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Cam Newton vs. Carson Palmer is the first Heisman QB faceoff in modern NFL playoff history

A Heisman winner is guaranteed to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When Carson Palmer and Cam Newton face off in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, they'll bring a little bit of college football history with them.

The Palmer-Newton clash is the first playoff matchup between Heisman Trophy-winning college quarterbacks in modern NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Palmer and Newton won the same award, but practically in different eras. Palmer won his Heisman in 2002, back when Newton was 13 years old. Newton joined the Heisman club in 2010.

The similarities between the two quarterbacks don't stop with their Heisman wins. Each was the No. 1 overall pick in the ensuing NFL Draft, Palmer out of USC to the Bengals and Newton out of Auburn to the Panthers.

Both finished their college careers with BCS bowl wins (Newton's was a national championship game), and both enjoyed relatively quick NFL success.

Either Palmer or Newton will get his first shot at a Super Bowl. The opposing quarterback facing the onetime Heisman winner will either be Michigan's Tom Brady (a sixth-round NFL pick in 2000) or Tennessee's Peyton Manning -- a boring No. 1 pick without a Heisman Trophy.