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Draft Proves Cam Was The Man At Auburn

Earlier today we pointed out that the BCS champion Auburn Tigers had only four players selected in last week’s draft: Cam Newton (#1 to Carolina), Nick Fairley (#13 to Detroit), Zach Clayton (#212 to Tennessee) and Lee Ziemba (# 41 to Carolina).

For a senior-laden team, that’s an incredibly small number of draftable prospects.  In fact, it might turn out to be historically low.

Stewart Mandel of SI.com did some digging and found that no previous BCS champion — and there have been 13 now — had fewer than eight starters from their roster eventually drafted into the NFL.  The Tigers have six starters still on The Plains meaning that a total of 10 could some day be drafted.  But not all of those six appear to be future draft picks.

Below is the list of BCS titlists as well as the number of starters drafted from their rosters in the years following their championships:


Season
BCS Champion
Eventual Draft Picks
1st Round Picks
2002
Ohio State
22
3
2001
Miami
21
11
2004
Southern Cal
21
5
1999
Florida State
18
5
1998
Tennessee
18
3
2008
Florida
14
5
2003
LSU
14
3
2007
LSU
14
2
2005
Texas
14
4
2009
Alabama*
12
6
2006
Florida
12
4
2000
Oklahoma
8
2
2010
Auburn**
4
2


* Five starters from Alabama’s 2009 BCS champion are still in school.

** As noted above, six starters from Auburn’s 2010 BCS champion are still in school



So what does Mandel make of those numbers?


“… based on the draft results, it appears the Tigers were the least talented team ever to win a BCS Championship — and it’s not even close.”


Fair enough.  He also heaps a great deal of praise upon offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn for having a “profound” impact on the Tigers.  No doubt many Tiger fans will also laud Gene Chizik for the excellent coaching job he did.

But it’s clear what made the difference at Auburn last season — Cam Newton. 

Many veteran SEC reporters and pundits believed that Tim Tebow was the greatest player they had ever seen in the league.  But just a year after his departure, the memory of Tebow was pushed aside by Newton who became even more of a one-man wrecking crew.  In fact, it’s quite possible that we may never see another player who steps onto the college football scene and has such an enormous impact — all by his lonesome — for one short but incredibly brilliant season.

 


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