Date of Publication

Fall 12-7-2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Dr. Katharine Burakowski


This study was conducted to see what relationship exists between markers of athletic success of NCAA Division I FBS football teams and college applications. There have been multiple studies in the past that have proven this theory to be correct. However, the goal of this study was to understand if these same results can be seen with members outside of the power five conferences. Using systematic sampling, 31 members of the MWC, Conference-USA, MAC, Sun Belt, and AAC were chosen for this study. The data was collected over a 3-year period from 2012-2014 for all athletic success variables, which were then examined with total applications and the change in applications from year to year to see what relationships exists. The application variables were collected for the 2015 and 2016 academic year to create a two-year lag time.

The results of this study showed that, collectively, there are some athletic success variables that correlate with an increase in applications. However, alone, none of the variables showed a statistically significant relationship in the change in applications. Additionally, some of the results contradicted past findings. The study found that participants in this study are less likely to have successful upsets of superior opponents, do not as often play on big stages, play in important games, or attend post-season bowl games. This research had practical application because it is important for members of budgeting boards at institutions to understand how successful athletic programs may alter their bottom line. They can then use this information to allocate funding effectively.

Available for download on Sunday, December 06, 2020