Triplets U Round 3: Stafford's Bulldogs edge Bradford's Sooners


Earlier this summer, we updated our NFL Triplets list, and everyone who read it agreed with the fact-based conclusions 100 percent.

As you might know, many colleges also field football teams -- the best players from which go on to the aforementioned NFL. So, with the season's kickoff drawing ever closer, it's high time we tackle the best trios of student-athletes, school by school, who are currently employed as pro football players.

Yes, like an expanded version of the CFB's fancy new bracket tournament, we've pooled all the NFL rosters to come up with the 32 best trios by university. The standards remain the same: One quarterback, one running back and one pass catcher, with more weight/credit placed on the QB than the other two spots. All players must be on active rosters -- and, for the sake of their destinies here, all are preferably good at football.

My esteemed NFL Media colleagues and I will be casting our votes to determine which teams advance. Have an opinion on who should go on and who should go home? Let us know.

-- Dave Dameshek


No. 1 Cal defeats No. 2 Stanford -- 13-0

Daniel Jeremiah: Cal. The Bears hold on despite a late comeback attempt from Andrew Luck.

Gil Brandt: Cal. A very close matchup goes to the quarterback who is, right now, the better signal-caller.

Bucky Brooks: Cal. The Bears' combination of speed, explosiveness and versatility makes them nearly impossible to defend. Lynch is a dynamic runner/receiver with a rugged style; Jackson is a big-play threat with the potential to score from anywhere on the field. With Rodgers at the controls, the Bears have too much firepower for the NFL's best young quarterback.

Colleen Wolfe: Cal. This trio has all the makings of a hypothetical champion: Rodgers' arm is made of many leather-bound books and smells of rich mahogany; Lynch can move the Earth and taste the rainbow; and Jackson once performed a miracle at the Meadowlands. They're like football Power Rangers.

Charles Davis: Cal. The Bears get things back in their direction against their hated rival. Aaron Rodgers throws the route tree to DeSean Jackson from "the rocking chair" after Marshawn Lynch bludgeons Stanford's defense.

Dan Hanzus: Cal.Aaron Rodgers uses "Top 100" countdown disrespect as fuel for glory in this fake tournament. Toby Gerhart admits to reporters after the game he has no idea how he got here.

Adam Schein: Cal. The Big Three from Cal crushes Stanford.

Charley Casserly: Cal.Clean sweep for the Cal triplets over Stanford.

Chase Goodbread: Cal. The "Luck" runs out for the Cardinal. Tip your waitresses.

Conor Orr: Cal. Aaron. Rodgers. Cal.

Mike Huguenin: Cal. In this instance, the public-school guys beat the private-school guys.

Marcas Grant: Cal. The Bears have too much depth. The Axe is going back to Berkeley.


No. 1 Tennessee defeats No. 2 USC -- 13-0

Daniel Jeremiah: Tennessee.Arian Foster controls the clock, and Tennessee advances.

Gil Brandt: Tennessee. Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and it's hard to beat the best.

Bucky Brooks: Tennessee. It's hard to find a better set of skill players than the Vols' veteran crew. Foster and Witten are unheralded playmakers capable of moving the ball. Manning is the ideal orchestrator thanks to his high football IQ and pinpoint accuracy. Although the Trojans can rival the Vols' explosiveness with Bush and Palmer, the edge goes to Tennessee in this matchup.

Colleen Wolfe: Tennessee. Huzzah! The dastardly streak is broken. (USC has played Tennessee four times in college football history, with the Trojans winning all four games by a combined score of 102-24.)Carson Palmer easily connects with the speedy Nelson Agholor, but USC gets reckless with the run. The Tennessee trio prevails, and order is restored.

Charles Davis: Tennessee. The streak dies for USC, as the Vols run it with Foster and "ring the bell" with Witten. Close, but it's Tennessee's band plus 10 "Rocky Tops" over USC's "Fight Ons."

Dave Dameshek: Tennessee. The two QBs look more like professors than students (and so does the Vols' tight end). Age before beauty: Tennessee wins.

Dan Hanzus: Tennessee. The bourgeoning Peyton-Jason bromance goes next level after a decisive win over the L.A. kids.

Adam Schein: Tennessee. You can't go against Manning and Co. here!

Charley Casserly: Tennessee.Peyton, with Foster and Witten, has too much talent, depth and experience to be beaten by this USC group.

Chase Goodbread: Tennessee.The Trojans lose here in all three matchups.

Conor Orr: Tennessee. I've already attempted to vote Palmer out once. Manning to Witten ALL DAY!

