Military Bowl opponents UCF and Duke both excel in the classroom, making the game one of the best in the nation as rated by the teams’ academic performances.

UCF earned an Academic Progress Rate of 984, just one point behind Duke’s 985. The combined total ranks tied for fourth for any set of opponents in the 42 bowl games, according to a report released today by UCF’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES).

Implemented in 2003 by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, APR is calculated based on the retention and academic standing of scholarship-sponsored college-athletes.

UCF is the top bowl-bound football team in the state for academic success, with an APR leading both the University of Florida and Florida State University.

UCF has the second-best APR of the seven American Athletic Conference teams playing in a bowl game this year, trailing only the University of Cincinnati. UCF’s APR would rank first among the eight Big 12 institutions competing in bowl games.

Of all the 82 bowl-bound teams, UCF ranks No. 16 — tied with Notre Dame, South Carolina and Pittsburgh — for overall APR.

UCF and Duke’s combined APR of 1,969 is tied with Baylor and Air Force’s combined APR in the Armed Forces Bowl. The top three bowl games for the teams’ combined APRs are the Fenway Bowl (Cincinnati-Louisville), Sugar Bowl (Alabama-Kansas State) and Gasparilla Bowl (Wake Forest-Missouri).

UCF and Duke will kick off at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium on the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. This will be the Knights’ seventh consecutive season playing in a bowl game. Information about tickets can be found on UCF Athletics’ Military Bowl frequently asked questions page.

The UCF-based Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport examines gender and race in amateur, collegiate and professional sports and the media, as well as critical issues and hiring practices within the field and academic success for college athletes. The institute is based in UCF’s College of Business and is part of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program.