NFL playoffs have Magnolia State flavor

By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal

Today’s NFL conference championship games will offer plenty of rooting interest for fans of both both Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
As it happens, there are players from both schools on all four remaining teams aiming to reach the Feb. 3 Super Bowl in New Orleans. Of those eight, five are listed as starters:
Atlanta: Defensive tackle Peria Jerry (Ole Miss) and reserve free safety Charles Mitchell (MSU). Also, offensive tackle Lamar Holmes (ICC, Southern Miss).
Baltimore: Offensive tackle Michael Oher (Ole Miss) – subject of the book and movie “The Blind Side” – and defensive end Pernell McPhee (ICC, MSU).
New England: Defensive tackle Kyle Love (MSU) and fullback Brandon Bolden (Ole Miss).
San Francisco: All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis (Ole Miss) and reserve running back Anthony Dixon (MSU).
San Francisco visits Atlanta for the NFC title at 2 p.m. on Fox; Baltimore visits New England in the AFC at 5:30 p.m. on CBS.
Ole Miss is guaranteed a 15th player to get a Super Bowl ring – and the second in a row, after Eli Manning and the New York Giants won last season.
But Mississippi’s SEC schools aren’t alone in having players on all four rosters; Ole Miss football media relations director Kyle Campbell notes that there are a total of eight such schools, a list that also includes Central Florida, Florida, Louisville, Miami, Tennessee and Texas.
john.pitts@journalinc.com