Players hailing from the MAC's current members account for 99 total Super Bowl appearances, and almost half belong to just three schools: Kent State, Eastern Michigan and Toledo. No really, CBS Sports produced an info graphic recently showing which colleges account for the greatest number of appearances in the big game. Thankfully they listed all 393 schools so I could cut out the Power Five noise, confirm it said Eastern Michigan, and bring you this simple pie chart showing which MAC school's former players are the best at footballing in February.
Basically, if you plan to attend school in the MAC and also play in a Super Bowl someday, you'd better fax a letter of intent to one of the top three schools listed above. It's okay if you made a mistake and sent one to NIU on accident, you can always transfer to a premier MAC football factory like EMU.
Unfortunately for all of us, Von Miller's will imposing performance two weeks ago means the MAC's current members' are shutout of the big 50th birthday celebration. But never fear, the MAC will be well represented into the future as it has been in the past. And hey, if Eastern is pumping out Super Bowl talent, surely the rest of the MAC is due, right?
It turns out that getting a MAC player to the pinnacle of modern football is more about who the player suits up for after college as opposed to during. Look at Julian Edelman. He had a wonderful MAC career and amassed nearly 7,000 all purpose yards, and he parlayed it into a seventh round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft. If it weren't for a draft day trade, Edelman could have been a Jacksonville Jaguar, not a New England Patriot, which as it turns out, is a really good way to avoid playing in a Super Bowl. For what it's worth, the other piece New England got in that trade was a man you may know simply as, "Gronk."
Green Bay and Pittsburgh are pretty good landing spots as well. No two NFL teams have been better ambassadors for the MAC football brand as the Packers and Steelers. The Steelers have been especially generous in dishing out Super Bowl rings to former Kent State linebackers. Seven of the school's 18 representatives at the Super Bowl have been two people, Jack Lambert and James Harrison. Lambert left Kent for bigger and better things, like winning four super bowls and scaring the shit out of everyone. Harrison played in three Super Bowls, but is probably best known for opening our eyes to just how awful our entitled kids are.
The two most MACtion NFL franchises even played for a championship against each other in a game including 15 total MAC players on the roster. Perhaps you remember Super Bowl XLV by its stage name, "Hustle Bowl I." Basically, 15 percent of all appearances in the Super Bowl by former MAC players happened in the same game. The game even featured an EMU Eagle on both teams, Charlie Batch for Pittsburgh and T.J. Lang for the Packers.
So, kudos to Kent State, Eastern Michigan and Toledo for leading the way for the MAC in the first 50 years of the Super Bowl. Maybe the next 50 years will be different when the robot cyborgs recruited by Terry Bowden's preserved head leave Akron early for the Galactic Football League to play for the Mars Raiders. I'm almost 100 percent sure Khalil Mack will still be around making Pro Bowls, which will somehow also still exist.