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Big Ten Leads Nation In 2013-14 Academic Progress Rate

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See how the Big Ten performed in the 2013-14 APR.

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA released its 2013-14 Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.  The APR is a metric instituted by the NCAA in 2003 that looks at the eligibility and retention rate of athletes in specific programs.  Generally speaking, it attempts to measure the academic performance of programs.  In theory, if players on a specific team are getting good grades, remaining eligible, and pursuing their degrees, a program will score highly.

With the release of the 2013-14 scores, the Big Ten and country would get a look at how the conference has performed recently in the measure.  It is also a particularly interesting release year since it is the first academic year where Maryland and Rutgers were members of the conference.  It would be a good opportunity to gauge how the two schools are fitting into the conference and how they might move going forward.

Here are how all 14 teams from the Big Ten scored in the APR.  For reference, the APR is scored out of 1000 and a team get penalized if they do not meet a 930 over a four year period or a 940 over a two year period.

2013-14 Big Ten APR Scores:
  • Illinois - 984
  • Indiana - 1000
  • Iowa - 973
  • Maryland - 948
  • Michigan - 995
  • Michigan State - 975
  • Minnesota - 985
  • Ohio State - 975
  • Nebraska - 950
  • Northwestern - 974
  • Penn State - 970
  • Purdue - 985
  • Rutgers - 984
  • Wisconsin - 985
If you are wondering how those APR scores compared, you can take a look below at how all the Big Ten teams compared in APR scores for 2013-14.
2013-14 Highest Big Ten APR Scores:
  1. 1000 - Indiana
  2. 995 - Michigan
  3. 985 - Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin
  4. 984 - Illinois, Rutgers
  5. 975 - Michigan State, Ohio State
  6. 974 - Northwestern
  7. 973 - Iowa
  8. 970 - Penn State
  9. 950 - Nebraska
  10. 948 - Maryland
Overall, the Big Ten performed very well.  In fact, the Big Ten led all major conferences in average APR score not only in men's basketball, but also in football.  Generally, the Big Ten is perceived to put a high emphasis on academics and it has definitely been shown in the APR scores, especially considering that they finished ahead of strong academic conferences like the ACC and Pac 12.

The newcomers also represent interesting trends.  Some of the criticisms regarding the Big Ten's recent expansion dealt with potential academic fits in the conference for Maryland, Nebraska, and Rutgers.  Now, with all three teams in the conference, fans can take a look at where these programs might fit into the conference.  Maryland and Rutgers were not members of the Big Ten during the 2013-14 season, but their scores do at least provide fans a look at where the schools stand while entering the Big Ten.  Here is how they shaped up over the last few years.
Big Ten Newcomer APR Scores:
b1g 13/14 apr
Overall, it's hard to argue that since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011 that there was any significant difference.  Yes, they have increased in each of the last two seasons, but they dropped in their first year and there was also a coaching change to consider as well.  One interesting note as well was that Rutgers has been trending up and really are in great position for the APR entering the Big Ten.

Perhaps things will change in the next year or two, but regardless of whether Maryland, Nebraska, or Rutgers undergo significant changes, all the Big Ten teams are in good position and the Big Ten showed it is one of the strongest academic conferences in the country.