Dick’s Sporting Goods has released an updated list of the top 100 best-selling NFL jerseys online and in its stores just in time for college football season cranking up, and to no one’s surprise, players who spent their collegiate years at ACC and SEC schools are packing the top of the list.
College football players from Power 5 conferences don’t just have an edge on getting drafted into the NFL over their counterparts from less-prolific conferences. Apparently, they also have an advantage when it comes to getting the best value out of their NFL careers as well, as demonstrated by Dick’s Sporting Goods’ latest top-selling NFL jerseys ranking.
According to Dick’s, 83 percent of the players whose jerseys appear on the list of best-sellers since the NFL Draft hail from one of the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC). The percentages work out even better for the ACC and SEC, as the two conferences combine to represent 43 percent of the list.
The SEC is the clear leader by a solid margin, boasting three former players (Dak Prescott-Mississippi State, Von Miller-Texas A&M and Odell Beckham Jr.-LSU) in the top 10. What’s more, 10 of the top 25 jerseys correlate with players who played collegiately in the SEC.
LSU fans proud of Beckham Jr. being the fourth-best-selling jersey since the NFL Draft should feel even more pride when looking at the list as a whole. Five other former LSU players also appear on the list (No. 28 Jarvis Landry, No. 56 Leonard Fournette, No. 67 Jamal Adams, No. 72 Tyrann Mathieu and No. 73 Patrick Peterson). Former Crimson Tide players comprise the next-largest group with five stars (No. 12 Julio Jones, No. 47 Landon Collins, No. 85 C.J. Mosely, No. 91 O.J. Howard and No. 99 Amari Cooper). Altogether, former SEC players account for exactly a quarter of the list.
Former ACC players account for 18 percent of the list, with a tie existing between Clemson and Pittsburgh at three players each. Former Panthers on the list include James Conner (No. 3), Larry Fitzgerald (No. 42) and LeSean McCoy (No. 58). Former Clemson players on the list are Deshaun Watson (No. 33), Sammy Watkins (No. 35) and Deandre Hopkins (No. 76).
The Big Ten and the Pac-12 each represent 15 percent of the list. Michigan representative Tom Brady is at the top of the list, while former Wisconsin players and brothers J.J. and T.J. Watt come in at No. 17 and 20 respectively. Stanford claims four names on the list (No. 24 Andrew Luck, No. 49 Richard Sherman, No. 69 Doug Baldwin and No. 93 Zach Ertz) while Cal asserts its place with Aaron Rodgers (No. 15) and Marshawn Lynch (No. 9).
Among Big 12 players, who accounted for 10 percent of the list overall, former Oklahoma State Cowboy Dez Bryant came in at No. 48 to lead the pack. Surprisingly, former Texas Longhorn Justin Tucker makes a great showing for the league’s kickers, ranking No. 81.
With more NFL-caliber talent coming out of the Power 5 conferences in 2017, don’t expect the percentages on this list to change much at this time next year. These conferences not only are the best at recruiting, but developing those talents into NFL stars as well.