• You know where most of the big names in this year's Super Bowl went to college. Determining which school's alums could hold the key to a championship for either the Patriots or Eagles takes a little more digging.
By Daniel Rapaport
January 26, 2018

The players days away from meeting in Super Bowl LII came to the Patriots and Eagles’ rosters from all corners of college football. There are representatives from perennial powerhouses (Florida State and Ohio State), small-conference darlings (Boise State and Memphis) and an assortment of lesser-known squads (Old Dominion, West Texas A&M).

Instead of just listing where each Super Bowl participant went to college, we decided to try to rank which school’s alumni will have the biggest impact on the outcome of the game itself. To do this, we’ve assigned a point value corresponding to the relative worth of each player who appeared in the team’s respective conference championship games last weekend. The categories are as follows:

Four points: Potential game-changer. One of the most valuable players on the team. A potential MVP.
Three points: Clear-cut starter.
Two points: Rotational player who gets significant playing time but plays less than half the snaps.
One point: Special teamer or other player who rarely sees the field.

The schools that finished atop the rankings aren’t all college football bluebloods, which goes to show that championship X-factors can come from anywhere.

10 points

Arizona: Eagles QB Nick Foles (4), Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (4), Patriots LB Marquis Flowers (2)
Florida State: Eagles DB Ronald Darby (3), Eagles LB Nigel Bradham (3), Eagles DL Tim Jernigan (2), Eagles DB Patrick Robinson (2)

Nine points

Stanford: Eagles TE Zach Ertz (4), Patriots OL Cameron Fleming (3), Patriots DB Jordan Richards (1), Patriots DB Johnson Bademosi (1)
Michigan: Patriots QB Tom Brady (4), Eagles DL Brandon Graham (3), Patriots LB David Harris (1), Patriots DT Alan Branch (1)

Eight points

Memphis: Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski (4), Eagles K Jake Elliott (4)
South Carolina: Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (4), Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore (4)
LSU: Eagles DB Jalen Mills (3), Eagles P Donnie Jones (3), Patriots DL Ricky-Jean Francois (2)
Wisconsin: Patriots RB James White (2), Eagles RB Corey Clement (2), Eagles DL Beau Allen (2)

Seven points

Oregon: Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount (3), Patriots DB Patrick Chung (3), Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (1)

Six points

Virginia: Eagles DL Chris Long (3), Eagles DB Rodney McLeod (3)

Five points

Pittsburgh: Patriots RB Dion Lewis (4), Patriots LB Nicholas Grigsby (1)
Oregon State: Patriots WR Brandin Cooks (3), Eagles OL Isaac Seumalo (1)
Oklahoma: Eagles OL Lane Johnson (4), Patriots DE Geneo Grissom (1)
Rutgers: Patriots DB Devin McCourty (4), Patriots DB Duron Harmon (1)
Arkansas: Patriots DL Trey Flowers (4), Patriots DL Deatrich Wise (1)
Cincinnati: Eagles OL Jason Kelce (3), Eagles TE Brent Celek (2)

Four points

Miami: Eagles OL Brandon Brooks (3), Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett (1)
Boise State: Eagles RB Jay Ajayi (4)
Mississippi State: Eagles DL Fletcher Cox (4)
Ohio State: Eagles DB Malcolm Jenkins (4)

Three points

Penn State: Eagles OL Stefen Wisniewski (3)
Texas Tech: Patriots WR Danny Amendola (3)
Monmouth: Patriots WR Chris Hogan (3)
Georgia Tech: Patriots OL Shaq Mason (3)
Georgia: Patriots OL David Andrews (3)
Tennessee: Eagles DL Derek Barnett (3)
NC State: Patriots OL Joe Thuney (3)
Old Dominion: Eagles LS Rick Lovato (3)
Colorado: Patriots OL Nate Solder (3)
Navy: Patriots LS Joe Cardona (3)
Louisiana Tech: Patriots P Ryan Allen (3)
West Alabama: Patriots DB Malcolm Butler (3)
BYU: Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy (3)
Houston: Patriots LB Elandon Roberts (3)
Kent State: Patriots LB James Harrison (3)
Arizona State: Patriots DE Lawrence Guy (3)
Texas: Patriots DL Malcolm Brown (3)
USC: Eagles WR Nelson Agholor (3)
Maryland: Eagles WR Torrey Smith (3)
TCU: Eagles OL Halapoulivaati Vatai (3)
Marshall: Eagles DL Vinny Curry (3)
West Virginia: Eagles LB Najee Goode (2), Eagles DB Rasul Douglas (1)

Two points

UCLA: Patriots WR Matthew Slater (2)
South Florida: Patriots DL Eric Lee (2)
Florida: Eagles TE Trey Burton (1), Eagles DB Jaylen Watkins (1)
New Hampshire: Eagles DB Corey Graham (2)
Cal: Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (2)
Nebraska: Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (2)

One point

Brown: Patriots FB James Develin (1)
Utah: Patriots DB Eric Rowe (1)
Vanderbilt: Patriots DL Adam Butler (1)
Iowa: Patriots OL Cole Croston (1)
Illinois: Patriots OL Ted Karras (1)
North Carolina: Eagles WR Mack Hollins (1)
Eastern Illinois: Eagles LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (1)
West Texas A&M: Eagles LB Bryan Braman (1)
Washington State: Eagles DL Destiny Vaeao (1)

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