In fairness to the Big 10

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The Big 10 takes a lot of body punches, sometimes very unfairly and a little below the belt, from critics who love to point out how the conference's football teams have been dominated by the SEC, Big 12, ACC and Pac-10.

And subpar recruiting year such as this will only rev up their engines. Imagine, on signing day, the Big 10 won't land a single player who ranks among the top 25 in the nation. That is embarrassing.

But let's be fair. The Big 10 doesn't play on the same level as the other conferences. They have different rules. And, with the exceptions of Vanderbilt, Duke and Stanford, they have different academic standards, too.

On signing day, for example, notice how many schools in the other conferences "oversign" recruits. The NCAA limit is 25 per year. But some schools sign 30 to 40, select the ones they feel might make instant impacts, then set the others up at junior colleges or prep schools and monitor their development.

The Big 10 has a rule prohibiting oversigning. The SEC is the biggest offender. This year, North Carolina has 29, South Carolina 26. Look for the lists of several schools to be extended on signing day.

While other conferences tend to run players out of their programs in order to maintain the NCAA's four-year limit of 85 scholarships, the Big 10 keeps more players and has fewer transfers. In addition, note how many players (like Morgan Park's Craig Drummond) end up in the SEC or elsewhere because they couldn't qualify academically for a Big 10 scholarship.

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Havan't taken the time to update this file from last year but notheless its interesting to look at.

I also found it interesting that over the 2004-2007 time period, the Big Ten per team average numbers of players drafted was 13.36, while the SEC per team average was 13.08.

Big Ten Football Scholarships National Signing Day

2007 2006 2005 2004 Total

Illinois 23 27 21 24 95
Indiana 20 20 24 25 89
Iowa 22 20 23 20 85
Michigan 20 19 23 22 84
Michigan State 23 25 24 30 102
Minnesota 24 21 18 24 87
Northwestern 19 17 20 15 71
Ohio State 15 20 18 25 78
Penn State 21 24 19 25 89
Purdue 19 26 21 27 93
Wisconsin 22 20 23 20 85

Total Scholarships 960 / 11 teams = 87.27 Scholarships per team average.

SEC Football Scholarships National Signing Day

2007 2006 2005 2004 Total

Alabama 25 23 32 27 107
Auburn 30 25 21 27 103
Arkansas 27 26 24 20 107
Florida 27 27 18 23 84
Georgia 23 28 19 21 91
Kentucky 29 30 26 27 112
LSU 26 25 13 28 92
Mississippi 22 30 27 24 103
Mississippi St 34 24 27 22 107
South Carolina 31 24 28 22 111
Tennessee 32 33 27 24 105
Vanderbilt 14 26 24 19 83

Total Scholarships 1216 / 12 teams = 101.33 Scholarships per team average.

Big Ten Football Early Entries into the NFL Draft

2007 2006 2005 2004 Total

Illinois 0 0 0 0 0
Indiana 0 0 0 0 0
Iowa 0 0 0 0 0
Michigan 1 0 1 0 2
Michigan State 0 0 0 1 1
Minnesota 1 1 1 0 3
Northwestern 0 0 0 0 0
Ohio State 4 3 0 2 9
Penn State 0 0 0 0 0
Purdue 0 3 0 1 4
Wisconsin 0 1 0 0 1

Total NFL early entries in the NFL Draft 20 or 1.82 averages per team


SEC Football Early Entries into the NFL Draft

2007 2006 2005 2004 Total

Alabama 0 0 0 4 4
Auburn 0 1 0 0 1
Arkansas 2 0 0 4 6
Florida 4 2 2 0 8
Georgia 2 1 2 2 7
Kentucky 0 0 0 0 0
LSU 1 0 0 2 3
Mississippi 0 0 1 0 1
Mississippi St 1 0 0 0 1
South Carolina 2 2 1 0 5
Tennessee 1 4 0 0 5
Vanderbilt 0 0 0 0 0

Total NFL early entries in the NFL Draft 41 or 3.42 averages per team

Big Ten Football NFL Drafted Players

2007 2006 2005 2004 Total 1st Round Picks

Illinois 1 0 2 2 5 0
Indiana 0 2 1 0 3 0
Iowa 3 2 5 5 15 2
Michigan 7 3 3 4 17 4
Michigan State 3 3 4 2 12 0
Minnesota 1 4 1 1 7 1
Northwestern 0 3 3 0 6 1
Ohio State 8 9 3 14 34 10
Penn State 5 6 0 4 15 2
Purdue 3 4 1 9 17 1
Wisconsin 1 5 7 3 16 3

Big Ten drafted players 147 / 11 teams or 13.36 players per team average
Big Ten 1st round picks 24 or 2.18 1st round picks per team average

SEC Football NFL Drafted Players

2007 2006 2005 2004 Total 1st Round Picks

Alabama 3 5 3 4 18 3
Auburn 5 4 5 5 18 5
Arkansas 4 1 2 6 13 4
Florida 9 3 3 5 20 2
Georgia 4 7 6 4 21 3
Kentucky 0 0 1 1 2 0
LSU 5 7 3 7 22 7
Mississippi 2 1 3 4 10 3
Mississippi St 1 1 2 0 4 0
South Carolina 2 2 3 3 10 3
Tennessee 6 5 3 4 18 3
Vanderbilt 0 1 2 0 3 1

SEC drafted players 157 / 12 teams or 13.08 players per team average
SEC 1st round picks 31 or 2.58 1st round picks per tem average

Taylor,

You had Tom Lemming's PO Box address in your column this weekend. I accidentally tossed out the paper. Could you please send me the address for Tom Lemming? I have a few high school juniors who want to send him their highlight DVD's to be evalutated.
Thanks!

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on January 30, 2009 9:02 AM.

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