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Question: What exactly are college football players in the Division 1-A level rightly owed for their services? This includes tuition, out of pocket expenses, food, board, etc.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a perfect answer. I merely wish to provide something that sparks some discussion.
We’ll work with the following assumptions.
1. College football players should be paid. This assumption is justifiable since colleges already award scholarships for playing football.
2. College football players should NOT receive the entirety of the revenue generated by college football.
3. College scholarships have economic value.
4. We’ll attempt to emulate existing models for football player compensation within this realm. And by this, I mean we’ll assume that college players are deserving of the same percentage of the money as NFL players are for their efforts.
5. Only players who are on an athletic scholarship will be counted for the purpose of this evaluation.
First… what the hell is a college scholarship worth? Collegedata suggests that the average cost of tuition for an out of state student at a public school is $22,203, in state for public school is $8,893, and private schools average $30,094. The Division 1-A Schools run the gamut of academic institutions. The average of all three is $20,396.67. This is FAR from a perfect number, but it’s difficult to encapsulate the choices available to athletes if they didn’t have an athletic scholarship available to them.
If we’re going to factor in room and board (10,000/Year), textbooks and academic supplies ($1,200), along with a small stipend for non-entertainment expenses ($500), we’re looking at every year, the average D1-A player should receive a scholarship valued at $32,069.67 per year.
Second… what’s the total value of those scholarships? If we’re going to be fair to the colleges here, we need to factor this into the value of the money produced by college football. With 126 D1-A teams producing 85 scholarships each, a total of 10,710 players at any given time are receiving scholarships for football. 10,710 x $32,069.67 = $343,466,165.70 is the aggregate value of ALL D1-A football scholarships. Kind of a big number, actually.
Alright. So the real question is how much revenue these players actually generate. While the numbers can be a little difficult to pin down, what appeared to be the most accurate number is from the Department of Education. From their report, in the year 2012, D1-A college football generated a total of $3,178,772,448 in revenue. Add this into what’s already spent for the scholarships, and we’re looking at a D1-A football pie to break up of $3,522,238,613.70. Over three and a half billion dollars.
Okay. Now, the real question to this is how the money should be broken up. The NFL’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement states that the players will receive 47-48.5% of the revenue generated. While the actual process for that number is rather complicated…. let’s just boil it down to players will get 48.5% of the revenue generated from college football, since the closest comparision (NFL Players) receive the same share. With that, then players would by rights, be entitled to an aggregate total of $1,708,285,728.00 of the money generated. Splitting this pile a total of 10,710 ways yields a total of…
$159,503.80 per player. Of which, $127,434.13 of this money on average would be paid in salary, the remainder as tuition.
That’s quite a bit of money for a 18 year old kid. While I’m sure there’s a lot of questions that pop up, to me the most immediately alarming issue is this.
How can 18 year olds who come into a sudden windfall of money help the athletes from squandering this money, both by protecting them from themselves, and protecting them from other people?
…Let’s deal with these questions in another post.

