Can you be an Elite Academic Institution and be an Elite Football Program?

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by NOLAGATOR, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. no1g8r

    no1g8r Well-Known Member
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    Ummm. No. Sorry.

    The list of 312 is what US News and World Reports make available for free, but they sell their full list of over 1800 schools here: Get the whole picture for more than 1,800 schools in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.

    I don't think the US News and World Reports lists "diploma mills" in their rankings. (You'll have to go to FSU's "list of acceptable schools for inbound credit transfer" to find those ;) )

    UF being ranked #35 out of over 1800, or within the top 2%, is pretty close to elite in my book.
     
  2. Gator By Marriage

    Gator By Marriage A convert to Gatorism
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    Every school does. I've met a bunch of Ivy League dummies.
     
    • biggator6

      biggator6 Junior Member

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      Have you been paying attention for the last.. oh.. 40 years? Michigan is generally considered a VERY good school academically.. just outside the top-25 overall and a few spots above UF.
       
      • g8r.tom

        g8r.tom Well-Known Member
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        because being in the top 10 is elite. even if it is public.
         
        • Tay Bang

          Tay Bang I might have been mean to Byrd
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          Very good is very good. Not elite.
           
          • gatorev12

            gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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            ND is ranked higher academically than Michigan.
             
          • gatorev12

            gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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            In terms of attracting top students and industry leaders: being top 10 among public universities is nothing to scoff at.

            The top two academic schools are traditionally Harvard and Yale...who have a combined population of about 10K total undergraduates. That's the size of UF's freshman class.
             
          • g8r.tom

            g8r.tom Well-Known Member
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            UF is an elite public university

            period
             
          • Tay Bang

            Tay Bang I might have been mean to Byrd
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            My kids attend the "elite" private, college-prep school here in my town. The best public school in town is not "elite" just because it's the best of the bunch.
             
            • Tay Bang

              Tay Bang I might have been mean to Byrd
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              Absolutely. I'm proud of my UF sheepskins. I'm prouder of my "elite" school sheepskin.
               
            • g8r.tom

              g8r.tom Well-Known Member
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              ahhhh, now I see


              your kids go to an elite private school :bwahaha:

              Your opinion is not shared by many.
               
            • NOLAGATOR

              NOLAGATOR Deep Behind Enemy Lines

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              Understood but is it Elite?

              Is it a Duke, GT, Cornell, Vandy, UCLA, CAL...?
               
            • JCTow

              JCTow Well-Known Member

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              And neither is an elite academic institution. Hell my dog could qualify to get into Bammer
               
            • PastyStoole

              PastyStoole Man, there's no boundary line to art. ~Bird Parker
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              I don't think the question is "can you be," the question is really, "Why would you *want* to be a football powerhouse when you are already an elite academic school?"

              In our case, we have a very difficult reality: The UAA contributes a laughably small amount of money to the University itself. About $6 Million, which is a drop in the bucket compared to what gets added to the UF endowment every year through private donations. UF has a $2.0 BILLION endowment, (more than three times that of FSU) and the UF administration and board of trustees have a unified ambition to double or triple that very soon. The donors they are seeking are not necessarily people you'll find sitting in the football bleachers. Al Warrington has donated over $100 million to the UF endowment alone, mostly to the business school. Herbert Wertheim has donated $50 million to the endowment and it's been directed mostly to the engineering school. Believe it or not those guys aren't even big fish when compared to donors at other prestigious schools like Harvard and Stanford. Donors like these are industry titans and inventors. They want their names on buildings and schools, not sports facilities.

              So our last two presidents have been focused primarily on building the endowment through private donations. The football program is a distant afterthought. Their biggest concern when it comes to football is some potential scandal that could bring disrepute to the University. An academic scandal like the ones at FSU, North Carolina and Auburn would be a setback to them and a hindrance to their fund raising efforts. We are adding $400 Million + to the endowment every year now and that number is expected to grow substantially. As long as the football coach isn't disgracing the University through scandal and keeps winning 8-9 games a year, everything is hunky-dory to them.

              In other words, we have more in common with Vanderbilt than we do Alabama or Clemson. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but that probably won't change any time soon.
               
              #74 PastyStoole, Jan 11, 2019
              Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
              • InstiGATOR1

                InstiGATOR1 Well-Known Member
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                That is a bit of an odd response to a post claiming it is much harder to rank universities than football programs. In your particular example, Michigan is to my mind a much better graduate institution than UND but some view UND as a better place to be an undergrad. This interesting site I found looking around the internet say what percent goes where when accepted by two different schools:

                Compare Colleges: Side-by-side college comparisons | Parchment - College admissions predictions.

                supports your contention about UND, but again that is for undergraduate programs.

                BTW, that site also supports my conjecture about Wake and UNC:

                Compare Colleges: Side-by-side college comparisons | Parchment - College admissions predictions.

                Finally for the amusement of all here there is:

                Compare Colleges: Side-by-side college comparisons | Parchment - College admissions predictions.
                 
