When it comes to producing NFL talent, nobody does it better than the Southeastern Conference. Of course, not every superstar comes from the league, but it’s impossible to deny the impact it has made, especially over the last two decades. If you need more proof, all you have to do is look at the lottery-like money some players are making in today’s game.
For anyone who thinks NFL stars make too much money, whether it’s a three-year contract or five-year deal, get ready to have your mind blown even more. That’s because active players from certain schools have combined to earn anywhere between $30,000 to almost $800 million throughout their career.
These figures don’t tabulate earnings from players in the 2018 or 2019 NFL Drafts just yet, but the Bulldogs own college football by a considerable margin in career earnings playing American football.
A big thank you can go to Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford with his earnings of over $178 million, but wide receiver A.J. Green, defensive tackle Geno Atkins, and defensive end Justin Houston have all amassed over $70 million. Not to mention, running back Todd Gurley is in a new tax bracket as well.
Here is how every SEC school is ranked overall. via Spotrac:
1. Georgia Bulldogs: $788,442,261 (46 players)
4. Alabama Crimson Tide: $600,687,171 (72 players)
6. LSU Tigers: $575,177,828 (58 players)
7. Florida Gators: $501,366,672 (49 players)
12. Ole Miss Rebels: $414,802,591 (37 players)
14. South Carolina Gamecocks: $361,991,876 (28 players)
16. Texas A&M Aggies: $355,028,613 (38 players)
22. Tennessee Volunteers: $311,991,310 (40 players)
24. Auburn Tigers: $205,860,097 (41 players)
37. Mississippi State Bulldogs: $197,552,726 (31 players)
44. Arkansas Razorbacks: $169,890,007 (27 players)
46. Missouri Tigers: $168,066,255 (29 players)
56. Kentucky Wildcats: $135,419,693 (19 players)
94. Vanderbilt Commodores: $49,494,268 (23 players)
It definitely helps to have a superstar player. For example, six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady accounts for nearly half of Michigan’s earnings, and the Wolverines rank No. 10 overall with 41 total active players. Aaron Rodgers’ big contracts over his NFL career have California-Berkeley No. 2 overall.
However, there’s no denying the SEC has produced incredible talent with four teams in the top-10 of the list. No other conference has more than two.
The top-10 schools on the list include (in order): Georgia, California, USC, Alabama, Miami (FL), LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Michigan.
There’s also no denying that no NFL players have been paid quite like those who play NCAA college football in Athens, Georgia.
This post was originally published on July 9, 2019.