Big Ten is A-OK in APR scores

Whatever you might think about the Big Ten's performance on the football field, you have to acknowledge this: the league is doing a great job in the classroom.

Or at least it is by the NCAA's main measuring stick. The NCAA released the latest Academic Progress Rate scores on Tuesday, and the Big Ten came out looking good. Every team beat the national average score for football (949) and is well out of range of any kind of penalties.

The APR measures eligibility, retention and graduation over a four-year period. The new scores go through the 2011-2012 school year. The NCAA gave out public recognition awards to three Big Ten schools last week, honoring Northwestern, Wisconsin and Ohio State for their APR scores. In fact, Northwestern ranked No. 1 among all FBS schools, while Wisconsin is No. 4 among BCS AQ schools and Ohio State is eighth. Future Big Ten member Rutgers is ninth.

Teams with scores below 925 can be hit with penalties such as scholarship losses and reduced practice time. Teams must achieve a 900 multi-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible for postseason in the next academic year. To avoid a ban for the 2014-15 postseason, teams must post a multi-year score 930 or a two-year average of 940.

Minnesota was flirting with the danger line last year, as its four-year score was 932. But the Gophers have made good progress since, and so have Michigan and Michigan State. Here are the Big Ten's current four-year scores:

1. Northwestern: 996

2. Wisconsin: 985

3. Ohio State: 982

4. Nebraska: 972

5. Indiana: 963

T-6. Iowa: 961

T-6. Penn State: 961

8. Illinois: 960

T-9. Michigan State: 955

T-9. Minnesota: 955

11. Purdue: 953

12. Michigan: 951