Florida State last in 'Academic BCS'

The Seminoles may be the class of the ACC on the football field, but that standing doesn't carry over in the newly unveiled "Academic BCS" rankings.

The folks at the New America Foundation have ranked the Top 25 teams in the final BCS standings based on academic performance. Florida State brings up the rear, at No. 25 -- the only team with a negative point total. You are probably wondering how these rankings were compiled. Rather than rely solely on NCAA academic progress rates -- in which the Seminoles have made strides -- Time's Keeping Score blog reports the New America Foundation took into account:

  • How a football team’s graduation rate compares to that of the school’s overall male student body.

  • How a team’s black-white graduation gap compares to the male black-white graduation gap in the general student population.

  • The spread between a football team’s black graduation rate and the school’s overall graduation rate for black men.

  • APR is less heavily weighed than graduation rates.

Looking at the latest data on Florida State, there is a large disparity between graduation rates among the football team and the rest of the student population. The New America Foundation uses federal graduation rates -- which differ from the NCAA graduation success rates because they do not take into account transfer students or those who leave school early for the NFL. The GSR offers a more accurate, real-time snapshot of how programs are graduating their athletes.

Based on the data used, the federal graduation rate for the freshmen class entering in 2005-06 stands at 45 percent for the football team compared with 69 percent of the male campus population. That is a whopping 24 percent disparity. Clemson, ranked No. 13 in the Academic BCS, has a much smaller disparity of 13 percent.

There are going to be flaws in every type of methodology, I get that. But the bottom line is it looks pretty bad for Florida State and the ACC to see its BCS representative lagging so far behind in this particular academic ranking.