Comparing Conferences by Draft Picks

Since it was brought up in the comments of my last post, I decided to compare leagues based on NFL draft picks.  Data was available on for the years 2008-2010 and not earlier, or I would have gone back a couple more years.  I also subtracted a team from the top of each league (with the exception of the Big East)  to compare leagues a bit more fairly (for example, USC had 28 picks over that span.  Ohio State and Texas combined for 29.).  Here's the data:



I arbitrarily moved one team out of each league from the top.  Oklahoma might have had more picks than Texas, I really don't know.  I just subracted the picks of one team that was bound to be close to the top of the league in picks.

Every BCS league is within .91 draft picks per team of every other during that span.  That's right, less than one draft pick per team.  On teams with 85 scholarship players. I'm sorry if this bursts any "OMG the [Midwest / South / East Coast / West Coast / Plains / Southwest / Alaska / The Moon] has the best talent EVAR" bubbles out there, but it's true. That being said, I'm about to read way too much into these numbers.


  • Yup, the SEC is that good at producing NFL draft picks.  The 2010 numbers were insane (4.08 picks per team) and greatly skewed all of the others (between the '08 and '09 drafts, the SEC averaged 2.96 picks per team), but the numbers still are what they are.
  • The Pac-10 minus USC, ACC minus Va Tech, SEC minus LSU, and Big Ten minus Ohio State all average more picks than the Big 12 with Texas. Texas, leave your garbage league for the Big Ten, which is obviously a better fit both academically, athletically, and fiscally.
  • In spite of the fact that the ACC is a league that has produced only 3 BCS participants in the past three years (2 of them being Va Tech) and one winner (Va Tech over Cinci, 2009 Orange Bowl), NFL scouts like the ACC just fine.  The ACC minus Va Tech ranks 2nd in draft picks when the top team is removed.
  • In the 2009 draft, the Big East averaged 3.38 picks per team, higher than any league averaged over the 3 year span (as a whole), yet over the 3 year span, the Big East finished 5th, with 2.67 picks per team.  That's the danger of reading too much into any one year.  SEC, I'm looking at you and your fancy 2010 draft class.
  • Tales of the Big Ten's demise, lack of speed, lack of pro talent, and how high academic standards are killing the league have been greatly exaggerated.
  • Texas, are you tired of keeping the Big 12 respectable?  With you, the B12 finishes dead last amongst BCS leagues at producing draft picks.  Without you, it's almost sad.  Just think, Texas, the Big Ten is better without Ohio State than the Big 12 is with you. Leave your garbage league and join the Big Ten.

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