LSU fans just watched a rough end to their season. Florida fans endured a miserable year on the gridiron, period. But a sliver of good news for both Tigers and Gators: Their schools have more players left in the NFL postseason than anybody.
Florida and LSU each have 11 players active in the playoffs after the games Saturday and Sunday, which saw the elimination of the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers.
The eliminated teams included nine LSU players, nearly half of the NCAA-leading 20 Tigers in the postseason as a whole, part of the list compiled last week by LSU digital media director Todd Politz.
— Todd Politz (@tpolitz) January 7, 2018
Since the wild card round wrapped up Sunday, that list has changed dramatically.
Still going in the NFL divisional playoffs are these 11 Tigers: linebacker Deion Jones, running back Terrence Magee and linebacker Duke Riley of the Atlanta Falcons; running back Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars; defensive ends Tashawn Bower and Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings, defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois of the New England Patriots; punter Donnie Jones and cornerback Jalen Mills of the Philadelphia Eagles; and offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins and running back Stevan Ridley of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Oddly enough, the New Orleans Saints have no LSU players on their active roster.
Now, though, the Tigers have company at the top. Former Florida players still active in the playoffs are Falcons defensive backs Keanu Neal and Brian Poole; Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler and linebacker Lerentee McCray; Vikings running back Mack Brown; Patriots running back Mike Gillislee; Eagles tight end Trey Burton and defensive back Jaylen Watkins; and Steelers offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, cornerback Joe Haden and center Maurkice Pouncey.
The Tigers and Gators are tied with Miami, which has 11 players still on playoff teams – three each with the Jaguars and Steelers, two with the Vikings and one each with the Falcons, Patriots and Saints.
Not far behind are Florida State, Michigan and Tennessee, with 10 players remaining. The Vols’ count is boosted by five former Tennessee players on the Steelers’ roster.
And for those wondering, College Football Playoff finalists Alabama and Georgia have eight and four players, respectively, left on playoff rosters.
For LSU and Florida fans, leading the numbers in the divisional playoffs won’t remove the sting from seasons that were inconsistent or just plain rotten. But it’s safe to say that by now, the Tigers and Gators will take victories over Alabama and Georgia any way they can get them.
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