Daily Blog •February 12, 2013

Today continues my series taking a look at which conference is the toughest. Over the weekend I gave you a couple of components that go into my toughest conference rankings including power ratings and also bowl records that emphasize bowl wins over ranked teams. You can read more about those here. Yesterday, I then gave you the overall non-conference records for each conference, their record vs BCS conferences and also their overall record when you take out the conference’s wins vs FCS schools but naturally include the losses since they should be considered “poor losses.” You can read more about those here.

Today’s blog gives you yet another look at my ranking of the toughest conferences by analyzing how many teams they had finishing in the final AP Top 10 and Top 25 poll this past year as well as a sneak peek at how many players from each conference that we will see get drafted in the draft coming up a couple months from now.

First, below is the number of teams each conference had in the final AP Top 10 and then the AP Top 25. Naturally the SEC came out easily on top of each category with a record 5 AP Final Top 10 teams and 7 teams overall in the Top 25. The Pac-12 thanks to strong finishes by Stanford and Oregon placed two teams in the Top 10 but only Oregon St could make the Top 25 from the rest of the conference. The Big 10 had the second most number of Top 25 teams with 4 while the Big 12 was shut out of the Top 10. The biggest surprise was probably the WAC finishing with two AP Top 25 teams in its final season.

# of Teams in the Final AP Top 10/25

Conf Top 10 Top 25
SEC 5 7
PAC 12 2 3
BIG 10 1 4
ACC 1 2
BIG 12 0 3
WAC 0 2
MAC 0 1
CUSA 0 0

Another component in my toughest conference rankings is the number of draft picks they send to the NFL. Naturally the stronger BCS conferences get more players drafted each year but I do think it is a good tool to use when you are distinguishing between two conferences that are really close when it comes to non-conference and bowl records.

Naturally the more players drafted equals the better overall talent in the conference and that sometimes equals a better quality of play.  For example, the ACC, which routinely performs below average in bowl games, usually has more players drafted than many conferences and gets a boost there. Today, I projected the total number of players for each conference that will get drafted this upcoming April. Naturally these numbers can change a great deal with the combine coming up but I do think it’s a good starting point.

Projected Number of 2013 Draft Picks
for Each Conference

Conference # of Players
SEC 70
ACC 33
PAC 12 29
BIG 10 27
BIG 12 20

After going thru my NFL Draft Preview,  I think the SEC could be in for a banner draft coming up. Right now I am projecting 70 players to be drafted and it should come as no shock since 32 players from SEC schools announced their early entries this past January and you also have to factor in Texas A&M/Missouri now being part of the conference and that should add 5-6 more players to their total most seasons. 

Keep in mind these numbers are in constant flux and also the total number here only equals 234 as I expect 22 players from the lower divisions to get drafted just like in most seasons.

Tomorrow I will release my final toughest conference rankings with the draft being the deciding factor come April as many of the conferences are only a few points apart at this point. If you have any feedback, questions or concerns to my toughest conference rankings make sure you hit me up on facebook or twitter.