West full of late bloomers
Luginbill talks how West players take time to develop and Drake Harris' eval
I have never really understood this logic. When you say the "West," I assume you are including Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Montana and Idaho along with California. The issue the player pool in the West has in comparison to the Southeast is that the states surrounding California are not as deep or talented top to bottom as the states surrounding Florida. Much of this is due to sheer population, among other factors.
From an NFL draft perspective, from 2003-2012, roughly 12 percent of the players drafted were from the Pac-12, while 15 percent of the players drafted were out of the SEC. If you took that 12 percent from the Pac-12 and broke it down by state, you would see that California far outweighs the remaining western states, but there is far more balance with the states that surround Florida in relation to the SEC draftees. Also, since 2005, the ACC had 281 players drafted. Only the SEC had more players drafted, which means the Southeast is not only providing top quality players for the SEC, but the ACC as well -- two BCS conferences.
It's not about a bias, it's about factual demographics that have proven to translate to college football on-field outcomes as well. We hear the same complaint from Big Ten schools in relation to the Midwest, but the numbers tell the tale. Not that it counts for anything, but I was born and raised in California and brought up in locker rooms in the WAC and Pac-10. So I do understand and know the region. I would argue, though, that the West might have more late bloomers make the transition and pan out over some other conferences in relation to an untapped player pool of prospects who are overlooked.
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