Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Meteorological Realignment

I didn't base my choice of colleges solely on the strength of football program and I don't think many of us ever based our college choice on how successful their football program was. My four years of college featured a program that didn't make a bowl game, won five Big 10 games, and could barely half fill its stadium. Well, some things haven't changed (my school is barely a .500 team this year and has won two Big 10 games) while much of the college sports landscape has changed, perhaps rather dramatically and not for the better.  Such rants are for another time and place.

One thing I thought would be intriguing is to list which conferences have schools in meteorology and how "stacked" those conferences are in meteorology programs.  The Big 10, which has 14 members with the newest additions of Rutgers and Maryland, now has ten schools that have degrees in meteorology and/or atmospheric sciences -- Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.  Of the FBS schools, the Big 10 leads by a mile over the other conferences in terms of meteorology and atmospheric science schools in its ranks.  The PAC-12 has six schools and the Mountain West will have seven schools next year with meteorology programs.

51 of the FBS' 124 schools offer meteorology or atmospheric science degrees -- with the Big 10 taking nearly a fifth of the numbers.  Each of the "BCS" major conferences (ACC, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC, Big 10), save for the Big East, has at least four schools with a program.   With the realignment scheduled to take place, the Big East's roster of meteorology schools will dwindle from three to two -- Connecticut and Louisville.

Of course, with the ACC losing Maryland...it's possible the Big East gets poached again (Connecticut is often rumored to move to the ACC), leaving the Big East with just one meteorology school.

Editor's Note -- Data for this list is provided from the National Weather Association.