The Super Bowl will be played on Sunday, and it will feature perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time in Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady and perhaps the best current quarterback in Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes.

Neither went to an SEC school, but there will be SEC talent all over the field in Tampa on Sunday evening. And while the NFL MVP award has gone to a quarterback each of the past 7 seasons, the Super Bowl MVP is more up for grabs, usually.

So, which SEC players can have a big game and win the MVP award? Here are the 8 former SEC standouts with the best chance:

The Favorites

If Kansas City wins: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB (LSU)

Edwards-Helaire, the first-round pick out of LSU, was limited in the AFC Championship Game against Buffalo after missing the previous few weeks with an injury. However, he still managed to score a touchdown. But with 2 weeks off, the rookie running back should be closer to full strength. He can impact the game with his running and his ability as a pass-catcher. If the Buccaneers are too focused on stopping Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, Edwards-Helaire could have a big game.

If Tampa Bay wins: Mike Evans, WR (Texas A&M) or Leonard Fournette, RB (LSU)

Evans had a couple of mistakes in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay, but no one is a better red-zone threat. He has 10 catches for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns in Tampa’s 3 postseason games this year. If he goes off like he’s capable of, watch out. He had a career-high 13 touchdown catches this season, so he’s a matchup problem for the Kansas City secondary.

Meanwhile, Fournette had one of his better games of the year against Green Bay, so he’ll enter the Super Bowl hot. He had 55 rushing yards and a touchdown and also caught 5 passes for 19 yards. He seems to have taken over as RB1 for Tampa, so he’ll get plenty of opportunities against the Chiefs.

If Defense Wins Championships

If Kansas City wins: Tyrann Mathieu, S (LSU)

The Honey Badger is the Chiefs’ do-it-all safety. He already has 1 interception this postseason, coming against Cleveland. He also had 6 picks this regular season and ran 1 back for a touchdown. Get a key pick-6 in a low-scoring Super Bowl? That sounds like a potential MVP résumé to me.

If Tampa Bay wins: Devin White, LB (LSU)

Like Mathieu, White also has a pick this postseason, snagging one against New Orleans. He’s also a tackling machine, recording 140 this season. Oh, and he rushes the passer, recording 9 sacks. He’s no slouch in pass coverage either, with 4 pass breakups during the regular season. If he is all over the field Sunday like he usually is, and the Bucs slow down the potent Chiefs’ offense, White could put together a good case for MVP.

The Desmond Howard Candidate

Mecole Hardman, WR/KR/PR, Kansas City (Georgia)

When Desmond Howard took home the Super Bowl XXXI MVP award, he didn’t have a single catch. He touched the ball 10 times — 4 on kickoff returns and 6 on punt returns. He had 90 punt return yards (15 yards per return) and 154 kickoff return yards (38.5 yards per return). He returned 1 of those kickoffs for a decisive touchdown in the Packers’ 35-21 victory.

Well, Hardman is a bigger player in the receiving game than Howard was that year, and he has returned a punt for a score during the 2020 season. He can also run the ball when needed. If the Chiefs let him showcase his full set of skills, he could be an interesting MVP candidate.

The Dark Horses

If Kansas City wins: Darrel Williams, RB (LSU)

Williams has stepped up when Edwards-Helaire has been dinged up. He had 78 rushing yards in the playoff game against Cleveland and had 52 rushing yards and a touchdown against Buffalo. Should Edwards-Helaire look like he’s not back at full strength, look for the Chiefs to give plenty of carries to Williams. If he finds the end zone a couple of times, he could definitely be the MVP.

If Tampa Bay wins: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB (Vanderbilt)

Vaughn is buried behind Fournette, Ronald Jones and LeSean McCoy, but he has been active for most of the Bucs’ games. He’s a strong runner and could come in during goal-line situations if the Bucs need him. Super Bowls call for pulling out all the stops, and Vaughn will be ready if his name is called.

Final thought …

Let’s be real for a minute. If Kansas City wins, QB Patrick Mahomes is a safe bet to be the MVP. Ditto for QB Tom Brady if Tampa Bay wins. But you never know. The Super Bowl is only 1 game, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a non-QB take home the award.

There will be plenty of SEC talent on the field at any given time, so we’ll see if any of the guys mentioned above can put together a superstar performance and help their team win the Lombardi Trophy.