Angry T writes: "Is it possible, though, that SEC schools are just able to take more athletes than other schools? Lower academic standards certainly make it a possibility. When looking at the academic reputations of the four major college football conferences (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac Ten), it is clear that the SEC fails miserably.
"Of the SEC’s twelve schools, only Vanderbilt (18) and Florida (49) make the top 50 of US News and World’s 2009 rankings. Only Georgia (58), Alabama (83), and Auburn (96) join them in the top 100. Two schools, Mississippi and Mississippi State, fall under the Tier 3 category (schools outside of the Top 100). Even when those two sub-par schools are excluded, the average ranking among the other 10 SEC schools is a below-average 89.1.
"By comparison, the two worst Big Ten schools (Michigan State and Indiana) are both ranked 71st. That’s right, the worst Big Ten schools are ranked significantly ahead of the SEC’s average. In perhaps the most staggering statistic, the SEC only has three schools that rank ahead of the two worst Big Ten schools. The Big Ten ranks at the top of the four conferences with a 50.1 average ranking and all eleven of their schools in the top 100.
"The Pac Ten ranks second with an average ranking of 62.1 and only one Tier 3 school (Oregon State). The Big 12 falls slightly ahead of the SEC with an average ranking of 86.4 and two Tier 3 schools (Oklahoma State, Texas Tech)."
Then there is Radar Magazine, which has released its "semiscientific guide to the worst colleges in America." Some of the winners:
- San Diego State was selected as having the most degenerate student body. "For most students, "SDSU is just a place to spend those magical seven years that fall between high school and your first job at the warehouse."
- USC was the most superficial. "A three-ring circus of Beamers, buffed blondes, and occasionally natural tanning, USC is a silicone bubble of high-gloss narcissism and Hollywood entitlement."
- Mississippi was the most intolerant. "The University of Mississippi in Oxford proves that old habits die hard — particularly racist ones."
- Although UC Santa Cruz was the most stoned, Colorado finished second. Said one Colorado student, "This is a big part of the reason I applied here — the weed atmosphere."
Thanks to Mallory Rubin at SI.com's Campus Clicks.