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A More Important ACC Ranking

And Duke is still at the top

Duke v Louisville
 LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 12: Christen Cunningham #1 of the Louisville Cardinals handles the ball against Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during the game at KFC YUM! Center on February 12, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. Duke came from behind to win 71-69.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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
27 Wake Forest
28 Virginia
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.)