Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday obviously a lot of attention this week will be focused on the two star quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers. Oddly enough, their respective alma maters are not big college football powerhouses. Big Ben went to Miami of Ohio, in the non-BCS MAC, while Rodgers graduated from Cal, which is in the more heralded PAC-10, but is not considering a football factory like USC. This got me thinking, how do other Super Bowl quarterbacks and college programs compare?
Of the 90 Super Bowl quarterback starts, only 41 different schools are represented. Stanford and Notre Dame lead the way with seven, helped by five from Elway and four from Montana. Four programs share the tie for three different quarterbacks, with Alabama (Namath, Starr, Stabler), Purdue (Dawson, Greise, Brees), and Notre Dame (Montana, Lamonica, Theismann) looking more impressive than Cal (Kapp, Morton, Rodgers). Roethlisberger’s Miami Redhawks would be considered a lot more well known than some of the schools mentioned during the starting lineups. I have still barely heard of the following schools, and I just looked them up; Alcorn State (McNair), Augustana (Anderson), Louisiana Tech (Bradshaw), Morehead State (Simms), Northern Iowa (Warner), Southern Mississippi (Favre), Youngstown State (Jaworski).
The more amazing stat is the lack of starting quarterback representation at the top of college football’s elite. Storied programs like Texas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC have never seen one of their Saturday heroes play on the biggest Sunday of the year. In fact, when looking at top 20 winningiest current D1 schools in history, only 10 have had a produced a Super Bowl starting quarterback. Meanwhile, #42 Purdue has six and #62 UCLA has four.
I guess you win college football games by running the ball and playing good defense instead of throwing the ball all over the field with a NFL-style quarterback. Lame.