The SEC is the most-represented conference in the Super Bowl, but Miami is the most notable school
Even on Super Bowl Sunday, the SEC is king.
The SEC is represented more than any other conference on the Super Bowl rosters with 17 players for the Ravens and 49ers playing their final collegiate season in the SEC. That does not include three more players who played their college ball for SEC newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M when both schools were members of the Big 12.
SEC fans bragging about the league’s top-to-bottom balance will find that displayed in Super Bowl XLVII. Other schools sent more alums to the Super Bowl, but no league will be as uniformly represented in the Superdome.
Twelve of the SEC’s 14 teams are represented on Super Bowl rosters with only Kentucky and Vanderbilt missing. Even Ole Miss with linebacker Patrick Willis and offensive tackle Michael Oher made a strong showing. Only the Big Ten is as uniformly represented in the Super Bowl with 10 of 12 teams sending players to New Orleans (Minnesota and Northwestern are the exception).
From conferences and schools to draftees and free agents, here’s how Baltimore and San Francisco were built on the way to the Super Bowl:
Unless otherwise noted, we are working off active 53-man rosters, not including practice squads or injured reserve.
|Most represented schools on Super Bowl XLVII rosters|
|4: Marshall, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, Utah|
|2: Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Virginia, Washburn|
The one place the Miami college football dynasty continues is in the Super Bowl. Five former Hurricanes will play in Super Bowl XLVII, and they’re not just players taking up space. Linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed are future Hall of Famers anchoring the Ravens’ defense, and Frank Gore led the 49ers in rushing. The Ravens’ Bryant McKinnie was a starting offensive tackle in the league for 10 seasons before this year. 49ers linebacker Tavares Gooden is not a starter, but he owns the distinction of playing for both teams.
Related: Five reasons the Ravens will win the Super Bowl
Five schools sent four players to the Super Bowl. Three of those aren’t a total surprise: Ohio State, Oregon and Texas. Joining those power programs with four players on Super Bowl rosters are Utah (nose tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu, linebacker Paul Kruger and wide receiver David Reed for the Ravens and quarterback Alex Smith for the 49ers) and Marshall (safety Omar Brown and linebacker Albert McClellan for the Ravens and wide receiver Randy Moss and safety C.J. Spillman for the 49ers).
19 schools sent two players to the Super Bowl, and one of them is more obscure than Delaware, which contributed Baltimore starting quarterback Joe Flacco and rookie lineman Gino Gradkowski. Washburn University, a Division II program in Topeka, Kan., has two former players in the Super Bowl. Former Ichabod Cary Williams is a starting cornerback for Baltimore while Michael Wilhoite is a backup linebacker for San Francisco.
Related: 15 greatest plays in Super Bowl history
According to USA Today, Nebraska has the longest streak of sending a player to the Super Bowl. A Cornhusker has played for the NFL title for 20 consecutive years. Baltimore punter Sam Koch represents Nebraska this season.
Among notable schools not represented in the Super Bowl: Oklahoma and USC, not even on the practice squads.
Every current SEC school except Kentucky and Vanderbilt will be represented in the Super Bowl. Every current Big Ten school except Minnesota and Northwestern made an appearance on the active rosters for the Super Bowl.
The only Football Bowl Subdivision conference to be shut out of the Super Bowl is the Sun Belt.
Of the six major conferences, the Big 12 and Big East will have fewer than half their membership absent from the Super Bowl. Only four of the 10 Big 12 schools are represented (Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech). Only three Big East schools are represented (Louisville, Pittsburgh and Rutgers).
Here's the breakdown of the Super Bowl rosters by conference. We've included the count both by a team's conferene alignment during a given player's final season and by each team's current conference alignment.
|CONFERENCE||By alignment in player's final season||By current alignment|
HOW THE ROSTERS WERE BUILT
Both teams are similar in how they’ve assembled the roster in the Super Bowl. Baltimore drafted 30 members of its 53-man roster while San Francisco drafted 29. The 49ers haul includes nine first-round picks.
|HOW ACQUIRED||Baltimore||San Francisco|
|Draft - first round||6||9|
|Draft - second round||7||2|
|Draft - third round||3||4|
|Draft - fourth round||3||3|
|Draft - fifth round||5||1|
|Draft - sixth round||4||5|
|Draft - seventh round||2||5|
|Undrafted free agent||9||5|
Check out Athlon Sports' special Super Bowl section for more coverage on the Ravens vs. 49ers and the history of the big game.