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State Of The (Student) Union: Determining The Best CFB State

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The Pete Carroll-era Trojans proved California's football riches, amplified by a relatively small total of seven FBS schools. Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images.
The Pete Carroll-era Trojans proved California's football riches, amplified by a relatively small total of seven FBS schools. Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images.

2. CALIFORNIA

Schools: Cal, UCLA, Fresno State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Stanford, USC

When it comes to supplying talent, California is king of the West.

You can find a California player on 84 teams, or 70 percent of FBS programs.

California schools boast rosters comprised of 70 percent of their high school players — a number brought down by Stanford’s 28-percent rate. Without the Cardinal in the mix, the state’s rate jumps to almost 80 percent. Fresno State boasts the highest in-state roster makeup in the nation at 92 percent, and followed closely by San Jose State’s 90 percent.

As crazy as it sounds, seven FBS schools in California might not be enough. The Golden State supplies a national-best 783 players to programs outside of California. You can look to Southern California’s pre-sanctions slate of success as evidence of the state’s dominance. You can also look outside of California to find Californians making an impact. Most notably, the Golden State’s neighbor to the North: Oregon.

There are more California-raised players on Oregon and Oregon State than there are Oregonians. Oregon as a state exports 34 players. There are 35 Californians playing on the Oregon Ducks alone and another 42 down the road in Corvallis.

Californians comprise the most out-of-state players on 25 FBS schools — including seven Texas schools.

The state has claimed at least a share in eight of the last 11 Pac-12/10 conference titles, the other three belonging to Oregon.

1. TEXAS

Schools: Baylor, Houston, North Texas, Rice, Southern Methodist, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, UTEP, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Texas Tech

There isn’t much the state of Texas does that’s considered small. The only thing that’s minuscule, in this instance, is the percentage of out-of-state players on the rosters of the Lone Star State’s 12 teams.

You’ll find more college football players from Texas high schools than any other state — Texas pumps 1,620 players into the FBS, more than the next-closest state, Florida, by 368 players.

Texas players are the chief imports for several major programs, including Oklahoma State (55 Texans), Oklahoma (32), Arkansas (16) and Stanford (11).

In fact, there are more Texans on the Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State rosters than there are Kansans and Oklahomans, respectively.

The last two Heisman winners — Baylor’s Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M — are products of the Texas high school system.

With success like that, it becomes clear why many Texans choose their home state. Texas’ 12 schools fill rosters with a national-best 82 percent (9 percent more than runner-up Florida) of in-state students. Enough players are left over to export 661 of its athletes to FBS programs in other states.

The state’s worst school at retaining in-state talent is Southern Methodist, which still clocks in at 67 percent, or about 25 percentage points above the national average.