The South is as iconic for its football as it is its deep musical roots. So marrying the two seems like an obvious union.

Colleges and universities are cultural meccas for many musicians, including the likes of Pink Floyd and Queen, who got their starts as college bands.

Here is a look at some musicians with ties to SEC schools that we’d like to see perform at halftime of an upcoming game.


Whether it’s Widespread Panic meeting in the University of Georgia dorms or the B-52’s rocking lobsters at local house parties, Athens is the SEC’s music capital when it comes to college bands. After all, Athens’-own R.E.M. is generally credited as the godfathers of the College Rock genre. Plus, if there’s anything that Bulldog fans know quite well, it’s the everybody hurts … sometimes.


This is a tough call. The heart wants to go with Lionel Richie, but the brain say Jimmy Buffett will put on a more appropriate halftime show. Both artists spent some brief time at the school, including Buffett, who surely blew out a flip flop or two around Toomer’s Corner while learning to play guitar his freshman year at Auburn. Perhaps we compromise and hire Richie to perform during the Tigers’ next home game against the Vanderbilt Commodores. We could also go with Auburn alum Toni Tennille, but it wouldn’t be the same without the Captain.


OK, so maybe Sister Hazel isn’t quite halftime show-worthy, but the Gainesville-based group that hit it big in the late ’90s could definitely pack out a tent at the World’s Greatest Cocktail Party.


LSU was “Good” this season, but they weren’t quite Better Than Ezra. Sorry. I’ll show myself out the door after that one. The band that formed at LSU in the late ’80s has purple and gold coursing through their veins. They named an LP “Death Valley” and were at the 1988 Earthquake Game.


Steve Spurrier is out at South Carolina, but Hootie and the Blowfish are back together. If new Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp is smart, he’d hire them to perform at halftime of South Carolina’s 2016 opener against Vanderbilt before they break up again.


Somewhere out there, there’s a Kellison (Fenton, Mo.) Elementary alum that can say they had a young Sheryl Crow as a music teacher. Crow is synonymous with the state and is a University of Missouri alum. If she’s good enough to perform at halftime for the Cowboys, then she should be an even bigger hit singing in Columbia.


Dolly Parton didn’t actually attend the University of Tennessee, but the school said “I will always love you” by bestowed an honorary degree upon the Country Music Hall of Famer. How rare is it for UT to hand those out? Parton was just the second ever. We’re pretty sure, even at age 70, that she could still give us a halftime we’ll never forget. Plus, the Tennessee band is well-versed in her music, having performed her songs during a recent game.


We live in a society where many misinformed youth can barely name the current vice president, so we can’t expect many young people to be familiar with Lyle Lovett — other than the fact that he was once miraculously married to Julie Roberts. Lovett, a distinguished alum of Texas A&M, isn’t a big-enough halftime draw. But he becomes one when we pair him with Willie Nelson. The redheaded stranger grew up 100 miles north of College Station and even played halfback on the Abbott High School football team.


Dierks Bentley’s debut single “What Was I Thinking” was not a reference to attending Vanderbilt University. The Vandy alum is the perfect fit for a halftime show. Perhaps he can bring some artists with him when he makes the 15-mile drive across Nashville from the Grand Ole Opry to Vanderbilt Stadium.