IMHO Mercer moving into the SoCon has been a very good one - for both Mercer and the conference. I'll be honest, I thought it would only benefit football when first announced. But this basketball season has been very exciting so far, and the Bears are competitive in nearly every sport. Our presence overall improves the conference RPI in about every sport. Travel times are much more reasonable, and I think fans much prefer the Furmans and Chattys and Citadels to the likes of Northern Ky and even FGCU. I'm a happy Bear.
Post by smokeybear on Jan 18, 2016 13:44:25 GMT -5
That is usually the case when a conference loses one or more of its elite teams. The SoCon was losing its top basketball school and its two top football schools. Do you think there were A10 fans who questioned if Davidson would be able to compete at the A10 level? Of course there were. They had just lost their top two programs to the Big East.
And just like Davidson in the A10, MU has been very competitive.
And I'd be curious to know what fans of the other schools think. I got the impression some thought we were beneath them when the new members were announced.
I think it has been a good move for Mercer and the Conference. The SoCon needed a Georgia presence, and Mercer provides that. If you look at where the SoCon has moved over the last 15-20 years, adding Wofford, Elon, Samford, etc. Mercer clearly fits that mold and the trend. I think that move towards smaller private institutions was one of the issues App State and Georgia Southern had (though the SoCon was still predominately public institutions at the time).
Furman fans have had a bit of a transition. Unlike the other SoCon schools, we had great rivalries with App State and Georgia Southern in football. I am sad to see those games go, as I don't ever see the atmosphere of those contests being replicated.
As I said when they left though, the conference has stood for close to 100 years going through transition. Teams will step up to fill the void. FCS football is a much different environment than it was 15-20 years ago. There are far more teams, far more competition for recruits. I think Mercer has fit well into that changing environment.
Mercer brings a lot to the table that the SoCon was looking for. Good academics, financially self-sustaining, centrally located to the conference footprint, and a commitment to athletics. Glad to see them. Also gives me a way to watch Furman athletics without having to drive through daggum Atlanta. So, bonus for me.
Post by midganearstonewall on Sept 21, 2017 2:30:35 GMT -5
I'm a Monroe Countian, born and raised, now living about 15 miles from Lexington, Virginia. As you can imagine, VMI and Mercer being in the same conference makes me a happy camper. This area has enough scenery and history to make it maybe the best road trip in all the SOCON. I've lived here for three and a half years and have not come close to seeing all the sights nor hiking all the trails (and I hike a whole bunch). A suggestion: in the future, when you come up here for a game, leave a little early and get on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Ashville and go until you get to Beuna Vista, Virginia. Lexington is about 7 miles to the west on US 60.
Methodology change for 2019: The magazine took its "outcomes" measure and increased its weight from 30 to 35 percent of its formula. Part of that is graduation rates, and part of the formula credits colleges that "outperform" expected graduation rates based on their student demographics.
New this year in the outcomes section are two social mobility factors that together make up 5 percent of the total ranking. One looks at the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients, and the other compares Pell-recipient graduation rates to those of all students. Both of those figures are then adjusted for the share of all students who are Pell recipients. So if two colleges have the same Pell graduation rates, but one has a larger share of Pell recipients, the second college would earn more points in the formula. U.S. News counts the graduation rate formula as also indicating social mobility and so says that 13 percent of its formula is now based on social mobility.
The magazine killed one part of its methodology -- the acceptance rate -- that has long been seen as rewarding colleges for the number of applicants they reject. But this was worth only 1.25 percent of the formula. U.S. News reduced the weight on, but kept in, standardized test scores at 7.75 percent, down from 8.125 percent. This factor has long been criticized by those who have noted that students from wealthier families earn, on average, higher scores on the SAT and ACT than do those who aren't wealthy.
U.S. News also decreased modestly (from 22.5 to 20 percent) "expert opinion," which is based on surveys of college administrators and high school counselors -- and has long been derided for rewarding colleges for having good reputations over time, largely a result of prestige and history.
Some factors that favor wealthy colleges over others are unchanged: 20 percent of the formula is based on "faculty resources" and 10 percent on spending on students.
Frankly, I am surprised Mercer did not go up in the ranking based on the change in methodology. Mercer has done a good job of attracting highly qualified students form mid to lower socioeconomic populations. Can I assume that they are not graduating above the predicted graduation rate?