Penn State Brings Home Academic BCS Victory

When you sit down to watch Texas and Alabama square off in the BCS National Championship tomorrow, take some solace in the fact that if the BCS was based on academics, neither team would be in the Big Game.

Instead, you’d be cheering on Dear Old State (ranked #1)  as they battled against Stanford (ranked #2) in Pasadena. In the New America Foundation academic ratings of the Top 25 ranked teams, Alabama ends up ranked 8th and Texas ranked a lowly 25th.

What goes into a school’s score?

[It] is partially determined by four federal graduation rate calculations: the football team’s graduation rate relative to the school overall; the difference in black and white graduation rates on the team; the difference in black and white graduation rates at the school overall; and the difference between the black football team graduation rate and the overall school’s black graduation rate.

Penn State’s high graduation rate for football players is admired across the country.

In addition to graduation rates, a school’s score is based on the NCAA calculated Academic Progress Rate, essentially how well a school keeps scholarship athletes enrolled and academically eligible (i.e. on track to graduate). This metric was included because the graduation data is only finalized six years after enrollment, and the APR is more current data.

Last year, Penn State ranked third in the Academic BCS behind Boston College and Northwestern.

This news, coupled with the win over LSU, should make everyone feel better about our season. We didn’t make the National Championship, but our football players will graduate and find gainful employment, surely more important things. Who knows if Texas can say the same of its team?

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Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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