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NCAA Football Colleges/Conferences With the Most NFL ROTY Awards

Colleges/Conferences with the Most NFL Rookie of the Year Awards
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What NCAA football colleges and conferences have the most NFL Rookie of The Year Awards (ROTY) in the last ten years? Before reading on, let us know what conference(s) you think have the most NFL ROTY awards in the comments below.

If a school has even a single player win it once in ten years, they deserve respect. That being said, if a team wins it more than once, it can be considered a very strong program.

There are only four programs that have made it onto this list multiple times out of thirteen total schools. 

What impact does this accolade have on these college football programs?

Firstly, it indicates the level of NFL talent at certain schools and conferences. 

This accolade also directly impacts recruiting for these programs. If certain schools get more players drafted and they win more awards, the outcome attracts positive attention from other 5-star players.

5-Star players care more about NFL contracts than winning a national championship. 

Award winners have more national media attention as well, which brings a national spotlight on the program in the eyes of present and future 5-Star players. This also brings more attention to collectives for these schools to gain more ground on the NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) trail.

Teams that rank higher on this list have a better recruiting advantage and these awards impact these programs in more ways than you would think.

Non-Power Five Schools

First, we are going to go over the non-power five schools. There are only two of them that made it on this list.

Both of these players earn our respect because it is not easy for non-power five schools to make it on this list.

The two that we’re talking about are Cincinnati and South Carolina State.

  1. Cincinnati had Sauce Gardner win Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROTY) in 2022, which is probably not a shock to you guys. Some of you guys probably already knew that.
  2. South Carolina State had Shaquille Leonard win it in 2018. He won DROTY.

Power Five Schools

Next up, we’re going to start with Power Five conferences. There are two that are tied for last place with only one conference representing one team.

Those two conferences are the Big 12 in the ACC.

The Big 12 & ACC

  1. For the Big 12, Oklahoma with Kyler Murray winning it in 2019.
  2. For the ACC, if you’re thinking Clemson, you’re not correct… It’s Pittsburgh. I don’t know if you can guess who it is. If you can, kudos to you. However, it’s not a shock that Aaron Donald was the one who won it in 2014.

One quick thing about the ACC is that they’re third in NFL production behind two other conferences, but we’ll get into it later in this article. The ACC doesn’t have a lot of NFL talent compared to—I mean they do have a a significant amount—some of the other conferences.

There’s no question that they are behind, and this helps show that as well. Unfortunately, for the ACC, they are a little behind.

They are also top-heavy and then it gets awful as you start going down the list.

On the other hand, the Big 12 fell apart and were looking like they were going to die off because Texas and Oklahoma left. Then they kind of did an amazing job getting back into conference talk.

In my opinion, Texas and Oklahoma were also the downfall of the Big 12 because they didn’t share the revenue equally across the board with all of the Big 12 members. Clearly from this list, you can see they weren’t dominating when it came to NFL Talent in the last 10 years. The Big 12 is simply not dominating.

That said, Texas and Oklahoma leave to the SEC and they end up taking equal revenue sharing, which is comical when you think about it.

The Pac-12

The next conference on this list is a conference that is dead. You guessed it, that conference is the Pac-12. They had two winners in the last 10 years.

  1. They had Oregon with Justin Herbert. Herbert won it in 2020.
  2. Then, they had Washington with Marcus Peters. Peters won it in 2015.

Both of those programs are headed to the Big 10, which is going to make the Big 10 even stronger.

Shout out to the Pac-12 for making it on this list twice in 10 years and surpassing the ACC and the Big 12. You have to tip your hat to them.

The B1G & SEC

At the number one spot, we have two conferences that are tied at the number one spot. It’s the Big 10 and the SEC.

Both of the two conferences have won it eight times in the last 10 years. If you put that into perspective, they have almost had a player win the NFL Rookie of the Year award every year for the last 10 years. That’s insane if you compare that to the ACC winning it once, the Big 12 winning it once, and the Pac-12 winning it twice.

The Big 10 and the SEC are purely dominant. If you look over the NFL numbers of how many players get drafted and how much NFL Talent comes out of these conferences, the Big 10 and the SEC were already at the top, to begin with.

And now that the conference realignment is hitting, you have Oklahoma and Texas going to the SEC, USC, Oregon, Washington, and UCLA going to the Big 10.

It’s over. It was already over before, but now it’s on a whole other level. It’s going to be almost impossible for the Big 12 and ACC to compete with these two conferences.

For the SEC, they have had more teams participate in the ROTY award than the Big 10. The Big 10 has fewer teams with players winning the ROTY award, but some of those teams have won it more than the SEC teams.

SEC

The SEC has had 4 teams with players that won the ROTY Award. Two of the following teams won it multiple times.

  1. They had Missouri with Sheldon Richardson winning ROTY in 2013.
  2. Mississippi State also had a player win ROTY in 2016 with Dak Prescott.
  3. Georgia has only one winner in the last ten years, which is pretty crazy to think about. The ROTY Award winner was Todd Gurley in 2015.
  4. There are only two teams that won it multiple times in the last ten years. One of those teams is LSU. Once with OBJ in 2014 and the other was Ja’Marr Chase in 2021.
  5. The other team that won the ROTY Award multiple times is Alabama. Eddie Lacy won it in 2013 and Will Anderson in 2023.

B1G

There are only two teams that made it onto the list making up eight players winning the ROTY Award. It’s amazing to think that only two teams have gotten eight ROTY Awards in the last ten years.

One of the teams you may get wrong because you may think it’s Michigan. However, Michigan has not had a player win the ROTY Award in the last ten years.

Instead, it’s Penn State. Penn State has had two players win the ROTY Award in the last ten years. They’re more similar to LSU in their conference than you may think.

This is because the teams Penn State has to get through to get to the playoff are Ohio State and Michigan.

LSU has to go through Alabama and Georgia. LSU and Penn State have it tough but now that the playoff is expanding, expect those two teams to show their power.

  1. Penn State won it with Saquon Barkley in 2018 and Micah Parsons in 2021. Penn State is one of the only four teams to win it multiple times in the last ten years.
  2. The one team you have probably already guessed that’s leading the charge for the B1G and all other conferences is The Ohio State. Joey Bosa won it in 2016 then Marshawn Lattimore in 2017. Nick Bosa won it in 2019 then Chase Young in 2020. Garrett Wilson won it in 2022 then C.J. Stroud in 2023.

The Ohio State has won it six times in the last ten years. They have won as much as Alabama, Georgia, and LSU combined. They are also the only program to have back-to-back ROTY award wins three times.

Some people may say, “Well, they don’t win Natty’s.” That doesn’t stop that they’re an NFL factory. That doesn’t stop that they’re a great football program.

They only lost to Georgia with Kirby Smart and probably the best defense in the history of college football. That said, Ohio State only lost by a point with a missed field goal (wide left) to win the game.

You don’t get only one point behind with a missed field goal to win the game against Kirby Smart and that defense if you’re not an undoubtedly fantastic team.

It’s not a shock to me that Alabama and Ohio State take the lead. I’m also not shocked that LSU and Penn State are up there.

LSU is a fantastic program; Alabama was an insane program under Nick Saban, the best program in NCAA history.

These numbers are going to grow more and more for the B1G and SEC.

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