SI Power 5 School Desirability Rankings

Interesting read from SI on their Power Rankings for the 69 Power 5 schools. The complete list is at the bottom of the article. Arkansas overall rank was 34th & 11th out of the 16 SEC teams.

Question whether some of the data may be outdated (ie Arkansas football ranked at 60) or whether the data represents an arbitrary time period that may no longer be relevant.

The article does discuss endangered schools & questions the likelihood that some of the less desirable schools could be kicked out of the swanky conferences. No doubt that SEC, Big10, & Big12/PAC review some of this data when considering realignments & invites.

Our viewership is 24th, which isn’t bad considering this period includes Chad. Chad is why the football ranking is 60th. Academics isn’t much better. It would matter if we were a candidate to get into the B1G, I suppose, but we aren’t. (I’ll skip over my longstanding contention that athletic and academic success aren’t mutually exclusive, no matter what some of the people who have never attended a class at UA, or anywhere else, might think).

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disagree with both the football standing and academics…think there’s automatically a bias as we’re a small Southern state thats mostly rural…but i’d bet the agricultural business school is probably top of the field if it has the support of giants like Riceland,Tyson and a few others.and the Walton School of Business has a good reputation…overall competitiveness in other sports(7)is reason enough why Arkansas should be included. if thats the most important factor other than football

The academic ranking is based on US News rankings. Which has questionable methodology, but people look at it and have for a long time. And USN thinks we stink. We’re tied for #162 among national universities. Meanwhile, Florida is #28 and Texass is #38.

Given that 4-20 is in the middle of that 5-year period, I’m surprised our football numbers are that high, frankly.

As stated, some of the data used appears to be outdated, especially the football ranking. Believe & hope that the CM years were a bad anomaly & not to repeat again but obviously a black mark on our record & this ranking. I would have expected at least top 30 based on the past 2 years.

Regardless of US News Rankings & methodology, based on personal college experience, found that ut “undergraduate” academics & that of the business school were inferior to UofA. Most “undergraduate” ut business classes have 500+ students & are taught by Teacher Assistants, grad school students who don’t care nor do they have the time or qualifications. One could take correspondence courses thru ut & receive the same level of education.

ut takes the top 6% students in Texas so naturally their “undergraduate” output appears to be better BUT that does not mean that their quality of education provided to the students is as good. Graduate studies may account for ut higher rankings where they do have the $, professors, & manageable class sizes.

Hopefully UofA is doing all that it can to improve, both academically & in athletics. A common comment here in DFW from current & former UofA students is that the in-state Arkansas students are much less prepared for college classes than their out-of-state counterparts. That may be in part due to UofA offering tuition breaks to out-of-state students who qualify based on higher HS academic standings & scores. Regardless, hope the State of AR is making improvements to local school education. Believe that UofA recruiting higher achievers, regardless of being in-state or out-of-state, helps their academic standing.

Thank goodness UofA is already in the SEC & that those advocating UofA moving from the SEC to Big12 were ignored. Based on the SI rankings, there are more qualified teams & likely that UofA would otherwise be one of the have-nots in these conference alignments & scrambling for a conference.

Here’s what USN says they consider:

  • Graduation and retention rates, 22%. How many kids leave after the first year, how many wind up getting the degree within 6 years. The 6-year rate is 80% of that 22%.
  • Social mobility 5%. Their proxy for that is how many kids attend using Pell Grants and how many of those Pell kids graduate.
  • Graduation rate performance, 8%. This is apparently a comparison of how many kids had graduated by 2020 with the predicted graduation rate from 2014.
  • Faculty resources 20%. Includes class size, how many faculty have their terminal degree, how much faculty is paid, percent of full-time faculty, and student faculty ratio. Of this, class size is the biggest factor at 8%.
  • Student selectivity 7%. The fact we’re taking kids who can’t get into EOE or A&M doesn’t help.
  • Financial resources 10%
  • Average alumni giving rate 3%
  • Student indebtedness 5%, as in how many kids graduate from UA in debt up to their eyeballs.

Unfortunately for UofA, ut & atm selectivity is not so much about their academics but due to so many kids applying in a state with too few schools & almost 30M population plus students’ inability to pay out-of-state elsewhere. The kids from TX enrolling at UofA are usually top 25% & high achievers which in turn benefits UofA & all of the student body, both academically & in subsidizing university costs. If we had the infrastructure in place & without Arkansas requirement for 50% in-state enrollment, UofA would quickly grow to 40K+.

UT is a superior academic school to UA. Clearly. But the gap has closed. UT’s administration has really stubbed their toe trying to reconcile a good academic climate and the political climate a mile down Congress in Austin.

I can’t believe for a minute that Florida is a superior school to UT, either.

As noted, taking so many who tried to get into UT and A&M does not help UA’s situation. Oddly, it doesn’t seem to hurt OU as much as it should. OU is a shell of its former academic self. Mizzou, too. I don’t think Missouri would be granted admission to the AAU list now, but they enjoy the statu anyway.

The USNews report has always bugged me. Some of it is hidden in the methodology kindly posted above. Some of it is the mindset behind the survey, but I’ll leave that for another day. :slight_smile:

UA’s endowment is growing but is not yet capable of diving in where so many public school have followed the private eilte colleges - in effect eliminating the need for any student indebtedness by relying on internal fiscal resources.

