U.S. News 'Best College' rankings spotlight academic strength of ACC

ACC leads all FBS conferences; Clemson ranked 25th among public institutions, 68th overall

Clemson fans walk by Tillman Hall on the Clemson campus.

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson fans walk by Tillman Hall on the Clemson campus.

GREENSBORO, N.C. - The member institutions of the Atlantic Coast Conference again lead the way among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences in the latest “Best Colleges” rankings released by US News & World Report. ACC member institutions combine for an average rank of 50, marking the sixth straight year that the ACC has led all FBS conferences.

“The Atlantic Coast Conference is proud to have a collection of schools that are highly regarded as leaders in academic excellence,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The rankings showcase the long-standing commitment and dedicated leadership of our member institutions.”

The ACC is the only FBS conference to place seven member institutions among the top 44; the next highest conference placed four. The ACC is also the only FBS conference with over half of its members in the top 50 and is one of only two conferences with all its members in the top 106.

Duke boasts the league’s highest ranking at 8th and is joined in the Top 30 by Virginia (24), Wake Forest (27) and North Carolina (30). Also in the Top 50 are Boston College (31), Georgia Tech (36) and Miami (44). Beyond the top 50 is Maryland (58), followed by Clemson (68), Virginia Tech (72), Florida State (97) and NC State (106).

Future member institution Notre Dame is ranked 17th, while Pittsburgh and Syracuse both placed 58. Including these three schools, the ACC has 11 schools among the Top 58. The next highest FBS conference has six.

Clemson was among four ACC schools that made U.S. News and World Report's list of the nation's top 25 public institutions. Virginia was ranked third behind California-Berkeley and UCLA; UNC-Chapel Hill was ranked fifth, the University of Maryland 19th, and Clemson 25th.

Criteria for U.S. News and World Report's rankings include the scope and depth of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as an emphasis on 'groundbreaking' research in a variety of fields.

Harvard topped the overall 'national university' U.S. News rankings, and was followed by Princeton, Yale, University of Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, M.I.T. and Duke.


· The ACC has led FBS conferences in best average rank the last six years.

· Including future member institutions Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the ACC has 12 schools among the Top 68.

· The ACC is one of only two BCS Conferences to have all schools ranked in the Top 106.

· The ACC is the only conference to have every school ranked in the Top 120 and have at least one school in the Top 10 every year since 2006.

· The ACC has had every school rank in the Top 112 every year since 2006.

· The ACC has had a school finish in the Top 10 every year since 2006 (one of only two FBS conferences that can make that claim).

· In the 2013 rankings, the ACC is the only conference with over half of its member institutions in the Top 50.

· The ACC placed seven schools in the Top 44, three more than any other FBS conference.

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