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*** BCS National Championship 2012 Series *** College 2011-2012 Bowl Conference Matchups


BCS National Championship Series
College 2011-2012 Bowl Conference Matchups

The BCS is a five-game showcase of college football. It is designed to ensure that the two top-rated teams in the country meet in the national championship game, and to create exciting and competitive matchups among eight other highly regarded teams in four other bowl games.

It has been undeniably successful in achieving those goals. Thanks to the BCS, the top two teams have played each other 12 times in 12 years by BCS measurements and nine times in the last 12 according to the AP poll -- including the last six years in a row. Additionally, it has provided more access to the major bowls for all eleven conferences, more television exposure, and more postseason revenue than ever before.

BCS National Championship Game
BCS#1 vs BCS #2 - Jan. 9, 2012 - 8:30 p.m. - New Orleans, La.- ESPN

Rose Bowl

Jan. 2, 2012 - Pasadena, Calif.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 2, 2012 - Glendale, Ariz.

Sugar Bowl
Jan. 3, 2012 - New Orleans

Discover Orange Bowl
Jan. 4, 2012 - Miami

BCS National Championship
Jan. 9, 2012 - New Orleans

– Complete 2011-2012 Bowl Games –
December 2011

New Mexico Bowl
MWC vs Pac 12 - Albuquerque, N.M.- Dec. 17, 2011 - 2 p.m. ESPN

Humanitarian Bowl
WAC vs MAC - Boise, Idaho - Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. ESPN

New Orleans Bowl
Sun Belt vs CUSA - New Orleans, La - Dec. 17, 9 p.m. ESPN

St. Petersburg Bowl
Big East vs CUSA - St. Petersburg, Fl - Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ESPN

Poinsettia Bowl
MWC vs WAC - Dec. 21, 8 p.m. ESPN

Las Vegas Bowl
MWC vs Pac 10 - Las Vegas, Nv - Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ESPN

Hawaii Bowl
WAC vs CUSA - Honolulu, Hi - Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ESPN

Independence Bowl
MWC vs ACC - Shreveport, La. - Dec. 26, 5 p.m. ESPN2

Little Caesars Bowl
MAC vs. Big Ten - Detroit, Mi - Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m. ESPN

Belk Bowl
Big East vs ACC – Charlotte, North Carolina - Dec. 27, 8 p.m. ESPN2

Military Bowl
ACC vs Navy - Washington, D.C. - Dec. 28, 4:30 pm ESPN

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Big 12 vs Pac 12 - San Diego, Ca - Dec. 28, 8 p.m. ESPN

Champs Sports Bowl
Big East vs ACC - Orlando, Fl. - Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. ESPN

Alamo Bowl
Big 12 vs Pac 12 - San Antonio, Tx - Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ESPN

Armed Forces Bowl
CUSA vs BYU - Dallas, Tx - Dec. 30, 12 p.m ESPN

Pinstripe Bowl
Big East vs Big 12 - Bronx, NYC - Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. ESPN

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
ACC vs SEC - Nashville, Tn. - Dec. 30, 6:30 p.m. ESPN

Insight Bowl
Big Ten vs Big 12 - Tempe, Ariz. - Dec. 30, 10 p.m. ESPN

Meineke Car Care Bowl
Big East vs ACC - Charlotte, N.C. - Dec. 31, Noon. ESPN

Brut Sun Bowl
ACC vs Pac 12 - El Paso, Texas - Dec. 31, 2 p.m. CBS

Liberty Bowl
SEC vs CUSA - Memphis, Tn. - Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ABC

Fight Hunger Bowl
Army vs Pac 12 - San Francisco, Ca - Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ESPN

Chick-fil-A Bowl
ACC vs SEC - Atlanta, Ga - Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ESPN

January 2012
Ticket City Bowl
Big Ten vs CUSA - Dallas, Tx. - Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ESPN

Capital One Bowl
Big Ten vs SEC - Orlando, Fl. - Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ABC

Gator Bowl
Big Ten vs SEC - Jacksonville, Fla. - Jan. 2, 1:00 p.m. ESPN 2

Outback Bowl
Big Ten vs SEC - Tampa, Fl. - Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ESPN

Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi
BCS - Big Ten vs Pac 10 - Pasadena, Ca - Jan. 2, 5:00 p.m. ABC

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Big Champion vs BCS - Glendale, Ariz. - Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Sugar Bowl
SEC Champion vs BCS - New Orleans, La - Jan. 3, 8 p.m. ESPN

