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2012 NFL Draft: First-Round Breakdown By Conference

Where's Kuechly?  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Where's Kuechly? (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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The 2012 NFL Draft first round is in the books, with Boston College's Luke Kuechly selected as the first ACC player in the draft at number 9. I found it interesting to take stock of the first round as it went on, tracking the results by college football conference.

Here's how the first round broke down:

1. SEC - 9 -- Trent Richardson, Alabama (3), Morris Claiborne, LSU (6), Mark Barron, Alabama (7), Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina (10), Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State (12), Michael Brockers, LSU (14), Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama (17), Melvin Ingram, South Carolina (18), Dont'a Hightower, Alabama (25)

The SEC basically trolled every other conference in the first round of this year's NFL Draft, placing four players in the top 10 and eight in the top 20. And when I say the SEC, I really just mean 'Bama, who finished with three first round draft picks which is just absurd.

2. Big 12 - 5 -- Robert Griffin III, Baylor (2), Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (5), Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M (8), Kendall Wright, Baylor (20), Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (22)

The Big 12 also had a big first day at the draft, placing three players in the top 10 and five in total.

T3. Pac-12 - 4 -- Andrew Luck, Stanford (1), Matt Kalil, USC (4), David DeCastro, Stanford (24), Nick Perry, USC (28)
T3. Big Ten - 4 -- Riley Reiff, Iowa (23), Whitney Mercilus, Illinois (26), Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin (27), A.J. Jenkins, Illinois (30)

The Rose Bowl Coalition each placed four players in the first round of this year's draft but in very different ways. Two Pac-12 players came off the board over the first four picks, including Andrew Luck to the Colts at #1, while the Big Ten didn't get on the board until the 23rd overall pick.

5. ACC - 3 -- Luke Kuechly, Boston College (9), Quinton Coples, North Carolina (16), David Wilson, Virginia Tech (32)

Kuechly was the first ACC representative off the board, followed by North Carolina DE Quinton Coples at 16. Virginia Tech's David Wilson was the third player selected with the last pick in the first round, going at #32 to the New York Giants.

And by school:

1. 4 -- Alabama
2. 2 -- Baylor, Boise State, Illinois, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Stanford, USC
3. 1 -- Boston College, Iowa, Memphis, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Interestingly, after you factor in all the conference realignment / musical chairs / nonsense, here's how the first round breaks down:

1. SEC - 10 -- add Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill
2. Big 12 - 5 -- add West Virginia's Bruce Irving, less Tannehill
T3. Pac-12 - 4
T3. Big Ten - 4
T3. ACC - 4 -- add Syracuse's Chandler Jones
6. Big East - 3 -- add Memphis' Dontari Poe and Boise State's Doug Martin and Shea McClellin, less Irving and Jones

What does it all mean? I don't know. But you can probably go ahead and pencil in Alabama and at least one other SEC program (two more?) into a four-team college playoff every single year. Wait, was this college football playoff thing such a good thing after all?