Super Bowl XLIX (that would be "49" for those of you that don't know how to speak Roman Numaeral-ese) is just twenty four hours away. For those of you with a rooting interesting in the Washington Huskies or other Pac 12 schools - and that would include the vast majority of you if you have somehow found your way into my little corner of the world wide web - this game holds significant intrigue. Not only are your Seattle Seahawks on the cusp of establishing themselves as a dynasty, but several Pac 12 alums promise to be a factor in the outcome.
Teams: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
Date: Sunday, February 1, 2015
Time: Kickoff 3:30p PST / 6:30p EST / 23:30 UTC
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Television: NBC (Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Streaming Online: Stream On Your Mobile Device or Computer
Officials: Referee – Bill Vinovich, Umpire – Bill Schuster, Head linesman – Dana McKenzie, Line judge – Mark Perlman, Field judge – Bob Waggoner, Side judge – Tom Hill, Back judge – Terrence Miles, Replay official – Mike Wimmer, Replay assistant – Terry Poulos
Halftime Show: Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz
Pregame Show: Idina Menzel (National Anthem) | John Legend (America The Beautiful)
Ticket Prices: ~1000 tickets remaining starting at $10k per seat
As you might expect given the strength of our conference, the Pac 12 is very well-represented in this year's extravaganza. In addition to the Pete Carroll coaching staff, which almost all have roots or ties to the Pac 12, there are a number of great players representing their schools across both sidelines. In the spirit of what we do here at the Dawgpound - which is to rank everything - we've compiled our Super Bowl Power Poll: Pac 12 Edition. Here it is:
Pac 12 Super Bowl Rankings
1. Cal Bears (2)
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Shane Vereen, RB, New England Patriots
The irony of pass happy Cal having two running backs playing in the Super Bowl is very rich. I'll be savoring that little nugget as I watch the game through my Pac 12 colored lenses. The story of the game could well be which of the two backs is most able to play his game. Beast Mode is an obvious key for the Seahawks. Their offense is built on his ability to pound a defense into submission over four quarters and create big plays in the fourth. The entire Seattle team feeds off of his personality. Vereen, on the other hand, is one of the most accomplished backs catching passes out of the backfield. He'll be the responsibility of Bobby Wagner - a key 1:1 matchup that could certainly turn out well for the Patriots if the Seahawks are caught unprepared.
2. Stanford Cardinal (3)
Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Cameron Fleming, OL, New England Patriots
The Cardinal are well-represented in the Super Bowl XLIX. Though playing through an injury, CB Richard Sherman is a defining talent in this game. His ability to take away his side of the field will have a direct impact on the outcome of the game. Baldwin comes in as the Seahawks leading receiver on the year. For Russell Wilson to have a chance, Baldwin is going to have to win some one-on-one matchups against Revis Island. Fleming is a young o-lineman who has established himself as a "sixth blocker" on certain Patriot offensive packages. He'll be an important contributor tomorrow.
3. Oregon Ducks (4)
LaGarette Blount, RB, New England Patriots
Patrick Chung, DB, New Engalnd Patriots
Max Unger, C, Seattle Seahawks
Will Tukuafu, FB/LB, Seattle Seahawks
Oregon is pretty well covered in the Super Bowl with two players on each side. Blount is the wild-card of the mix. He's been running his mouth over much of the past two weeks. If he backs it up, the game could definitely go New England's way. Unger is the other key Duck contributor. He's been unreliable with his health, but is a critical piece of Seattle's o-line when healthy. Both Chung and Tukuafu are important role players for their respective teams.
4. Arizona Wildcats (1)
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Gronkowski comes into this game along with guys like Lynch, Sherman, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, and Kam Chancellor as potential game-breakers in Super Bowl XLIX. If he turns out to be the best offensive player on the field tomorrow, the Patriots will almost surely be taking the title back to Titletown, USA.
5a. Washington Huskies (1)
Jermaine Kearse, WR, Seattle Seahawks
While the Huskies only have one guy in this game, he's a big one. Kearse is a veritable big play machine and is no stranger to making game-winning catches in the post-season. His dramatic overtime reception of Russell Wilson's TD bomb while blanketed by a Green Bay corner back is the stuff of legends. Kearse is a versatile receiver with just the right mix of size to be a red zone threat and speed to get behind defenses from beyond. He'll be matched up against Brandon Browner much of the game. How he does against a fellow Pac 12 alum promises to be a key story line in the game.
