Forbes released their annual list of top 100 highest-paid athletes over the past year, and if there’s one major takeaway from me, it’s ‘wow, that’s a whole lotta Pac-12’ on the list.
Not only did I have the pleasure of writing up these guys over on Rule of Tree, California Golden Blogs and Bruins Nation, but I get to write them all up here as well, a job I thought was going to be easy and simple.
Instead, the volume of Pac-12 represented on the list was almost overwhelming when going through them in chunks of 20.
The Pac-12 holds the NFL’s top earners at the running back and offensive guard position as former Stanford Cardinal RB Christian McCaffrey was one of just two running backs to land on the list and Stanford’s Andrus Peat cracked the list at 93rd. Peat was also the only offensive lineman at any position to find his way to the top 100.
Then there was the top-earning golfer in Tiger Woods, who of course hails from Stanford as well.
Current Los Angeles Rams and former California Golden Bears QB Jared Goff found his way to 15th overall and third among quarterbacks while Houston Rockets guard and former UCLA Bruins stud Russell Westbrook was 12th overall and fourth among NBA players.
James Harden, formerly of the Arizona State Sun Devils, placed just behind Westbrook at fifth among NBA players and 17th overall. Arizona State also had the second-highest earning golfer in Phil Mickelson, who finished 25th overall.
The Washington State Cougars got on the board with Klay Thompson, the current Golden State Warriors sharp shooter, who came in at No. 28.
Cal got back on the board with their second quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, who came in at 45th and was written up that if he finished his final contract with the Green Bay Packers, that he would become the NFL’s all-time leader in career winnings.
Oregon got on the board with the Ducks placed former defensive standout and current San Francisco 49ers DE Arik Armstead at 59th overall while USC got on the board with DeMar DeRozan at No. 76.
UCLA also had Kevin Love check in at No. 67 overall.
Shaq Thompson chimed in the 85th spot, giving the Washington Huskies representation as well. And Marcus Mariota, the former Oregon Ducks QB and Heisman Trophy winner, rounded out the group at No. 83 as it’s interesting of note that Mariota earned more than his current teammate, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr, No. 99.
The Pac-12 representatives are as follows:
8 — Tiger Woods, Golf, Stanford
12 — Russell Westbrook, NBA, UCLA
15 — Jared Goff, NFL, Cal
17 — James Harden, NBA, Arizona State
25 — Phil Mickelson, Golf, Arizona State
28 — Klay Thompson, NBA, Washington State
45 — Aaron Rodgers, NFL, Cal
59 — Arik Armstead, NFL, Oregon
63 — Christian McCaffrey, NFL, Stanford
67 — Kevin Love, NBA, UCLA
76 — DeMar DeRozan, NBA, USC
83 — Marcus Mariota, NFL, Oregon
85 — Shaq Thompson, NFL, Washington
92 — Andrus Peat, NFL, Stanford
The full list of athletes represented on the Forbes Top 100 Highest Paid Athletes list can be found here.