Yesterday the NCAA finally completed and launched a very nerdy yet informative database of Academic Progress Rates for the 2010-2011 season. This year's grades aren't in the grid yet, as everyone knows that grades can be argued and debated for a little bit before they're finalized.
You can go to the NCAA website's APR database and search for the MAC schools. And you have every right to do that. But why bother when I already pulled in all the goodies, including MAC school's non-MAC sports as well as the affiliate MAC school's scores? Plus, I made a table. I MADE A TABLE!
Note: if you want to know more about APR methodology, this is as good an official resource I can find.
And I have to say, the database made me learn things I didn't know, such as: Eastern Michigan has the most sponsored schools of any MAC team (21, 20 of those in the MAC) and Akron has a rifle team. But it also raised new questions: who gave Akron a rifle team, and if Akron students have rifles and are good at them, why isn't that the safest damn campus in the state?
|Men's ID track||970||-||-||969||967||926||960||-||-||-||-||-|
|Men's OD track||970||-||-||978||976||931||960||971||-||-||-||-|
|Women's ID track||977||961||961||972||968||975||977||974||989||988||972||965|
|Women's OD track||977||961||962||972||968||975||979||974||997||988||972||965|
|Men's ice hockey||-||-||966||-||-||-||-||973||-||-||-||986|
Last four sports in italics are not MAC sports. Hockey is CCHA, and mixed rifle is technically MAC, but the Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference.*
* — and if I can go on a tangent on this. A college rifle conference abbreviates itself as the "MAC" yet is called the Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference. If you're not abbreviating it "MARC," officially becoming a pun-frence, then someone needs to be fired. I'm only half-joking.
Also, let us not forget the associate MAC members:
Chicago State men's tennis: 954
Evansville men's swimming: 983
Florida Atlantic men's soccer: 960
Hartwick College men's soccer: 970
Missouri State field hockey: 985
Missouri State men's swimming: 968
Southern Illinois men's swimming: 975
Temple football: 959
Only five scores below the threshold of 925 that the NCAA likes to see teams meet:
869 — Toledo men's basketball
911 — Ball State men's basketball
917 — OHIO men's basketball
922 — BGSU men's basketball
923 — Buffalo football
The big one, which we all knew, is that bloody 869. Toledo posted its third straight year with a sub-900 APR, but at least 869 is a notch up from 858 last year, and 895 for 2008-09. As a result Toledo does not get to play in the MAC Tournament or any other postseason tournament, including the CIT, even though by 2013 they'll probably balloon to 500 teams.
And another thing. The lowest APR of all time in the database (which goes back to 2004-2005) among our teams is Toledo men's cross country, which got an 800 in 2004-05 and, I mean, how do you do that?
The 10 perfect scores of 1000:
Bowling Green women's tennis
Western Michigan women's tennis
Buffalo women's tennis
Akron women's tennis
Miami men's cross country
Ball State women's cross country
Kent State women's cross country
Kent State baseball
C'mon, dudes. The women are making us look bad. Look at all their graduation rates! They're studying and doing all the work and we're just spending so much time rolling around in the mud and farting. Ah, this is seventh-grade algebra all over again...
Now for the highest APR schools by MAC sport:
(989.5 — Women's rowing)
988.75 — Women's swimming
988.33 — Softball
986.92 — Women's cross-country
986.29 — Women's gymnastics
985.92 — Women's volleyball
985.22 — Women's tennis
984.83 — Women's soccer
984.44 — Women's golf
(983 — Men's volleyball)
982.5 — Field hockey
976 — Men's swimming
(975 — Men's ice hockey)
974.44 — Men's cross-country
974.17 — Women's outdoor track
973.25 — Women's indoor track
973.08 — Women's basketball
(973 — Mixed rifle)
972.67 — Men's golf
972.25 — Baseball
964.33 — Men's outdoor track
963.43 — Men's soccer
958.83 — Men's tennis
958.40 — Men's indoor track
956.67 — Men's wrestling
949.23 — Football
941.42 — Men's basketball
It's something often unspoken because of how commonplace the thought is, but I'll say it again: football and men's basketball are the two money sports in college, and with so much money involved in the sport, of course they're not going to put as much focus on the classroom as others. And then wrestlers: don't get me started on wrestlers! (I don't know where I'm going with this — I'm just talking smack out of the side of my mouth.)
And now for what everyone's curious about: BEST AVERAGE PER MAC SCHOOL. (Number of varsity teams in parentheses):
982.33 — OHIO (16)
979.56 — Ball State (19)
979.29 — Miami (18)
979.17 — Akron (19)
978.00 — Northern Illinois (17)
977.53 — Western Michigan (16)
975.47 — Kent State (18)
975.18 — Bowling Green (18)
973.80 — Toledo (16)
973.05 — Buffalo (20)
969.80 — Eastern Michigan (21)
967.73 — Central Michigan (16)
Congratulations, OHIO Bobcats, for winning the MAC APR Cup! This isn't an actual thing, but graduation is, so you'll be most likely to get a job out of college if you're not drafted by a pro sports league. As for Buffalo, EMU, CMU and WMU ... um, how do you fall behind Toledo and that 869? Moreover, there seems to be an eligibility issue in the state of Michigan. And who can blame them: who wants to be in a cramped Michigan classroom when IT'S SO NICE OUTSIDE ALL THE TIME!
Now on the topic of APR ... these are fun numbers and all but how boss would it be if we used the APR number religious when talking about any particular team? It could go right there next to the win-loss record. Such as: "Kent State baseball (APR 1000) made the College World Series." Or, "How cool is it that OHIO basketball (APR 917) reached the Sweet 16?" And my favorite: "I can't believe Akron has an actual rifle team (APR 973)."