So NFL.com polled its players to come up with the Top 100 NFL players of 2011. There is good news and bad news for the Big East on this list. The good news -- the Big East led the way among the six automatic qualifying conferences with 16 players. The bad news -- most of those players played in the former configuration of the league.
Why did we decide to count them as Big East players? Pretty simple. When they were in college, they actually played in the Big East. The eight Miami players on the list played all or nearly all of their careers when the Hurricanes were still members in the early 2000s. Same for Michael Vick and Chris Snee.
If you want players on current Big East teams, that leaves just a handful -- Darrelle Revis, Larry Fitzgerald, Dwight Freeney, Ray Rice, Mike Williams and Donovan McNabb. I did not count Trent Cole because he played with Cincinnati in Conference USA.
Here is the complete list of players with Big East ties:
No. 4 Ray Lewis, Miami
No. 5 Ed Reed, Miami
No. 7 Andre Johnson, Miami
No. 8 Darrelle Revis, Pitt
No. 14 Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt
No. 15 Dwight Freeney, Syracuse
No. 20 Michael Vick, Virginia Tech
No. 31 Reggie Wayne, Miami
No. 35 Vince Wilfork, Miami
No. 37 Jonathan Vilma, Miami
No. 56 Ray Rice, Rutgers
No. 68 Antrel Rolle, Miami
No. 77 Chris Snee, Boston College
No. 83 Mike Williams, Syracuse
No. 94 Frank Gore, Miami
No. 100 Donovan McNabb, Syracuse