Are you ready for some football? USC is playing Notre Dame today, a
bitter rivalry with Trojans and leprechauns facing off. It's homecoming
weekend at Penn State where the forecast is 30 degrees and snowing,
but I promise you the Nittany Lion fans will be out there in full force, as will their legendary coach, 83 year-old Joe "JoePa" Paterno. And the Red River Rivalry taking place between Oklahoma and Texas today has always among most bitter rivalries in college football.
Whether or not you're a sports fan, you can't argue with its rich history of college football, or with the energy and camaraderie
it generates for students. Rain or shine, those students are out there
every Saturday decked out in their school colors, singing the fight
songs, and of course, hurling traditional insults at the other team ("We
don't give a damn for the whoooole state of Michigan, whoooole state of Michigan….we're from O-hi-oooo!").
students can tell you where their team is on the controversial college
football rankings, but most don't know or care if their school is
ranked on the arguably more controversial US News college rankings.
They're enjoying their college experience too much to be concerned with
an arbitrary ranking of their school's quality. And those students who get the same enjoyment
playing in the marching band on the field, or doing physics research
with a professor, or being an RA in the dorms, or playing intramural
basketball with their new friends would all likely tell you that their
college's ranking (or lack thereof) isn't influencing their college
experience at all.
Colleges can be evaluated, but they can't
be measured. There are no win-loss records to compare for college
quality. So don't rely on an arbitrary ranking to pick your school.
It's easier to decide for yourself what you want from your college
experience and to seek out those schools that meet or exceed your rankings.