July 13, 2007

All-pro and where they came from

LSU football coach Les Miles stirred up the summer conversation recently by expressing the fact that Southern California has a much easier road than his team or any Southeastern Conference team to the BCS championship game.

Miles stressed that the competition in the SEC was far more challenging that what the Trojans encounter in the Pac-10. Any SEC school must play eight league games and then a conference championship contest.

Undoubtedly, Southern California has not faced many tough opponents from within its league during its recent stretch of dominance. Meanwhile, two SEC schools - Florida and LSU - have won BCS titles this decade.

A third university, Auburn, had an unbeaten year but did not play in the BCS championship contest.

So, here's the question. What BCS conference plays the best football? Obviously, that's difficult to answer.

The NFL is home to the best football players in the world. People who have been named to All-Pro teams are the best in their profession. Using the Associated Press teams since 2000, neither the SEC nor the Pac-10 has produced the most All-Pro players.

In fact, neither of those two leagues ranks in the top two of BCS conferences. Teams currently playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big 10 Conference have had the most players chosen to the last seven AP All-Pro teams.

The ACC leads the way with 19 All-Pro players, while the Big 10 is right behind with 18. The ACC is given credit for former Miami and Boston College players.

The SEC comes in third with 15 selections.

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