5b. Oregon State Beavers (1)
Brandon Browner, CB, New England Patriots
The former (or current?) Legion of Boom member faces off against his old team and will be a critical contributor in the the Super Bowl. Browner will most likely be lined up against Jermaine Kearse for much of the game. It should be one of the most delicious battles of the night, at least for Pac 12 North fans.
7. Colorado Buffaloes (2)
Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Nate Solder, OL, New England Patriots
Super Bowl Must Reads
Super Bowl Must Reads
Nice to see Colorado with some talent playing in the Super Bowl. While Richardson is on injured reserve, his contributions to Seattle in the wake of the Percy Harvin trade were notable. Solder is a starter for the Patriots and has developed into one of the better blockers in the league.
8. USC Trojans (5)
Malcolm Smith, LB, Seattle Seahawks
Mike Morgan, LB, Seattle Seahawks
Anthony McCoy, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Allen Bradford, RB/LB, Seattle Seahawks
Dion Bailey, DB, Seattle Seahawks
The "USC-Hawks", as they are known, are a cadre of former Trojan players who play for a staff well-stocked with former Trojan coaches. Smith and Morgan are important depth players for the Seahawks and will both see time on the field tomorrow. McCoy has been on IR for much of the year while Bradford and Bailey are on Seattle's practice squad.
9. UCLA Bruins (4)
*Kenny Easley, Ring of Honor DB, Seattle Seahawks
Akeem Ayers, OLB, New England Patriots
Cassius Marsh, DL, Seattle Seahawks
Derrick Coleman, FB, Seattle Seahawks
Matthew Slater, WR, New England Patriots
The Bruins get special consideration in this ranking thanks to the presence of all-time Seattle great Kenny Easley on the field as a Coin Toss official. With four players spread across the two teams, the Bruins are well-represented. While the two Seahawks are both on injured reserve, both Ayers and Slater will play roles for New England. Ayers has become a pass-rush specialist while Slater is a Pro-Bowler as the Special Teams Captain for the Patriots.
10. Utah Utes (1)
Sealver Siliga, DL, New England Patriots
Siliga is a well known entity to Seattle fans as he floated on and off of Seattle's practice squad up until this season. He'll play a role for the Patriots as depth in helping to stop that the Seahawks' rushing attack.
11. Arizona State Sun Devils (1)
Zach Miller, TE, Seattle Seahawks
If only Miller were healthy, we'd have an interesting match up of tight ends originating from rival schools in Arizona. Alas, Miller, who is a key Seahawks contributor, will not be a factor in the Super Bowl.
12. Washington State Cuogs (0)
The Cuogs are, unfortunately, the only Pac 12 team not represented in the Super Bowl XLIX.
Super Bowl - Vegas Edition
I've read it has been estimated that somewhere around one in five Americans will have some kind of action on the Super Bowl after office pools and friendly neighborhood wagers are taken into account. That's a remarkable statistic if anywhere close to accurate.
Given the extreme interest that accompanies an event of this nature, one can expect to find a variety of ways to make the game interesting through the placing of different types of bets. SB Nation has pieced together a nice primer on Super Bowl betting that is definitely worth a look.
If you are looking for bets that go beyond the typical spread (Patriots +2) or over / under (47.5 points), you might be interested in some of the prop bets that are out there. Below is a list of some the more interesting ones per Bovada:
First Player to Get a TD:
Marshawn Lynch 11/2
Rob Gronkowsi 13/2
Russell Wilson 12/1
Tom Brady 25/1
First Player to Grab an INT:
Richard Sherman 7/1
Darrel Revis 9/1
Byron Maxwell 10/1
Brandon Browner 12/1
Bill Belichik Hoodie Type:
Sleeves Cut -200
Sleeves Intact +150
Marshawn Lynch Crotch Grab on TD:
Over Under on Viewers of the Game: 113 Million
Color of Gatorade Dumped on Winning Coach:
Over Under on How Long It Will Take Idina Menzel to Sing National Anthem: 2 minutes
Over Under on the How Many Times "Deflated Balls" Gets Said on TV: 3
What Will Katy Perry Be Wearing at Halftime:
Don't forget to check out our open game thread if you are looking for some Huskies to share the Super Bowl experience with. You'll find it by simply visiting our home page the day of the game.