This time of year, colleges love to bask in the vicarious glory of former players who are playing in the Super Bowl. Auburn went as far as to change its social media colors to those of the Carolina Panthers due to Cam Newton's involvement. It's natural, and it's fine.
Longhorn Network isn't exactly the University of Texas here, but it got in on the fun Sunday night by trumpeting the accomplishments of former Longhorn running back Fozzy Whittaker.
Hang on. Haaaaaaang on. Let's examine this graphic more closely.
What exactly is the accomplishment being celebrated here? On first reading, I thought this meant Whittaker lead all rushers in the Super Bowl with 26 yards. This, however, sounds preposterous. A cursory search of the box score revealed that, of course, Whittaker was not the game's leading rusher. He was the third-leading rusher on the Panthers, and fourth between the two teams. So after parsing this densely worded tweet, we've learned that Whittaker didn't lead all rushers, but in fact only holds the lead for Super Bowl rushing yards strictly by former Texas players.
This is nothing to be ashamed of, obviously. Getting to the Super Bowl and making a contribution in the game, no matter how small, is an amazing thing that only a select few football players can lay claim to. But somewhere along the line, someone decided that Texas fans needed to feel a little shine while Texas A&M fans were celebrating Von Miller's Super Bowl MVP performance, and that this was the statistic to get the job done.
The fact that 26 yards is the record for Texas players in a Super Bowl is astounding, but makes more sense when you think it through. The Longhorns have had a number of great NFL backs, but Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams, and Jamaal Charles have all never been to the Super Bowl. Priest Holmes rushed for 8 yards in Super Bowl XXXV, and Cedric Benson rushed for -1 yard on two carries before missing the rest of the game due to injury in Super Bowl XLI. Texas has had great NFL running backs, they've just never done much of anything in the Super Bowl.
And finally, that's a fine picture, and I'm not sure what other options were in the running, but let's all take note of this snapshot of glory taking place against Rice.