              • Okeechobee Joe

                Okeechobee Joe Lost Ball in High Grass
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                Ocalaman defined "elite" universities as being members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). This is a good place to start. Their membership is comprised of 60 public and private universities that according to their website award nearly 1/2 of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55% of those is science and engineering. These schools are primarily large research type institutions. Of course, there are other universities who could be considered "elite" but they would be smaller liberal arts type school that would not have big football programs. I am thinking of schools like Williams College in Massachusetts for example. Yes, the Williams College Ephs play football. I am using this list is a start.

                Now to pick out elite football programs. I am going to define an "elite" football program as a member of a Power 5 Conference. Now I am not equating "elite" with a championship caliber teams or even teams with a chance to win a national championship or even a conference championship. I am just saying that of all the schools that play football then if you can be one of the 64 teams that play in a Power 5 Conference then you have at least a pretty good program considering alumni base, facilities etc. to be in a Power 5 Conference. I realize that there are many teams not in Power 5 Conferences that are better programs than are a lot to the teams in a Power 5 Conference. But this will just give us a start.

                You will notice that there are 60 members of the AAU and 66 members of Power 5 Conferences. That is roughly equal. I realize that I am being very liberal in how I define "elite" but I wanted to have some objective criteria and wanted to look at the overlap between the two lists just as an interesting exercise. Again, I am not defining academically elite as Harvard or Yale or an elite football program as Alabama. That would be too restrictive. I remember one Nashville sports writer when talking about Vanderbilt saying it was hard to try to be Harvard six days of the week and Alabama on Saturday. Thus the dilemma of a private school with academic ambitions trying to play football in the Southeastern Conference.

                Here is the list of the 32 schools by Power 5 Conference who are also members of the AAU. (* denotes private universities)

                Southeastern Conference
                University of Florida
                University of Missouri
                Texas A&M University
                Vanderbilt University *

                Atlantic Coast Conference
                Duke University *
                Georgia Institute of Technology
                University of North Carolina
                University of Pittsburgh
                University of Virginia

                Big Ten Conference
                Michigan State University
                Northwestern University *
                Ohio State University
                Penn State University
                Purdue University
                Rutgers University
                University of Illinois
                University of Indiana
                University of Iowa
                University of Maryland
                University of Michigan
                University of Minnesota
                University of Wisconsin

                Big 12 Conference
                Iowa State University
                University of Kansas
                University of Texas

                Pac-12 Conference
                Stanford University *
                University of California
                UCLA
                University of Colorado
                University of Oregon
                University of Southern California *
                University of Washington

                A total of 31 schools made both lists (AAU and Power 5 Conference memberships). The Big Ten Conference led the way in having all thirteen of its fourteen members on both lists.
                 
                #76 Okeechobee Joe, Jan 11, 2019
                Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
              • gator1946

                gator1946 Senior Member
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                If i were to go outside the South and flash my diploma, the impression would be that I graduated from a very good school.

                In the field of engineering, Is UF in the same league as MIT, or Stanford, or even Georgia Tech? No. It is certainly not perceived that way. When I graduated in my discipline, Florida was considered.one of the top two programs in the country. Shortly after my graduation 80% of the faculty exited the building.They went to either one of the three schools mentioned, or in the case of one professor started a company and went on to make millions in the process. It's difficult to compete with the truly elite. They pay more and their reputation means more to a fist class professor.

                Can really good football and really good academics coexist? Yes, but it is a difficult marriage. If football lightning strikes in a bottle, you may find yourselves in the top 5 or even at the top of the heap occasionally. Academically there is no such thing as lightning in a bottle. With effort and funding, It's a slow grind from very good to very very good.

                It seems to me that the administration's goal is to continue marching up the list of really good schools. Label "really good" however you wish. I'd bet, but cannot prove, that football is not the first part of an early morning discussion in the President's office. And that's OK with me. I'll hope for lightning and reasonable support.

                I have three sheepskins from the joint. My son graduated from UF as well. The absolute last thing I want is the perception that UF is a school where football is first and academics is second or worse.
                 
                #77 gator1946, Jan 11, 2019
                Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
                • Floridagator

                  Floridagator Senior Member

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                • InstiGATOR1

                  InstiGATOR1 Well-Known Member
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                  I did not check everything in your post, but:

                  1. I agree the biggest problem with using AAU membership as the metric for elite is that you are focusing in on graduate program almost exclusively.

                  2. In the Big Ten you missed Rutgers and UNL. Rutgers is a AAU member and UNL famously with 'Cuse left the AAU in 2011. In your defense why should the Big 10 have 14 members unless they are in 10 big states but all NJ, PA, OH, IN, IL, MI, IA, MN, NE, MD, WI is 11 states.
                   
                • Okeechobee Joe

                  Okeechobee Joe Lost Ball in High Grass
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                  Thanks for the close reading and the fact checking on this. I totally forgot about Rutgers being in the Big Ten. And the Big Ten, as you point out, has 14 members and not 12 with both Rutgers and Nebraska being members. I will edit my post to make those corrections.
                   

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