After taking time to look down the APR barrel and see some doom for college basketball and the NCAA tournament in the coming years, I wanted to look back and see what schools have done since the APR was implemented and tracked seven years ago. (I last did this two years ago at College Hoops Journal.)
Below, you'll see ranked in order the six BCS leagues and how their collective APRs have balanced out since the 2004-05 season. When looking at the scores, realize the averages here are from each year's multi-year rate, which is the overall average over a four-year period.
Only a few schools have managed perfect marks (1000) over four-year periods since the APR was initiated. Kansas has an incredible total -- four -- while DePaul, Notre Dame, Villanova, Michigan State and Michigan all managed one quadrant period of 1000s.
As you look through the chart, also be aware that this is seven years worth of data, so some schools' average is actually a little better or worse in the past four measuring years. For example, Arkansas' multi-year rate is still in the toilet, but the past two years the Hogs have put up individual marks that hover at the 930 line, so such a stark, positive jump in APR keeps them from a postseason ban. Similarly, USC's average being below the base line for postseason play stands out, but in the past two years, USC's mean APR is a healthy 932. Iowa State is the only other team with a collective mean below 900 (896). Colorado (902), Auburn (903) and Indiana (905) are just above the cutline.
Overall, I think the trendlines do merit warning. The schools who are living below, say, 920 -- I think it's enough to at least pause and wonder if said schools can and will get in line by the time the new 930 base line for APR acceptance hits in three years.
If you want to see the collective, current four-year averages, check here or search 2010-11 men's basketball database here. This is the metric the Monolith is using to determine who gets public acknowledgement and cookies over good grades, and which teams get tagged with postseason bans.
And, for the record, current schools in perfect standing in the APR are:
- Notre Dame
- East Tennessee State
Now, let's line up the big boys. First, here are the best APR performers since the whole thing started getting tracked in the middle aughts.
From there, we go to conferences, ranked from highest average APR to lowest. The ACC is tops at 954, which is one point down from two years ago.
Finally, we've found something in the Big Ten Illinois is actually capable of winning. Like the ACC, the Big Ten is down one collective point from where it was in 2010.
A steady trickle for the No. 3 league. The Big East was at 944 in 2010 and stays there today. What's also interesting about these rankings is you're seeing how great teams don't necessarily have good or bad grades and grad rates.
How can you not hand it to Bill Self? Has won a Big 12 title almost every year he's been in the league, and he's slaughtering the competition in APR. Jayhawks will be in good standing in almost every facet of the sport as long as Self is running the show. The league collectively is up from 936 two years ago.
For being such an academic-minded conference, I have to admit this was the most surprising result, even if the score is so close to what it was in 2010 (940).
Good news for the SEC: it's up three points. But if one league played out to how you expected with its rank of teams, I suppose it's here.
What does it all mean? Eh, it means the big leagues are always going to average a 75-point difference between the best and worst. I still maintain a number of these schools, and a hearty assemblage of others from smaller leagues, will not get their multi-year rates up to 930 by 2015-16. But we do know it's unlikely the Vandys, Kansases, Illinoises (Illinoises???), UNCs, Dukes and Villanova will steer far clear from APR problems.