Mike Huguenin: Tennessee.Manning trumps Palmer, Foster trumps Bush and Witten trumps Agholor. It isn't close.

Marcas Grant: Tennessee. The Vols are just slightly better than the Trojans at every position.


No. 1 Georgia defeats No. 2 Oklahoma -- 7-6

Daniel Jeremiah: Georgia. Georgia wins in a blowout behind Stafford's deep-ball production.

Gil Brandt: Oklahoma. Bradford stays healthy in this one, giving the Sooners the edge.

Bucky Brooks: Georgia. The Bulldogs enjoy a decided advantage in this matchup. Stafford and Green are Pro Bowl-caliber playmakers with home-run potential. Gurley isn't fully healthy, but he's shown he's a special runner with the ball in his hands. The Sooners can lean on Adrian Peterson to keep it close, but the questions surrounding Bradford's durability make it hard to go with OU in this battle.

Colleen Wolfe: Oklahoma. The ACL storyline won't die. Neither will Bradford, A.D. and Stills. They survive, advance and leave A.J. Green with another playoff loss to bury alongside his growing Bengals collection.

Charles Davis: Georgia.One of the better matchups on the board. Georgia wins as Matthew Stafford comes of age, and the Bulldogs hold off OU despite another "regeneration" of Adrian "Wolverine" Peterson.

Dave Dameshek: Georgia. A tale of two knees: It was the best of times ... for Gurley (thanks to his high-end teammates Stafford and Green).

Dan Hanzus: Georgia. This is the closest matchup of the four. During halftime, Bob Costas moderates a discussion on ACL surgery scars with Gurley, Bradford and Peterson.

Adam Schein: Oklahoma. Too many injury risks in this one, so give me the Adrian Peterson-led Sooners for the upset!

Charley Casserly: Oklahoma. Bradford and Peterson are enough to overcome Georgia's edge at wide receiver.

Chase Goodbread: Georgia.Tough call, but the Bulldogs have more raw talent.

Conor Orr: Oklahoma. Something tells me Bradford would be unstoppable in a three-on-three tournament.

Mike Huguenin: Oklahoma. It's close, but Peterson is the tipping factor. Stafford and Green are a potent duo, but Gurley -- while talented -- hasn't done anything yet in the NFL. Bradford has had his moments, and Stills is steady.

Marcas Grant: Georgia. Peterson isn't enough to overcome the Stafford-Green connection.


No. 1 Wisconsin defeats No. 3 Michigan -- 10-3

Daniel Jeremiah: Michigan.Tom Brady pulls the upset and the Wolverines make it to the semis.

Gil Brandt: Wisconsin. This time, Wilson gets the better of Brady.

Bucky Brooks: Wisconsin. For all of Brady's greatness, I believe he is overmatched in this one. He simply lacks the supporting cast to keep up with a Badgers' squad that features the best player in football (Watt) and the ultimate game manager (Wilson) at quarterback. With Gordon also adding some explosiveness at RB, the Badgers should move on to the next round.

Colleen Wolfe: Wisconsin. Prior to the game, Russell Wilson directs an icy stare into the eyes of Tom Brady. Michigan freezes over and can't rely on it's non-existent defense to hold back Melvin Gordon and his five touchdowns.

Charles Davis: Wisconsin. I know the easy lean is to Tom Brady and Michigan ("He always does more with less!"), but give me the Badgers due to J.J. Watt's pressure on Brady. ... Selfies, anyone?

Dave Dameshek: Wisconsin. As long as Wilson doesn't listen to others and just hands the ball off at the goal line, the Badgers win.

Dan Hanzus: Michigan.J.J. Watt is not a wide receiver. Disqualified. Ironic that there's a team breaking the rules here and Tom Brady's not on it.

Adam Schein: Wisconsin. The Wilson-Gordon-Watt trio is too good!

Charley Casserly: Wisconsin.J.J. Watt is tough in the red zone. Where are Amani Toomer and Tyrone Wheatley when you need them?

Chase Goodbread: Wisconsin.Brady just doesn't have enough help to advance here.

Conor Orr: Michigan. Brady downs Wilson yet again and explains to him the finer points of making it look like you're taking less money on your contract than you really are.

Mike Huguenin: Wisconsin. Watt is the difference. Brady trumps Wilson, but Watt's presence vastly overshadows Robinson and Funchess.

Marcas Grant: Wisconsin.Tom Brady is great, but he can't defeat Wilson and Watt all by himself.

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