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Peyton Manning Almost Went to Michigan to Get Away from SEC, Says Dad Archie

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2018

CORRECTS SPELLING TO PEYTON, NOT PAYTON - Former University of Tennessee football quarterback Peyton Manning answers questions during a news conference of the National Football Foundation College and Football Hall of Fame, in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Richard Drew/Associated Press

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning nearly went to the same college.

Archie Manning said his son came close to attending Michigan instead of Tennessee to avoid playing in the SEC.

"A lot of people don't know this, but Peyton almost went to Michigan," Archie Manning said during an "Evening with Manning and Miles" at the Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette, Louisiana, per Glenn Guilbeau of the Daily Advertiser. "He wanted to get away from the Southeastern Conference and carve his own."

Peyton Manning originally intended to play at Ole Miss before the Rebels' recruiting violations caused them to be placed on NCAA probation. He went to Tennessee, where he became arguably the best player in school history. The Vols won at least 10 games in every season Manning was a starter.

Had Manning attended Michigan, he and Brady would have overlapped in the 1996 and 1997 seasons. It would not have affected either player's trajectory much, though. Brady didn't get regular playing time until his junior season in 1998, which was Manning's rookie campaign with the Indianapolis Colts.

Manning would have had to compete with Brian Griese for the Michigan starting job, but odds are he wouldn't have had trouble winning that battle. 

Regardless, it's a fun alternate timeline where the greatest quarterback rivalry in NFL history could have been between former teammates. 

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