Pat Fitzgerald, Mike Trumpy
Updated: December 12, 2012 1:35PM
WASHINGTON — Kansas State would have come in 17th in the Bowl Championship Series if the rankings were based on academics rather than athletics.
That’s according to the nonpartisan New America Foundation think tank. It released its sixth annual BCS Academic Bowl rankings.
The foundation examines graduation rate and academic progress data collected by the NCAA for the top 25 teams in the BCS final standings. Game performance isn’t a factor in ranking the school’s academically.
Kansas State ended the season ranked fifth in the regular BCS and will play Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Foundation ranked Northwestern first in the Academic Bowl. It found the school had the highest graduation rate among football players at 90 percent. In the regular BCS, the school ranked 20th.
Northwestern finished with 139 points, just ahead of second-place Northern Illinois with 126.7 points. Notre Dame was fifth with 102.7 points. Florida State was No. 25 with -5 points.