When I wrote this blog post last week noting that UW not has just three fifth-year seniors on its roster, the obvious and valid question from a few readers was how that compares with the rest of the Pac-12 Conference.
We always aim to try to please here, so after doing a little research, I have an answer — it’s fewer than any other team in the conference. Next lowest on the list was Cal, with four.
Here’s the list, from most to fewest:
Colorado — 13
Stanford, Washington State — 11
USC — 10
Arizona — 9
Arizona State, Oregon — 8
Oregon State, UCLA — 7
Utah — 5
Cal — 4
A couple of caveats — not every school had a current roster on-line yet so with a few I had to look at last year’s and figure out who is still left, making it possible I have missed a transaction or two, especially since some schools have yet to start spring and some personnel shifting may still happen; I also attempted to count only scholarship players, but again not every school made clear who is a walk-on and who isn’t so it’s also possible I missed a couple there, as well.
Still, I think the numbers are pretty close.
I also think the numbers show that it’s rare for a full class of signees to make it all the way through to five years later. Coaching changes, injuries, guys playing early and being done in four years, guys leaving early for the NFL — all of those contribute to teams having few fifth-year seniors.
Cal, for instance, signed five JC players among a 20-man class in 2009, so it had only 15 candidates to be scholarship fifth-year seniors five years later — and it lost one yesterday when QB Allan Bridgford decided to transfer. Utah also went heavy on the JC route in 2009, signing nine.
It’s also hard to know exactly what it means — obviously, the fact that Colorado has so many fifth-year seniors isn’t going to make everyone start thinking about voting the Buffs higher in the Pac-12 South this year.
As for UW, the three fifth-year seniors is also a big reason the Huskies have just 13 scholarship seniors overall on the 2013 roster.