Campus Corner

Southeastern Conference poised for another huge first-round NFL Draft haul

Updated: 2013-04-25T16:24:55Z

By BLAIR KERKHOFF

The Kansas City Star

No matter how the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft shakes out, the totals by conference will reinforce the obvious about college football supremacy.

The Southeastern Conference rules.

Using The Star’s final first-round projections, the SEC will have a dozen players selected.

Four will be from two-time defending BCS national champion Alabama, but six other schools will be represented, including Missouri with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.

If The Star’s picks hold, the SEC will have as many first-rounders as the rest of the power conferences combined: Big 12 (four), Pac-12 (four), Atlantic Coast (four), Big Ten (none) and Big East (none).

Even for players who hold dual conference citizenship — the realignment generation — this is stunning, and it reflects the power structure in college football today. The sports’ best athletes, especially on the defensive side, play in the SEC.

Teams winning national championships — seven straight and counting — and players wearing out a path to grab a baseball cap and shake NFL Commissioner’s Roger Goodell’s hand are the gifts that keep giving in the SEC.

“When we sell the brand of the SEC, all these things are very attractive to kids who want to play at the next level,” said Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on Wednesday during the league’s spring coaches teleconference.

Next week, the SEC and ESPN will announce its new network, and the league will take another victory lap.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/BlairKerkhoff.

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