Penn State football ranked No. 1 in Academic BCS

December 12, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State football team has earned the top spot in the fifth annual Academic Bowl Championship Series rankings, as determined by New America Foundation's Higher Ed Watch.

The Higher Ed Watch blog (2011 Academic Bowl Championship Series) ranked the teams in the final 2011 BCS standings and determined Penn State has the No. 1 academic program with 117 points, followed by Boise State (107), TCU (101) and Stanford (100).

The Academic BCS compares data on team graduation rates and academic progress rates (APR) to the performance of other teams, as well as the general student body. The results are a look at how the schools in the BCS Top 25 would stack up if academics determined a team's BCS ranking. Four NCAA and federal graduation rates and the team's Academic Progress Rate are factored to determine its point total.

Penn State and Stanford are tied for the top Graduation Success Rate (GSR) at 87 percent, among teams ranked in the Dec. 4 Bowl Championship Series and AP Top 25 rankings, according to data released in October by the NCAA.

Nittany Lion football student-athletes that enrolled in the University from 2001-04 earned a superlative Graduation Success Rate of 87 percent, tied with Stanford for No. 10 overall among the nation's 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions. Penn State's 87 percent GSR was significantly higher than the 67 percent FBS average and was second to Northwestern (94) among Big Ten Conference institutions, according to the NCAA.

Penn State football student-athletes that enrolled in the University from 2001-04 earned a strong four-year federal graduation rate of 80 percent, also No. 2 to Northwestern (86) among Big Ten squads. The Nittany Lions' 80 percent graduation figure was 24 points above the 56 percent FBS average, according to the NCAA.

Penn State has had 15 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans the past six years to lead the nation, with 13 first-team selections. The Nittany Lions' all-time total of 49 Academic All-America football players ranks third among all FBS institutions.

No. 22 Penn State and Wisconsin tied for the Big Ten Leaders Division title with 6-2 records. The Nittany Lions (9-3) will play No. 19 Houston (12-1) in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2 in the first bowl game of 2012.

Playing in a New Year's bowl for the sixth time in the last seven years, tickets for Penn State's clash with Houston are on sale at or by calling 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 16, 2011