New Orleans, La. — Conference USA will be represented by seven players from three different C-USA schools in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, February 3, in New Orleans.
Four Baltimore Ravens and three San Francisco 49ers players hail from current C-USA schools.
They will battle each other in pro football's biggest game for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, as the 49ers seek a record-tying sixth Super Bowl victory and the Ravens aim for a second Super Bowl crown — neither team has ever loss in a Super Bowl.
In addition to that, it is the first Super Bowl to have brothers as head coaches — Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens.
Marshall has four of the seven players in the game.
Only Miami (Fla.) with seven and Oregon with five have more players at this year's Super Bowl than the Thundering Herd, and Marshall’s four players are all on the team’s active rosters (no practice team or injured reserve).
Marshall and UCF are among 22 programs that have at least one player on each roster.
Marshall has a duo of 49ers in wide receiver Randy Moss and safety C.J. Spillman and a pair of players on the Baltimore roster in linebacker Albert McClellan and safety Omar Brown.
Randy Moss (84), formerly of Marshall, will start against the Ravens in the Super Bowl Sunday. (courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
Moss, a sure fire Pro Football Hall of Fame member when his now 14-year career is done, is making in his second Super Bowl appearance (part of four MU players with New England in 2007, who lost to former C-USA and Marshall running back Ahmad Bradshaw and the N.Y. Giants — the first of two Super Bowl rings for the former Marshall back since 2007).
Moss is slated to start at one wide receiver spot, has 28 catches, 434 yards, three touchdowns and is averaging 15.5 yards per reception.
C.J. Spillman (#27) acted as a game captain in the playoff win over Green Bay. (courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
Spillman is a reserve free safety who has 11 tackles on special teams and one fumble recovered, served as a game captain in a playoff home win over Green Bay this year, and in his fourth season with San Francisco after being with San Diego to start his career.
Albert McClellan (#50) started 11 games for the Baltimore Ravens this season. (courtesy of Baltimore Ravens)
McClellan was the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 as a defensive end before moving to outside linebacker in the pro ranks.
McClellan started 11 games this season with Ray Lewis and other defensive players sidelined with injuries, and moved up from the practice roster in 2011.
McClellan has 49 tackles, two fumbles recovered, two passes defended, one forced fumble and one sack.
Omar Brown was on the practice squad until the final three games of the season, when he recorded three tackles, a sack and recovered a fumble to make the active roster. (courtesy of Baltimore Ravens)
Brown is in his rookie year with Baltimore and the 2011 first team All-C-USA selection has seen action mostly on special teams since moving from the practice squad to the active roster late in the season.
Brown appeared in the final three games of the season, making three tackles, one fumble recovered and one sack.
Baltimore fullback Vonte Leach, formerly of East Carolina. (courtesy of Baltimore Ravens)
Playing alongside of McClellan and O. Brown with Conference USA ties is Ravens fullback Vonta Leach, a nine-year pro from East Carolina that has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons.
Leach earned All-Conference USA accolades as a linebacker with the Pirates and also saw action at fullback with ECU.
49ers fullback Bruce Miller, a former defensive end at UCF. (courtesy of 49ers)
UCF's member of the 49ers is two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year at defensive end for the Knights, Bruce Miller, now starting at fullback for San Francisco.
Miller has started 13 games this season, helping pave the way for Frank Gore and the Niners ground game.
The Knights' Ravens representative is Jah Reid, who started the final seven games of the regular season on the offensive line for Baltimore.
Reid is currently on the injured reserve for Baltimore, out for the rest of the season.
In addition to the players participating in the game, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has Conference USA ties.
John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens (courtesy Ravens.com)
He was the assistant head coach at Cincinnati when the Bearcats faced Tulane in the first C-USA Football game on August 30, 1996.
John played against Marshall as a player at Miami-Ohio (1980), and coached against the Herd as an assistant at both Western Michigan (1984) as an assistant to his father, Jack (who also coached against Marshall at WMU (1982, 1984) and at Western Kentucky (1996), when son Jim was an assistant at WKU for his father.
Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. (courtesy of NFL.com)
John also coached against Marshall at Morehead State (1988) for head coach Bill Baldridge.
The referee for the Super Bowl will be Jerome Boger, a former C-USA football official.
Finally, the Baltimore Ravens count two with Marshall ties among their cheerleader squad.
A former member of the MU Dance Team, Jo Tippett is a Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader, and works as an Environmental Scientist. (courtesy Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders)
Jo Tippett is a former captain of the Marshall Dance Team, who is in her second season with Baltimore, while Whitney Johnson is a rookie cheerleader with the Ravens, from RAVENSwood, W.Va. (just like it is written in her bio, calling her “a natural).
Whitney Johnson is a full-time Marshall student and Baltimore Cheerleader. All NFL cheerleaders have to be employed full-time or to be full-time students. (courtesy of Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders)
Johnson is a full-time student at Marshall, while Tippett is an Environmental Scientist with URS Corporation in Maryland.
Tippett is a member of a group called “Scientist Cheerleaders,” cheer persons from the NFL and NBA who make appearances at elementary and middle schools to encourage young girls to think about majors in science or mathematics.
Super Bowl XLVII will kick off on Sunday, February 3 at 6:29 EST at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of Conference USA member Tulane.
CBS will broadcast the game on television, while Dial-Global will have radio coverage.
WOWK TV-13 will have the broadcast on TV in Charleston-Huntington.
Most of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio can here the radio call, beginning at 5 p.m., on The Dawg, 93.7 FM; The Planet, 92.7 FM & 98.5 FM; SuperTalk 94.1 FM & AM 930; and ESPN Radio 1340 AM in the Tri-State.
On top of that, The Dawg and SuperTalk will be at the Barboursville Hooter's for the annual Big Game party, starting at 5 p.m.
Woody Woodrum is Publisher of Herd Insider. Contact at