So you want to go to a good college, but you also want to cheer for a football team that wins on Saturday. Is there a best of both worlds when it comes to football and academics? Worry not. We’ve taken the schools with the top-ranked college football teams this upcoming season and re-ranked them by academic prowess.
To gauge which gridiron powerhouses also stack up in the classroom, we combined three metrics: U.S. News Best Colleges Ranking, the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR), and the AP Preseason Poll. The U.S. News ranking uses 16 indicators of academic quality to assess the educational value each college provides to its students. These indicators include admission test scores from the SAT and ACT, faculty strength, and financial resources. The GSR is the percent of athletes a school graduates. For our ranking, we used each school’s GSR for its football program in the most recent season for which data was available (2013-2014).
After turning each school’s GSR into a ranking, we combined all three rankings and sorted the schools accordingly. The final ranking rewards the top football schools that provide high quality academics and graduate most of their football players. For comparison, we also included each school’s SAT 75th percentile score for the freshman class of 2014. This means that the top quarter of freshman scored this score or higher.
Of course, we only considered schools whose football teams were ranked in the top 25, so schools with good to average football teams but superb academics and graduation rates are missed in this ranking (let’s go Blue Devils! Anyone?). That being said, check out how the preseason rankings would look if academics were also factored in.
|Rank||School||AP Poll Ranking||U.S. News Best Colleges Ranking||SAT 75th Percentile||Graduation Success Rate|
*U.S. News ranks Boise State as a regional college rather than a national university. Therefore, it’s ranking may be unfairly skewed. We blame that weird blue turf.