APR Scores Released, Nevada Hires A Familiar Name, O’Brien Leaves the Badgers

While certainly not an indicator of an NCAA football team’s success, the Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores can have consequences for a team’s practices or postseason bans.

On Tuesday, the NCAA released its annual APR figures for individual university sports and for some schools, they’re happy to brag about it. Or not.

Northwestern Football

Northwestern Football

For the following football programs (figures are from 2011-12 academic year), here’s the Top 10 APR scores. Looking ahead to the 2013-14 postseason, universities will need either a 900 rolling multi-year APR or over the two most recent years, a 930 average, according to CollegeFootballTalk.com.

Take a look at these top scores:

For the five power conferences, here’s their average APR scores:

  • Big Ten: 964.9
  • ACC: 964.5
  • SEC: 957.1
  • Pac-12: 952.5
  • Big 12: 947.1

I took a look at the Top 5 teams with the greatest odds to win the 2013-2014 BCS Championships and their APRs. Only one had been included on the above list.

Alabama (978): 3 to 1

Ohio State (982) and Texas A&M (954): 13 to 2

Oregon (951): 7 to 1

Georgia (968): 14 to 1

And while Northwestern may have some brainy ball players, they sit at 150 to 1 to win this year’s BCS Championship.

Nevada Hires Brian Polian As New Head Coach

Following in the legendary footsteps of former coach and College Football Hall of Famer Chris Ault, Nevada has hired Brian Polian as its new head football coach.

Brian Polian

Brian Polian

Polian brings his own legendary football pedigree as he’s the middle son of former Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills general manager Bill Polian.

This Nevada position represents his first head coaching gig and he knows the pressure is on for a few reasons.

First, Polian hasn’t taken the usual path to become a head coach: he has not been either an offensive or defensive coordinator. In 2012, he was Texas A&M’s special-teams coordinator and tight ends coach. Prior to that, he held other positions at Stanford, Notre Dame, UCF, Buffalo and Baylor, reported ESPN, as well as worked as Nick Saban’s graduate assistant in 1997 at Michigan State.

Polian was open about the holes in his resume and said to ESPN, “I skipped a step, so I know there’s pressure on me.”

He also has large shoes to fill. In Ault’s three tours of Nevada coaching duty from 1976 to 2012, he oversaw 233 wins and developed the Pistol offense.

Polian plans to maintain this as it’s been successful for the team as well as for its former quarterback, now at the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick. He will also keep offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich, who helped dual-threat Cody Fajardo become one of the nation’s most efficient quarterbacks in 2012 as he threw for 2,786 yards (a 67 percent pass completion) with 20 touchdowns; Fajardo also ran for 1,121 yards with 12 scores.

Last season, Nevada finished at 7-6 and will open its 2013 season against UCLA on Aug. 31.

For the Mountain West Conference, many pundits have either Boise State or Fresno State to finish at the top.

Boise State is 100 to 1 to win this year’s BCS Championship.

O’Brien Leaves Wisconsin

Danny O'Brien

Danny O’Brien

With high hopes to end his college playing days at the University of Wisconsin, quarterback transfer Danny O’Brien threw in the towel on Tuesday and has left the program.

He transferred to the school in 2012 after playing at the University of Maryland. He started for Wisconsin in three games last season but after that, his Badger career started to erode.

O’Brien wanted to revive it for 2013 but lost the possibility for the starting spot after the team’s spring game and was going to enter camp at the fifth spot on the depth chart, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

He has one year left of eligibility and could possibly play immediately at a FCS school.

Lots of change is coming for Wisconsin this year with a new coach. It sits at 66 to 1 to win this year’s BCS National Championship.


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