Ready For Game of Century … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

We pause during this four-game Chiefs winning streak to acknowledge the biggest game in football this weekend.

It’s going down Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, as Alabama hosts Louisiana State in another edition of the “Game of the Century.”

What does that have to do with the Chiefs? If you’d been in the team’s locker room over the past few days it would be obvious. There are seven players on the roster with roots in the Crimson Tide and Tigers programs. They spent the better part of the week jawing back and forth at each other in the good natured chatter that a couple neighbors with ties to Kansas and Missouri might have over the backyard fence.

No other team in the National Football League has as many players on its roster with such a decided interest in the outcome of Saturday night’s game than the Chiefs.

“It’s all just a little slice of the SEC around here,” said FS Kendrick Lewis, an interested observer from Ole Miss.

To be in a November position at the top of the college football standings is pretty common place for the SEC, especially ‘Bama and LSU. Of those seven players that now play for the Chiefs, four own national championship rings from 2003 and 2007 (LSU) and 2009 (Alabama).

There’s no question that under GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley the Chiefs have really zeroed in on the conference over the last few years. Check the chart below for all conference representations on the Chiefs roster this year, but there are 17 players from the SEC currently part of the active roster and injured-reserve list. No other conference had more than eight.

“It’s SEC football, it’s the best in the country,” said FB Le’Ron McClain, who played at Alabama. “Every week there’s a big game. Those teams are always playing for national championships.”

How tough is it to play in the SEC? Former LSU WR Dwayne Bowe admitted there are some pushover stops in the league, but they are few and far between.

“If you’re LSU it’s going to Tuscaloosa (Alabama), Tennessee, Georgia, the Swamp (Florida), Arkansas,” said Bowe. “The atmosphere for this game will be crazy. It will be like Arrowhead for a Monday night game.”

The atmosphere around the Chiefs was plenty high this week. Joining McClain in wearing crimson are DE Wallace Gilberry and CB Javier Arenas. Joining Bowe in the purple and gold are DE Glenn Dorsey, DE Tyson Jackson and CB Travis Daniels.

The loudest voice on the Alabama side belonged to McClain. He had Dorsey right across the locker room from him and Jackson just around the corner.

“They’ve got no chance,” McClain said. “They aren’t going to go into Tuscaloosa and win. Those people will be getting primed and ready all day. By the time they open the gates it will just be crazy.”

Dorsey had different thoughts about what might go down Saturday evening.

“They are going to shock the world, but it won’t be a shock to us,” Dorsey said. “Everybody thinks the Tide is just going to roll over LSU and I know that’s not going to happen. We play defense and we have enough offense to get this thing done.”

You won’t find these seven teammates out at a sports bar somewhere in the city watching the game and jawing back and forth on Saturday night. They will be in a local hotel, just as they are before all home games. They will have meetings to attend, even some last tape to watch of the Dolphins.

But more than likely they will end up in a meeting room, or ballroom or even somebody’s room, watching together.

“I’m sure we’ll probably watch,” said Bowe. “I really haven’t seen them (LSU) play very much this year. I haven’t been keeping up with them. But they get the job done.”

Dorsey’s next door neighbor in the locker room is Gilberry. As one defensive end laid out all the reasons why purple will trump crimson, the other defensive end listened to the chatter with a smile on his face. Gilberry headed out the door, but as he did he called back over his shoulder “Roll Tide.”

Conferences for Chiefs 53-man roster and injured-reserve list

# Conference

Tot

Players
1. SEC

17

Alabama (McClain, Gilberry, Arenas); LSU (Bowe, Dorsey, Jackson, Daniels); Mississippi (McCluster, Lewis, Powe); Tennessee (Colquitt, Berry); Georgia (Houston, Pope); Florida (Siler); South Carolina (Succop); Vanderbilt (Langford).

2. Pac-12

8

Southern Cal (Cassel, Colbert); Oregon State (Piscitelli, Miller); Oregon (Bair); Stanford (Gordon); Colorado (Brown); California (O’Callaghan).

  Big 10

8

Iowa (Wiegmann, Moeaki, Stanzi); Illinois (Asamoah); Penn State (Hali); Ohio State (Washington); Michigan (Breaston); Nebraska (Williams).

4. ACC

7

Virginia (Albert, Jones); Maryland (Gaither); Clemson (Richardson); Florida State (Hudson); Miami (Bailey); Virginia Tech (Flowers).

5. Big 12

5

Kansas State (Lilja, McGraw); Texas (Charles, Johnson); Oklahoma (Gregg).

6. Big East

3

Pitt (Baldwin, Palko); West Virginia (Becht).

  Conference USA

3

Houston (Battle, Gafford); East Carolina (Copper).

8. Mid-American

2

Temple (Maneri); Miami of Ohio (O’Connell).

9. Sun Belt

1

Troy (Sheffield).

  Colonial

1

Maine (Belcher).

  Great Lakes

1

Grand Valley State (Carr).

  Conf. of Illinois

1

Wheaton (Studebaker).

  Southern Collegiate

1

Trinity (Urban).

  Quebec University Football League

1

Concordia (Greenwood).

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