When Super Bowl LIII kicks off Sunday between the Patriots and the Rams, the Huskers will have a former player on both sidelines.
Former All-American pass-rusher Ndamukong Suh signed with the Los Angeles Rams this offseason and went for 54 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 16 games this season. In two postseason games so far, he has totaled seven tackles and 1.5 sacks.
On the other side, former running back Rex Burkhead is playing a significant role for the New England Patriots out of the backfield. Against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game, Burkhead scored twice to power New England to a 37-31 win. He ran for 41 yards on 12 carries.
Nebraska just needed one guy to advance to the Super Bowl in order to extend the longest streak in college football of programs represented in the big game. Suh accomplished that thanks to a game-winning field goal from Lincoln Pius X alum Greg Zuerlein, making 26 straight seasons with a Husker in the Super Bowl.
Nebraska has also sent 61 former players in total to make 78 appearances in the Super Bowl, dating back to Super Bowl II. Of the 52 Super Bowls to date, Nebraska has been a part of 40 of them.
But the streak is the impressive part.
Here are some other things that have happened in football since the streak began back to 1993.
- In the 26 years since the Huskers’ streak started, Iowa has been in a Super Bowl only 15 times.
- Nebraska’s streak started almost two years before LA starting quarterback Jared Goff was born.
- Colorado is 156-163 over that same time span.
- The NCAA instituted the BCS National Championship format and then scrapped it in favor of the College Football Playoff.
- Alabama head coach Nick Saban has coached for five different teams during the 26-year span yet has won six championships (five at Alabama, one at LSU).
- Scott Frost won a national championship as a quarterback for Nebraska, became a third-round NFL Draft pick, played for four teams from 1998 to 2003 then coached at Northern Iowa, Oregon and Central Florida before coming home to coach the Huskers.
- Nebraska has produced 25 First Team All-Americans and nine first-round NFL draft picks.
- Texas lost to Kansas in football.
Longest Super Bowl appearance streaks among Big Ten teams:
1. Nebraska (26 straight)
2. Penn State (18 straight)
3. Wisconsin (10 straight)
T-4. Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana (five straight)
T-7. Iowa, Illinois, Rutgers (three straight)
T-10. Michigan State, Maryland (two straight)
12. Purdue (one)
13. Minnesota (zero, two consecutive years out of the Super Bowl)
14. Northwestern (zero, three consecutive years out of the Super Bowl)
Super Bowl LIII kicks off Sunday at 5:30 p.m. CT on CBS.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.