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Rank School Team

GPA Conference Last Year

1 Harvard 3.3657 EIWA 1

2 Old Dominion 3.32 MAC 8

3 Gardner-Webb 3.3167 SoCon 29

4 Appalachian State 3.31 SoCon 26

4 Brown 3.31 EIWA 6

6 Duke 3.304 ACC 9

7 Bucknell 3.3 EIWA -

8 Stanford 3.235 Pac-12 3

9 American 3.21 EIWA 27

10 Penn State 3.1831 Big Ten 10

11 Oklahoma 3.16 Big 12 -

11 Ohio 3.16 MAC 15

13 Kent State 3.159 MAC -

14 Drexel 3.142 EIWA -

15 Indiana 3.114 Big Ten 4

16 Virginia Tech 3.103 ACC -

17 Lehigh 3.1 EIWA 6

17 Cornell 3.1 EIWA -

17 Princeton 3.1 EIWA 18

20 Oklahoma State 3.0978 Big 12 21

21 Utah Valley 3.097 WWC 16

22 Minnesota 3.094 Big Ten 23

23 Northwestern 3.08 Big Ten 20

24 Ohio State 3.066 Big Ten -

24 Michigan 3.066 Big Ten -

26 North Dakota State 3.061 WWC 11

27 The Citadel 3.058 SoCon 12

28 Nebraska 3.0576 Big Ten 2

29 George Mason 3.052 EWL 14

30 Eastern Michigan 3.046 MAC -

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Appalachian State is definitely better than Stanford.

 

I will admit that I find their super high ranking to be surprising, compared to schools that we would expect to be much higher.

 

These are NOT rankings based on which school is better academically than others.

 

These rankings just tell you which schools have the teams with the highest GPAs. There is no adjustment for academic rigor or academic school ranking. If the squad at Bumfuk State U had a 3.4 GPA, BSU would be listed above Harvard.

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Appalachian State is definitely better than Stanford.

 

I will admit that I find their super high ranking to be surprising, compared to schools that we would expect to be much higher.

 

These are NOT rankings based on which school is better academically than others.

 

These rankings just tell you which schools have the teams with the highest GPAs. There is no adjustment for academic rigor or academic school ranking. If the squad at Bumfuk State U had a 3.4 GPA, BSU would be listed above Harvard.

 

For some strange reason, I already knew that; must have been a wild guess!

 

However, and oddly enough, Harvard always DOES finish at the top.

 

Whoda thunk it all, eh?

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The best way to look at these rankings is not to rank them and then say one team is better academically than the other but rather to compare how the wrestling program at a school stands up against their peer students.

 

The rankings are not saying that Old Dominion, Gardner-Webb, and Appalachian State wrestlers are better than Stanford wrestlers academically. Rather that those schools' wrestlers perform better than more of the general population on their campus then the wrestlers do at Stanford. This isn't a knock to Stanford, or any other school on the list, as we all know there are a lot of quality students on campuses. What this says is that those schools likely have wrestlers that could have attended better schools (or would have been worthly of being accepted on their academic merit alone) and likely chose the school due to the oportunity to wrestle.

 

What these rankings really say is that the 'dumb jock' mantra doesn't work because, when they are compared to their peers (which is what a GPA ranking system does in college) they are performing higher than average--in the top half of all of the student population.

 

This is what I am imagining students saying just a few years ago:

'Yes, mom, I could go to Georgia Tech but if I go to Appalachian State I can wrestle.'

'Yes, mom, I could go to Vanderbilt but if I go to Gardner-Webb I can wrestle.'

'Yes, mom, I could go to Yale but if I go to Duke I can wrestle.'

'Yes, mom, I could go to Williams but if I go to American I can wrestle.'

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The best way to look at these rankings is not to rank them and then say one team is better academically than the other but rather to compare how the wrestling program at a school stands up against their peer students.

 

The rankings are not saying that Old Dominion, Gardner-Webb, and Appalachian State wrestlers are better than Stanford wrestlers academically. Rather that those schools' wrestlers perform better than more of the general population on their campus then the wrestlers do at Stanford. This isn't a knock to Stanford, or any other school on the list, as we all know there are a lot of quality students on campuses. What this says is that those schools likely have wrestlers that could have attended better schools (or would have been worthly of being accepted on their academic merit alone) and likely chose the school due to the oportunity to wrestle.

