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A year after having a sack in the BCS National Championship Game, Upshaw forced a key fumble in the Super Bowl.

A year after having a sack in the BCS National Championship Game, Upshaw forced a key fumble in the Super Bowl.

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun pointed out an interesting bit of trivia today: Courtney Upshaw has now won back-to-back titles in college and the NFL. Back in October 2009, the Minnesota Vikings were 5-0, and new additions Brett Favre and rookie Percy Harvin were a big part of their success. Harvin had won the national championship with Florida and Tim Tebow in 2008, and I wondered: how often does a player win a national championship in college and then win the Super Bowl the next season?

As of that post, only three players had won a college championship their last season in college and then were starters on a Super Bowl champion the following year: Randall Gay (LSU 2003, New England 2004), William Floyd (Florida State 1993, San Francisco 1994) and Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh 1976, Dallas 1977).

So, has that changed? In 2009 the Saints won the Super Bowl, but they had no rookies from Florida. Alabama won the BCS Championship in 2009 and had seven players drafted in April 2010, but none of them landed on the Packers.  The next year Cam Newton and Nick Fairley helped the Auburn Tigers win the championship, but none of their players found themselves as New York Giants a year later. In 2011, the Crimson Tide won another national title, and Courtney Upshaw was named the Defensive MVP of the game.  Alabama defeated LSU in the Super Dome, the site of where Upshaw’s Ravens just won the Super Bowl.

With nine starts, Upshaw qualifies as a “starter” on the Ravens, so he joins Dorsett, Floyd, and Gay as the only players to to start for a Super Bowl champion a year after winning the national championship. In an odd twist, if we require a player to start for the two teams, Gay drops off the list: he was a nickel back on the 2003 LSU Tigers, behind future NFL cornerbacks Corey Webster and Travis Daniels. Dorsett has the most impressive two-year run, as he ran for for 1,948 yards and 21 touchdowns and won the Heisman Trophy for the Panthers in ’76 and then rushed for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Cowboys a year later.

If we don’t limit ourselves to players who started for a Super Bowl champion, the list doesn’t grow very much.

Courtney Upshaw2012BALAlabama5
Eric Alexander2004NELSU0
Randall Gay2004NELSU5
Marquise Hill2004NELSU0
Brian Griese1998DENMichigan0
Tyrone Williams1996GBNebraska2
William Floyd1994SFFlorida State8
Derrick Lassic1993DALAlabama3
Danny Stubbs1988SFMiami (FL)2
Tony Dorsett1977DALPittsburgh16

With CB Dee Milliner and G Chance Warmack as likely first round picks, and a host of other players likely to land on NFL rosters in 2013 (including RB Eddie Lacy, C/G/T Barrett Jones, DT Jesse Williams, T/G D.J. Fluker, S Robert Lester, G Anthony Steen, ILB Nico Johnson, DT Damion Square, and TE Michael Williams), Upshaw may not be the newest member of this group for very long.