Big East ties to the Super Bowl


If you have no natural rooting interest in this Sunday's Super Bowl, for whom should you pull?

If you want to base it just on Big East connections, it looks like the Indianapolis Colts are the pick. At least in terms of players, the Colts have more Big East alums than the New Orleans Saints. Here's a look at those tie-ins for Sunday's big game:


Linebacker Gary Brackett and defensive lineman Eric Foster are Rutgers products. Former Scarlet Knight Brandon Renkart is a linebacker on the practice squad.

Running back Donald Brown was the 2008 Big East offensive player of the year at UConn.

Star defensive end Dwight Freeney, of course, went to Syracuse.

Punter Pat McAfee was West Virginia's kicker and punter last season.

Linebacker Clint Session starred at Pitt.

Cincinnati product Tyjuan Hagler is a linebacker on the practice squad.

And technically speaking, receiver Reggie Wayne played in the Big East while at Miami, and defensive end Raheem Brock played at Temple before the Owls were booted out of the league.

New Orleans

The Saints don't have a lot of players with Big East ties. There's backup tight end Darnell Dinkins from Pitt and linebacker Troy Evans from Cincinnati.

And, technically, linebacker Jonathan Vilma and tight end Jeremy Shockey are Big East alums from their tenure at Miami, while safety Pierson Prioleau played at Virginia Tech in the pre-ACC days.

There are, however, a few connections on the coaching staff.

Running backs coach Bret Ingalls was a Louisville assistant from 1995-96. Special teams assistant Mike Mallory was the Cardinals' defensive backs coach in 2007. And assistant strength and conditioning coach Adam Bailey attended and worked at Louisville.

Coaching assistant Mike Cerullo spent time on the Syracuse staff.