A lot of the Big 10 talking heads have flooded our humble abode since the Orange Bowl announcement. They have denounced, degraded, and mocked the ACC's defensive state of affairs. One thing they fail to bring is facts. I like facts. I like facts that are numbers. Here are two numbers for Big 10 fans: 19 and 3. The ACC has had 19 defensive players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since full expansion in the 2005 season. The Big 10 has had 11. The ACC has had 3 Pro Bowlers emerge from those 19 1st rounders (Beason, Mario, and Cromartie). The Big 10 has had 0. Those are some interesting facts for Big 10 fans to mull over. Here are 5 more interesting facts about ACC/Big 10 defensive players taken in the 2006-2009 NFL Drafts:
5. Georgia Tech has had 6 defensive draft picks since 2006. That's more than Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Wisconsin.
4. Duke hasn't had a player taken in the NFL Draft since 2005.
3. The Big 10's highest Draft Pick since 2006 was A.J. Hawk, the fifth overall pick. He was four picks after Mario Williams.
2. All four Drafts saw more ACC defensive players taken than Big 10 players.
1. The ACC has had 81 defensive players drafted since the 2006 NFL Draft, which is 6.75 players drafted per team. The Big 10 has only had 62, which is 5.63.
Really when you factor Ohio State and Penn State out of the Big 10, there's not much talent going to the NFL. It's the definition of a blue collar conference. Good defensive coaching is what keeps them afloat in major out of conference match ups. I kinda believe they play the isolationism game and simply avoid major OOC games until bowl season. The ACC and Big 10 have met only 9 times since full expansion. The ACC holds a 6-3 edge over the Big 10 in that time span.
What do you think about the Big 10 talent level? Do you think the Big 10 hides behind their conference schedule? Let me know your thoughts.