Super Bowl 50 is here, but you, dear SEC fan, may not have a horse in the race. I know a lot of you don't follow the NFL all that closely because you greatly prefer the college game, and I am with you there. However, it's hard not to pull for someone when watching a football game, so I'm here to help with a rooting guide.
This year's edition helps out the median SEC fan quite a bit by having Peyton Manning and Cam Newton as the two starting quarterbacks. You probably have fully formed opinions about those guys, and that alone may be enough to guide you.
But still, I'll run down each SEC team to give you a suggestion of who to root for.
Alabama: The Meteor
The good news is that someone from the Tide is getting a ring no matter what. Roman Harper and Kevin Norwood are Panthers, and Evan Mathis is a Bronco. The bad news is that either Newton or Manning is also getting a ring tonight, and I know there are no winners in that choice for you.
There aren't any Razorbacks on the rosters tonight, but Carolina is attempting to win the Super Bowl with a full-on spread scheme. Granted the Broncos use plenty of spread passing sets, but Bret Bielema might get a new talking point for the recruiting trail about his more conventional offense being superior if Denver wins.
The Camerons—Newton and Artis-Payne—play for the Panthers, and Tyronne Green is on the team's injured reserve too. There are also no former AU players on Denver. But I know you knew to root for the Panthers already.
If you're not counting Newton, then all former Gators in this game are still wearing orange and blue: Andre Caldwell, Max Garcia, and Lerentee McCray. Did I mention that Carolina has three Seminoles and three Georgia Bulldogs? Just remind yourself that Manning never beat Florida and pull for Bubba, Max, and Lerentee.
I know that, like Bama fans, you're not terribly happy about the quarterbacking situation either. But the Panthers have Thomas Davis, Charles Johnson, and Fernando Velasco on the roster, and I just mentioned that the Broncos have three Gators (and three Vols, too). Both teams have a pair of Georgia Tech players, so that's a wash. The signs point to Carolina, unless you're a Falcons fan and you don't want to see a division rival win it.
The Broncos have Danny Trevathan, and they don't have any Louisville players to give you any second thoughts about this.
The Panthers have Trai Turner, the only former Tiger of these stripes in the game.
Ole Miss: Carolina
You can't tell me you wouldn't like to see Michael Oher win the big one.
Mississippi State: Carolina
The only former Bulldog in the game is the Panthers' Kyle Love.
The guys in teal have Kony Ealy, while the guys in orange have Shane Ray. How to choose? Well, Denver has not one but two Jayhawks in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. Done and done.
South Carolina: Search your feelings
Strictly from a college perspective, Denver is the pick here thanks to Darian Stewart, not to mention that Cam Newton is why you guys lost the 2010 SEC Championship Game. But I realize there's a high chance that you're already a Panthers fan when it comes to the NFL, and they have "Carolina" right there in their name. You already know what to do.
I bet you're willing to sacrifice a ring for Carolina's Chris Scott in order for Britton Colquitt, Malik Jackson, and whatshisface to get one.
Texas A&M: Denver
This is an easy one. The Broncos have the only former Aggie in Von Miller, while Carolina has former Longhorn Fozzy Whittaker. Denver all the way.
Neither team can #AnchorDown, but the Broncos are more infested with Volunteers at three to the Panthers' one.
The Final Tally
That's seven for Carolina, five for Denver, one for the meteor, and one Star Wars reference. I think we've done good work here.