Q&A Session
Q: Why create the sack rate?
A: To put it into perspective, let’s take two extremes. Imagine a defense that only accumulates one sack all season. But teams only threw on them once. Imagine another team that collected 500 sacks in a season. But they’re thrown on twenty five thousand times. Every other passing play, the first team collected a sack. Every FIFTIETH passing play, the second team collects a sack. This puts that into perspective.
Q: Why don’t you include Hurries/Knockdowns/Factor in Quarterbacks and Divisions/Peyton Manning Factor/Sixth Senses/Roughing the Passer Penalties/Intentional Grounding?
A: To put it plainly, they’re not sacks. How much is a QB Hurry worth in relation to a sack? What about knocking the QB down? What sort of coefficient would we use to determine schedules? How would we do so, even? Similarly, what sort of bonus do we give other AFC South teams and anyone who plays a QB with a good feel for when the pocket will collapse? Do we penalize other teams too? What about turnovers created by pressure? It’s a crapload of questions that frankly, don’t have good answers. Enough people will criticize the work I’ve done already here. We don’t need even more things to argue over.
Q: I have a website and I’d like to host your data. Can I?
A: The data and analysis is my intellectual property. If you’d like to profit off of it, send me a message first.
- Congrats to the Chiefs, who cut their sack rate by about 60%. Granted, they were far and away the worst sack rate ever in 2008, and they’re still the second worst pass rush this year.
- The Saints have one of the worst sack rates of Super Bowl winning teams in the last decade. The Colts are even worse. Until lately, every super bowl winner had at least an above average sack rate.
- Once again, the average sack rate seems to be roughly sixteen. I would claim any defense that can get their sack rate below fifteen should be satisfied with their pass rush. Any team that is above sixteen should be looking to actively improve their pass rush.
Teams arranged by Sack Rate (Sack Rate)
Miami Dolphins (11.11)
Pittsburgh Steelers (11.66)
Oakland Raiders (11.83)
Minnesota Vikings (12.16)
Washington Redskins (12.78)
Denver Broncos (13.07)
Cleveland Browns (13.15)
Philadelphia Eagles (13.18)
San Francisco 49′ers (13.18)
Dallas Cowboys (13.62)
Arizona Cardinals (13.79)
Green Bay Packers (14.59)
Chicago Bears (15.17)
San Diego Chargers (15.26)
New York Giants (15.56)
New York Jets (15.66)
Carolina Panthers (15.97)
Cincinatti Bengals (16.09)
Buffalo Bills (16.22)
Baltimore Ravens (16.38)
New Orleans Saints (16.40)
New England Patriots (16.52)
Indianapolis Colts (17.15)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17.21)
Houston Texans (18.27)
Tennessee Titans (18.88)
Atlanta Falcons (19.18)
St. Louis Rams (19.64)
Seattle Seahawks (20.29)
Detroit Lions (20.96)
Kansas City Chiefs (23.14)
Jacksonville Jaguars (36.43)
Teams arranged by Defensive Yards Per Pass Attempt (DYPA, Sack Rate)
1. New York Jets (5.4, 15.66)
2. Buffalo Bills (6.0, 16.22)
3. Indianapolis Colts (6.2, 17.15)
4. Denver Broncos (6.3, 13.07)
5. Cincinatti Bengals (6.4, 16.09)
6. Green Bay Packers (6.4, 14.59)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (6.5, 13.18)
8. Carolina Panthers (6.6, 15.97)
9. San Diego Chargers (6.7, 15.26)
10. Baltimore Ravens (6.7, 16.38)
11. Houston Texans (6.7, 18.27)
12. Arizona Cardinals (6.7, 13.79)
13. Dallas Cowboys (6.8, 13.62)
14. San Francisco 49′ers (6.8, 13.18)
15. Pittsburgh STeelers (6.9, 11.66)
16. Chicago Bears (6.9, 15.17)
17. New Orleans Saints (6.9, 16.40)
18. Washington Redskins (7.0, 12.78)
19. New England Patriots (7.0, 16.52)
20. Minnesota Vikings (7.1, 12.16)
21. Tennessee Titans (7.2, 18.88)
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7.2, 17.21)
23. Seattle Seahawks (7.2, 20.29)
24. New York Giants (7.4, 15.56)
25. Atlanta Falcons (7.5, 19.18)
26. Kansas City Chiefs (7.6, 23.14)
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (7.6, 36.43)
28. Cleveland Browns (7.9, 13.15)
29. St. Louis Rams (8.0, 19.64)
30. Oakland Raiders (8.1, 11.83)
31. Detroit Lions (8.1, 20.96)
32. Miami Dolphins (8.2, 11.11)
Out of the 12 teams with the highest sack rate…
- 5 of them made the playoffs. (Vikings, Eagles, Cowboys, Cardinals, Packers)
- 4 recieved picks in the top 12 in the NFL draft (Dolphins, Redskins, Raiders, Browns)
- 3 ranked in the bottom 12 in Defensive Yards Per Pass Attempt (DYPA) (Dolphins, Raiders, Browns)
- 4 ranked in the top 12 of DYPA (Broncos, Eagles, Cardinals, Cowboys)
Out of the 12 teams with the lowest sack rate…
- 3 of them made the playoffs (Colts, Patriots, Saints)
- 6 recieved picks in the top 12 in the NFL draft (Jaguars, Chiefs, Lions, Seahawks, Rams, Buccaneers)
- 6 ranked in the bottom 12 of DYPA (Lions, Rams, Jaguars, Chiefs, Falcons, Seahawks)
- 2 ranked in the top 12 of DYPA (Colts, Texans)

Draft Theory: “You can draft running backs late, because they’re so easy to find and the position translates to easily from college to the NFL.”

