right next to UCLA and Texas, the other two elite public institutions on the list. Not sure what it means.
TIL the graduation rate at Boise State is only 29%. I guess being locked in to 4 years in Idaho will do that.
What a ridiculous methodology! you should compare it to average of all schools and take into account transfers and early entrants. dumb. NIU ranks so highly because they are really crappy at keeping normal AA students in school! Only graduating 33% vs. 66% or whatever shouldn't give them a high grade....
crying foul because of the racial criteria. But if I read this right, Michigan needs to better by its football players all around. Hardly the end of the world, but I become disappointed in posters when they just need to categorically condemn something like this rather than dig in and sift.
If a study uses APR, it's fundamentally bunk.
Very proud of my alma mater.