Do Brains Equal Wins?
This Brains vs. Wins infographic from DegreeSearch.org is instructive, but should also be taken with a grain of salt since these scores can evolve over a period of years. Still, if you are an academic star in addition to being a pretty good football player this can serve as a useful guide for which schools you may want to target. Be mindful, though, that you should choose a school for a variety of reasons and most of these top schools–with a handful of exceptions–are going to be at the top every year.
The Academic/Football Champs
We throw around the term student-athlete pretty loosely but there are certain schools where the name takes on an elevated importance. Of course, as the IG reveals, most of these schools are in the usual suspects category. They include: Vanderbilt, Stanford, Air Force, Notre Dame, Rice, Northwestern, Rutgers, Missouri and Duke. So if you’re a great student these are schools that graduate a high percentage of players.
What Came First?
Part of the equation is a chicken or the egg question. Is Stanford really that much better than, say, Eastern Michigan, at graduating players or is it that they merely attract the better, more qualified student to begin with?
A Model School?
The bottom line is there seems to be little correlation between brains and wins in college football. Troy, from the Sun Belt Conference, was the only school that ranked at the top of its conference in six-year graduation percentage and six-season win percentage.
Does the trend go the other way? Do the worst students make the best football players? Not so much. But there is certainly more of a correlation between bad students playing good football, meaning, perhaps, that those schools that cut corners with student-athletes unprepared for college work get better football players on average.