The Rankest Rankings
The big news today is that the annual U.S. News & World Report (or something like that) just released its list of the top colleges. Nobody reads this except everybody who reads this. Our computer has not worked for the last year, so we can only pick up snatches of the report. But we can say, based on past experience, that these ratings are stupid and meaningless. We can only guess the usual suspects are up there. They don’t change much from year to year, and when they do it is usually because the football team had a good year, or the basketball team made the Final Four.
However, just for the record, the papers have scooped us, reporting that the University of Miami has gone ahead of The University of Florida as the best school in the state. Both are rated in the top 1,000 schools. This is no great surprise. Growing up in the North, we thought Kutztown University was far superior to both of these Florida schools, which had reputations for offering courses in esoteric disciplines such as basket weaving and floral arrangements. The good news is that no athletes from either school have been indicted today –– but the day if only half over.
On the other hand, some say there are four great schools in the south. Tulane, Vanderbilt, Duke and, alas, Miami. Miami makes it because of its famous logo, the “U” on its football helmets. Lore has it that Howard Schnellenberger himself came up with that idea. Now, back to business, here are the unofficial Gold Coast ratings of the best schools. We only listed 10, so don’t be offended if your alma mater is ignored. It would surely be in the top thousand.
- London School of Economics. Purists might say this does not count because it is not a U.S. school. But JFK went there, and besides, we are talking about London, Ky. This school is located off I-75, or maybe I-65, but it’s up there in the hills, located in a small cave. It has only three students, but they are doing wall carvings, which when discovered 10,000 years from now, will explain how Howard Schnellenberger got the idea for the “U” on the Miami helmets.
- La Salle University. My late uncle, Brother Francis McCormick, F.S.C., used to say “somebody has to educate the sons of the truck drivers.” I am one of them. In retirement, after a career in insurance, my dad drove a flower truck during the holidays. I will put the sons of the truck drivers in there with Harvard any day.
- Harvard. It is only on this list because my nephew, Mike McCormick, was the winning pitcher for Columbia (c. 1985) against Harvard.
- Columbia. See number 3. It jumped four places on the list because of little Mike’s great day, and also because my brother (big Mike) taught there for 40 years.
- Notre Dame. The golden dome makes this list because my old school and Notre Dame are quite close. La Salle means Notre Dame in French. Also there are 10,000 advertisers in this magazine who are Fighting Irish.
- Nova Southeastern. Now known as NSU, it makes the list because half the litigators in town went to law school there. We don't need legal trouble. Also, they buy ads.
- Florida Atlantic. No ads lately, but as long as Howard runs the football program, it demands respect.
- Villanova. This is only listed because U.S. News usually ranks the Wildcats as a top "regional" university. This is B.S. Villanova is a national school, loaded with kids from Florida, and instead of No. 1 regionally, it would be in the top 1,000 if competing with the Ivies and ND. It cannot be a very good school. Two of my brothers got in there.
- Northwood University. Rollie Massimino, famous for coaching at the great Villanova University, and winning the NCAA Tournament, is now at the helm of a good little college program in West Palm Beach.
- University of Florida. We had to do this or the managing editor and half our Gator infested company would resign. Or kill the whole freaking blog. Don’t know which is better.