FedEx Orange Bowl
ACC Champion vs BCS - Miami, Fl - Jan. 4, 8 p.m. ESPN

AT&T Cotton Bowl
Big 12 vs SEC - Arlington, Texas - Jan. 6, 8 p.m. FOX

Compass Bowl
Big East vs SEC - Birmingham, Al - Jan. 7, 1:00 p.m. ESPN

Go Daddy.com Bowl
Sun Belt vs MAC - Mobile, Ala. - Jan. 8, 9 p.m. ESPN

BCS National Championship Game
BCS#1 vs BCS #2 - Jan. 9, 8:30 p.m. - New Orleans, La.- ESPN

NFL Preseason 2011 Schedule Starts Tonight

NFL Preseason 2011 Schedule -
All Times Eastern Standard

Photo – QB Drew Brees - Saints

Thursday, August 11
Jacksonville at New England (7:30)
Baltimore at Philadelphia (7:30)
Seattle at San Diego (8:00)
Denver at Dallas (8:30)
Arizona at Oakland (10:00)

Friday, August 12
Miami at Atlanta (7:30)
Cincinnati at Detroit (7:30)
Pittsburgh at Washington (7:30)
Tampa Bay at Kansas City (8:00)
San Francisco at New Orleans (8:00)

Saturday, August 13
Green Bay at Cleveland (7:30)
Buffalo at Chicago (8:00)
N.Y. Giants at Carolina (8:00)
Indianapolis at St. Louis (8:00)
Minnesota at Tennessee (8:00)

Monday, August 15
N.Y. Jets at Houston (8:00)

For Complete Schedule Click on Next Page

Cam Newton Selected #1 in NFL Draft 2011

Best First Round Value Selections
Jaguars – QB Blaine Gabbert
Lions - DT Nick Fairley
Giants - CB Prince Amukamara
Ravens – CB Jimmy Smith
Saints - DE Cam Jordan
Steelers – DE Cam Heyward

Photo – QB Cam Newton

First Round Selection Order
Pick / Team / Player / Position/ College

1(1) Panthers - Cam Newton - QB - Auburn
2(2) Broncos - Von Miller - LB - Texas A&M
3(3) Bills – Marcell Dareus - DL - Alabama
4(4) Bengals - A.J. Green - WR - Georgia
5(5) Cardinals - Patrick Peterson - CB - LSU
6(6) Falcons (Browns) - Julio Jones - WR - Alabama
7(7) 49ers - Aldon Smith - LB - Missouri
8(8) Titans - Locker, Jake - QB - Washington
9(9) Cowboys - Tyron Smith - OT - USC
10(10) Jaguars (Redskins) - Blaine Gabbert - QB - Missouri
11(11) Texans - J.J. Watt - DE - Wisconsin
12(12) Vikings - Christian Ponder - QB - Florida St.
13(13) Lions - Nick Fairley - DT - Auburn
14(14) Rams - Robert Quinn - DE - North Carolina
15(15) Dolphins - Mike Pouncey - OL - Florida
16(16) Redskins (Jaguars) - Ryan Kerrigan - DE - Purdue
17(17) Patriots (Raiders) - Nate Solder - OT - Colorado
18(18) Chargers - Corey Liuget - DT - Illinois
19(19) Giants - Prince Amukamara - CB - Nebraska
20(20) Buccaneers - Adrian Clayborn - DE - Iowa
21(21) Browns (Chiefs) - Phil Taylor - DT - Baylor
22(22) Colts - Anthony Castonzo - OT - Boston College
23(23) Eagles - Danny Watkins - OL - Baylor
24(24) Saints - Cam Jordan - DE - California
25(25) Seahawks - James Carpenter - OL - Alabama
26(26) Chiefs (Falcons-Browns) - Jonathan Baldwin - WR - Pittsburgh
27(27) Ravens - Jimmy Smith - CB - Colorado
28(28) Saints (Patriots) - Mark Ingram - RB - Alabama
29(29) Bears - Gabe Carimi - OT - Wisconsin
30(30) Jets - Muhammad Wilkerson - DE - Temple
31(31) Steelers - Cam Heyward - DE - Ohio St.
32(32) Packers - Derek Sherrod - OT - Mississippi St.

