When Louisville first joined the ACC for the 2014-15 academic year, replacing secessionist Maryland, conference leaders postured earnestly about the new member’s compatibility with the league’s other 14 schools institutions of higher learning.
There are doubtless many admirable offerings and academic strengths at UL. But according to this fall’s inexact but informative ratings in U.S. News & World Report the university definitely is not in the same league (so to speak) with its conference confreres. Except in terms of budget for athletics, that is, which was a big, if downplayed, draw in its ACC acceptance.
Now in their 35th year, the US News rankings “compare bachelor’s degree-granting institutions from across the U.S. on 15 diverse measures of academic quality,” according to the publication.
Lately, after dubious conduct brought low the AD and the basketball coach, and a crummy record forced the ouster of the morally ambiguous football coach, and one of the school’s biggest boosters was driven out of his own business, things are looking up again for the Cardinals on court and field.
Under first-year coach Scott Satterfield, late of Appalachian State, Louisville has a sufficiently mediocre record to approach eligibility for a bowl bid in the easy-reward realm of big-time football. And Chris Mack, in his second year rebuilding a proud men’s basketball program, has a squad considered one of the best in the country. That was par for the course until sneaker bribery and sexual pandering decked the Cards.
Sure, the ACC is just one big happy family. Or, more accurately, one large conglomerate boasting of its footprint, demographic reach, media income and exposure, and competitive prowess. Fans listen to this patter and let it wash over them, but if ever you grasp for an example of whether college sports is a business, consider the addition of Louisville to the ACC fold.
|A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
Ratings Of ACC Member Institutions By Academic Quality
According To US News and World Report (2019 Fall)
|Rank||School||Tied With, Non-ACC|
|10 (tie)||Duke||Johns Hopkins|
|15 (tie)||Notre Dame||Vanderbilt|
|29 (tie)||Georgia Tech||NYU, Tufts, Rochester|
|29 (tie)||North Carolina||NYU, Tufts, Rochester|
|37 (tie)||Boston College||UC-San Diego|
|54 (tie)||Syracuse||Ohio State, Santa Clara|
|57 (tie)||Florida State||Penn State, Purdue|
|57 (tie)||Miami||Penn State, Purdue|
|57 (tie)||Pittsburgh||Penn State, Purdue|
|64 (tie)||Maryland||SMU, UConn, UMass, Worcester|
|70 (tie)||Clemson||GW, Texas A&M, Minnesota|
|74 (tie)||Virginia Tech||Fordham, Stevens Institute of Tech|
|84 (tie)||NC State||Elon, Marquette, Mich St., UC-Santa Cruz, Iowa, Colorado School of Mines|
|192 (tie)||Louisville||Ball State, Ok. State, Seattle Pacific,Misericordia (Dallas, Pa.)|