Pipeline time: SEC and the NFL

We at ESPN.com have taken on the task of identifying which college program truly is the best pipeline to the NFL.

We took a look at the NFL drafts between 1979 and 2009 and awarded points for the following milestones: NFL Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, All-Pro (first or second team) and Pro Bowl appearances.

Southern California led the way with 177 points, followed by Miami (164) and Pitt (120). Florida State (107) was fourth, while Tennessee was fifth (87) and the top SEC team.

The Vols were one of six SEC schools to finish in the top 25 of the survey results. Georgia was No. 8, Florida was No. 12, Alabama was No. 18, Auburn was No. 21 and LSU was No. 22.

To come up with a final determination, we ended up seeding the teams (by points) and matching them up in a 16-team playoff.

Here's a copy of the bracket.

Only three SEC teams made the bracket:

  • No. 5 Tennessee

  • No. 8 Georgia

  • No. 13 Florida

The first round took place Monday. ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach argued on behalf of the SEC teams. Here are the matchups:

No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 12 Ohio State

No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 9 Penn State

No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 Florida

The SEC ended up going 1-2. Don't blame me. I was on vacation last week (what a cop-out, huh?). So blame Schlabach. Actually, Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. made the final call.

Either way, Georgia is the lone SEC team moving to the second round.