'The Pack is Back' - Super Bowl XLV Champions

Packers' Aaron Rodgers Wins Super Bowl MVP Award

With precision passing and great composure under fire, QB Aaron Rodgers completed 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards, three TDs and no interceptions Sunday to lead the Packers to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers for Green Bay's first NFL title since Favre's in the January 1997 Super Bowl. It was the Packers 4th Super Bowl title including the first two ever in 1967 and 1968 for the prestigious NFL championship.

QB Aaron Rodgers - Packers

Aaron Rodgers became the fourth QB in Super Bowl history to throw for three TDs, 300 yards and no interceptions. He threw two TD passes to Greg Jennings and one to Jordy Nelson. Over the course of the game, the Packers dropped a half dozen passes for approximately 150 yards and some like the one to wideout James Jones that would have gone for a long TD and put the game away in the 3rd quarter.

Rodgers is just 27 years old and hopefully removed the Brett Favre ghost. Rodgers backed up the Green Bay legend during his first three seasons seeing virtually no playing time. In the past three seasons, he has quickly established himself as one of the game's best. His playoff record stands at 4-1 with the lone loss last season, a playoff game when he threw for over 400 yards. He led the #6 seed Packers to three NFC road victories before winning the championship Sunday. It is the first time in Super Bowl history a #6 seed team won the NFL title.

NFL Draft - QB Aaron Rodgers Scouting Report 2005 Yearbook

Draft Insiders’ - Yearbook '05 Scouting Report - Aaron Rodgers was our Top Overall #1 Prospect. He went late in the 1st round to Green Bay at the 24th overall pick.

1. * Aaron Rodgers #8 - 6'2" 220 lbs. - Cal - Sp. 4.7 - Rating 92
Hindu Theory - Joe Montana

Talented strong-armed junior passer finished his career with back-to-back excellent efforts as a junior and sophomore. Aaron is an excellent passer who combines arm strength, mechanics and delivery to make all the throws. He is a well-built athlete with both a live arm and quick feet to give an offense a versatile threat under center. He has developed quickly as an athlete, improving in every aspect of QB play over his two-year starting career under the tutelage of HC Jeff Tedford. He has filled out as an athlete and possesses a strong live arm with the mobility to be a threat on the perimeter and the agility to throw on the move. He has quick footwork that creates passing lanes and allows him to avoid the pass rush, though he has only adequate footspeed to scramble outside the pocket. He has a compact quick delivery with sound mechanics that allows him to throw the ball very accurately on a game to game basis. He is a good ball handler and carries carry out play action well with good fakes In his basic setup, he is quick to get back in the pocket with the footwork to plant and drill the ball down the field. He has excellent pocket presence with keen awareness of his unit and the quick decision making to identify defensive coverage and get the ball to the hot receiver. He has improved significantly as a passer each season, showing good arm strength to throw the out and deep ball and the uncanny accuracy in the intermediate and short game to cut defenses apart. He shows rare field vision that has allowed him to make the proper read throughout the game and seldom forcing the ball into heavy coverage. In the pocket, he looks off the safety better than any recent college passer in addition to identifying defensive coverage quicker to make the quick decision and throw. His accuracy is in a class by itself whether throwing the slant, out, or deep pass. He has learned to put air under his throws to allow his receivers to make plays. He has exceptional timing and accuracy to the point that he hits receivers in stride consistently and allows them to break a play after the reception. He shows courage in the pocket and waits until the last minute to fire the ball to the open receiver. He can make all the throws with the toughness to hang in the pocket and take the hit and get the ball off and not be intimidated by a strong hit. In big game situations, he impressed scouts with his arm both from an accuracy and velocity standpoint in addition to his smarts and mobility to manage a game with minimal mistakes and unnecessary risks. He needs work on the finer points of the position to maximize his fine throwing arm and athleticism. Though he is not a finished performer at this point, he developed quickly over his short career and responded well to pressure situations. He became the key component on a Cal club that was an annual doormat in the Pac 10 prior to his starting time. Over his two seasons, he was the only QB to beat USC that he accomplished during his sophomore season and almost achieved again last fall when he fell just short despite a great performance. He shows the ability to adjust quickly to new situations and make the correct decision. For a young passer, he shows fine poise and composure that allowed him to elevate the play of his unit and bring the Cal program back to bowl status after a long dry spell. During the course of a game, he gets into an excellent passing rhythm that increases his confidence immensely and that positive attitude gets conveyed to his teammates to play at a higher level. He has a good feel for backside pressure in the pocket with fine foot quickness to avoid a rush and the ability to pull the ball down and make positive yardage. He has the frame to fill out further and checked in at an even 6’2” at the NFL Combine, fine height for a starting passer.
The Numbers: As a junior, he earned first team All-Pac-10 at quarterback after propelling the Golden Bears to a 10-2 record. He led the Bears to a 17-5 record in 22 career starts during his two seasons. In the ’04 season, he completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,566 yards, 24 TD and only 8 interceptions. He ranked first in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency—even ahead of 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart of USC—despite playing much of the season with a wide receiving corps decimated by injuries. He was named Offensive MVP at the ‘03 Insight Bowl after engineering a 52-49 win over Virginia Tech with a school bowl record 394 yards passing. He threw for 246 yards and one TD in the Cal 45-31 loss to Texas Tech in the ‘04 Holiday Bowl. In only two seasons, he climbed into seventh place on Cal’s career passing yardage list with 5,469 yards, completing 63.7 percent (424-of-665) of his attempts for 43 TD and only 13 interceptions. His 1.95 career interception percentage is a new Pac-10 record, eclipsing the mark of 2.59 set by USC’s Paul McDonald. In the ’04 USC game, he completed his first 23 passes against the nation No. 1 ranked club to tie a NCAA single-game record. He connected on 29 of 34 attempts for 267 yards, one TD and no picks for the afternoon, but they lost to the Trojans, 23-17, despite having four downs at the USC 9-yard line to score a possible game-winning TD in the closing minutes.
The Skinny: Talented junior passer made fast progress over his short starting career and has as much upside as any QB in recent memory. Though he played in a QB friendly system, his production and big game performance is undeniable. He is remarkably similar to Joe Montana in many ways, especially his footwork, accuracy and his ability to take an entire unit’s performance up a level. At the combine, he ran a 4.71 time, had a 34.5” vertical leap and 9’2" broad jump, but did not throw. He has definite NFL starting ability and could become an elite QB within a short time in the right setting. He needs to learn to pick up more sophisticated defensive coverage and how to respond to it. As a collegian, he learned to take what defenses gave him, something few young passers grasped until much later in their career. He is a good athlete with the live arm and intangibles including poise and leadership to become a top flight NFL starter. As a rookie, he may not be ready to start and probably needs some time to learn a system in addition to working with a good supporting cast. He should be the 1st overall pick with the 49ers foolish not to take him there and begin a new era.
Draft Projection: 1st Round

