Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Graduation rates for football bowl teams ...

A couple of months ago, the NCAA released updated graduation rates for college football players, and I provided those figures for schools in the BCS rankings in a November 6 post. Now that bowl games are underway, I thought it would be interesting to provide the graduation rate -- officially known as the Graduation Success Rate, or GSR -- for each school in each bowl match-up. I'm starting a little late on this, because some bowl games have already been played, so I've added GSRs for those teams too. Check back, too -- I'll post the GSRs for teams that play in each day's bowl games.

Tonight's game (December 20)

Beef  O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl --
GSRs: Florida International 43, Marshall 77

Games already played (December 17)

Gildan New Mexico Bowl --
GSRs: Temple 60, Wyoming 64
  (Game result: Temple 37, Wyoming 15)

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl --
GSRs:  Ohio 71, Utah State 77
  (Game result:  Ohio 24, Utah State 23)

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl --
GSRs San Diego State 56, Louisiana-Lafayette 56
  (Game result: San Diego State 30, Louisiana-Lafayette 32

A few things to keep in mind:  The NCAA's GSR measure looks at the percentage of players who earned a degree within six years of entering college. The latest data is for those who entered college in 2004, so it's a somewhat dated measure, reflecting how well those students performed academically -- as measure solely by whether they earned degrees or not -- over the past six years. So if a particular college program decided this year to improve the academic success of its players, we wouldn't see results, as measured this way, until six years later. Of course, the opposite of that is true too -- if a program began dropping the ball, so to speak, on working hard to ensure that their players earned degrees, we wouldn't know about it for many years. It's important to note, too, that the GSR calculation doesn't penalize schools for students who, while in good academic standing, leave the program, perhaps to transfer to another school or maybe even go to the NFL before earning their degree. The NCAA makes GSR data available by school and by conference in a searchable database. And see a rather rosy-sounding NCAA news release, too, covering GSRs for all sports.

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