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Tuesday Sips, featuring smart people, Mississippi State losing like us, and fans?

Northwestern football still has some real real smart football players, Mississippi State lost a lot of games, Northwestern's attendance is up, and, hey, we also have some good football players!


We got some Tuesday stuff, so read it, you snivelling punks:

book learnin: It's finals week - have fun, Northwestern students, ahahahahahahaahHAHAHAHAHAA /naps - so let's take a moment to look at how smart them there football players are: Northwestern topped the Academic BCS, which is apparently a thing that exists.

Normally, I hate talking about smart athletes, because I really just care about winning the games and I get that Northwestern's athletes are smart when they showed up to discussion sections and asked meaningful questions while I braced hangovers and pretended not to check my iPhone under the table, but this stands out for a few reasons. First off, it's only a ranking of teams that finished in the final BCS standings. Yeah, that's right, we were the No. 20 team in the country at the end of the regular season, so it's not like this is one of those participation medals for the team that came last but had kids who could read. Secondly, unlike most academic rankings for football teams, this one by the New America Foundation is actually taking a conscious look at how teams fulfill their promise of providing talented athletes educations: they compare the team's graduation rate to the all-school rate, the graduation rate of black athletes to all-black male school rates, and so forth, and determine which teams are standing by their students. So, for example, Notre Dame, which won't shut the hell up about how important academics are to their football players, is No. 7. NIU, on the other hand, is No. 2, despite only graduating 63 percent of their players, since as a university they only graduate 51 percent of their students - meaning the team is outperforming the student body.No. 1 is Northwestern.

So, yeah, I hate talking about smart athletes, but let's take a moment here to give el aplauso to Northwestern's football team. They won nine games and counting this year and they're not just graduating at a higher rate than most football players, they're graduating at a higher rate than most students, and doing so at an elite-ass university. That's something to be proud of. Let's also take a moment to give some aplauso to Florida State, for managing to score -5 in the Academic BCS standings, nearly 25 points worse than 24th ranked Louisville and 145 worse than Northwestern. I don't know what those numbers mean, but I guess they're getting some major demerits for not having produced any Rhodes Scholars since Myron Rolle.

We're not so different, you and I: EDSBS took a moment to honor Jack Cristil on his birthday yesterday. Cristil was Mississippi State's announcer for nearly 60 years, watching a whopping 359 losses. I guess I didn't realize how historically bad the Bulldogs were at football, but they kinda were: they're only about 100 losses behind NU in the now-held-by-Indiana most losses battle.

briiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick squaaaaaaaaaaaaad: Let's take a look at some teams: ESPN's all-conference team had Brian Mulroe, Venric Mark, and Jeff Budzien - eat it, Mike Meyer of Iowa! - well deserved on all fronts. ESPN's all-conference freshman team had Dan Vitale, Dean Lowry, and Nick VanHoose - same deservedness level there. Venric Mark didn't make the AP All-American team because they considered Jordan Lynch an all-purpose player, which, just, what, I mean he plays quarterback.

What are these... fans?: College football attendance was down this year. Northwestern attendance was up, seven percent. Perhaps some of that is because NEBRASKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, but I mean, other schools did that in the past, too. The uptick continues, y'all.

Basketball is my :(orite sport: I really liked this piece Inside NU did about Northwestern's year thus far after the Butler game. I don't agree with all their conclusions - we'll get to that later! - but it's worth a read.