Packers' RB James Starks Wins Rookie Award

Packers' Running Back Starks Wins Weekly Rookie Award

Photo - James Starks - Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers threw three TD passes and unheralded rookie running back James Starks ran for 123 yards as the Packers beat Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, 21-16 in an NFC Wild Card game. Starks was a rookie 6th-round draft pick who injured his hamstring prior to training camp and proceeded to miss the first 11 games of the season while on the PUP list. He pounded the Eagles for 123 rushing yards on 23 carries to give the Packers their first 100 yard rusher on the season and instrumental in their 21-16 Wild Card playoff win.

QB Aaron Rodgers called Starks’ playoff effort perhaps the most important factor in the Packers winning the game. His yardage shattered the previous Green Bay rookie record for rushing yards in a playoff game. Travis Williams had 88 yards back on Dec. 23, 1967, against the Los Angeles Rams in Milwaukee.

Starks got off to a great start against the Eagles when he burst through a big hole for a 27-yard gain on his first carry. He carried three more times for 9 yards on that early drive that ended with a 7-yard TD pass to TE Tom Crabtree.

“He established a hot hand early, and I rode it,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “James was a difference-maker.”

Starks also added two receptions for 9 yards along with his 123 yards rushing. This came in his first playoff game and late season play following nearly two years off with a shoulder injury. Starks averaged 5.3 yards per carry and gained at least 4 yards on 12 of his 23 rushes. The production was pretty consistent, and it gave the Packers several manageable third downs as the offense converted 8-of-13 on the critical down.

Running Back Rankings in Draft Insiders’ - Yearbook March 2010
Starks was ranked #12 in March 2010. He was not ranked in the top 25 in any other scouting service. His March 2010 scouting report is below along with LaGarrette Blount and Anthony Dixon, two other unheralded first year backs who had an impact over the 2010 season.

