Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Big XII schools get their report cards

Because of all the coverage surrounding the initial release of these NCAA Academic reports, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at how all the Big 12 schools are doing in the money sports (football and men's basketball)

How it works
The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is basically your academic "batting average" without the pesky decimal point. In other words, if you have a score of 800, 80% of your students are in good academic standing. A score of 1000 means that all the students in a sport (or institution) are passing. (A score of 0 means Bob Huggins is your coach) The magic number here, though, is 925, the point at which all your scholarships are safe for next year.

Because this is the first year this data has been kept, the margin of error may keep schools with a 910 or better from losing their scholarships, but anyone with scores from 910-925 needs to improve a lot because once it goes to a four year rolling rate, 925 will be a hard, fast rule.

Overall APRs

  • Baylor: 960
  • Iowa State: 952
  • Division I Overall: 948
  • Texas: 946
  • Division I-A Overall: 944
  • Missouri: 943
  • Colorado: 937
  • Kansas: 936
  • Kansas State: 936
  • Nebraska: 927
  • Oklahoma: 925
  • Texas A&M: 922
  • Oklahoma State: 920
  • Texas Tech: 911

No real surprises here, the overall picture is pretty good at most schools because the non-revenue athletes actually make it to class. As for Texas Tech, I saw that the Baseball team scored a 754 and that's probably what's dragging the overall average down. Given that Tech has had the even minor sports on probation a lot for academic reasons, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise.

Football APRs

  • Baylor: 960
  • Colorado: 936
  • Texas: 934
  • Missouri: 932
  • Nebraska: 929
  • Oklahoma: 929
  • Division 1-A Overall: 925
  • Texas Tech: 919
  • Kansas State: 912
  • Kansas: 899
  • Oklahoma State: 896
  • Texas A&M: 887
  • Iowa State: 838

6 out of 12 are below the 925 score. However, because of the aforementioned margin of error, probably 4 of 12 are going to lose scholarships this year.
Texas Tech's score was actually higher than I thought it would be, given it's reputation (this is a school where Byron Hanspard went 4 years with a 0.0 GPA and Bam Morris smoked crack rather than go to class).
Nice to see Colorado football players are actually making the grade, though. That's one less scandal they need.

Men's Basketball APRs

  • Nebraska: 946
  • Oklahoma: 938
  • Kansas: 923
  • Division I overall: 923
  • Oklahoma State: 920
  • Texas Tech: 917
  • Missouri: 907
  • Kansas State: 886
  • Iowa State: 846
  • Texas A&M: 839
  • Texas: 833
  • Colorado: 815
  • Baylor: 647

Wow, that's 10 out of 12 that are below the magic number and 7 out of 12 that are in trouble.
Surprised to see Texas Tech that low given Bobby Knight's reputation for getting players to class. I thought he would be the one shining beacon of light
Not surprised to see Texas A&M or Iowa State flunk big time in both major sports.
Texas's score isn't that surprising either given what happened with P. J. Tucker.
Colorado's score can probably be explained by the missed classes they've had because of the charter flight flap.
Some articles are saying Baylor's numbers are hurt because of transfers due to the Patrick Dennehy case. Two problems with that assessment: One, that was last academic year and the numbers are for this academic year. Second, even if the numbers were due to transfers, only the transfers who did not have good academic standing would hurt the program's numbers that badly.

Conference Tournament Watch

From now until Selection Sunday, Cheap Seats, will give you a rundown of what's going on in the conference tournaments
  • The Horizon League, a conference that has produced some giant killers in the past, kicked off it's tournament with no major surprises. The top seeds, Wisconsin-Green Bay(RPI: 135) and Wisconsin-Milwaukee (RPI: 58), however, don't play until Saturday.
  • The top 2 seeds in the Ohio Valley conference tournament, Tennessee Tech (RPI: 131) and Eastern Kentucky (RPI: 116), advanced. Frequent destroyer of brackets Murray State, however, lost it's first round game, and with an RPI of 124 will probably be watching the tournament. The OVC conference champ is projected as a 15 or 16 seed in most brackets, so they probably won't be making much noise this year.
  • Winthrop (RPI: 85) , the top seed in the Big South, won it's opening conference tournament game. They probably need to win it all to make it to March Madness.

I disclose the RPIs of the top teams in order to let the major conference team fans know when to sweat an upset. According to Jerry Palm at CollegeRPI.com, the highest ever RPI to get in was #75 (New Mexico in the late 90's), so if a mid-major upset victim's RPI is higher than that, start sweating. You know who you are (Texas!).

(Note all RPI data from blogger Ken Pomeroy, who unlike Jerry Palm, gives RPI data out for free).

Happy Texas Independence Day, y'all.

Tomorrow: NFL Free Agency, Conference Tournament Watch
Monday: Big 12 Tournament preview

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