 

What these rankings really say is that the 'dumb jock' mantra doesn't work because, when they are compared to their peers (which is what a GPA ranking system does in college) they are performing higher than average--in the top half of all of the student population.

 

This is what I am imagining students saying just a few years ago:

'Yes, mom, I could go to Georgia Tech but if I go to Appalachian State I can wrestle.'

'Yes, mom, I could go to Vanderbilt but if I go to Gardner-Webb I can wrestle.'

'Yes, mom, I could go to Yale but if I go to Duke I can wrestle.'

'Yes, mom, I could go to Williams but if I go to American I can wrestle.'

 

The conclusion you're making from the reported GPAs is very flawed. If you wanted to compare to peers within the university, you would have to normalize both for the average GPA at the selected school (at Harvard the average is around 3.5 I think), and more importantly for the chosen degree paths of the given athletes (what % of the wrestlers are taking engineering and science classes?). Unfortunately the "dumb jock mantra", as you put it, is very alive and generally accurate. There are, of course, many notable exceptions (Eric Tannenbaum being one of the most notable), but it is unimaginably difficult to be both a strong student and division 1 wrestler.

 

Lastly, how are these GPAS calculated? Does the coach simply choose his best students who participated in some open tournaments or does he have to choose the athletes that wrestled at the qualifying tournament? I think there is some combination where they have to have some real starters, but can put in good students to fudge the numbers a bit.

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BillyHoyle makes a handful of points related to the potentially flawed conclusions that might be drawn from these statistics. Whether all of his points are valid isn't so much the issue but rather, given this limited snap-shot, i.e., the average GPA of a group of wrestlers from a given school, valid implications are hard to come by. Indeed, we might presume a 3.3 GPA at one school might not equate with a similar GPA at another school; all schools may not operate with similar grade-inflation environments. Additionally, admission standards at one school may pale in comparison to those of another school; arguably a student who gets into Harvard might come in the front door with far better academic skills than another student attending some small state school. If those two schools were operating under similar academic assessment structures then whose to say that the Harvard athletes are doing better - the state school kids might actually be functioning at a much higher academic level (since arriving at college) and be overachievers in the classroom. Last, no conclusions can be drawn as to this average GPA and any implications related to the rest of a given school's student body because the latter's GPA isn't included in the analysis for comparison.

 

So, yes, the presentation may be of some interest and may hold some implications. But only very limited implications can be made from the information. That said, my favorite team didn't make that list and I would be lying if I didn't say that I think it reflects badly on my team's academic performance.

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Yes, Harvard is often cited as where grade inflation all started, which is why I didn't address them.

 

Even when you normalize, at most schools, you'll find that many of these programs will have student-athletes that perform at a very high level academically compared with their peers.

 

I do know that Williams has wrestling (though if I knew that had two AAs this year, I had forgotten). My point was that the oportunity to wrestle (and the different levels and schools available) can impact a decision that makes wrestlers more than qualified to be at a school. [mobile]

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Here is a ballpark look at how the wrestling GPA compares to the general student population GPAs at a few schools mentioned.

 

Appalachian State - 3.07 average undergrad GPA

http://irap.appstate.edu/sites/irap.app ... Grades.pdf

 

Gardner-Webb - 2.98 average traditional undergraduate GPA

http://www.gardner-webb.edu/Assets/gard ... k-2013.pdf

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This has nothing to do with the dumb jock conversation, but since we are talking about "smarts" I thought of something I saw on TV last night that just amazed me. My kids and I were watching the jeopardy tournament of champions and their all time winner (number of shows, not money) is on the show. I work with a lot of really bright people, but this guy Ken Jennings I consider him a true genius.

 

He did something last night that had me and my kids in awe. They had a category where they asked a question in which you would need to know the answer, which was always the name of a person. But you were not finished just by knowing the answer. You had to take that person's initials and assume they are Roman Numerals and then convert that to numbers.

