Senior Bowl 2012: Game Preview

The 63rd Senior Bowl takes center stage this weekend, as some of the country's top college football players make their final on-field push toward improving their potential professional pursuits.

The Senior Bowl is arguably the nation's premier pre-draft event, annually featuring the country's best senior college football players on teams representing the North and South. This year, the North is being coached by Leslie Frazier and his staff from the Minnesota Vikings, while the South is being directed by Mike Shanahan and his staff from the Washington Redskins.

Last Year, Florida State QB Christian Ponder was named the game's MVP after leading the South to a 24-10 victory. Ponder, who went on to become a first- round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, threw for 132 yards and two TDs -- one to Miami-Florida's Leonard Hankerson, and the other to TCU's Jeremy Kerley.

Not that the outcome matters in the grand scheme of things, but the South has won three of the last four meetings, and leads the all-time series, 30-26-3. There were actually three games played as the AFC vs. NFC, and the former won two of those encounters.

The North will be led three of the nation's top QBs in Boise State's Kellen Moore, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins and Wisconsin's Russell Wilson. All three had sensational senior years, with Moore in particular leaving his stamp on the NCAA record books as his 50-3 career record is better than any signal caller to have ever played the game at the major college level. Moore completed just shy of 75 percent of his passes for 3,800 yards, 43 TDs and only nine INTs in 2011. As for Cousins and Wilson, their most memorable games from this past season came against each other, not once but twice, and both served their respective teams well as the Spartans won a regular-season thriller, and the Badgers got their revenge in the inaugural Big Ten title tilt. Cousins threw for 3,316 yards, 25 TDs and 10 INTs, while Wilson led the nation with a QB rating of 191.78 after throwing for 3,175 yards, 33 TDs and only four picks.

The South offense will be run by QBs Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, Nick Foles of Arizona and Ryan Lindley of San Diego State. Weeden, the elder statesman of the group at 28 years old, is coming off a season in which he completed 72.3 percent of his passes for 4,727 yards, 37 TDs and 13 INTs. Foles threw for better than 4,300 yards, 28 TDs and 14 picks, while Lindley completed just 53.0 percent of his tosses for 3,153 yards, 23 scores and eight INTs.

For more on the 2012 Senior Bowl, keep it locked to SB Nation's Senior Bowl StoryStream, featuring practice reports from Mobile and much, much more.

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