Photo courtesy of Heisman Trophy
The Super Bowl is an NFL event. For college football fans however, it often provides an opportunity to cheer for players who played for your favorite school.
In this piece, we’ll be looking at schools who have produced multiple players to win Super Bowl MVP honors. Players will be counted just once. That’s regardless of the number of times they’ve been honored as MVP.
For example, quarterback Eli Manning was a 2-time Super Bowl MVP for the New York Giants. Manning however, is the lone player from Ole Miss ever to earn that honor. Therefore, Ole Miss will not appear on this list.
Eight colleges make the list. Without further ado, here’s a look at the colleges to produce multiple Super Bowl MVPs:
MVPs: Bart Starr, QB Green Bay Packers (Super Bowls I and II); Joe Namath, QB New York Jets (Super Bowl III)
Overview: The first three Super Bowls had an MVP that quarterbacked the University of Alabama. Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to victories in the first Super Bowls while tossing for more than 200 yards in each contest. In Super Bowl III, Joe Namath led the New York Jets to the biggest upset in Super Bowl history by taking down the Baltimore Colts in Miami, 16-7.
Florida State (2)
MVPs: Fred Biletnikoff, WR Oakland Raiders (Super Bowl XI); Dexter Jackson, S Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Super Bowl XXXVII)
Overview: The first team on the list without a quarterback, Florida State had a pair of Super Bowl MVPs and 26 years apart. In a 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, Fred Biletnikoff became the second straight wide receiver to win MVP honors. During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ last and only prior Super Bowl appearance, Dexter Jackson was part of a dominant defensive effort with two interceptions in a 48-21 victory over Oakland.
MVPs: Jake Scott, S Miami Dolphins (Super Bowl VII); Terrell Davis, RB Denver Broncos (Super Bowl XXXII); Hines Ward, WR Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl L)
Overview: The first team with three alumni on the list, the Georgia Bulldogs have produced Super Bowl MVPs in three different decades. In Super Bowl VII, Jake Scott recorded a pair of interceptions for the Miami Dolphins who defeated the Washington Redskins to complete the NFL’s first and only perfect season. In Super Bowl XXXII, Terrell Davis rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner as the Denver Broncos topped the Green Bay Packers, 31-24. Eight years later, Hines Ward caught five passes for 123 yards and a score to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers past the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit.
MVPs: Ottis Anderson, RB New York Giants (Super Bowl XXV); Ray Lewis, LB Baltimore Ravens (Super Bowl XXXV)
Overview: Both MVPs from Miami earned that honor at a Super Bowl played in Tampa. A decade after Ottis Anderson rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown to help the New York Giants slip past the Buffalo Bills 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV, Ray Lewis was part of dominant defensive effort by the Baltimore Ravens in a 34-7 blowout of the Giants.
MVPs: Desmond Howard, WR/KR Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl XXXI); Tom Brady, QB New England Patriots (Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI)
Overview: Former New England Patriots’ and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady is the only 4-time MVP in Super Bowl history. He orchestrated game-winning drives on three of those occasions. The other is the only player in Super Bowl history to be named MVP based on a special teams performance. Desmond Howard averaged nearly 39 yards per kick return. That included a 99-yard touchdown in a 35-21 victory for the Green Bay Packers over the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.
MVPs: Len Dawson, QB Kansas City Chiefs (Super Bowl IV); Drew Brees, QB New Orleans Saints (Super Bowl XLIV)
Overview: Purdue has had three Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Only two however, earned MVP honors. Len Dawson led the Kansas City Chiefs to a 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. 40 years later, Drew Brees passed for 292 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 5:26 to go, as the New Orleans Saints rallied from 10 points down to top the Indianapolis Colts for their lone Super Bowl victory.
MVPs: Jim Plunkett, QB Oakland Raiders (Super Bowl XV); John Elway, QB Denver Broncos (Super Bowl XXXIII)
Overview: Stanford joins Alabama and Purdue as schools to have two quarterbacks win Super Bowl MVP. Jim Plunkett, a former Heisman Trophy winner, passed for 261 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Oakland Raiders past the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV. In the final game of his career, John Elway threw for 336 yards to lead the Denver Broncos past the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. Elway passed and rushed for a score in the win.
MVPs: Lynn Swann, WR Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl X); Marcus Allen, RB Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII); Malcolm Smith, LB Seattle Seahawks (Super Bowl XLVIII)
Overview: USC is one of two schools with three different Super Bowl MVPs. Like Georgia, who also has three, none of them are quarterbacks. With a 161-yard performance for the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 21-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, Lynn Swann became the first wide receiver to be named Super Bowl MVP. Marcus Allen rushed for 191 yards for the Los Angeles Raiders in rout of the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. 30 years later, linebacker Malcolm Smith earned MVP honors. Smith tallied 10 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in a 43-8 rout of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Smith returned the interception 69 yards for a touchdown.