When the Florida State Seminoles defeated the Auburn Tigers in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 6 the general order of conference dominance in college football was disturbed.
Prior to Florida State’s come-from-behind win, the Southeastern Conference had won seven BCS titles in a row and nine of the 15 played from the inception of the BCS in 1998 through the 2012 title game. After the 2013 game, Florida State now had its second BCS title, the Atlantic Coast Conference also had its second BCS title and the SEC no longer had the strong bragging rights it had while it was winning BCS title after title after title, and so on.
Now it’s time to see if the SEC’s string of winning the NFL draft is in jeopardy too.
The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is slated for Thursday, May 8. Just like BCS title games, the SEC has dominated every conference in the country by putting more players in the NFL through the draft, year after year after year, and so on.
From the 2007 NFL draft moving forward, the SEC has had more players drafted and won each year by putting the most in the NFL on a year-by-year basis.
- 2007 draft: No. 1 SEC (41), No. 2 ACC (31)
- 2008 draft: No. 1 SEC (35), No. 2 ACC (34)
- 2009 draft: No. 1 SEC (37), No. 2 ACC (33)
- 2010 draft: No. 1 SEC (49), No. 2 Big Ten (34)
- 2011 draft: No. 1 SEC (38), No. 2 ACC (35)
- 2012 draft: No. 1 SEC (42), No. 2 Big Ten (37)
- 2013 draft: No. 1 SEC (63), No. 2 ACC (31)
The ACC has been close a few times (2008, 2009 and 2011 come to mind) but last year the SEC exploded with 63 players drafted. When you consider that there were 254 players in the 2013 draft, 24.8 percent came from the SEC. One quarter of the talent that entered the NFL in 2013 came from the SEC.
As mentioned, the SEC has been dominant at placing players in the NFL through the draft, but almost 25 percent in a given year is downright stout.
Was 2013 just an anomaly? With Florida State’s 2013 BCS title, is the ACC—a conference that has been nipping on the heels of the SEC for some time—ready to supplant the SEC in football talent headed to the NFL?
No one is going to know the answer until the final pick in this year’s draft on Saturday, May 10. My guess is no, the SEC will still reign supreme.
Check back every day from now through May 8 for an NFL draft nugget that pertains to college football in the South. Tomorrow Jonathan Biles will take a look at Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s track record at putting players into the NFL.