The 2012 NFL Playoff matchups are set and Boston College is once again well-represented in this year's playoffs. If you team failed to make this year's postseason, here is your Superfan rooting guide to the NFL Playoffs.
Saturday, January 7
The Texans feature DE Tim Bulman on the active roster. A five-year veteran in the league that missed the entire 2010 season due to injury, Bulman has recorded nine tackles this season for the AFC South Champions. The Bengals don't have any current BC ties. Rooting interest: Houston.
Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus and the Detroit Lions are making a rare NFC Playoffs appearance, the franchise's first since 1999. The Saints, meanwhile, feature both LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar and OL Matt Tennant. With apologies to Cherilus, rooting interest: New Orleans.
Sunday, January 8
The NFC East champ New York Giants feature a playoff-high four Boston College alum on the active roster. CB / KR Will Blackmon, LB Mark Herzlich, LB Mathias Kiwanuka and OG Chris Snee are all on the active roster, while Coughlin and the Giants' front office also have plenty of ties to BC. The Falcons can't touch the Giants in terms of number of BC alumni and connections, but they do have QB Matt Ryan, who finished his fourth full season in the league throwing for over 4,000 yards, 27 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. Rooting interest: New York Giants, but I wouldn't be torn up if the Falcons pull out the W.
Neither the Steelers nor the Broncos have any ties to BC on the active roster. However, Denver's Tim Tebow did win the Heisman Trophy in the year Matt Ryan went off en route to 11 wins, 4,507 yards passing and 31 touchdowns (both single-season school records). In any other non-Tebow year, Ryan probably gets an invite to the Downtown Athletic Club. I'm not bitter or anything. Rooting interest: Pittsburgh Steelers.
Of the teams that received first round byes, BC's rooting interest in the NFC is the Green Bay Packers (B.J. Raji and Robert Francois) and the New England Patriots (Ron Brace and Dan Koppen, on injured reserve) in the AFC. Both the 49ers and Ravens have no current Boston College players on the roster.
Go Texans / Saints / Giants / Steelers!