Super Bowl XLIX is almost here and as we pointed out earlier this week, the Pac-12 will be very well represented between the Patriots and Seahawks. With Pac-12 alums like Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski taking part, there are sure to be at least a couple performances for the ages from Pac-12 alums.
Until kickoff, I thought it would be fun to think about the history of Pac-12 alums in the Super Bowl and put together an All-Pac-12 All-Super Bowl team. I am basing this off a combination of career Super Bowl performance and single game excellence, it is a ridiculous team, so it doesn't really matter.
I will note that I have only watched the Super Bowl for about 20 years now, so I have to rely on recaps and stats for a lot of the older stuff. I will also note that with offensive linemen and a lot of the defensive positions, stats and analysis of individual performances are pretty scarce, so a lot of the time I am basing things off how a player fit into his team and unit's overall performance.
QB Troy Aikman (UCLA) Dallas - Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII & XXX
Very, very tough call here as the Pac-12 has numerous Super Bowl MVP QB alums in Aikman, Mark Rypien, Jim Plunkett, John Elway and Aaron Rodgers with Plunkett, Aikman and Elway being multiple winners. I am going with Aikman who has three rings, an MVP award (XXVII) and has a ridiculous 56-80 789 yard and 5 touchdown with just one interception stat line in his three performances.
RB Marcus Allen (USC) Los Angeles Raiders - Super Bowl XVIII
Allen made the most of his lone Super Bowl performance, rushing for 191 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins including a 74-yard dash that buried Washington in the third quarter.
RB Clarence Davis (USC) Oakland - Super Bowl XI
Davis led the way for the Raiders on the ground in their romp over Minnesota in Super Bowl XI with 16 carries for 137 yards.
WR Lynn Swann (USC) Pittsburgh - Super Bowls IX, X, XIII & XIV
The four-time winner is an easy choice, especially considering he earned MVP honors for Super Bowl X with an epic four reception 161-yard performance punctuated with a 64-yard touchdown that would end up being the difference in the game and an amazing catch earlier in the game that has been replayed a million times. His four-game stat line is 16 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns.
WR Cliff Branch (Colorado) Oakland/Los Angeles - Super Bowls XI, XV & XVIII
Branch won three Super Bowls with the Raiders with a career stat line of 14 receptions for 180 yards and three touchdowns.
TE Joe Rose (Cal) Miami - Super Bowls XVII & XIX
Rose played in two Super Bowls, but only made catches in Super Bowl XIX where his six receptions for 73 yards helped Dan Marino on his way to 318 yards passing.
OL Ray Mansfield (Washington) Pittsburgh - Super Bowls IX & X
Mansfield was the Steelers' center before Mike Webster and helped pave the way for 249 yards rushing in Super Bowl IX and 149 in X, helping the Steelers to back-to-back Super Bowl championships.
OL Gerry Mullins (USC) Pittsburgh - Super Bowls IX, X, XIII & XIV
Mullins lined up next to Mansfield and Webster on his way to four Super Bowl wins with the Steelers and helped create nearly 600 yards rushing for Pittsburgh in his four appearances.
OL Dave Dalby (UCLA) Oakland/Los Angeles - Super Bowls XI, XV & XVIII)
Dalby was the starter at center in all three Raider Super Bowl wins while paving the way for nearly 700 yards rushing in three games.
OL Gary Zimmerman (Oregon) Denver - Super Bowl XXXII
This one goes for a single performance in Super Bowl XXXII. In Hall of Famer Zimmerman's final NFL game, he paved the way for 179 yards rushing and four touchdowns while never allowing a sack, giving the Broncos an upset win over Green Bay.
OL Brian Habib (Washington) Denver - Super Bowl XXXII
Another part of that unit that played a flawless game to give the Broncos the win in Super Bowl XXXII.
DE Willie McGinest (USC) New England - Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII & XXXIX)
McGinest was a cornerstone of a Patriot defense that fueled three Super Bowl Championships and played a big role in the Patriots giving up just 227 yards rushing in the three wins while also getting sacks in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII.
DT Manny Fernandez (Utah) Miami - Super Bowls VI, VII & VIII
Fernandez had one of the best performances by a player ever in a Super Bowl in Super Bowl VII and should have won MVP with his 17 tackle, one sack performance. He backed it up with standout performances in Super Bowl VI and VIII, with his career Super Bowl line being 28 tackles with three sacks.
DT Brandon Mebane (Cal) Seattle - Super Bowl XLVIII
Mebane was the man up front in one of the best defensive performances in Super Bowl history. His stats are not mind blowing (three tackles, one for-loss), but he played a big role in shutting down Denver's offense.
LB Malcolm Smith (USC) Seattle - Super Bowl XLVIII
Smith took home MVP honors for his 10 tackle, one interception and one fumble recovery performance against the Broncos, particularly because he took that interception back 69 yards for a touchdown that really put a lot of distance between the Seahawks and Broncos.
LB Tedy Bruschi (Arizona) New England - Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII & XXXIX
Bruschi was another leader on the dominant Patriot defense that shut down opponents' running games in three Super Bowl wins. He finished his Super Bowl career with 15 total tackles, highlighted by a 7 tackle performance in Super Bowl XXXIX in which he also had a sack and an interception.
LB Antonio Pierce (Arizona) Giants - Super Bowl XLII
Pierce played a huge role in limiting a dominant New England offense to just 14 points in Super Bowl XLII as he finished with 11 tackles.
CB Mike Haynes (Arizona State) Los Angeles Raiders - Super Bowl XVIII
Haynes was huge in Super Bowl XVIII for the Raiders as his interception and two pass breakups helped hold down the Redskin offense.
CB Chris McAlister (Arizona) Baltimore - Super Bowl XXXV
The lockdown specialist was a big reason why the Giants passed for less than 90 yards in Super Bowl XXXV and he grabbed an interception in the big game as well.
CB Mel Renfro (Oregon) Dallas - Super Bowls V, VI, X & XII
I went with a third cornerback as opposed to a second safety here because I could not find a truly worthy second safety and there are many worthy cornerbacks with Stanford alum Darrien Gordon and USC alum Skip Thomas narrowly missing out here. An all-time great, Renfro played in four Super Bowls, winning two and grabbed an interception in Super Bowl V.
S Ronnie Lott (USC) San Francisco - Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV
Defensive stats are impossible to come by from Lott's era, but he was a star on four Super Bowl winning teams in the 80s.
K Ray Wersching (Cal) San Francisco - Super Bowl XVI & XIX
Wersching tied a Super Bowl record in Super Bowl XVI with four made field goals that made a big difference in the 49ers getting their first Super Bowl ring.
P Tom Rouen (Colorado) Seattle - Super Bowl XL
Rouen simply had the highest yardage average of any Pac-12 alum punter that I could find.