The Bedlam battle for football bragging rights could come down to how you answer this question:
What’s more important to you, winning and making your name on Saturdays or playing and starring on Sundays?
University of Oklahoma football fans may point to last month’s NFL Draft, say “both” and claim superiority. In Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy and Trent Williams, the Sooners had three of the top five overall picks. Add Jermaine Greshman, picked 21st by Cincinnati, and you’ve got one of the best draft classes in the last decade.
And the Sooners are going to need that quartet to play that way on Sundays if they’re going to catch their Bedlam rivals when it comes to producing elite NFL talent, at least according to a recent ESPN survey.
OU’s dominance in its Bedlam series with Oklahoma State is built by winning on Saturdays, but according to ESPN’s survey, OSU has the advantage when it comes to developing NFL elite players.
ESPN accessed NFL drafts from 1979 to 2009, awarding one point for each player who was named NFL MVP, defensive player of the year, offensive player of the year or All-Pro (first- or second-team). It also awarded one point for each Pro Bowl appearance.
Oklahoma State’s production was enough to land the Cowboys on ESPN’s 16-program bracket. (An aside: As goofy as this may sound, I love brackets and this is what sports departments do to keep college football readers interested when spring football is over and you’re months away from starting to crank out preview stories).
The Cowboys lost to top-seed Miami in the first round (top 5 Cowboys: Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, Kevin Williams, Leslie O’Neal, Jason Gildon; top 5 Hurricanes: Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, Ed Reed, Michael Irvin). But still.
And as for Bedlam, the Cowboys hold a 34-25 advance in Pro Bowl appearances for players drafted from 1979-2009, according to pro-football-reference.com. It would a near dead heat if you added Troy Aikman’s six Pro Bowls and Glyn Milburn’s two to the Sooner total, but that’s bogus. Aikman transferred to UCLA, Milburn to Stanford.
By the way, here’s the tally of Pro Bowl appearances for Cowboys and Sooners drafted from 1979-2009, according to pro-football-reference.com:
– Barry Sanders 10
– Leslie O’Neal 6
– Thurman Thomas 5
– Kevin Williams 5
– Jason Gildon 3
– Jammal Williams 3
– Cary Blanchard 1
– Dexter Manley 1
– Keith Jackson 5
– Roy Williams 5
– Billy Sims 3
– Tommie Harris 3
– Adrian Peterson 3
– Jammal Brown 2
– Kenny King 1
– Stephen Alexander 1
– Scott Case 1
– Davin Joseph 1