When fans around the nation talk about college football, team rankings make up a large portion of the conversation. Where a fan's favorite team lands in the various polls on a weekly basis can be a source of pride or controversy, depending on placement.
However, one ranking that seems to get far less attention by fans and media alike is the one that compares how various teams measure up with others in the classroom.
The NCAA keeps detailed statistics on the performance of all of its student-athletes. This is done in order to keep schools and teams within each NCAA institution accountable.
The most prominent methods of accountability utilized by the NCAA are the Academic Progress Rate (APR) and the Graduation Success Rate (GSR).
The combination of those statistics allows the NCAA to measure how a particular school and its teams are doing in regard to the classroom. When a school or team fails to measure up, it can be penalized by the NCAA in various ways.
In the case of football, those penalties can include things like reduced practice time replaced with increased academic time, spring practice suspensions or even the loss of participation in postseason bowl games.
Those kind of consequences make the academic rankings far more important than the attention they receive. If a team can't make the grade in the classroom, it can definitely affect what it is allowed to do on the field.
Let's take a look at the top and bottom 25 football teams in the FBS when it comes to graduating players and see if there are any surprises.