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Ranking The Big Schools And Their State Of Education.



By any standards, The Wall Street Journal is a go-to source for money matters.

What happens when they start looking at money spent on college football? It’s still money, so what’s not to trust?

Last week the WSJ produced the list you see above. By now you know Oregon moved from #9 to #6 after their win over Washington.

Other teams have moved around the top ten, but no one’s moved on how much each school spends on their dream teams.

Is Dream Team too much? What else would call teams from Alabama and Mississippi? It’s the SEC where dreams come in big packages and big stadiums.

Fans in other states dream of having the sort of run the SEC has had over the last decade.

By any standards, Oregon listed as 32nd on the money spent list isn’t the sort of miracle as Mississippi State’s 58th place on spending, except Oregon isn’t an SEC school.

Is this another case of location, location, location, or something more dire? In a highly unscientific investigation, where does Oregon and the rest of the top ten rank in education?

Let’s get rolling.

Call me picky, but as an unconventional graduate whose college career spanned the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, education has a meaning different than the usual four or five year grad.

The WSJ used data from the U.S. Department of Education to reveal college football spending. The sixty five power conference schools, including Notre Dame, are in the mix.

Since players attend high school before college, I looked to state spending on K-12 education to balance what the colleges spend on football. Is it a fair comparison when colleges recruit in state and out?

You decide. My statistical source is, which is’t the Wall Street Journal, but still good enough for Huffington Post.

Alabama’s Crimson Tide is the king of college football spending at $41.6 million. Auburn University, another college in the great state of Alabama, comes in second at $36.3 million.

You might think spending a combined $77.9 would be enough to make every player a Rhodes Scholar. Where does Alabama rank among state spending on education?

Wallethub lists The Cotton State, with two teams in the Top Ten, 49th in K-12 spending.

Regardless of survey methods that’s bad, but not as bad as Mississippi’s 50th place.

The Magnolia State holds down two spots in the football top five, but doesn’t crack the top ten in spending.

By rational standards the Bulldogs of Mississippi State are the greatest bargain in college football.

But balance is still important. You can’t feel good about transcendent football teams in educationally downer states. You want an informed fan base and national championships? Yes, you do, which comes down to the Oregon Ducks.

Coming in 32nd for college football spending and 33rd in K-12 spending cuts it as close as you’re going to find in both categories.

Everyone wants to be #1 at the end of the football season, but not #1 with an asterisk.

The next time you’re cheering your team on, whether it’s your school or an adopted school, give a special shout-out for the little guys, the kids who dream of playing for Alabama, for Auburn, for Mississippi State, or Old Miss. Those are the Dream Teams that populate their warm southern nights.

What do young Duck fans dream of? They saw their team fall to Auburn after the season long investigation of Cam Newton’s eligibility. They saw their team ranked near the top season after season, but missing another date with the National Championship.

Duck fans see a program moving forward, one that learns from its mistakes and works to improve its character.

Is winning the end-all, be-all? Duck fans know the right answer.

Soon enough they’ll read the writing on Autzen Stadium’s walls.





About David Gillaspie
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