 

Jennings ran the category. He got each one correct taking mere seconds to correctly calculate everything,

 

Here is an example: "He played Jason Bourne in the movie series"

 

How long would it take you to figure out the answer? If it longer than 2 seconds, you lose and he wins. I mean, I knew that X is 10, V is 5, and I is 1 in Roman Numerals, but not off the top of my head did I know the letters for 50, 100, 500 and 1000, all of which he knew. Plus, he knew the 5 correct answers to the questions and made all of the correct conversions, in about 2 to 3 seconds for each entry.

 

Like I said, I know some smart people, but this guy is off the charts.

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The only point of doing rankings like this is to illustrate which wrestling teams are doing the best job of helping their members excel within the environment of the school they attend. To that end, there is no point in doing these rankings unless you do two things:

 

1. Control for different grade scales at different schools.

2. Do NOT control for varying selectivity and/or academic rigor among schools.

 

The first point is important because not all schools have the same grading system -- such that a 3.0 at one school may be above average, but below average at another school. For example, say, Harvard has a 3.33 mean GPA -- if so, then the Harvard wrestling team is faring only slightly above average. Which is still good, but maybe not #1. By contrast, if, for example, Bucknell's student body has a mean GPA of 2.9, then a 3.3 is truly exceptional. The statisticians on here would articulate it in terms of how many standard deviations above the norm they performed.

 

The second point is important because we aren't measuring how smart kids are, or measuring which schools are most selective. We already know which schools are most selective, and we already know that a kid that got into Harvard is probably brighter than your average Appalachian State kid. But that isn't the point. Again, the question is, which wrestling teams are doing the best job helping their kids excel within their school? That means comparing them against non-wrestlers from the same school, not against kids from other school. That means the selectivity or academic rigor of the school is irrelevant.

 

These rankings abide by the second point, as they don't put, say, Stanford above Oklahoma just because its Stanford, but not the first point. That, to me, makes these rankings largely worthless, as simply looking at a GPA without knowing the school's curve is essentially meaningless.

 

BC

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The only point of doing rankings like this is to illustrate which wrestling teams are doing the best job of helping their members excel within the environment of the school they attend. To that end, there is no point in doing these rankings unless you do two things:

 

1. Control for different grade scales at different schools.

2. Do NOT control for varying selectivity and/or academic rigor among schools.

 

The first point is important because not all schools have the same grading system -- such that a 3.0 at one school may be above average, but below average at another school. For example, say, Harvard has a 3.33 mean GPA -- if so, then the Harvard wrestling team is faring only slightly above average. Which is still good, but maybe not #1. By contrast, if, for example, Bucknell's student body has a mean GPA of 2.9, then a 3.3 is truly exceptional. The statisticians on here would articulate it in terms of how many standard deviations above the norm they performed.

 

The second point is important because we aren't measuring how smart kids are, or measuring which schools are most selective. We already know which schools are most selective, and we already know that a kid that got into Harvard is probably brighter than your average Appalachian State kid. But that isn't the point. Again, the question is, which wrestling teams are doing the best job helping their kids excel within their school? That means comparing them against non-wrestlers from the same school, not against kids from other school. That means the selectivity or academic rigor of the school is irrelevant.

 

These rankings abide by the second point, as they don't put, say, Stanford above Oklahoma just because its Stanford, but not the first point. That, to me, makes these rankings largely worthless, as simply looking at a GPA without knowing the school's curve is essentially meaningless.

 

BC

 

Agreed. This would be a much better way to do it. It is well-documented that while Harvard is insanely difficult to get into, it is extremely easy to graduate with honors. I think a few years back, over 90% of graduates from Harvard graduated with honors - and I think the average GPA there is somewhere closer to 3.5. So, if the wrestling team "only" has a 3.36, then it is possibly below average in comparison to the rest of the student population.

 

That said, I am more impressed with the academic performance of the wrestlers at App State with a mean of 3.31, which is significantly higher than the overall student mean of 3.07.

 

But, it's still interesting to look at the results and compare...

