Here's the list, with our opinion included:
These guys are probably the closest to a lock on this list due to the combination of worldwide popularity, relative youth and safe factor (Chris Martin isn't flipping off anyone.) Coldplay has positioned itself as the logical successors to U2 for years, and playing the big game would do wonders on that front (Bono & Co. played a memorable post-9/11 halftime set at Super Bowl XXVI.)
8. Lady Gaga
If Coldplay is this generation's U2, then Gaga is thought by many to be the evolutionary Madonna. As such, it'd be a surprise if the Powers That Be chose Gaga a year after the Material Girl's performance at Super Bowl XLVI. Timing necessitates a longer commercial shelf life for Gaga, no small task in a fickle pop world.
We've heard that Rush is the most underrated band in rock history so often the last few years they've become almost overrated because of it. Still, they have an extensive catalog of hits, and the band reached a new generation of fans when "Tom Sawyer" showed up on the video game "Rock Band 3." Still, Rush? We don't want to come off as anti-Canadian, but we don't see it.
As The Who proved in Super Bowl XLIV, it's not always a great idea to trot out a veteran rock band and assume they'll be able to summon past glories. In fact, we'd like to enact an unofficial bylaw that disqualifies rock bands that feature members in their 60s. (If you're a Beatle or Rolling Stone, this does not apply). In another decade, AC/DC were a great choice. Sadly, the window has closed.
4. The Black Keys
3. Pearl Jam
Though it's easy to dismiss this option citing Eddie Vedder's well-known aversion to the commercial aspects of fame (the man once tried to bring down Ticketmaster, after all), it's possible Pearl Jam might be ready for the Super Bowl. The 2011 Cameron Crowe documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty" showed a group finally comfortable in its skin. Pearl Jam in 1993 wouldn't go near this event, but Pearl Jam in 2013? Could be a different story. Our dark horse.
2. Van Halen
Let's see if David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen can get through their upcoming reunion tour without killing each other before discussing this one.
1. Foo Fighters
According to Rolling Stone, Foo Fighters were the overwhelming choice by readers to play halftime. Like Coldplay, Foo Fighters are at a stage in their career where playing the Super Bowl makes complete sense. They've been around long enough where even casual fans of rock music know their hits, but are still young enough to make the Powers That Be come off as hip. Let's make it happen.