Friday, November 9, 2012

0 What conference produced the top NFL talent right now?

By Kenny Howell

There has been a debate over the past few years between conferences like the SEC and Big 12, on which conference is better. Why this is a debate, I don't know, because it is obviously the SEC, but it continues. I lived in Big 12 country for a few years, and I used to hear all the time that the SEC offenses were so terrible, that is why their defenses looked so good. I always countered with the Big 12 defenses were so terrible, that is why their offenses were good. Add to that the Big 12 has never beaten the SEC in a National Championship game, and the SEC has dominated the Cotton Bowl the last few years with the third place team in the SEC usually playing the second place team in the Big 12. But those are just facts, that's not enough.

So I decided to take a look at the leaders in statistical categories in the NFL right now, and see which conference has the most in the top 20 of QB rating, rushing yards per game, receiving yards per game, sacks, tackles and interceptions. Now, I know there is a lot more variables to this discussion, just thought I would throw the info out there, and the 10 people that read this can discuss it further.

On the offensive side, the SEC has the most players in the top 20 in those three categories. But that can't be, their offenses are terrible. But they have the most quarterbacks (4) and wide receivers (5), and are tied for second in running backs (2). Second is, somehow, the ACC, who has nine total, three in each category. After that comes the Big 12 with eight total. Only two quarterbacks, and three RBs and WRs. Pac-12 has seven total, Big 10 has four and Big East has three.

On the defensive side, guess what, the SEC has the most in the top 20 of sacks, tackles and interceptions. And it's by a long shot. The SEC has 15 guys, and lead sacks and interceptions. The Big 10 was the next closest with 10. The Big 12 only had four. Not surprising on the SEC being so high on sacks since their reputation is big, fast guys on the line. They have six guys in the top 20 in sacks, the closest to that being the Big East and Big 12, tied with three. For tacklers, the Big 10, known for having good linebackers, leads with six. The SEC and the ACC had three. The Big 12 and Pac 12 have one apiece. In interceptions, the SEC has six, Pac-12 had four, and the ACC and Big 10 have two apiece. The Big 12 has zero.

So, I don't think this is the end all and be all argument or anything, but I think it definitely shows the SEC has put a large amount of talent in the NFL on both sides of the ball. On the flip side, the Big 12 is almost non-existent on the defensive side, but fairly decent on the offensive side. So, I guess, when I boil down my argument, and really look at the finer points, what I am saying is SEC, SEC, SEC.  

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