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Northwestern tops football graduation success rate rankings

Kain Colter AP

As Northwestern’s football team sinks into oblivion, it claimed — in fitting with what it is as a school — an academic triumph.

The NCAA released its annual graduation success rates on Thursday, and the Wildcats topped FBS programs with a 97 percent GSR. That’s certainly something coach Pat Fitzgerald is proud of, given how he’s built a solid program at a top-tier academic school.

Unfortunately for the 4-3 ‘Cats, things may get worse before they get better. Already staring down a three-game losing streak, Northwestern gets road dates at Iowa and Nebraska before returning home to face Michigan and Michigan State. If they can’t beat Iowa this weekend at Kinnick Stadium, they’ll have to pull out of their tailspin in a tough four-game stretch before a should-be layup at Illinois to end the year.

And if they can’t do that, the Wildcats may fail to be bowl eligible this year.

Getting Kain Colter and Venric Mark back would certainly help those efforts. Colter said he’ll play at Iowa, hopefully turning things around for an offense Fitzgerald bluntly said has “played like garbage” the last three games.

But anyways, back to the GSR rankings. The top 10 in football:

1. Northwestern (97)
2. Rice (95)
3. Boston College (94)
3. Notre Dame (94)
5. Air Force (93)
5. Stanford (93)
7. Duke (92)
8. Boise State (91)
9. Army (89)
10. Miami Fla. (86)
10. Wake Forest (86)

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14 Responses to “Northwestern tops football graduation success rate rankings”
  1. jtinnon2009 says: Oct 24, 2013 12:34 PM

    Could that be because not very many players from most of the teams listed go on to the NFL? (a couple exceptions) Also, what choices do Army and AF have, they have to graduate… Northwestern, Stanford and Duke are expected to graduate their students. The most glaring exception is the former Thug U, Miami. Hard to believe they are in Top 10. Also noticed that only two of the top 10 can claim a crystal ball or even a conference championship…

  2. imaduffer says: Oct 24, 2013 12:48 PM

    I have yet to see an employee application that ask “how many crystal balls do you have?” and if they did ask that question, HR would have a fit.

  3. dryzzt23 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:00 PM

    SEC schools….where are they? I thought they were supposed to be the creme de la creme of everything (per ESPN).

    NW plays great football AND graduates its athletes. I doubt Vandy (the only school that SEC homers can use as a crutch academically) can hold a candle to NW in either academics or athletics.

  4. ahugusf says: Oct 24, 2013 1:21 PM

    U saw how well Randy Shannon’s team’s performed on the field. Maybe they should Thank Shapiro for providing cash to buy academic resources! Or more realistically … check their tutors laptops

  5. tampabayirish says: Oct 24, 2013 1:49 PM

    New conference name? The Academic 11. Invite Vandy and make it the Wall Street Dozen.

  6. irishdodger says: Oct 24, 2013 2:17 PM

    Other than Boise St (and they could be a private school…I honestly don’t know), I believe every institution listed is a private school.

  7. dryzzt23 says: Oct 24, 2013 2:35 PM

    All private schools….what does that tell you?

    These private universities tend to weight a private school education over a public school education….hmm I wonder why

  8. numbr4stuna says: Oct 24, 2013 4:04 PM

    At least Northwestern Sports is ranked highly in something…

  9. bonerchamp says: Oct 24, 2013 8:15 PM

    LOL @ the hate for Miami. It’s gonna be tough to get used to but this ain’t your Father’s Canes.

  10. chachooga says: Oct 25, 2013 12:21 AM

    ACC 4 of top 11 academic schools….5 if U count ND….that is great.

  11. powercorrupts2 says: Oct 25, 2013 12:42 AM

    Penn State is a public school and its football program has had a GSR of around 85% for decades and this is comparable to the private schools listed in the article.

  12. ndnut says: Oct 25, 2013 8:34 AM

    The name is Boise STATE (not yelling, just no italics option right now). They are not private. Also, Air Force and Army are not private, but they are insanely difficult to get in to.

  13. tobeexact says: Oct 25, 2013 12:03 PM

    Actually I just looked up the same report on the internet and it has penn state in the top ten ,i guess thats part of the lidicrous sanctions , illegal what ever normal people who know what an actual ncaa violation is.
    And this is actually one of there lowest numbers in decades, they are usually in the 90 percent plus gsr .
    So where these numbers are coming from I dont know , because the internet is different then this report , and as a while across all fbs sports penn states gsr is above 85 percent men and womans teams.

  14. janelasdedeus says: Oct 25, 2013 12:27 PM

    What would be more interesting would be to see how the “student” athletes from the various “academic” institutions are faring say 10 years after they leave school. The average NFL career is only 3 1/2 years… and a high chunk of former NFL players are broke by their 30’s. I would bet that you average Northwestern player is much much better off than your average Alabama player… and that this becomes even more pronounced later in life. I’m not sure that hoisting a crystal ball even a couple times really compensates for this difference.

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