Because of how the NFL has changed, we can no longer simply consider the first man on the depth chart to be a starting running back, and refer to the players behind him merely as “Depth”. As the platooning method becomes more and more common, we need to look at more than one running back playing a major role in a team’s success.

As a result, for the purpose of this study, if a team’s leading rusher accumulated fewer than 62.5% of the team’s total yards on the ground, then the top two rushers on the team will be considered.

Felix Jones – 685 Yards, 5.9 Average
Chris Johnson* – 2006 Yards, 5.6 Average
DeAngelo Williams – 1117 Yards, 5.2 Average
Jonathan Stewart – 1133 Yards, 5.1 Average
Jason Campbell*** – 236 Yards, 5.1 Average
Willis McGahee – 544 Yards, 5.0 Average
Ricky Williams – 1121 Yards, 4.7 Average
Rashard Mendenhall – 1108 Yards, 4.6 Average
Beanie Wells – 793 Yards, 4.5 Average
Steven Jackson* – 1416 Yards, 4.4 Average
Adrian Peterson* – 1383 Yards, 4.4 Average
Ronnie Brown – 648 Yards, 4.4 Average
Thomas Jones – 1402 Yards, 4.2 Average
Cedric Benson – 1251 Yards, 4.2 Average
Cadillac Williams – 823 Yards, 3.9 Average
Laurence Maroney – 757 Yards, 3.9 Average
Knowshon Moreno – 947 Yards, 3.8 Average
Joseph Addai* – 828 Yards, 3.8 Average
Marshawn Lynch – 450 Yards, 3.8 Average
Julius Jones – 663 Yards, 3.7 Average
Jamal Lewis – 500 Yards, 3.5 Average
LaDanian Tomlinson – 730 Yards, 3.3 Average
Larry Johnson – 581 Yards, 3.3 Average

23 1st round picks

Kevin Faulk – 335 Yards, 5.4 Average
Ray Rice – 1339 Yards, 5.3 Average
Maurice Jones-Drew* – 1391 Yards, 4.5 Average
LeSean McCoy – 637 Yards, 4.1 Average
Maurice Morris – 384 Yards, 4.1 Average
Clinton Portis – 494 Yards, 4.0 Average
Matt Forte – 929 Yards, 3.6 Average

7 2nd round picks

Jamaal Charles – 1120 Yards, 5.9 Average
Shonn Greene – 540 Yards, 5.0 Average
Frank Gore* – 1120 Yards, 4.9 Average
Ryan Moats – 390 Yards, 3.9 Average
Justin Fargas – 491 Yards, 3.8 Average
Kevin Smith – 747 Yards, 3.4 Average
Steve Slaton – 437 Yards, 3.3 Average

6 3rd round picks

Corell Buckhalter – 642 Yards, 5.4 Average
Michael Turner – 871 Yards, 4.9 Average
Michael Bush – 589 Yards, 4.8 Average
Marion Barber – 932 Yards, 4.4 Average
Brandon Jacobs – 835 yards, 3.7 Average
Darren Sproles – 343 Yards, 3.7 Average

7 4th round picks

Jerome Harrison – 862 Yards, 4.4 Average
Tim Hightower – 598 Yards, 4.2 Average

2 5th round picks

Bernard Scott – 321 Yards, 4.3 Average

1 6th round pick

Justin Forsett – 619 Yards, 5.4 Average
Ahmad Bradshaw – 778 Yards, 4.8 Average
Jason Snelling – 613 Yards, 4.3 Average
Derrick Ward – 409 Yards, 3.6 Average

4 7th round picks

Kahlil Bell – 220 Yards, 5.5 Average
Pierre Thomas – 793 Yards, 5.4 Average
Fred Jackson – 1062 Yards, 4.5 Average
Leonard Weaver** – 323 Yards, 4.6 Average
Ryan Grant* – 1253 Yards, 4.4 Average
Willie Parker – 389 Yards, 4.0 Average
Mike Bell – 654 Yards, 3.8 Average

7 Undrafted

* – Met the team criteria for being the sole main runner
** – Leonard Weaver is in fact, a fullback
*** – Jason Campbell is in fact, a quarterback.

