Michigan and Virginia Tech fans have headed south to warmer climates to watch their favorites face off in New Orleans. As an Ohio State alum, I’m rooting for any team that plays M*ch*g*n – even if the odds are in the Wolverines favor.
1st Quarter: Football Operating Budget
Both Michigan and Virginia Tech post surpluses in their football operating budgets (albeit Michigan’s excess revenue is triple that of Virginia Tech’s). Both also reinvest their money into other sports that are not self-sustaining. However, Michigan donates about $2 million per year toward the university’s general scholarship fund for need-based financial aid, according to a university spokesman. So while the Hokies kick an easy field goal, the team Up North responds with a touchdown.
Michigan 7 – Virginia Tech 3
2nd Quarter: Percent Change in Tuition
As we’ve mentioned in the previous bowls, the average tuition increase for public, four-year universities from is 7.9 percent; the current rate of inflation is 3.4 percent. Michigan will become the first team to run it down the field for a touchdown in this College Cost BCS series, as university officials there only increased tuition 1.5 percent. That’s not only the lowest increase of any university in the series thus far, it’s also done amid one of the worst state financial situations: The five-year change in educational appropriations per full-time enrolled student dropped 19.3 percent, the most reduction of any state in this BCS series. To gloat, the Wolverines push for a 2-point conversion – and it’s in! Virginia Tech’s answer is shameful: their 52-yard field goal attempt will float a little to the right, as their tuition soared 9.9 percent in one year.
Michigan 16 – Virginia Tech 3
3rd Quarter: Net Price
We’re back after the half, and the Buckeye in me is still holding out hope for those Hokies to show up. Remember, average net price for public, four-year institutions is $9,810. Michigan Quarterback Denard Robinson loses his fire and doesn’t connect with receivers on any big plays; he doesn’t even run with it much himself with an average net price of $14,355. Virginia Tech fumbles all over the place with a net price of $15,937. Where were the coaches during the half-time pep talk?
Michigan 16 – Virginia Tech 3
4th Quarter: Debt-to-Credential Ratio
Virginia Tech fans have become mum at the Louisiana Superdome, as both teams go head-to-head over their institutions’ debt-to-credential ratio, or the average amount of debt a graduate leaves with. The Hokies make their first solid drive of the game, but Quarterback Logan Thomas throws an interception at his 12-yard line. The Wolverines take it back for a touchdown, celebrating their debt-to-credential ratio of $13,349, just $1,500 less than Virginia Tech’s $15,026.
Even this die-hard Buckeye has to give credit to the University of Michigan. Officials have kept tuition increases manageable for students, and athletics officials dedicate some of their surpluses to need-based financial aid – both rarities in our BCS series. Perhaps the Hokies should review some of the footage when they get back to Blacksburg.
Final score: Michigan 23 – Virginia Tech 3
For complete details on the methodology, see our introductory post here. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Orange Bowl, as well as the BCS Championship on Monday. In the meantime, check out Rachel Fishman’s play-by-play of the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl yesterday.