Brad Rock Ignores the Obvious

… which of course makes for readership in his column.

Here’s the link to his column on why BYU isn’t in consideration for Pac-12 expansion. There’s a portion in there that is interesting:

[The Pac-10] has said it was looking for universities that are a good fit, academically and athletically, yet it never considered BYU. The reason most often cited: BYU wasn’t a “research institution.”

That all sounded logical until this week when the conference tried to woo six Big 12 schools and got just one. Yes, Colorado does well in research, as does Texas. But Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, to name two, aren’t on any list I’ve seen of best research schools in America.

Mr. Rock, the Pac-10 wanted Texas but couldn’t get them without the rest of the hangers-on (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech – and Texas A&M originally). It was a package deal, and quite honestly, the Pac-10 was willing to take the whole package in order to get what it wanted.

But of course you play the religious bigot card again, like so many BYU sympathizers do.

Really, call it what it is – BYU is not a research institution, period. The top 25 overall research institutions include 6 Pac-10 schools (Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, Washington, Arizona). And also in that list? Texas and Texas A&M. BYU? Not on the list. The next 25? Includes Colorado, Utah, and Tempe Normal (ASU). BYU? Not on that list either. Hmm… that’s 8 current Pac-10 schools, plus three schools that were or are under consideration for expansion.

Looking at just Private research institutions, in the top 25 are Stanford and USC – the only two private schools in the Pac-10. And looking at just Public institutions, in the top 25 are Cal, UCLA, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Tempe Normal. The next 25 Public include Oregon, Washington State, and Oregon State.

In other words, in the top 50 Public Research Institutions, all 9 Public Pac-10 schools are there (along with the potential 12th school in Utah). In addition, Texas and Texas A&M were listed. And in the top 25 Private Research Institutions, both private Pac-10 schools are there. In addition, Baylor was listed.

Ok, so Baylor does more research than BYU. Heck, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is ahead of BYU.

It’s not a religious thing. It’s not even a Sunday-scheduling thing. It’s a simple fact that BYU is not Pac-10 material academically. Yeah, the Pac-10 was willing to take on three schools (Oklahoma, OK State, Texas Tech) that were sub-par research-wise in order to get three schools that excel academically and research-wise (Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado), because that was the package deal for the Texas/Oklahoma schools. That’s just business. BYU does not make good business sense from that standpoint either. If that were the case, the Pac-10 would take Air Force too.

So stop pandering to the whiners and do some real journalism – which includes researching ALL the facts, not just what will get sympathizers to read your blog post.

As for “workinglate”, who commented on Mr. Rock’s post:

it’s not that BYU is not strong academically, it’s that it has very few PhD programs (most schools at BYU stop at a masters degree). PAC10 likes to have PhD programs. Comprared, BYU’s endowment is larger (by over $300M) so they have money for research, but UofU has a well recognized medical program. To say that the U is academically better than BYU is simply not true – no published report or ranking has BYU behind the U of U.

To that, and all those who agree with him, I submit to you this link to the World University Rankings where Utah is ranked 44th best University in the USA and Canada, while BYU is 67th.

Comparatively, other Pac-10 school ranks:
#3 Stanford
#4 California-Berkeley
#6 Washington
#17 UCLA
#27 Arizona
#31 USC
#41 Colorado
#49 Tempe Normal (ASU)
#57 Oregon State
#65 Oregon
#70 Washington State

(Yeah, we knew WSU was bringing up the rear, but that was already a given. BYU would be second to last here.)

And the other schools under consideration from the Big 12 in the top 100:
#12 Texas
#20 Texas A&M
#87 Oklahoma

So, yeah, picking up the 6 defectors from the Big 12 would have netted four schools in the top 100 Universities in the USA/Canada, three of which are in the top 25 of all research universities. I don’t think that’s too shabby at all for a “package deal”.

Colin Cowherd always says that the surest way to make money is to bet against a homer supporting his team. In this case, BYU supporters have a hard time separating their support for their school with the objective facts.