Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects.
Ranking the bowl games
Because college football apparently needs 35 bowl games, it's a lot easier to pick the best game than to pick the worst. Here's a ranking of each matchup from worst to best. **More ...**
Top prospects: AJ McCarron, QB; C.J. Mosley, LB; Amari Cooper, WR; T.J. Yeldon, RB; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S; Adrian Hubbard, DE.
Scout's take: Nick Saban has turned Alabama into an NFL farm team with 12 first-round selections in the past three seasons, including six drafted among the top 10. With several former five-star recruits dotting the roster, the Crimson Tide will continue to rate as the top pipeline to the pros.
2. Florida State
Top prospects: Jameis Winston, QB; Timmy Jernigan, DT; Lamarcus Joyner, S/CB; Cameron Erving, OT; Christian Jones, LB; Kelvin Benjamin, WR; Telvin Smith; Terrence Brooks, S; Tre' Jackson, OG.
Scout's take: The resurgence of the Seminoles is directly tied to the wealth of talent Jimbo Fisher has assembled over the past few seasons. Florida State boasts elite prospects at every position, which makes Tallahassee a must-stop on the scouting road map.
Top prospects: Zach Mettenberger, QB; Jeremy Hill, RB; Odell Beckham, Jr., WR; Jarvis Landry, WR; Anthony Johnson, DT; Ego Ferguson, DT.
Scout's take: The Tigers have routinely fed the NFL a host of defensive gems, but Les Miles has several offensive skill-position players set to make their mark in a few years. From the terrific receiving tandem of Beckham and Landry to an intriguing quarterback in Anthony Jennings, the Tigers have assembled a lineup that will provide a ton of talent on both sides of the ball.
4. Ohio State
Top prospects: Braxton Miller, QB; Ryan Shazier, LB; Carlos Hyde, RB; Bradley Roby, CB; Jack Mewhort, OT.
Scout's take: Urban Meyer inherited a talented Buckeyes' roster, but he deserves credit for developing his stars into premier NFL prospects. Roby and Shazier rank among the best at their respective positions, while Hyde and Miller could emerge as early-round candidates. Factor in some young players set to take on bigger roles down the road, and the Buckeyes will continue to rank among college football's top programs.
Top prospects: Marcus Mariota, QB; De'Anthony Thomas, RB; Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB; Tony Washington, LB; Taylor Hart, DE.
Scout's take:Chip Kelly has moved on to the NFL, but he left behind a roster loaded with NFL talent. The Ducks have a future No. 1 overall pick in Mariota and potential difference maker in Thomas. With Ekpre-Olomu and Washington also held in high regard by NFL executives, it's no coincidence Oregon has been in the national championship race the past few seasons.
Top prospects: Tajh Boyd, QB; Sammy Watkins, WR; Vic Beasley, DE; Corey Crawford, DE; Stephone Anthony, LB.
Scout's take: Boyd, Watkins and Beasley are viewed as early-round possibilities around the NFL, but Crawford and Anthony are also on the radar of scouts looking for difference makers. Throw in some of the young, athletic playmakers on the perimeter and the Tigers will certainly have a number of their players make their way to the NFL in the near future.
7. South Carolina
Top prospects: Jadeveon Clowney, DE; Mike Davis, RB; A.J. Cann, OG; Kelcy Quarles, DT; Shaq Roland, WR; Bruce Ellington, WR.
Scout's take: The front-runner for the top spot in the 2014 draft is Clowney, despite his so-so junior campaign. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound junior would join Melvin Ingram and Stephon Gilmore as recent first-round selections; he will set the stage for a mass exodus of Gamecocks to enter the NFL over the next few seasons.
Top prospects: Cyril Richardson, OG; Bryce Petty, QB; Ahmad Dixon, S; Lache Seastrunk, RB; Tevin Reese, WR.
Scout's take:Robert Griffin III is the Bears' highest profile NFL standout, but the program has earned respect in pro circles with the emergence of Kendall Wright and Josh Gordon as potential stars. The program's burgeoning reputation will be enhanced with Richardson, Dixon and Seastrunk poised to set the league on fire when they arrive next season.
Top prospects: Kevin Hogan, QB; Shayne Skov, LB; Trent Murphy, OLB; David Yankey, OG; Ed Reynolds, S; Ty Montgomery, WR
Scout's take: David Shaw has not only built the Cardinal program on toughness and physicality, he has upgraded the talent on the roster. Stanford has a lineup full of NFL-caliber players on both sides of the ball, which is why at least three Cardinal players have been selected in every draft since 2010.
10. Texas A&M
Top prospects: Johnny Manziel, QB; Jake Matthews, OT; Mike Evans, WR; Cedric Ogbuehi, OT
Scout's take: The Aggies could have three first-round picks in the 2014 draft, but the roster is loaded with potential difference makers at the skill positions. From Ricky Seals-Jones to De'Vante Harris, Texas A&M's young talent is impressive.