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NFL Playoff Schedule 2011: Jets-Steelers, Bears-Packers College Connections

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If you're a Bay Area football fan and you don't know who to root for in the penultimate round of the 2011 NFL Playoff schedule, you might as well use Bay Area college connections to determine rooting interests. The Bay Area has three college football teams in the Cal Golden Bears, Stanford Cardinal and San Jose State Spartans. As the Chicago Bears prepare to host the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers welcome the New York Jets to town, college matchups make it easy to break down who to root for today. It's as simple as the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets.

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
The Packers feature starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and starting inside linebacker Desmond Bishop from Cal. Additionally they have a San Jose State alum in backup wide receiver James Jones. Compare that with the Bears whose lone Bay Area representative is in the form of former San Jose State wide receiver Rashied Davis.

New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The New York Jets boast DT Jarron Gilbert and CB Dwight Lowery from San Jose State. The Steelers have nobody from a Bay Area college on their roster. It was easy enough to root against the Steelers because of Ben Roethlisberger. Adding in the fact that they have no Bay Area college football alumni and I see no possible reason to root for the Steelers.

When breaking this down based on alumni, it is really quite simple: we need a Packers-Jets Super Bowl matchup. There are plenty of reasons for Bay Area fans to root against all four teams, but that seems like a big waste of energy as far as I'm concerned. So you might as well move it down a level and root based on college football interests.