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Three Trojans, two Bruins named to Football Writers' 75th Anniversary All-America team

Three Trojans, two Bruins named to Football Writers' 75th Anniversary All-America team
UCLA offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden made the Football Writers Assn. of America's 75th Anniversary All-America team. (Vince Compagnone / Los Angeles Times)

USC lineman Ron Yary and defensive back Ronnie Lott have earned first-team honors on the Football Writers Assn. of America's 75th Anniversary All-America team.

UCLA placed two members on the second team, lineman Jonathan Ogden and defensive back Kenny Easley, while USC safety Troy Polamalu was named to the third team.

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The FWAA, founded in 1941, began naming All-America teams in 1944.

Disclaimer: I am a former FWAA president, but L.A. Times policy forbids staff writers from voting on awards.

Good thing in this case, because trying to name the "best" 75 college football players since 1941 is pretty much a fistfight waiting to happen.

There is certainly no debating the USC selections of Yary and Lott on the first team. Yary was an All-America offensive lineman for powerhouse Trojan teams in the 1960s under John McKay, while Lott is one of the handful of greatest players to play at any level.

These kinds of lists, of course, are put out to be picked apart. Dick Butkus, if you can believe it, didn't even make first team at linebacker. And Bo Jackson is a third-team running back?

Some might challenge Ohio State's Archie Griffin as a first-team back but, measured strictly as a collegian, he was hard to deny. Griffin remains the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and the only player to start in four Rose Bowls.

I'm also OK with Navy's Roger Staubach as first-team quarterback, although I personally think Nebraska's Tommie Frazier deserved second team over Florida's Tim Tebow.

Nebraska, surprisingly to me, led all schools with six selections, followed by Ohio State and Pittsburgh with five. Also a surprise: Notre Dame placed only two players on the squad.

The Big Ten led all conferences with 19 selections, followed by the ACC (15), SEC (13), Big 12 (10) and Pac 12 (7).

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