April 07, 2015
As we all know by now, if you played at the University of Oregon, there's a pretty good chance Chip Kelly is going to draft you, trade for you, or sign you off the street. He is then going to make up the guest bedroom all nice and sweet for you and let you live with him.
The Eagles "only " currently have eight former Oregon Ducks on their roster (they've had more), all of whom Kelly brought in since he became head coach a little more than two years ago. That doesn't even count Jeff Maehl, who is an exclusive rights free agent, and is likely to be back with the team. The Eagles' eight Ducks account for 23.5% of the total number of former Oregon players currently on NFL rosters.
|Team||Former Ducks||Team||Former Ducks|
Kelly's #DuckBias exists. It's stupid to say otherwise.
However, while Kelly's #DuckBias is extreme, it is also fairly common in the NFL. There is absolutely evidence that many other teams have similar college biases.
For fun, I took a look at all 32 teams, and found the most prominent college on each NFL roster. What I found was a very clear regional bias, as well as many examples of other personal biases similar to Kelly's. First, let's take a look at each team's most prominent college in the chart below.
The teams highlighted in blue show a regional bias, in which the school is either in the NFL team's state or a bordering one. The teams highlighted in red are NFL teams with at least four players from one school, who I identified as potentially having varying personal biases.
|Vikings||Notre Dame, UCLA, USC||4|
|49ers||Florida State, USC||4|
|Seahawks||Texas A&M, Wisconsin||4|
|Bills||Florida State, Georgia, USC, Louisville||3|
|Steelers||Kent State, Ohio State||3|
|Colts||Boston College, Florida, Illinois, Miami, Stanford||3|
|Titans||Clemson, South Carolina||3|
|Redskins||Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas||3|
|Bears||Louisville, Oregon, Texas, Virginia Tech||3|
|Browns||Baylor, Cal, FSU, Ohio St., OK St., S. Carolina, Stanford, Toledo, Vandy||2|
Let's look at each of the above red teams individually:
• Eagles (8 Oregon players): Duh.
• Patriots (5 Rutgers players): Bill Belichick admitted he has a Rutgers bias during the week of the Super Bowl, via Ryan Dunleavy of the Asbury Park Press:
"I think when Coach Schiano was there, he did a great job of building a program and having guys in his program that were similar to the type of people that we look for in ours," Belichick said in front of a NFL Network television audience on Super Bowl Media Day.
• Bengals (5 Alabama players, 5 Georgia players): Marvin Lewis has a long history of drafting SEC players, as noted by Coley Harvey of ESPN. Since he took over as head coach of the Bengals, 29 out of his 108 draft picks (just under 27%) have been from SEC schools.
• Cowboys (5 Oklahoma State players): One of Jerry Jones' best friends is oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, who is an avid Oklahoma State booster.
• Cardinals (5 Clemson players): Since Bruce Arians took over as Arizona head coach in 2013, the Cards have acquired four Clemson players. Arians formerly coached at Alabama with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
• Rams (5 Auburn players): Rams GM Les Snead attended Auburn. All five former Auburn players on St. Louis' roster were acquired under Snead's watch.
• Falcons (4 Iowa players): Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff worked with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz on Bill Belichick's legendary 1995 Browns' staff.
• Seahawks (4 Wisconsin players): Seattle GM John Schneider grew up in Wisconsin, and was part of the Packers' front office for 12 years. All four Wisconsin players on the Seahawks' roster were acquired under Schneider's watch.
Chip Kelly isn't alone -- Personal school biases exist in the NFL. Kelly just takes it to a higher level.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski