With the news today that Ohio State President Gordon Gee made some less-than-flattering remarks about the academics of the SEC and Louisville, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look at which of the five major athletics conferences actually do boast the best institutions – in the classroom.
Using the U.S. News College Compass, we went through and tallied where each program rates nationally, eventually coming up with an average ranking, per conference. Given that some of the changes from the last round of conference realignment have yet to be implemented, we used a system that placed a school in its future division, if on the move.
First, the results for which conference has the best average academic ranking:
1. ACC – 55.8
2. Big Ten – 58.4
3. PAC-12 – 81.8
4. SEC – 98.7
5. Big 12 – 113.1
- Stanford is the highest-ranked school in a major athletics conference
- All four California schools in the PAC-12 are in the top 25
- More than half of the ACC’s schools rank higher than the Big 12’s best (Texas)
- Gee mentioned that the Big Ten missed an opportunity to add Kansas (ranked 106) but insulted Kentucky (125)
- If Notre Dame were in the Big Ten instead of the ACC, they’d flip-flop for 1-2.
- For reference, Ohio State checks in at No. 56
You can see individual school data here: