It is the thing that every higher learning institution dreams of, especially in these troubled times: Getting recognition from a major publication’s annual survey.

No, not US News and World Report‘s Best Colleges ranking. Playboy‘s “Top 10 Party Schools.” (NSFW warning: That link goes to There won’t be actual nudity, but you may see Kim Kardashian kleavage.)

Coming out on top, albeit in a side-category, was Southern Methodist University, which apparently has the “Best Nightlife.” Or Dallas does. Says Playboy:

Tired of solo (sic) cups of warm beer? At SMU, Dallas is your never-ending house party. The number of bars within Dallas County: around 2,000, including Idle Rich Pub, the campus hot spot that best describes the student body.

The feature also quotes International Studies student Colton Moyer, class of 2014. “The bar scene at SMU definitely dominates,” he said. “Everyone is all about going to the bar and balling out.”

The survey was limited to “America’s top 100 colleges,” ranked “across 900 data points in three categories: sex, sports, and nightlife.”

“Throw them in a blender and, voila, you have a list of party schools that is 100-percent unassailable,” snarked Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer. “So when SMU comes in first in the magazine’s nightlife rankings … you can be sure it’s the gospel truth.”

(Props to Nicholson and the Observer for its tags: “Edumication News” and “Yet Another Meaningless List.”)

In the main poll, the University of Texas (at Austin, clearly) came in at number four, just low enough that there’s no blurb. That’s one step up from last year, but still a disappointment compared to 2010, when it was number one. Does the Board of Regents know about this?

Also in the main top ten was Texas Christian University at number nine, which begs the question, does the number nine party school go harder than the number one nightlife school? Since it’s TCU and SMU, the answer probably matters. Especially, since, as Nicholson noted, the Battle for the Iron Skillet is this Saturday.

Texas A&M was also in the Playboy mix, turning up as the number three school for “sporting life,” behind Ohio State and Michigan. Playboy actually left the city of Chicago a few months ago, but clearly it still has a Big 10 bias.

The other sub-category, as you might expect, is “sex life.” No Texas school was on that list. That obviously calls into question the highly scientific survey College Magazine released in February, which put UT-Austin at the top of its “10 Most ‘DTF’ Campuses” (if you don’t watch Jersey Shore, you probably don’t need or want to know what that acronym stands for).