By Barry Janoff
March 15, 2012: In the midst of NCAA March Madness, the NFL the week unveiled its first Super Bowl "bracketology" competition, featuring 64 teams from the Super Bowl era (dating back to 1966).
Fans are being directed to a mini-site at NFL.com to cast their votes, which will culminate with the NFL naming the "Greated Team of All Time," at least dating back to 1966. The league is touting the voting at its Web site and on NFL Network. Support also includes social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
The field is comprised of the 46 Super Bowl champions plus the NFL’s best 18 “at-large” clubs since 1966. The 18 “at-large” teams and seedings were determined by an NFL.com/NFL Network editorial panel, according to the NFL.
Voting will encompass several rounds, including a Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final Four championship, to be determined March 29-30.
The competition includes four brackets, each named after legendary NFL coaches: Bill Walsh, Mike Ditka, Chuck Noll and Don Shula
The four No. 1 seeds are the 1972 Miami Dolphins, 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1985 Chicago Bears and the 1989 San Francisco 49ers.
Among the first-round match-ups: 2004 Philadelphia Eagles vs. 1985 Bears, 2011 Green Bay Packers vs. the undefeated 1972 Dolphins, the 2007 New York Giants vs. the 1982 Washington Redskins and the 1968 New York Jets vs. the 1998 Denver Broncos.
Four clubs have six entries apiece: Dallas, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The 1990s tops all decades with 16 teams, ahead of the 14 from the 1980s, according to the NFL.
The results will be updated at NFL.com and the final results will be unveiled at NFL.com and NFL Network.
The round-by-round voting schedule on NFL.com (voting ends at 5 PM ET on the final day of each round):
Round 1: March 12-15
Round 2: March 16-18
Sweet 16: March 19-20
Elite 8: March 23-25
Semifinals: March 26-28
Championship: March 29-30