With the NFL Draft looming, I found a list courtesy of the NFL Network featuring the schools consider to be the Top Ten Football Factories. We here at Dubsism took that list and crossed it against each schools three arguably most interesting players. Be mindful of the fact this list was devised and ordered by the NFL Network and not us, which is why before you write us nasty letters about it, wait for our comments at the end so you can be REALLY pissed when you comment.
Their Top Three – Peyton Manning, Reggie White, Doug Atkins
Those are three top-flight hall-of-famers, and that’s only part of the reason why Tennessee belongs on this list. In terms of college football, Tennessee has a long history; the Volunteers were the power of the SEC before Bear Bryant and Alabama. Of course, recent history hasn’t been kind to the Vols, and that’s just fine with me, since Tenneesee still grinds my gears.
9) The Mid-America Conference (MAC)
Their Top Three – Jack Lambert, Ben Roethlisberger, Randy Moss
Honestly, this entry caused the most discussion amongst the staff here at Dubsism; at least no punches were thrown this time, but suffice it to say there are several staffers here who fervently believe it is wrong to include an entire conference. In defense of the MAC, that’s a pretty solid Top Three as compared to some of the others on this list. I would like to believe the MAC is here to represent the contributions of all small schools, but more importantly, look at what those three represent – a toothless psychopath, a multi-ringed “may-be” rapist, and complete douchebag.
8 ) Syracuse
Their Top Three – Jim Brown, John Mackey, Donovan McNabb
This is just the saddest story on this list; the classic case of how the mighty have fallen. In my lifetime, I’ve watched the Orange go from the pride of eastern football to a team that can barely stay afloat in the weakest big conference in football. I blame it all on Dick MacPherson, their Hall-of-Fame coach who steadily built the Orangemen into an Eastern football power. One of SU’s most stunning wins during MacPherson’s tenure came in 1984 when the Orangemen upset then No. 1 Nebraska, 17-9. MacPherson later bolted from the Orange, trying to parlay his success in college into a career in the NFL, but his two years stint with the New England Patriots..well, let’s just say calling it an “abject failure” is being kind. Sadly, the Orange have been rancid ever since.
7) Penn State
Their Top Three – Jack Ham, Lenny Moore, John Cappelletti
This is another case of a school getting its coach hired away by the New England Patriots. Back in 1972, the Patriots offered Joe Paterno a contract which have made him football’s first million-dollar coach, a contract which JoePa accepted. However, his tenure as an NFL coach lasted less than 12 hours; the morning after signing the deal, Paterno called the Patriots to tell them the deal was off. Had Paterno left, it is a certainty the Nittany Lions would have languished at the bottom of college football for decades; just look at what happened to Syracuse. Hell, it could have been worse, look at what happened to SMU when Ron Meyer left for New England.
Their Top Three – Joe Namath, John Hannah, Derrick Thomas
Given their history, there is not anybody young or old who didn’t picture this team on this list. And why not? Alabama has always paid as well, if not better than any NFL franchise.
Their Top Three – Dan Dierdorf, Tom Brady, President Gerald Ford
There’s only three other schools that have produced both a Super Bowl winning quarterback and a U.S. President – Navy (Roger Staubach/Jimmy Carter), Stanford (John Elway & Jim Plunkett/Herbert Hoover), and Miami of Ohio (Ben Roethislberger/Benjamin Harrison), but Michigan is the only one whose quarterback has won the Super Bowl three times (Tom Brady) and whose President was also an All-American offensive lineman. Despite that, Michigan also grinds my gears.
4) Ohio State
Their Top Three – Jim Parker, Paul Warfield, Cris Carter
Another school with long history, and a new problem. Nobody can deny Ohio State has pumped hundreds of players into the NFL, but given the stuff swirling around the football program these days, one starts wondering how many hundreds are going to be pumped into the pockets of defense attorneys and bail bondsmen in the near future. Given that, it shouldn’t shock anybody the effect Ohio State has on my gears.
3) Notre Dame
Their Top Three – Joe Montana, Paul Hornung, Alan Page
Now, Notre Dame is a team that produces more corpses with scissor-lifts and sexual assault reports than it does NFL talent, but let’s not forget this list is historically all-inclusive. The way things look in south Bend now, it is feasible the Fighting Irish could be moving down this list over time; Notre Dame doesn’t look to be a top-flight program anytime soon.
2) Miami, FL
Their Top Three – Jim Kelly, Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin
If Notre Dame represents the oldest of history, Miami is the other side of the college football coin; the Hurricanes were hardly a breeze until the 1980′s. But in that time they have produced an astonishing amount of talent. But they also spent most of the 80′s being completely hateable, leading to one of my favorite moments in all of college football – Pete Giftopoulous’ interception at the end of the 4th quarter of the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, giving Penn State the national championship over Miami.
1) Southern Cal
Their Top Three – Ronnie Lott, Bruce Matthews, O.J. Simpson
In most cities with multiple professional sports franchises, there’s a “pecking order” in terms who gets fan support no matter what; the team which is always in the spotlight. In New York, the top of the food chain is inhabited by the Yankees and the Knicks. In Chicago, that honor belongs to the Cubs and the Bears. In Los Angeles, its the Lakers and USC. Make no mistake, the Trojans are every bit a professional franchise; they’ve got the NCAA sanctions to prove it. Long before that, there’s reason I called them them U$¢ (The University of Dollars and Cents).
The thing that really struck the staff here at Dubsism was not the teams on the list (other than that whole MAC thing), but some of the teams not on it.
Texas – Their Top Three – Earl Campbell, Bobby Layne, Tommy Nobis
Their exclusion has to be because for close to 25 years after the Darrell Royal era, for the most part Texas became an afterthought on the national landscape.
Oklahoma – Their Top Three – Lee Roy Selmon, Billy Sims, Tommy McDonald
The Sooners got left off the list for two words – Brian Bosworth.
Purdue – Their Top Three – Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Drew Brees
Ok, I know this one is a stretch, but I would put
West Lafayette Vo-Tech Purdue on the list over an entire conference just on quarterbacks alone. Alabama is the only other school that has produced three Super Bowl winning quarterbacks (Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler) and the three produced by Purdue are to a man better quarterbacks than the three coming from the Tide. Then there’s all the other legit NFL quarterbacks this school has produced other than the ones already mentioned - Gary Danielson, Bob DeMoss, Jim Everett, Jeff George (transferred/got kicked out to Illinois), Mark Herrmann, Mike Phipps, and the Greatest Athlete in the History of Ever, Kyle Orton.
Grambling – Their Top Three – Everson Walls, Doug Williams, Charlie Joiner
Eddie Robinson produced so much NFL talent – a list of the players he prepared for NFL success reads like a list of guys you forgot about, but when you read the list, its a never-ending parade of “how the hell did I forget that guy!” Look past the three we already mentioned – there’s still Buck Buchanan, Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd, Sammy White, Trumaine Johnson, James Harris, Willie Brown, Willie Davis, “Tank” Younger, and 1976 Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner.