USC powers to top

Just like on many Saturdays over the past several years, Southern California blew away the competition.

It dominated.

No one was even close.

In the annual collegiate competition to determine who has the best football players, also known as the NFL draft, USC stole the show with 10 players taken, including four in the first round and three in the second. Virginia Tech came in a distant second with eight players taken. How did your team fare? The easy thing to do would be just to add up the number of players you had drafted and compare it to every other school. There were 11 schools with five or more players drafted and you ought to be able to get a pretty good top-10 list from there.

However, you have to give each draft choice a value based on the round in which it was drafted to get a more realistic picture of who actually had the best draft class. Because having a player drafted in the first round is more valuable than having a player drafted in the seventh round, I have given each round a relative value. A first-rounder gets a value of seven points, a second-rounder six, all the way down to a seventh-rounder, which gets a value of one. I call these power points. I also add one power point if a quarterback is drafted because I consider having a talented veteran at this position to be valuable to a college football team. When they are added together, it should give us a better picture of which team had the best draft class based on the quality of those players drafted.

Let's take a look at the top 10 teams in college football based on the NFL draft:

TOP 10 TEAMS IN THE NFL DRAFT

TEAM

AP RANK

RECORD

PLAYERS DRAFTED

POWER POINTS

1. USC

3

11-2

10

54

2. Va. Tech

9

11-3

8

34

3. LSU

1

12-2

7

29

4. Michigan

18

9-4

6

27

T-5. Cal

UR

7-6

6

23

T-5. Texas

T-10

10-3

5

23

T-7. Arkansas

UR

8-5

6

22

T-7. Auburn

15

9-4

5

22

T-9. Louisville

UR

6-6

5

19

T-9. Notre Dame

UR

3-9

4

19

FINAL 2007 AP TOP 10

TEAM

AP RANK

RECORD

PLAYERS DRAFTED

POWER POINTS

1. LSU

1

12-2

7

29

2. Georgia

2

11-2

4

7

3. USC

3

11-2

10

54

4. Missouri

4

12-2

2

8

5. Ohio State

5

11-2

3

9

6. W. Virginia

6

11-2

3

10

7. Kansas

7

12-1

4

17

8. Oklahoma

8

11-3

4

18

9. Va. Tech

9

11-3

8

34

10. Boston Coll.

10

11-3

3

17

• Southern California is rated 20 power points higher than any other college team in the entire draft. When you consider that five points is the most that separates every other team in the top 10, it gives you an idea of just how much better USC did than everybody else. Not to bring up a sore subject, but it makes you wonder even more how the Trojans could lose to Stanford, which did not have a single player selected.

• The top three teams in the NFL draft – USC, Virginia Tech and LSU – all had great seasons and ended up in the 2007 AP Top 10. However, California, Arkansas, Louisville and Notre Dame were not even ranked at the end of last season.

• The biggest surprise in the top 10 had to be Notre Dame, which had the ninth-best day in the NFL draft yet finished the season with a 3-9 record.

Georgia had only seven power points in the draft but ended the season ranked No. 2. They had four players selected in the draft, but not one was taken in the first four rounds.

• The most glaring statistic from these two lists is that having a top-10 finish in the NFL draft does not guarantee that you will have a top-10 season, and having a top-10 season will not guarantee that you will have a top-10 day in the draft.

Other tidbits from the NFL draft …

• As strong as the SEC is, Alabama, Mississippi, and Mississippi State did not have a single player taken in the draft. And Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks had only one player selected in the seventh round.

• Of the 31 players selected in the first round, only 15 were four- or five-star recruits out of high school. So if you are one of those fans that does not get excited if a recruit is only a three-star or less, consider that more than 50 percent of the first-round draft picks fall into this category.

• Six players taken in the first round did not come from BCS schools, and two of those were from what we used to call Division I-AA.

San Diego State had four players drafted and Division I-AA Appalachian State had three, whereas Missouri, Clemson and Penn State had only two players each.

• As far as which conference had the best day in the draft, it was one of the closest races that we have had in years. The SEC, ACC and the Pac-10 tied for the No. 1 spot with 34 players drafted each (Big 12 – 29, Big Ten – 28, Big East – 19). However, when these numbers are prorated to account for the number of teams in the conference, the Pac-10 is the winner.

• Therefore, contrary to the commonly held belief that the SEC is the most talented conference, if the NFL draft is the best true indicator of talent, the Pac-10 was the most talented conference last season.