I know the percent acceptance stat is a big deal but it’s sort of like looking at RBIs or OBP when WOR is a better stat. Many very smart high schoolers who apply to very selective schools never even start a USNA application because:
- bias against military
- not athletic
- didn’t consider it soon enough
- don’t want the service obligation
- know they are probably medically DQ
- have zero exposure to military (and Navy in particular)
- scared off by the reputation that it’s too constraining, demanding etc.
- already planning to go to another college (legacy etc)
- too selective -why try?
- got a girlfriend/boyfriend who doesn’t want them to go
- watched the movie Annapolis and they don’t box
Point being, SA applicants self-select before starting an application. In some ways, it’s amazing that 12,000-16,000 applications are even opened. Those that start it need resources (like this forum) to push forward but for many (maybe the majority), the application process appears very daunting. And then there’s the MOC nomination process.
"But he gets on base." Name that movie!
I like your argument re: RBI/OBP vs. WAR. I'd argue that OPS+ could also be used. While WAR is a holistic metric, OPS+ accounts for park the player plays in. In unadjusted OPS, the power hitter playing at Coors Field will most likely have a better OPS than a similar hitter playing at Dodger Stadium. Coors is a hitter's paradise and Dodger Stadium is usually pretty pitcher-friendly. OPS+ invalidates that. SAs, the Ivies, and competitive public and private schools all look slightly different. SAs have the military attached to it, the Ivies have legacies, etc. OPS+ in theory could account for those differences.
But I will readily concede that there is no one accepted way to judge competitiveness. In baseball, it's all runs, wins, and championships. College success might be getting a dream job (this college has a very competitive accounting program), getting the highest paid job (that college has the highest average starting salary after graduation), going back to school to change careers, etc.
For the non-baseball fans:
RBI=Run(s) Batted In (How many people cross home plate off something you did as a hitter)
OBP= On Base Percentage (Ratio between amount of times on base compared to number of at bats)
WAR= Wins Above Replacement (A theoretical calculation of how many additional wins your team gets compared to if they put a replacement player in your position.)
OPS= On-base plus slugging (A metric that totalizes offensive production for a hitter)
Slugging= Average amount of bases per at bat (If you have a 2.000 slugging percentage, you average a double per at bat)
OPS+=OPS that takes into account the park a player plays at. (Some parks are easier than others)
Coors Field= Colorado Rockies' stadium. (Usually the best hitters park since the altitude results in less friction as the ball moves thru the air and that means more home runs)
Dodger Stadium= LA Dodger's stadium (Known as a pitcher's park since it is more difficult to hit home runs there compared to other parks)