Wednesday, November 28, 2007

BC Eagles crowned college football champions

The weekly feature, Tuesday Morning Quarterback, on, asks the question: If academics mattered, who would play for the national championship?

This might seem purely rhetorical fare, but the authors have provided an answer courtesy of Lindsey Luebchow, a policy analyst of the New America Foundation and a contributor to Higher Ed Watch. Ms. Luebchow devised an equation to provide an answer, and crown a champion of the A/BCS (Academic Bowl Championship Series).

The A/BCS formula starts with the football team's four-class average federal graduation rate, which includes all football players who entered college between 1997 and 2000 and graduated within six years. Football programs then earn or lose points based on three criteria. First, the gap between the graduation rate of the team and the overall school. Second, the gap between the black-white graduation rate disparity on the team and at the overall school. Third, the team's Academic Progress Rate, a measure developed by the NCAA that evaluates how many student-athletes are advancing toward a degree.
The winner among the nation's top 25 college football teams? Well, it wasn't even close, and, as you can probably guess by the simple fact that I am writing this post, my very own Boston College Eagles came out on top with a score of 127.8.

Here are how the BCS bowls would shake out if academics were taken into account:
Allstate BCS Championship Game:
Boston College (127.80) vs. Cincinnati (97.25)

Rose Bowl Presented by Citi
Auburn (73.15) vs. Boise State (68.90)

FedEx Orange Bowl:
Virginia (60.45) vs. Virginia Tech (60.15)

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl:

Clemson (59.35) vs. USC (51.65)

Allstate Sugar Bowl:

West Virginia (47.85) vs. Arizona State (46.35)

Exiled to the bottom of the A/BCS and the pre-New-Year's bowls named after lawn equipment and mufflers:

21. LSU (29.95)

22. Ohio State (28.55)

23. Oregon (8.35)

24. Texas (7.85)

25. Hawaii (-2.35)
So BC, which routinely graduates between 98-100% of its footballers, had a score of close to 130, while no other school cracked 100.

BC is currently ranked #11 in the BCS, and takes on Virginia Tech (60.15) for its conference championship on Saturday.

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