While Jim Harbaugh joined the 49ers in 2011, after a successful stint with the Stanford Cardinal, John Harbaugh earned his first trip to the Super Bowl after being named head coach of the Ravens in 2008.
Both clubs entered the conference championship game on the road, and outplayed their opponents in the second half.
The 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons despite falling behind 17-0. San Francisco went on to outscore Atlanta 28-7 the rest of the way, to win the NFC title at the Georgia Dome, 28-24.
San Francisco only managed 373 total yards, but were able to limit the Falcons running game to 81 yards. The 49ers ground game managed just fine, as Frank Gore rushed for 90 yards on 21 carries, and scored a pair of touchdowns, including the winner with 8:23 remaining.
The San Francisco defense shut out Atlanta in the second half. The 49ers were able to make adjustments against a Falcons offense that was extremely effective in the first few series.
The Ravens also were able to shut out their opponents in the second half. Baltimore entered the AFC title game as heavy underdogs against the New England Patriots, but forced three turnovers, to earn a hard-fought road victory at Gillette Stadium, 28-13.
Joe Flacco threw for 240 yards, and three touchdowns to lead the Ravens. Anquan Boldin caught five passes, and two receptions were for touchdowns.
The Ravens defense intercepted quarterback Tom Brady twice in the second half to prevent a New England comeback.
The Ravens are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001, while the 49ers make their return to the NFL's biggest game for the first time since 1995.
The 49ers have been listed as five-point favorites.