Daily Blog • March 8, 2014

Today continues my series taking a look at which conference is the toughest. Last week, 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 on top of each category with 4 AP Final Top 10 teams and 7 teams overall in the Top 25. The Pac-12 only had 1 team ranked in the AP Top 10 but did set a Pac-12 conference record with 6 teams finishing in the AP Top 25.

# of Teams in the Final AP Top 10/25

Conference Top 10 Top 25
SEC 4 7
PAC 12 1 6
ACC 2 3
BIG 10 1 3
BIG 12 1 3
CUSA 0 0
MAC 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.  Today, I projected the total number of players for each conference that will get drafted this upcoming May. Naturally these numbers can change a great deal but last year I had great success projecting the draft and I do think it’s a good starting point.

Projected Number of 2014 Draft Picks
For Each Conference

Conference Proj #
SEC 60
PAC 12 42
ACC 38
BIG 10 27
BIG 12 22

Naturally I think the SEC will easily lead the way. Right now I am projecting 60 players to be drafted. The gap, however, isn’t as big as last year when the combo of LSU, Alabama, Florida and Georgia had more players drafted than any other conference.

Keep in mind these numbers are in constant flux and also the total number here only equals 238 as I expect 17 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 May 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.