As the 2007-08 college football season concluded earlier this week, heads now turn to the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl as college seniors prepare for the 2008 NFL Draft. A quick look over to the index of NFL rosters, there are a handful of teams in the NCAA who consistently recruit, develop and produce the type of athletes good enough to play in the league.
- The Elite Nine
The following are the elite nine (number of players in the league): Miami (50), Ohio State (48), Georgia (47), Florida State (44), Michigan (43), Tennessee (40), Notre Dame (39), Florida (38) and LSU (35).
- More than 20% of all NFL rosters
The Elite Nine football programs account for 20% of the entire NFL roster. In the Elite Nine, affiliation includes four SEC teams, two Big Ten, two ACC and one Independent.
- BCS Conference Supremacy
Taking a look and including every team from every BCS conference, the breakdown is predictably dominated by the SEC (313), followed by the Big Ten (280), ACC (281), Pacific Ten (220), Big 12 (208) and finally the Big East (107). The Big Ten was listed before the ACC because they have one fewer team in the conference and only one fewer player in the league. Advantage Big Ten.
- The Weakest Links
The weakest conferences are clearly the Big 12 and the Big East. Even with fewer conference teams than the Big 12, the Big Ten and Pacific Ten have a decided advantage in NFL players. As for the eight team Big East, they send less than three players to the league for every one that Notre Dame sends.
- Team & Conference Notes of Interest
Historic Big 12 superpowers Oklahoma and Nebraska both have fewer than 30 players in the NFL.The SEC’s big four (Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, LSU) have more players in the NFL (160) than the rest of the eight conference members combined (153).
The Big 10 and Pacific 10 are the only conferences with every member sending double digit products to the NFL.
Duke, Connecticut, South Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa State, Kentucky and Vanderbilt all have fewer than ten players each in the league.
- Completely Unacceptable
Navy has two players in the pros. Air Force has one. Army has zero. There is absolutely no excuse for the Irish to ever lose to Navy. Air Force and Army should remain off Notre Dame’s schedule…forever.
Note: To be clear, in no way am I trying to make or prove a point. The data contained within is for informative purposes only. Why did I pick 35 as the base number to be considered part of the elite? No particular reason other than it is a nice, round number and to help keep the number of teams in the elite below ten. And for full disclosure, there were five teams who barely missed the cut: Auburn (34), Texas (33), Southern Cal (31), Cal (30) and Penn State (30).
And finally, a piece of useless trivia encountered while conducting research. Brady Quinn is the only player in the NFL who shares the first letter of his last name with nobody.
Well that is the data and with very little opinion contributed. I encourage everybody to use the comments section so you can take the data and form your own opinions in a discussion with other fans.