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How At-Risk Teams Fared in the APR

Yesterday the NCAA released the 2012–13 APR scores for all Division I teams. Last week, I took a look at which power conference football and basketball teams (plus UConn as defending champs) were in danger of suffering APR penalties or postseason ineligibility based on past scores. In the end, only one team studied suffered penalties. Here is how they all fared with a bit of analysis of what is in store going forward.


UConn Multi-Year APR: 936

  • 2009–10: 826
  • 2010–11: 978
  • 2011–12: 947
  • 2012–13: 1000

UConn indeed posted the 1000 APR which Shabazz Muhammad bragged about during the NCAA tournament. With the 826 from 2009–10 rolling off for the 2013–14 score, UConn is out of the danger zone now. Another year like they’ve been having will see the Huskies have not just an adequate score, but a very good one.

LSU Multi-Year APR: 955

  • 2009–10: 932
  • 2010–11: 957
  • 2011–12: 932
  • 2012–13: 1000

Another 1000 pulls another institution more or less out of harms way for the time being. LSU may also need that wiggle room since the school recently announced the departure of three players. Departing players do not guarantee a low score or even lost points but LSU’s cushion should be a bit comforting for fans.

Oregon Multi-Year APR: 945

  • 2009–10: 912
  • 2010–11: 950
  • 2011–12: 952
  • 2012–13: 974

Oregon did what it needed to do this year in the APR but next year remains a question mark. Some rough calculation (as in “not the way the NCAA actually calculates the APR” rough) suggests that it will be close even if the worst case scenario happens for the Ducks. But given the situation at Oregon, the worst case scenario could get still get worse. That would be a wake-up call to teams, if one disastrous year resulted in postseason ineligibility for a power conference team.

Oklahoma State Multi-Year APR: 948

  • 2009–10: 895
  • 2010–11: 927
  • 2011–12: 1000
  • 2012–13: 960

Oklahoma State men’s basketball did what they needed to do, albeit dropping an 875 meant they did not need to do much. They will drop an 895 next year as well, which is good since the team had a number of departures this offseason between transfers and draft entries. Something to keep an eye on but the situation is not at the same level as Oregon and the Cowboys’ APR is in better shape.

Syracuse Multi-Year APR: 969

  • 2009–10: 1000
  • 2010–11: 1000
  • 2011–12: 878
  • 2012–13: 1000

Feast or famine continues for Syracuse, only now there is more of the former than the latter. Every school above though will drop its lowest score next year while Syracuse will drop a 1000. Even another perfect score might result in Syracuse’s multi-year APR dropping if the cohort was smaller than in 2009–10. Another very poor year like 2011–12 would put Syracuse back into the at-risk category.

Nebraska Multi-Year APR: 947

  • 2009–10: 947
  • 2010–11: 896
  • 2011–12: 940
  • 2012–13: 1000

Nebraska dropped a 957 this year, so despite the 1000 the multi-year score did not go up that much. Nebraska had three scholarship players depart, two of them to four-year schools already, so the Huskers will probably stay near their 947 score next year as well. The big move comes in 2014–15 when the 896 score from 2010–11 is no longer part of the multi-year score.

TCU Multi-Year APR: 946

  • 2009–10: 962
  • 2010–11: 927
  • 2011–12: 918
  • 2012–13: 979

TCU’s mission was to reverse its downward trend and the Horned Frogs did just that. They’ll need another good score next year to avoid dropping back into at-risk territory as the 962 from 2009–10 rolls off.


Tennessee Multi-Year APR: 932

  • 2009–10: 921
  • 2010–11: 934
  • 2011–12: 909
  • 2012–13: 962

This was a remarkable job by Butch Jones and staff to pull Tennessee completely out of the penalty zone in the middle of a coaching change. Tennessee is not out of the woods yet, although dropping the 921 will help a little next year. This year’s 962 should be taken as a solid start that needs to be built on rather than establishing some wiggle room.

Louisville Multi-Year APR: 947

  • 2009–10: 869
  • 2010–11: 948
  • 2011–12: 971
  • 2012–13: 1000

Football’s APR is less volatile than basketball’s but it also means very good scores are rare. Charlie Strong and Louisville deserve credit for posting a perfect score in a sport where that means keeping track of 80–85 scholarship athletes rather than 11–13. Next year should see improvement again if Louisville posts just a solid score, not even a great one.

Iowa State Multi-Year APR: 948

  • 2009–10: 946
  • 2010–11: 942
  • 2011–12: 934
  • 2012–13: 969

Iowa State’s story is straight-forward: it posted a good score and dropped a very bad one (889 in 2008–09). The Cyclones also reversed a bit of a downward trend from the last three years.

Oklahoma State Multi-Year APR: 929

  • 2009–10: 913
  • 2010–11: 903
  • 2011–12: 947
  • 2012–13: 934

Oklahoma State football was the only power conference team to suffer from APR penalties this year. The simple answer is that OSU dropped a higher score than the one they added, although the way APR is calculated that did not prevent the score from going up. It just did not go up enough to avoid a practice reduction, missing by fractions of a point.

Historically, Oklahoma State’s APR has never been good. It has mostly hovered around adequate. In 2008–2009, the Cowboys posted their highest APR in football, 945. Since then, this is OSU’s APR compared to the FBS average:

Year OSU APR FBS Average APR
2009–10 942 949
2010–11 928 952
2011–12 926 954
2012–13 929 957

FBS as a whole has improved while Oklahoma State has been stagnant or even declining. Why is not clear. Without the actual scores (i.e. XX points earned/XX points possible) separated out for eligibility and retention, it is not clear whether Oklahoma State football has an eligibility issue, a retention issue, or both.

It is a safe bet that Oklahoma State knows what the problem is by now. A look back at UConn’s scores also illustrates how finally facing a significant penalty can trigger a dramatic turnaround. Plus Oklahoma State will get some assistance as lower scores drop off over the next two years. So a prolonged stay in penalty territory seems unlikely. The question now is how quickly and how far out of the danger zone the Cowboys climb.

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