The Big 12 has taken a hit, maybe only a small hit, but a hit, on its football prowess after conference realignment. But the Big 12 has taken a major hit academically. The Big 12 has lost Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado and Nebraska, while adding TCU and West Virginia. A&M and Missouri were two of the Big 12′s most prestigious academic schools, and CU and Nebraska certainly weren’t near the bottom.
You know what I think about academic snobbery. But I also know that Big 12 presidents always are thinking about it. And no way can they be pleased the way the Big 12 has taken a hit in its academic reputation.
The Austin-based Global Language Monitor has released a report on conferences’ academic standing in the wake of realignment. The Global Language Monitor “provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities,” it says about itself. I’ll take their word for it.
Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, said his group analyzed pre-2011 conference configurations and compared them with projected conference configurations into 2013, 2014 and 2015, whenever the information was available.
“There’s good news and bad news here,” said Payack. “The good news is that the SEC saw its Academic Quotient Index rise by 8.36%; the bad news is that all the other major BCS conferences had their AQIs decline, four out of the six by double digit percentages.” The AQI is a brand equity tool that creates a composite score of the individual college rankings in a conference; the result of which can be used to compare one conference to another.
So here are the ranking:
1. Big Ten
5. Big 12
6. American Athletic Conference (old Big East)
7. Big East (new Big East)
8. Mid-American Conference
9. Mountain West
10. Conference USA
11. Sun Belt
Every conference had a number to go along with its ranking. The numbers don’t mean anything to you or me, but rest assured the percentage drop was mighty for the Big 12, as was the increase for the SEC.