55 Qualifying players
- Leonard Weaver and Jason Campbell are not counted due to not being true runningbacks.

22 out of 55 players are 1st round draft picks (40%)
7 out of 55 players are 2nd round draft picks (12.7%)
7 out of 55 players are 3rd round draft picks (12.7%)
6 out of 55 players are 4th round draft picks (10.9%)
2 out of 55 players are 5th round draft picks (3.6%)
1 out of 55 players are 6th round draft picks (1.8%)
4 out of 55 players are 7th round draft picks (7.2%)
6 out of 55 players are undrafted (10.9%)

These numbers alone though, don’t show the whole story. Wouldn’t it matter if more running backs overall are drafted in the first round or not? For the purposes of this, we’ll look at the 2002-2009 drafts.

Tomlinson, Lewis, Ricky Williams, Thomas Jones all are removed from this part of the study, as all four were drafted before 2002, and thus have outlived the “Typical” expectations of a running back. Thus, there are only 18 1st round picks that will be considered.

18/24 1st round picks are contributors (66.7%)
7/16 2nd round picks are contributors (43.75%)
7/17 3rd round picks are contributors (41.2%)
6/25 4th round picks are contributors (24%)
2/10 5th round picks are contributors (20%)
1/20 6th round picks are contributors (5%)
4/30 7th round picks are contributors (13%)

Conclusions: While it seems obvious, the data here suggests that like most positions, the best players are all first round picks, and it rapidly goes downhill from there. GM’s should expect to run into difficulty trying to find starting caliber running backs later in the draft. However, a good deal of first round running backs are still making meaningful contributions in the NFL, even though this is looking at up to 8 drafts ago, towards the tail end of a RB’s career. While I do not have the data, it seems like a running back might actually be a “Safe” pick.

Additionally, I would also suspect that a disproportionate percentage of second and third round running backs are making contributions compared to other positions in the league. It is worth noting however, that there overwhelming majority of late round running backs drafted flamed out of the NFL. So while you may wish to address other needs and draft a running back in the second or third round, also realize that one can’t simply say that RB’s are unimportant and only invest low draft picks. Additionally, my gut reaction tells me that a disproportionately high percentage of first round running backs make positive NFL contributions, making them overall safe draft choices.

Breaking this into two categories. The “Reach” and “Should not be owned by anyone” categories.

Players People are Drafting Too Early
1. Jahvid Best (ADP: 5.05) - I loved Best’s talent in college. He was one of two players I saw in person who made me crap my pants whenever he touched the football (Jeremiah Masoli being the other). However, Best is made out of glass. He’s had numerous surgeries and has several concussions already in his career. How’s he going to hold up with stronger, faster, tougher linebackers in the NFL? Prognosis isn’t very good.
2. Darren McFadden (ADP: 8.10) - McFadden hasn’t done anything in two NFL seasons so far. Hard to think he’s suddenly going to turn that around. Michael Bush is going five picks later, he’s the Raiders RB you want on your roster. McFadden has late round value in a PPR league, but that’s about all.
3. Austin Collie (ADP: 11.12) - Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Donald Brown. Six guys who can do damage with Peyton Manning throwing to them. Not all of them will be fantasy relevant this year, and I suspect the odd man out is Austin Collie, a slot WR who will have to share targets with Anthony Gonzalez, who’s more athletic and more experienced.
4. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams (ADP: 4.10 and 6.11)  - Considering Ronnie Brown is made out of glass and Ricky Williams is 33 and has a ton of mileage on his body, it’s hard to recommend drafting either of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if both of them are on IR by the playoffs. That being said, if they’re healthy, they’re going to get carries. But I don’t think they’ll be around during the end of the year.
5. Thomas Jones (ADP: 7.12) - Jones is probably the #2 option in Kansas City behind Jamaal Charles. That being said, Todd Haley’s basically an idiot. You never know. Jones is old and is running behind a terrible offensive line in Kansas City. I wouldn’t touch him.

