Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor
With the current NFL lockout (now on Day 108) creating a lack of football-related content for media outlets covering the sport on a day-to-day basis, the league's network has turned to viewer-friendly programming every Sunday night with a rankings show, The Top 100 Players of 2011.
The list (which was voted on by NFL players following the 2010-2011 season) gets revealed in increments of 10 players each week counting down from 100.
Through the first 80 selections, not a single former USC player was selected by their peers. Nonetheless, on Sunday night Trojan fans were treated to some reassurance after eight hard weeks of disappointment.
Former Trojan linebacker Clay Matthews (26th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft) was honored by his peers as the 19th best player in the league, after a sophomore season that rivals any in the history of the NFL. In just his second year, Matthews anchored the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers' defense with 13.5 sacks (fourth best in the league), 60 tackles, two forced fumbles, one interception and one touchdown.
The 24-year-old finished just two votes shy of fellow Trojan Troy Polamulu for the AP's 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
With just 10 players left to be revealed on this year's list, Polamulu's name has still yet to be called. Tune in to the NFL Network this Sunday at 5 PM Los Angeles time to see where No.43 ends up in the Top 10.