Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Duke Football Team Must Win National Title


The title of this article is absurd, right? Let's say that Duke University (or Vanderbilt or whoever), which in athletics is known more for basketball than for football, hired a new football coach. Even if the school hired one of the greatest football coaches, who I'm sure would be someone with experience instead of an inexperienced one as would be the case if this was a prominent education position, it would be unreasonable to expect that coach to take his team to the national championship and win the first year.

This would be a more reasonable progression of success: 
  1. Focus on having a winning season.
  2. Focus on being at the top of the division within the conference.
  3. Win the conference championship.
  4. Compete well and occasionally win a BCS Bowl Game.
  5. Compete for the national title. 
If Duke merely has a winning football season, that would be a monumental accomplishment unto itself. Why is this progression reasonable, but expecting one group who currently passes the state exam at a rate of 38% to rise to 68% while expecting another group who currently passes at 60% to rise to 85% is lowering expectations? In both instances, students are making gains, and as the first group reaches its goal, the passing goal will rise with it. 

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