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So the number one source for college football insight, the Wall Street Journal, came out with its ultimate college football ranking system. No, it’s not a poll–God knows we have enough of those. Instead, the WSJ chose a grid system, one similar to the political spectrum grid your high school government teacher may have shown you. The points run from the X-axis of “Weakling” to “Powerhouse” (simple enough) to the Y-axis of “Embarrassing” to “Admirable” (weirdly subjective).
Where to start? Well, Stanford tops the list in terms of both criteria. Makes sense–Stanford is a prestigious school, and its football team kicked ass in the Pac-whatever-we’re-calling-it for a while. No qualms there. So let’s look at just the powerhouses: Alabama, OU, Texas, Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon, USC, and a couple others. Okay, sure, I’ll buy that.
Where does the admirable or embarrassing factor come in? It seems like it would naturally fall into the category of how certain schools are perceived, but if that’s the case, how in fuck’s name is Arizona State more admirable than Vanderbilt? Well, let’s take the “methodology” stated:
“Teams’ off-the-field rating is a somewhat subjective ranking of six elements: four-year Academic Progress Rate; recent history of major NCAA violations and probation; percentage of athletic-department revenues subsidized by student fees and state support; number of players arrested in the off-season; attendance at last season’s games; and overall ‘ick’ factor.”
Okay, sure, Wall Street Journal. Keep telling me that based on your metrics, the two Arizona schools that are notorious for more student arrests and naked boobs than all other schools combined are “admirable.” Interestingly enough, only three of the teams you have in your upper right quadrant have won national championships in the last 25 years. I don’t know what that says about the state of college football, but I’m willing to bet you don’t know, either.
[via Wall Street Journal]