FBS Schools By Latest USNews 400

Submitted by Seth on February 23rd, 2012 at 11:04 PM

U.S. News & World Report publishes those annual college rankings. They're not the only ones, and they're not even necessarily the best ones, but they're the rankings people most often use when talking about how our alma mater is better than everyone elses's alma mater and...I dunno do people talk about the USNews Rankings for anything else?

In the world of marginal and overly general rankings that lose 90% of their meaning six days into your career, Michigan is awesome at everything there too. Piggybacking on the article linked by Gameboy, and because it would have been too many inches on the front page for something I don't think matters all that much, here's the FBS schools who made the Top 400.

Note: Notre Dame is listed as a Big Ten school because it annoys them, and the Big East is not listed as a BCS conference because lol they're not.

Big Ten Rank (World) Rank (US) Rank (FBS)
Michigan 14 10 2
Northwestern 24 15 5
Wisconsin 41 18 7
Illinois 61 23 10
Purdue 85 29 13
Penn State 94 30 14
Minnesota 102 33 15
Ohio State 111 35 17
Michigan State 164 51 27
Iowa 192 54 28
Indiana 216 55 29
Notre Dame 223 56 30
NR: Nebraska


Pac 12 Rank (World) Rank (US) Rank (FBS)
Stanford 11 7 1
California 21 14 4
UCLA 34 16 6
Washington 56 22 9
USC 107 34 16
Colorado 142 44 23
Arizona 163 50 26
Utah 288 66 36
Arizona State 336 74 39
Washington State 354 78 43
NR: Oregon, Oregon State 


ACC Rank (World) Rank (US) Rank (FBS)
Duke 19 13 3
North Carolina 55 21 8
Georgia Tech 84 28 12
Maryland 113 36 18
Pittsburgh 116 38 19
Virginia 126 41 21
Miami (YTM) 230 57 31
Wake Forest 272 62 33
NC State 277 63 34
Virginia Tech 326 73 38
Boston College 349 77 42
NR: Clemson, FSU, Syracuse


SEC Rank (World) Rank (US) Rank (FBS)
Vanderbilt 131 43 22
Texas A&M 158 47 24
Florida 161 48 25
Missouri 371 81 46
Kentucky 383 83 47
Georgia 386 84 48
Tennessee 391 85 49
NR: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Miss St, SC


Big XII Rank (World) Rank (US) Rank (FBS)
Texas 76 25 11
Iowa State 289 67 37
NR: Baylor, Kansas, KSU, Oklahoma, OK State, TT, TCU, WVa.


Non-BCS Rank (World) Rank (US) Rank (FBS)
Rice 117 39 20
Rutgers 236 58 32
Tulane 284 64 35
Buffalo 337 75 40
Cincinnati 339 76 41
Colorado State 363 79 44
Connecticut 365 80 45

Items of Interest that Actually Mean Very Little:

  • Texas A&M is now the second-smartest school in the SEC. Think about that for a second. We feel for you Vanderbilt!
  • USN doesn't like private schools.
  • What the hell does % of faculty that's international have to do with anything?
  • Lol Notre Dame anyway.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 are pretty comparable, though since the last time I did this the B1G has closed the gap on a former Pac lead at the top; our bottom is still way stronger despite the drag of our only non-ranked, non-AAU program Nebraska. If USNews rankings (shown: just among FBS teams) instead of BCS rankings were used to create matchups for the future B1G/Pac Challenge or whatever they'll call the new real-game agreement, we get:

Big Ten Vs. Pac 12
Michigan (2) vs. Stanford (1)
Northwestern (5) vs. California (4)
Wisconsin (7) vs. UCLA (6)
Illinois (10) vs. Washington (9)
Purdue (13) vs. USC (16)
Penn State (14) vs. Colorado (23)
Minnesota (15) vs. Arizona (26)
Ohio State (17) vs. Utah (36)
Michigan State (27) vs. Arizona State (39)
Iowa (28) vs. Washington State (43)
Indiana (29) vs. Oregon (NR)
Nebraska (NR) vs. Oregon State (NR)

Horray for feeling superior to people for silly reasons!



February 23rd, 2012 at 11:28 PM ^

Thanks for this.  Really interesting to see. Interesting how the PAC-12 is close to the Big 10 on the top side, but the Big 10 makes up the difference with the lower-level Pac-12 programs.


February 24th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

But pretty arbitrary diversity, right?  You could have a faculty with a low % from abroad that was very diverse, or you could have a faculty with a high % all from the same country, which happens a lot.  Which is more diverse? 

Fact is, the Unites States is pretty diverse, and having faculty who are Hispanics from Phoenix, Asians from San Francisco, Irish-Catholics from Boston, Jews from Long Island, African Americans from Chicago, Southern Baptists, Texans, Midwesterners, etc - that would be quite diverse, but would score low on the "International Faculty" score, as opposed to a school with a ton of Korean-born profs in a couple departments. 

Point is, if you want "diversity" to be a part of your criteria, find a better way to measure it, or don't include it.


February 24th, 2012 at 9:33 AM ^

Having worked abroad it is always nice to hear "Michigan? That's a good school."

The ranking is also a reminder of the responsibility we have to uphold the qualities this degree represents as Michigan Women and Men.


February 24th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

Wow the big 12 sucks.

And I know its funny to go LOLNotreDame but I have a hard time believing they would've been the worst school in the big ten as of about a year ago. Seriously, someone try to convince me that MSU or OSU is a better school than Notre Dame

oriental andrew

February 24th, 2012 at 11:59 AM ^

"What the hell does % of faculty that's international have to do with anything?"

Because these are world rankings, which are heavily biased toward reputation by global employers and international academics, as well as opportunity and support for visiting international faculty and international students. 

As I said in the other thread, Michigan has always had very robust international faculty and student populations.  A lot of this also has to do with scope and breadth of learning and research partnerships globally.  Michigan is definitely a leader in these areas. 

Others, like the schools in the SEC and Big 12, tend to be more US-focused.  While they have some international programs and research opportunities, it's not as strong a focus for them. 

None of this means that any of the schools which are not ranked, or are ranked relatively low, are not good schools.  It just means they don't have as much of an international focus.  For instance, Vandy is a FANTASTIC school, but not ranked particularly high. 


February 24th, 2012 at 1:06 PM ^

I love that Michigan is ranked so high, but these rankings seem completely flawed.

  • Academic reputation is most important, but every school has a 99.something, making reputation fairly meaningless as a discriminator
  • Faculty-student ratio is obviously assessed in a bizarre and inconsistent manner (e.g. Michigan's ratio is significantly better than Princeton's?)
  • Ditto employer reputation (again, I'm sure employers love us, but much more than they love Princeton grads?)
  • % of International students and faculty -- this does seem important to me...if you're trying to boost the standing of schools from a small country closely connected to several other small, nearby countries (i.e. the UK)

Like I said, no complaint with the results, but if you look at the methodology and the scores they came up with...doesn't make a lot of sense.

Moonlight Graham

February 24th, 2012 at 5:41 PM ^

This also gives a good picture of who might be good candidates for B1G expansion, based on AAU and CIC membership, etc. And the likely candidates are ... no one. Nebraska was already a major reach, and now look at where we are. From an academic prestige standpoint, the B1G should have grabbed Missouri (still a reach) and Pitt when they had the chance. I still canNOT beLIEVE they let Pitt out of their grasp. 


February 24th, 2012 at 9:03 PM ^

Pitt didn't really add anything they didn't get with Penn State. This conference last expanded by adding Nebraska this year, Penn State in the early '90s and Michigan State in the 1950s. That's the effin standard. MSU was possibly the biggest reach the conference has ever taken and except for us, that has worked out.

Remember CIC membership is just Big Ten.

The conference won't add any school that doesn't add more than 1/13th to the pot, because they'll be losing 1/13th of their pot to that school. Texas or Notre Dame, unless they do something creative with the ACC.


February 25th, 2012 at 2:04 AM ^

Love me some Pitt (I went there), but Pitt is basically a perfect option to bring along with a school like ND, and couldn't have carried the twelve spot by itself. Pitt plus ND would keep the conference even while adding revenue, plus the academics are great and it's geographically contiguous. One big difference (IMO) is the campus environment; Pitt is a pretty damn urban school in a way no Big Ten school that I've been to is. Even so, I think the campus culture is pretty similar to a lot of B1G schools.

Also, Seth, I wanted to ask you about my new signature. I'd appreciate being able to keep it, as I'm trying to help out a family business and it's a service I believe in. However, I understand if there's a policy against linking to for-profit businesses; I just haven't seen a mod address anything like it before.


February 25th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

If Brian has a problem with it, maybe it would be possible to come to some type of advertising arrangement, although my bet would be that Moe's, the parking service and the companies on Google ads have more of a budget than I do.

Either way, thanks for the response; I don't want to upset the powers that be.


February 25th, 2012 at 8:50 AM ^

These USNWR rankings are always clusterfracks, but it is interesting to see how a number of those highly-regarded US schools struggle when viewed internationally (and the focus shifts beyond undergrad).


February 25th, 2012 at 9:02 AM ^

The SEC's rankings gave me the best laugh I have had for awhile.  They look really funny in the "pure" rankings because they are all in triple digits.  I'm not the least bit surprised, either.


February 27th, 2012 at 7:45 PM ^

I'm a UofM grad and really the only reason why I like the high rankings is the benefit to my resume.  I think that we get too caught up in the prestige of a degree that we take it to mean education.  The fact is a degree is a simply a degree.  Education is what an individual makes of his or her opportunities.  To say a school is prestigious means nothing about the individual graduating.  Sure, there can be a good reputation associated with a presigious school, but in the end it's what the individual does that counts.  Picking a college should not be about which one offers the highest ranking, but rather which one offers the best fit for the individual and can provide the best motivation to become a self starter.

An additional critique could be that peer review drives these rankings making it somewhat of an insider game rather than a more objective (impossible) analysis.

I apologize for my cynicism, but I don't like it when I hear bragging calling our education superior, when, in fact, it isn't our education that is superior but our reputation that is.

Go Blue.