Players No One Should be Drafting, but Are

1. Vincent Jackson (ADP: 3.12) - He might play half a season. Maybe. He’s gotta show up for at least six games to have a year count towards Free Agency. That’s probably what to expect out of him. Until he blinks, assume that he won’t play until Week 10, and he will be rusty.
2. Donald Driver (ADP: 6.04) - Old, crowded WR spot, multiple surgeries. What’s there to like?
3. Wes Welker (ADP: 5.03) - Serious injury, won’t be playing until October, may not be 100% until 2011. Not an Avoid at All Costs, but I wouldn’t touch him earlier than Round 10.
4. Terrell Owens (ADP: 11.06) - I don’t know if it’s an old algorithim of a CPU that keeps drafting Owens, but it should be incredibly obvious that he has no relevance in fantasy football anymore, and probably no relevance in the NFL.

Got a NFL, College, or Fantasy Football question? Email the Football Clod at

One of several postings I’ll have regarding fantasy football. This article is about players who in my mind, present good bang for the buck relative to where they’re being drafted at this point in time. All data is provided by ‘s ADP charts.

1. Heath Miller (ADP: 15.04)
- Even if Big Ben’s suspended for the first four or six games, the Steelers will have to throw the ball at least occasionally. And if Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon are starting, they’re less likely to make long throws to Mike Wallace… and more likely to make short tosses to the tight end. Miller’s on average, the 16th TE off the board and will be a legitimate TE1 the entire season.
2. Mohammed Massaquoi (ADP: 13.12)
- It’s not that Massquoi’s any good… it’s just that everyone behind him is even worse. With a terrible QB situation in mind, someone has to catch balls in Cleveland, and Massaquoi’s 34 catch, 624 yard campaign in 2009 is only likely to improve in 2010, making him a WR3, and maybe even a borderline WR2 depending on what the Browns can get out of Delhomme and/or Wallace.
3. Larry Johnson (ADP: 13.10)
- Mike Shanahan has a knack for getting the most out of old veterans and making random running backs rush for 1,000 yards. It’s a tossup between Johnson, Portis, and Parker for the carries in Washington, and while the smart money may be on Portis, Johnson can be had for a much cheaper price. Portis is also very fragile and could sputter to start the year, prompting Shanahan to turn to Johnson for rushing yards. Own at least one Redskins running back, but LJ’s the best value.
4. Eli Manning (ADP: 9.07)
- Manning’s got two receivers who are both going very high in drafts, yet Eli’s the 12th quarterback off the board. Something smells fishy there. Eli won’t be one of the top 3 quarterbacks to end the year, but if you miss out on Rodgers, Peyton, or Brees, don’t reach for another QB, Eli will put up very similar stats to the elite quarterbacks in 2010.
5. Chaz Schilens (ADP: 14.08)
- Jason Campbell’s leaps and bounds beyond anything Oakland’s had at QB since Rich Gannon. Schilens has managed to look decent with scrubs like Gradkowski and Russell at QB. I’m not saying Schilens will have a 1,000 yard season, but 50 catches, 700 yards, and 4-7 TD’s isn’t out of the question either, which would be great for his draft position.
6. Jonathan Stewart (ADP: 4.06)
- Stewart and Williams have proven to be a lethal combination before, and without any proven QB, and possibly Steve Smith not being 100% effective to start the year due to his broken forearm, they’re going to run the ball more than ever in Carolina. I don’t know if Stewart is any worse than Williams, but I think Williams gets over 900 yards and double digit touchdowns.
7. Devin Hester (ADP: 11.01)
- Mike Martz likes to throw the football. Devin Hester’s an elite speedster, and although he might not be the #1 option in Chicago, it’s hard to not imagine him putting up good receiving numbers this year. He’s the 3rd Chicago WR off the board.
8. Malcolm Floyd (ADP: 8.05)
- He’s the #1 WR in San Diego with Vincent Jackson in contract disputes. As a result, that should be good for at least 900 yards, with a ton of upside for possibly 1100, 1200 yards. He’s going late enough to be a WR3 for your team.

Hi. I’m Football Clod.

I’m going to add articles about football and sports in general. One part Mythbusters about sports, one part an opinion article, one part me just providing comedy and information to you. Consider this to be the foundation to a long, colorful relationship between the two of us.


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