The Vandy of the Big Ten

Will play in the Big Ten Championship Game next month. Northwestern clinched the West Division today by beating Iowa while Wisconsin was losing to Penn State and Purdue (which beat Ohio State) was blown out by Minny. This is the same Northwestern team that lost to Akron in September and went 0-3 in nonconference play. And is barely bowl-eligible at 6-4. The Wildcats are 2-4 at home, 4-0 on the road.

If you think that doesn’t make any sense, you’re not alone.

That division has been pretty weak for several years.

Arkansas of the big ten.

Let’s not kid ourselves. We earned this title, we need to own it until we get out of it.

The people who caused this are gone, and we have to climb our way out. But I can’t take a post serious talking about Vandy of a conference when we are, without a doubt the worst program in the SEC right now, and have been since the mistake of Bret bielema.

[quote=“Jrjdent”]

Arkansas of the big ten.

Let’s not kid ourselves. We earned this title, we need to own it until we get out of it.

The people who caused this are gone, and we have to climb our way out. But I can’t take a post serious talking about Vandy of a conference when we are, without a doubt the worst program in the SEC right now, and have been since the mistake of Bret bielema.

[/quote]Not to speak for Swine, but I believe he meant the academic comparison, at least that’s how I took it.

[quote=“SoArkHog”]

Ah, could be.

I just was assuming it was in comparison of the football programs. We all know what assuming can do.

I don’t think we’re in any position to cast aspersions on any other football program at this point.

NU, like Vandy, is the only private school in a league of 13 other large public universities. Not all that much academic difference between NU and, say, Michigan, but that also applies as well.

It is definitely more difficult(academically) to get into Northwestern or Vanderbilt than it is to get into Michigan.

Probably true, but Michigan is still 27th in the US News national university ranking, while Northwestern is tied for 10th. In the SEC, Vandy’s 14th and Florida is 35th. I suspect Michigan is also harder to get into than Florida.

Some large public universities are very high level in academics and very selective and difficult to get into
if you are out of state. Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia are amongst the most difficult. It is amazing just how high
the GPA’s, SAT’s and ACT’s are for entering freshmen at
those institutions. So many smart and highly disciplined
youngsters.

UNC takes 24% of the kids who apply. Michigan takes 29%. Virginia takes 27%. Florida takes 43%. We take 66%.

The most selective state school in the country is probably Cal Berkeley, which takes 17%. UCLA takes 18%.

Oh, and Northwestern takes 9% and Vandy takes 11%.

And yet some top in state students can’t qualify for academic scholarships at UA but can get full rides at schools like Ole Miss and Alabama? Why do we give some of our top students a reason to leave the state and become more likely to benefit another state’s economy in the future?

UA does have a good program for getting out of state students in, especially border states.

That was true 40 years ago and it’s true now. UA essentially offered me zero financial aid. I wanted to go there anyway, Dad had saved up enough money, I got a couple of outside scholarships (including National Merit, see below) and, most important, got hired by the athletic department which paid my tuition and books.

It’s better now but not that much. They depend a lot on the lottery scholarships, which can go for any Arkansas school. They do have the Chancellor’s Scholarships, which are very nice but very hard to qualify for. I don’t know that I could have gotten a Chancellor’s Scholarship and I was a National Merit Scholar (well, I see now that NMS recipients and NMS finalists are eligible for the Chancellor’s, so I guess I could have gotten one). But you can be a really smart kid and not qualify for those.

I’ve written about the brain drain. Smart Arkansas kids have tended to go to Tulane or Vandy or Washington U or private schools in the Northeast instead of staying home. Some of those kids will come back after graduation, some won’t. It’s true that we’re luring some kids from border states. Some of them will stick around as well. Some won’t. It’s an ongoing, decades-long problem that UA grads, no matter where they grew up, tend to have to leave the state to find premium jobs, even with the growth of Walmart, Tyson, etc.