Running Back Rankings
1. C.J. Spiller - Clemson
2. * Ryan Mathews - Fresno St
3. * Jonathan Dwyer - Georgia Tech
4. * Jahvid Best - California
5. * Toby Gerhart - Stanford
6. * Joe McKnight - Southern Cal
7. Ben Tate - Auburn
8. Dexter McCluster - Ole Miss
9. Montario Hardesty - Tennessee
10. Anthony Dixon - Mississippi St
11. LaGarrette Blount - Oregon
12. James Starks - Buffalo

12. James Starks #19 - 6’2” 220 lbs. - Buffalo - Sp. 4.50
Hindu Theory - Matt Forte

Tough strong senior tailback completed an injury riddled career playing only a few ’09 games before a shoulder injury that ended his season. James failed to duplicate his outstanding junior effort last season. As a junior, he made a significant contribution to the Bulls bowl season. He displayed definite pro potential after finishing with over 1300 yards rushing and 16 TDs despite missing three games due to injuries. He displays a powerful slashing style with the ability to run through tacklers and get the most of each attempt. Over his earlier career, he had several big games that improved his draft status entering his critical final season. He is a strong runner between the tackles with the power to move the pile and break tackles. He has a quick burst to the hole and uses his a big frame well that allows him to run through tacklers and consistently finish his runs with fine body lean. He is a tough runner with good vision, power and balance to be one of the hidden gems of this class if healthy. He has burst to the hole, allowing him to get through the line and use his strong frame to run through tacklers with enough speed to get the corner. His game is getting the tough yardage between the tackles. As a receiver, he has sure hands and has developed well as a route runner and displays good defense recognition skills. He is a natural runner with fine power and quickness, getting huge amounts of yardage after contact. He is a back with a low center of gravity who is very effective when he runs with good pad level and not allowing defenders a clean shot at him. He finishes each rushing attempt with excellent body lean. He has fine lower body strength, including thick thighs, allowing him to run through defenders consistently. He has some natural running skills making defenders miss initially, though he is mainly a one cut runner who runs in a north-south style. His running skills include – decision-making, vision, balance and power with good speed to break into the secondary. As a senior, he started every game before an early season shoulder injury. As a junior, he rushed for 1333 yards and 16 TDs despite missing 3 games with injuries. At the NFL Combine, he ran fine 4.50 and 4.57 times with 15 reps. He added 36” VL and 9’11” BJ with 6.89 three cone and 4.23 short shuttle times. He completed an excellent workout in the positional drills. His quickness and power is what will win an NFL roster spot, showing the AA to make the tough critical inside yardage and possibly start in time. He can be a solid change of pace runner with the ability to contribute in a few roles including a key goal line runner, in addition to projecting to FB in a West Coast offense. Over his career, he displayed the toughness to be a weekly power back with consistent production and ball security his strongest traits. He will probably fall to the late rounds off his injury history. Good late round steal, though he must answer the durability issues to realize his NFL starting potential.

Frank Coyle writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season and a regular Blog @ draftinsiders.com. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc. He is a voter for weekly Team and Player Awards

Jon Baldwin Heads Biletnikoff Award Watch List

Baldwin Heads Biletnikoff Award List
Tallahassee QB Club Foundation

Photo - WR Jon Baldwin - Pittsburgh

Wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff was the first consensus All-American in Florida State football history and began a long line of Seminole standouts at the position. Biletnikoff enjoyed an outstanding career with the Seminoles from 1962-64 under coach Bill Peterson, capped by his 57 reception, 11 touchdown senior season, which he finished off by collecting four touchdown passes in FSU’s 36-19 Gator Bowl win over Oklahoma. He went on to enjoy a 14-year career with the Oakland Raiders, playing in four Pro Bowls and earning MVP honors in Super Bowl XI. He is the only former Seminole who has been enshrined in both the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988) and the College Football Hall of Fame (1991). This year wideout Bert Reed of Florida St. hopes to carry the Seminole tradition of outstanding receivers for the award.

The Biletnikoff Award selection committee will trim its list of contenders to 10 semifinalists on Nov. 14 and three finalists on Nov. 21. The winner be announced on the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show from Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 9 and honored at the Biletnikoff Award Presentation Banquet at the Florida State University Center Club on Feb. 11, 2011.

