The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate is a measurement of how many players on a given sports team graduate within a six-year time frame. And it’s the one area where Vanderbilt football is consistently a top-10 program.
The Commodores showed out once again in the 2018 APR release, ranking third among FBS programs and seventh among all of Division I. Vandy trailed only Northwestern and Air Force when it came to the top tier of college football.
2018 NCAA APR Scores, Division I Football
While that’s great news for the program off the field, it could also be beneficial for Derek Mason’s team on it. When there aren’t enough bowl eligible (six-win) teams to fill all the available postseason bowl game slots, the NCAA doles out the extra invitations to five-win teams based on their APR scores. That means, at worst, a 5-7 Vandy team would have third choice of the leftover bowls this winter.
That’s not much of a concession, but it could be the difference between an extra month of practice for a young team and packing up the practice fields in November. The Commodores have, as expected, a difficult 2018 schedule that includes not only a tough SEC slate but also a road trip to Notre Dame early in the season. As much as we’d like to be optimistic, 5-7 remains a very real outcome for this team.
But concerns about the upcoming season can wait. Vanderbilt graduated a higher percentage of its football players than all but two of the 128 FBS teams in this year’s APR results. That’s something to be proud of.