clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Which Pac-12 teams win the most with the least NFL talent?

Arizona wins with a limited amount of NFL talent. Cal loses with a lot of NFL talent.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA's usual disappointment got me thinking, how does a team with so much always seem to disappoint? The Bruins are once again blessed with a roster (albeit an injured one) that almost any team in the country would kill to have, yet once again look like a team that will probably win 10 games at best.

With this in mind, I thought I would look at each team in the Pac-12's recent history of winning and having players drafted to the NFL to see which teams truly do the most with the least and vice versa.

Obviously part of the reason why programs are good or not is how they develop players into NFL players are not, but I still think this shows pretty well how well programs produce wins in relation to how much raw talent they have.

Going back to 2009 (and not including this season) and tallying how many wins and NFL Draft picks each Pac-12 team has had, here is how they stack up based on how many wins teams get per draft pick.

1. Arizona - 45 wins with 11 draft picks (4.090 wins per draft pick)

The execution of RichRod's system has allowed the Wildcats to win a lot of games by just being really good at a few positions and being incredibly efficient. They have quietly been winning a consistent amount of games the past few seasons without a ton of talent.

2. Washington State - 19 wins with 5 draft picks (3.8 wins per draft pick)

This one seems kind of like a fluke and is mainly just because the Cougars have won any games with just five players drafted in the past handful of seasons. The thing is though that almost all of those wins came against FCS schools and really weak opponents, so it doesn't mean much.

3. Washington - 43 wins with 13 draft picks (3.307 wins per draft pick)

The Huskies haven't done anything big in a while, but they did consistently win under Steve Sarkisian with limited NFL talent. The only year they probably underachieved was last year when they won eight games with four first two round players in the 2015 draft.

4. Oregon - 70 wins with 22 draft picks (3.181 wins per draft pick)

I actually thought the Ducks would be number one, but they have had a lot of players drafted the past two years. Still, the Ducks won an incredible number of games for how many players they had get drafted.

5. Arizona State - 44 wins with 14 draft picks (3.142 wins per draft pick)

The Sun Devils are pretty consistent. They are starting to win more games and have more players drafted under Todd Graham.

6. Utah - 47 wins with 15 draft picks (3.133 wins per draft pick)

The Utes have long had the reputation as a program that wins a lot of game without much NFL talent and that is fair, but maybe not as fair as it used to be and that is probably because of their recent back-to-back five-win seasons.

7. Oregon State - 37 wins with 13 draft picks (2.846 wins per draft pick)

The Beavers used to be known as THE team in the Pac-12 that did something with nothing, but that is no longer the case. They now produce a healthy number of draft picks, but don't win that many games.

8. UCLA - 46 wins with 19 draft picks (2.421 wins per draft pick)

UCLA hasn't had any many players drafted recently as I thought they have, but it is still a good amount and they are going to have a ton of players drafted in the next couple of years. As I suspected either way, the Bruins aren't making the most out of their talented compared to other Pac-12 schools.

9. Stanford - 62 wins with 26 draft picks (2.384 wins per draft pick)

Stanford and USC have the problem that they simply produce so many NFL players that it would be hard for them to be in a good spot on this list. The Cardinal should also get a lot of credit for developing players well enough to where they get drafted. This is another one that I think is a little misleading.

10. USC - 53 wins with 31 draft picks (1.709 wins per draft pick)

Another team that simply produces too many NFL players to get too high on this list, but I don't excuse the Trojans as much as others, because they have a lot of raw talent that they don't develop as opposed to Stanford who gets talent and makes it better. The Trojans have underachieved on a yearly basis for a while now and it shows here.

11. Colorado - 18 wins with 9 draft picks (2 wins per draft pick)

The Buffs don't do much with the little talent they have. Simple as that.

12. Cal - 28 wins with 18 draft picks (1.555 wins per draft pick)

No one does less with more NFL talent more than the Bears under Jeff Tedford.