Fred Biletnikoff Award "Watch List"
Darvin Adams - Auburn University
Jon Baldwin - University of Pittsburgh
Armon Binns - University of Cincinnati
DeAndre Brown - University of Southern Miss
Vincent Brown - San Diego State University
Lavon Brazill - Ohio University
Ryan Broyles - University of Oklahoma
Tyron Carrier - University of Houston
Greg Childs - University of Arkansas
James Cleveland - University of Houston
Randall Cobb - University of Kentucky
Juron Criner - University of Arizona
Tandon Doss - Indiana University
Patrick Edwards - University of Houston
Michael Floyd - University of Notre Dame
AJ Green - University of Georgia
Leonard Hankerson - University of Miami
Dwayne Harris - East Carolina University
Alshon Jeffery - University of South Carolina
Jerrel Jernigan - Troy University
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos - University of Iowa
Damaris Johnson - University of Tulsa
Ronald Johnson - University of Southern Cal
Julio Jones - University of Alabama
Marvin Jones - University of California
Jermaine Kearse - Washington University
Detron Lewis - Texas Tech University
Greg Little - University of North Carolina
Scotty McKnight - University of Colorado
Derek Moye - Penn State University
Uzoma Nwachukwu - Texas A&M University
Eric Page - University of Toledo
Niles Paul - University of Nebraska
Phillip Payne - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Austin Pettis - Boise State University
DeVier Posey - Ohio State University
Bert Reed - Florida State University
James Rodgers - Oregon State University
Roy Roundtree - University of Michigan
Gret Salas - University of Hawaii
keith Smith - Purdue University
Torrey Smith - University of Maryland
Owen Spencer - North Carolina State University
Nick Toon - University of Wisconsin
Donovan Varner - Duke University
Ryan Whalen - Stanford University
Jarvis Williams - North Carolina State University
Marshall Williams - Wake Forest University
Brandon Wimberly - University of Nevada
Kendall Wright - Baylor University
Titus Young - Boise State University

Who Dat? Saints Win Super Bowl

Saints March to NFL Title

Photo - QB Drew Brees - Saints

The New Orleans Saints finally reached NFL heaven with a thrilling victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints marched in to NFL history with a dramatic second half comeback to defeat the Colts 31-17 in Miami. It was the Saints first NFL title in the wild 43-year history of the franchise that included the loveable Aint’s of yesteryear to the team that rallied a city to recover from the horrors after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Brees rallied the Saints to upset the Peyton Manning directed Colts with some late game heroics.
“We just believed in ourselves and we knew that we had an entire city and maybe an entire country behind us,” said Brees, the game’s MVP. “What can I say? I tried to imagine what this moment would be like for a long time, and it’s better than expected.”

“Four years ago who ever thought this would be happening when 85 percent of the city was under water from (Hurricane) Katrina,” Brees said. “Most people not knowing if New Orleans would ever come back or if the organization and the team would come back. ... This is the culmination of that belief and that faith.”

Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions, the last a 2-yard slant to Jeremy Shockey for the winning points with 5:42 remaining in the game. He went 32 for 39 for 288 yards and 2 TDs while completing 29 of his final 32 passing attempts in a brilliant clutch performance. Head coach, Sean Payton, managed to boil it down to three words: “Brees was magnificent.”

Brees was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV after completing a Super Bowl record 32 passes. Of the seven incompletions, at least one was dropped while another was a spike. Two passes went for TDs and he also threw for a two-point conversion. For the postseason, Brees completed 71% of his passes with 8 TD passes and no interceptions while beating three divisional winners – the Cardinals, Vikings and Colts. The Saints trailed in each of those crucial victories by at least 7 points, a first time for the NFL postseason.

For the '09 season, Brees put up incredible passing numbers - a 70% completion rate with 4388 yards passing and 34 TDs and 11 interceptions. His leadership can not be measured as he has become the leader of a team that rallied around him and a city in pursuit of NFL history.

Saints’ coach Sean Payton deserves applause for several gutsy calls over the game especially the onside kick that opened the 2nd half that sparked the Saints’ comeback. The much maligned Saints defense made several key stops with Tracy Porter’s 74-yard TD interception return off an errant pass from Manning clinching the victory for the Big Easy.

For the '09 season, the Saints finished 16-3 overall and won three postseason games after winning only two in their previous 42 year history. They beat Arizona, Minnesota and Indianapolis (16-3) — all division winners — for their first title, scoring 107 points and allowing only 59.

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