Does well due to its placement years
It's an okay, middle of the road, respectable, if slightly dull university with an enduring reputation for sports studies.
It's a great uni, which is exceptionally strong when it comes to anything to do with sport, and is also world renowned for engineering.
It does have other strengths (business as someone mentioned), but people get so caught up in the sports stuff that they seem to overlook them.
It isn't as strong across the board as unis like Oxbridge, Durham etc, but what it is good at, it is excellent at.
As a place though, it's a bit rough and the nightlife isn't great (though the SU is very good).
Loughborough is a mixed bag a lot of their degrees aren't spectacular, but they are very good at engineering and sports. Loughborough has been consistently good at taking average students with middling A-Level grades and turning them into good engineers