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Column: SEC well represented in the NFL

By By Josh Taylor/staff writer
September 7, 2003
The time has come.
No more preseason games that don't mean a thing.
No more analysts picking division winners. No more quarterbacks getting hurt without reason.
The 2003 NFL season is upon us.
Did you watch the Jets-Redskins game Thursday night? It was actually a good game. The Redskins walked away with a 16-13 victory thanks to kicker John Hall. After the game, Hall, a former Jet, said that he had dreamed all off-season of beating his former team like that.
It looks like the Redskins got the better end of that deal.
SEC represented
At the beginning of the broadcast, the starting players for each team are cycled through as they each say the college team they played for. It did not surprise me in the least that a large majority of the starters for both teams came from the SEC.
Washington's starting left tackle, Chris Samuels, is a former Alabama Crimson Tide player. Both of the Redskins' starting cornerbacks came out of the SEC; Mississippi State's Fred Smoot and Georgia's Champ Bailey.
Another MSU alumnus on the Redskins is right tackle Randy Thomas.
The Jets are no exception. Center Kevin Mawae is a former LSU Tiger while right guard Brent Smith is another former MSU Bulldog. Defensive end Shaun Ellis played for the Tennessee Vols while defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson is a former Kentucky Wildcat.
The list goes on.
The Jets' starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson played his college career at Georgia while defensive end John Abraham is a former South Carolina Gamecock. The Jets' entire defensive front line played in the SEC.
Linebacker Morris Lewis also played at Georgia.
The SEC had a total of 11 players represented in the starting lineups in Thursday night's game. That comes out to about 25 percent of the starters in that game from just seven schools. Georgia and Mississippi State led with three each.
That's pretty impressive.
According to ESPN, the University of Florida and Florida State had the most players on opening day rosters with 39 each.
The SEC has put out such players as Joe Namath, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith, Jevon Kearse, Deuce McAllister, Eric Moulds, Duce Staley, and Peyton Manning. It's no wonder we're all football nuts down here.
It's good to see the SEC represented.
Interesting statistic
I came across another interesting statistic at ESPN's website. In the history of the NFL, there has only been three colleges to have two former coaches win a Super Bowl.
The first one is Arkansas with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. The other two may surprise you. Did you guess San Jose State? Their list of former coaches includes Dick Vermeil and Bill Walsh. The last one is Dayton with Jon Gruden and Chuck Noll. These six guys won 12 of the 37 Super Bowls ever played. That's about 33 percent.
Can you guess which team has the longest running home sellout streak? The Washington Redskins take the prize with 265 consecutive
sellout crowds. That means that their last game that didn't sellout was around 1970.
Game Of the week
This week's Game Of The Week will definitely be Tampa Bay versus Philadelphia on Monday Night. This game should give us a pretty good idea whether the Buccaneers are still tough enough to build a dynasty or whether their desire has gone.
The Eagles have a promising season in front of them with a healthy Donovan McNabb and are sure to give the Buccaneers a fight.
Another interesting game will be San Diego at Kansas City. Both of these teams have the potential to be this year's turnaround team.
Don't forget about Atlanta at Dallas. Can the Falcons win without Vick and how much of a difference will Parcells make at Dallas?
The Garbage Of The Week is a tie between Arizona at Detroit and Jacksonville at Carolina.
Don't waste your time with either.