The NCAA has released its annual report on the graduation success rates (GSR) of all Division I schools. GSR measures the percentage of student athletes who graduate, or leave a university in good academic standing, within six years of their initial enrollment. The six-year window offers leniency to programs with a high volume of players who turn pro early.
Below are the rankings and GSRs of all the SEC football programs when measured against each other. These numbers reflect graduation rates from student athletes enrolling in 2006. Ties were broken by the federal graduation rate (i.e. LSU had a higher federal rate than both Missouri and Texas A&M)
- University of Georgia – GSR 82
- Vanderbilt University – GSR 82
- University of Florida – GSR 77
- Louisiana State University – GSR 74
- University of Missouri, Columbia – GSR 74
- Texas A&M University – GSR 74
- University of Alabama – GSR 73
- Auburn University – GSR 70
- University of South Carolina, Columbia – GSR 65
- University of Tennessee – GSR 64
- University of Kentucky – GSR 62
- Mississippi State University – GSR 59
- University of Mississippi – GSR 55
- University of Arkansas, Fayetteville – GSR 54
- While considered the conference’s best academic school, Vanderbilt had a lower federal graduation rate than Georgia
- GSR does not translate to championships, as three of the top five did not earn BCS or SEC championships during the timeframe.
- Low GSR does not translate to wins.
- The SEC East graduates more players (averaging a 72.28 GSR) than the SEC West (65.57 GSR)
- The SEC East has the top three GSR rates, whereas the West has the lowest three
- Alabama has the perfect strategy for winning. Graduate enough players to stay academically reputable, but have enough pro studs to win championships. The Crimson Tide rank in the middle of the list.