It remains to be seen who will rise to the top, but here are three sure-fire losers in the deal…
1. The Big Ten Conference. The Big Ten is no longer so big. Its Midwestern programs are popular because of history, not because they’ve been all that impressive in the past decade or so. They’ve only had teams in the top 4 six times over the past 14 years since the BCS began — not a great ratio for an AQ conference.
2. Notre Dame. Notre Dame is college football’s original independent and one of the most storied programs in the country. They get play and publicity because of their history, but they haven’t had a top-4 finish since the BCS’s inception. Now they’re about to become even less influential, as all eyes will focus on the playoff as the final word on football dominance.
3. The Rose Bowl. What used to be the granddaddy of all bowl games is now not nearly as important. When the Champions Bowl comes to town, the Rose Bowl will pale in comparison.
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Who were the top NFL steals of the 2012 draft? Here are our picks.
1. Mohamed Sanu. Sanu, a talented wide receiver from Rutgers, was projected to go near the end of the first round, but didn’t get snatched up until the third. The Cincinnati Bengals got a steal with this talented, athletic receiver with tons of upside.
2. David DeCastro. Offensive Guard David DeCastro was slated to be a top 10 pick. When the Steelers snatched him up at number 24, they got a killer deal.
3. DeQuan Menzie. Menzie is a talented cornerback — one of the best in draft — and somehow slid all the way to the fifth round when the Chiefs grabbed him. He should make an immediate impact.
4. Orson Charles. Tight end Orson Charles can block, run, and catch. He should have been a first-round pick but had a DUI arrest that dropped him all the way down to the fourth round. The Bengals picked him up for their second steal of the draft.
5. Courtney Upshaw. Outside Linebacker Courtney Upshaw is intensely talented, with speed and strength that results in serious sacks. At 6’1″ he’s a bit on the short side, but his raw skill will make up for it. The Ravens nabbed him at No. 35 and got one of the most talented players in the draft.
Tell us who your favorite pick ups from the 2012 NFL Draft were in the comments below.