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I think what this does show is that the schools listed care about their athletes education. Not that others don't. But if I am looking at sending my son to wrestle, and he is one of the 90%+ that will probably not wrestle in the Olympics, I would consider one of these schools. Don't kid yourself with other schools just having much higher standards, thats an excuse, thats all.

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Geez ... It's a simple list of GPA's, from a wrestling team perspective. :roll:

 

Yeah, but a simple list of GPA's isnt enough when attempting to rank wrestling teams based on their academic performance. I think it's probably assumed that wrestlers at Harvard would generally be ranked higher on academic performance than wrestlers at Gardner Webb. But - that's what university academic rankings are for.

 

If these rankings are attempting to show the academic performance of the wrestling team, then they should be compared to the academic performance of the rest of the school.

 

I mean, if a Harvard wrestler has a 3.3 GPA, but the average GPA in his class is 3.5, then his academic performance at Harvard is really not all that great in comparison to the rest of his non-wrestling classmates.

 

On the other hand, if a Gardner Webb wrestler has a GPA of 3.2, but the average GPA in his class is 3.0, then his academic performance at Gardner Webb is excellent in comparison to the rest of his non-wrestling classmates.

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I agree with what you are saying, however, it is two different comparisons. Comparing how the team does to the rest of the school is a good look (unfair to Harvard because the average student starts at a higher place). If you want to compare teams across the nation, this is about as good as you get, and a 3.5 gpa is a good gpa at any division 1 school. at 2.5 is not real good. Sure you may argue that it is harder to get a 3.5 at Harvard than other schools, but that argument has a lot of holes.

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Geez ... It's a simple list of GPA's, from a wrestling team perspective. :roll:

 

Yeah, but a simple list of GPA's isnt enough when attempting to rank wrestling teams based on their academic performance. I think it's probably assumed that wrestlers at Harvard would generally be ranked higher on academic performance than wrestlers at Gardner Webb. But - that's what university academic rankings are for.

 

If these rankings are attempting to show the academic performance of the wrestling team, then they should be compared to the academic performance of the rest of the school.

 

I mean, if a Harvard wrestler has a 3.3 GPA, but the average GPA in his class is 3.5, then his academic performance at Harvard is really not all that great in comparison to the rest of his non-wrestling classmates.

 

On the other hand, if a Gardner Webb wrestler has a GPA of 3.2, but the average GPA in his class is 3.0, then his academic performance at Gardner Webb is excellent in comparison to the rest of his non-wrestling classmates.

 

So ... let's make it easier for you.

 

IT WAS A SIMPLE LIST OF GPA'S .... From Highest on down. It wasn't an evaluation of toughness by school, nor a comparison against the student bodies or comparison of the schools. It was simple a list of wrestling teams, and THEIR GPA's. Sheesh ... I swear ... :roll:

 

If you insist on other more comprehensive evaluations ...with other metrics.... Do it. :roll:

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I guess I am not understanding you Wire. It is a ranking of schools by GPA. So it is comparing schools, and it is important. There are many factors that play into it, But I would say that the Harvard and ODU kids are doing pretty darn well as a team academically. Then put that with how they did wrestling this year and you would have another cool ranking. It is actually a comparison of teams by GPA.

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I guess I am not understanding you Wire. It is a ranking of schools by GPA. So it is comparing schools, and it is important. There are many factors that play into it, But I would say that the Harvard and ODU kids are doing pretty darn well as a team academically. Then put that with how they did wrestling this year and you would have another cool ranking. It is actually a comparison of teams by GPA.

 

 

2014 2:31 pm

 

Rank School Team

GPA Conference Last Year

1 Harvard 3.3657 EIWA 1

2 Old Dominion 3.32 MAC 8

3 Gardner-Webb 3.3167 SoCon 29

4 Appalachian State 3.31 SoCon 26

 

They are ranking the wrestling teams from the schools listed. Not the school rank, then the wrestlers. It's just a snapshot of the wrestling teams, and the schools they are from, and the cumulative GPA's of the wrestling team. It is not a rank based on any other metrics. It's really simple.

 

It's the school, then the GPA of the wrestling team, and then the conference they are from.

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