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2012 Senior Bowl: Game Preview And History

The 2012 Senior Bowl kicks off Saturday, Jan. 28 at 3:00 PM, which affords SB Nation Pittsburgh an opportunity to look at the game's history, as well as highlight some key stories. Three Penn St. Nittany Lions players are set to take the field Saturday, so there's plenty of incentive to pay attention.

The first Senior Bowl took place in 1950, with the goal of allowing the nation's top seniors strut their stuff prior to the NFL Draft. For all but three seasons, teams have been split along geographical lines: North and South. An early-1990s experiment for naming teams after the NFL's divisions was abandoned after three tries.

In 2012, the Minnesota Vikings will coach the North squad, with the Washington Redskins set to coach the South. That means former Penn State players Jack Crawford, D'Anton Lynn, and Johnnie Troutman will work with the Vikings' coaching staff, including head coach Leslie Frazier.

Penn State players have fared better than most throughout the Senior Bowl's history, having won three MVP awards, all in the last 21 years. Blair Thomas was the first back in 1990. More recently, Larry Johnson took home MVP honors in 2003, while Tony Hunt earned the award in 2007.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.