Draft picks: Where the Bulls rank in BCS
You can spin this either way -- as getting the most success out of the least talent, or as not being able to produce as much NFL-caliber players -- but there's an interesting read from Rivals.com's Tom Dienhart that shows that only one BCS football program has produced fewer NFL draft picks than USF since 2005.
Duke, naturally, has the honor of producing the least draft picks -- zero -- with USF tied with Mississippi State for next-lowest at four selections -- Tyrone McKenzie on Sunday, Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams last year and Stephen Nicholas in 2007.
"Hands down, the schools that have done the most with the least NFL talent over the past five years have been Kansas and USF," Dienhart writes.
Using the 14 teams Dienhart identified as having seven or fewer draft picks since '05, I looked at the overall record in the four seasons since USF joined the Big East. Of the 14, only Kansas (33-17) has a better record than USF (32-19), with no other teams collecting more than 27 wins in the same span.
USF has four bowl trips in that span, something no other team among the 14 can boast -- Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota and Oklahoma State have three each. Eight-win seasons? USF has three, with Kansas and Kentucky the only other schools with two.
You can definitely see a correlation between a lack of draft picks and a lack of conference success -- the eight teams with five or fewer draft picks went a combined 12-52 in conference games in 2008. Take away Kansas' four wins and the other seven went 8-44.
USF should have more of a presence in next year's draft -- defensive end George Selvie is a likely first-round pick, with safety Nate Allen, cornerback Jerome Murphy and linebacker Kion Wilson also likely to be drafted. Quarterback Matt Grothe and other seniors could also be in the mix, so USF should be moving away from the lowest extreme in BCS draft-pick production.
-- The Fort Myers News-Press has a story on Taurus Johnson signing with the Chiefs.
-- After Jim Leavitt's 40-yard dash a few weeks back, it's fun to read in the Sioux City Journal how Dave Nash, who was recruited to Morningside College by then-track-coach Leavitt, is also still running (and running well) long after most athletes have stopped. Nash, the current Morningside track coach, has run the 800 meters in less than two minutes at least once a year for 26 years.
One of these days, I'll do a feature on Leavitt's days at Morningside -- wild to think he spent six years there. He was saying a few weeks back that when he was defensive coordinator at Morningside, they gave him the choice of coaching track or teaching a three-hour class each semester, and he opted for track. Lots of good stories there ...