Yeah. Our out of state admissions are actually reasonably selective, in spite of taking EOE/TAM leftovers. They may or may not be held to higher admission standards than the in-state kids, depending on demand and enrollment capacity, according to the UA website (this seems to be a change; several years ago it was absolutely harder for out-of-state kids to get in). UA’s acceptance rate is 78% which is above the national average of 68%. But as/if demand increases without an increase in supply (meaning the infrastructure to accommodate a few thousand more kids), the acceptance rate will go down. Doesn’t mean the school is any better, just that more kids want to get in. (Which is a major issue with that portion of the USN methodology.)

Above someone mentioned the Ag Business school. Can’t relate to that one much, but I can say for 100% certain that the Ag school in general is as good as it gets and is recognized as such across the industry.

I call on Ag schools across the Midwest and West. None are any better. If you have an MS or PhD from any of the Ag technical sciences, you have a real big leg up at getting a good job. You can be very selective.

Does it matter if your prof has a truck load of journal articles and all you ever see is a Grad assistant who could careless?

This is area where I have considerable expertise. The UofA takes a back seat to nobody!


Fayetteville doesn’t need 10k more students, much less NWA. I know we’ve had this discussion before and disagree. I don’t get excited about these “ratings”, we’re a land grant college in a small rural state, we’re always going to have a decent % of borderline students from in-state admitted. We have too many public school districts that struggle in getting their students college ready, always will.

Basically, after we get out of the Chad 6-year window, we’ll be right around #25, which seems fair.

If we’re going to (hopefully) put more resources into UA, I’d prefer it be to upgrade the school and not just to make room for more bodies. So from that standpoint I agree with you.

But then if you’d told me when I left in 1982 that in 40 years the enrollment would have doubled, the first thing I would have said is “where are you going to put them?” So…

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Well, I graduated in 1980, so I know they changes since then, but having moved up here a few years ago, the apartment market for the students is getting full. There’s room to put up more, but the tree huggers have a decent control over zoning commission, it seems.

My daughter works for a large company out of Birmingham that owns college apartments all across the SEC and up into Maryland and Illinois. She now manages the managers. She started out managing the one here in Fayetteville called The Cardinal. They are definitely full. Interesting things she said. Her apartment in Fayetteville is mostly compromised of foreign students and students from Texas. Also, likes it better when the hogs lose, students go on a tear after a big win. Maintenance is a big issue, imagine having a building full of partying students.

The point with recruiting more bodies is that you focus on top academic talent from out of state while retaining the best in-state talent thereby improving the overall education quality & rankings. That is what Chancellor Gearhart did during his tenure, & significantly grew the UofA academically, with enrollment, & larger endowment which in turn attracted more govt research grants & private gifts. Prior to Gearhart UofA had less than16k students yrs ago & in statu quo.

Status quo is great if we are satisfied with being a small land grant university in a small poor rural state BUT recognize we may easily find ourselves left behind (in athletics & academically) as other SEC, TX, & nearby universities strive & compete to improve & grow their universities thru recruiting top talent & $.

Austin was well known for all of its tree huggers & tightest zoning in the country. With their metro now at approx 2.3 million population, obviously the developers prevailed. The only thing that may curtail NWA growth is the outrageous cost of construction & high interest rates.

The last thing NWA wants is to be anything like Austin, or Dallas, or pretty much any of Texas. Two of my kids live in Dallas, I don’t need, nor want the traffic. Large enrollment doesn’t make a university better, pretty sure most of those ranked ahead of us are smaller, lol.

Grew up in Houston until it got too big & crowded so moved to DFW 22 yrs ago. Now DFW is too big & crowded so now trying to relocate to NWA. Agree about not growing NWA too much but not much any of us can do about that.
Open enrollment does not improve a university, but selective enrollment growth, as Gearhart did, made UofA much better academically & better able to compete with other universities. Hopefully that will pay dividends to UofA thru more alumni donors & perhaps improved opportunities for Arkansas jobs.

Athletics is pretty much proven on field, and the growing disbelief in USN methodology provoked Columbia (Ivy) to no longer participate in their survey.

methodology and how INFLUENTIAL it can be is discussed here (believe it or not there are 5 star type student applicants in all the academic disciplines across the country (our match rank for anesthesiology at Vandy is rigorous and selective beyond belief)).

UAF is tier 1 research by Carnegie which is achievable but only 137 tier 1’s with the new inclusion (inc UMemphis and Baylor). When I was in school without checking veracity I was told that Architecture and Agri were top of the heap (no Walton School yet), but I did not research such stuff because it did not matter to me.

Forbes ranks us 190 and interestingly has UC Berkley #1 which is a shock to Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Princeton Review actually has categories for extracurricular that value things like students packing stadiums. The obvious answer is you just gotta pick your methodology and go with the one that attracts you (opp for Pavlov to do some songs that fit (love the one you’re with etc.) because it takes an accumulation of data that is relevant to make an informed ranking (are you listening BCS?). Grain of salt is not adequate for skepticism level for me. Hogs and academics both have momentum.