The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers already met this year on Week 12.
The Ravens came out on top that night, but a rematch of that showdown would make for a fantastic Super Bowl.
Jim Harbaugh took over the San Francisco 49ers and led them to a 13-3 record. The 49ers were one of the biggest turnarounds in the NFL this year after they limped to a 6-10 record in 2010. Harbaugh improved the defense and simplified the offense for Alex Smith.
John Harbaugh has had the Ravens in the playoffs every year since he took over in 2008. The worst record they've had was 9-7 in 2009. This is his first year winning the AFC North and led his Ravens to the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
Both teams have a lot in common and would make for a hard-fought battle in this year's Super Bowl.
One of the biggest storylines of that Super Bowl matchup would of course be the first time in NFL history when two brothers would be coaching against one another.
Both coaches appear to be moving up the ranks of great head coaches quickly. Jim and John have found great success early in their head-coaching careers and appear to be on track to earning their shot at a Super Bowl championship at some point.
They are very similar in their style of coaching and passion for the game. Even though Jim is an offensive specialist, and John is more of a defensive coach, they both have an understanding for both sides of game.
Their coaching may not be what determines the outcome of the game, but it would definitely create some media buzz.
The 49ers and the Ravens both sit atop the rankings in most defensive categories across the board.
The 49ers defense has improved drastically since last year and appear to have emerging young talent across their roster. The Ravens still have that same veteran core that has been stopping opposing offense for what feels like an eternity.
There's no doubt that these two defenses would create a very defensive-minded Super Bowl.
It would be great to see two defenses led by their middle linebackers, Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis, challenge each other. Lewis has been one of the best linebackers in the league for years and a true leader for the Ravens. Willis has developed in to an elite linebacker himself and is filling the same role that Lewis does on a young 49ers defense.
This game may not make for the most exciting matchup for some fans, but if you love defense, you'd love this Super Bowl.
A 49ers versus Ravens matchup also brings together two of the league's best running backs.
Both teams were in the Top 10 for rushing yards this season and use the rushing attack as the main point of their offensive game plan.
Ray Rice finished second overall in the NFL with 1,364 rushing yards and tied for third with 12 touchdowns. Gore finished sixth overall with 1,211 rushing yards and tied for 12th with eight rushing touchdowns.
Both backs easily fall in the elite category for running backs.
These two did struggle in their first faceoff as the defenses got the better of them.
You can be sure that both backs will be looking to step up their performance in a Super Bowl rematch.
Of all the possible quarterback matchups we could have in this year's Super Bowl, Alex Smith versus Joe Flacco doesn't exactly stand out.
Smith is having the best year of his career. He has topped career highs in passing yards and completion percentage. He came up just short of topping his passing touchdowns total but still put together a great year.
Smith isn't an elite passer by any means, but he has changed his game so his turnovers are limited, and he puts the 49ers in position to win.
Joe Flacco has been improving consistently since becoming the Ravens' starting quarterback in 2008. This year was the first year where his numbers haven't improved across the board.
Flacco has taken some heat for his ability to win the big games, but he's certainly talented enough to do so.
Flacco and Smith are two unlikely heroes and have faced more than their share of criticism. It would be great to see one of them come out on top in the Super Bowl.
There are many similarities between Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis.
Both men play the game with a natural sense of leadership and intense passion for the game. Not to mention that both of them are incredibly talented linebackers.
I keep waiting for the year where Ray Lewis finally stops being one of the best linebackers in the league. He's 36 years old, yet he plays the game like he's still in his mid-20s.
I mean, he has to slow down at some point doesn't he?
Patrick Willis is a freak athlete who seems to be getting better every week. He's an absolute monster who has the speed to hunt down just about any running back attempting to escape the backfield. It's scary to think about how good he will be in a few years.
We may someday talk about Patrick Willis in the same way we talk about Ray Lewis—as one of the all-time greats.
The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL.
They are one of only three franchises to reach five Super Bowl victories. They are also the only franchises to have more than won Super Bowl win and no losses.
Since the glory days of Joe Montana and Steve Young ended, it has been a rough stretch for the 49ers. Until this year, San Francisco hadn't made the playoffs since 2002.
A return to the Super Bowl would not only be great for the city, but great for the NFL.
Just like last year's Super Bowl matchup of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, a Ravens and 49ers faceoff would carry great historical value.
The Ravens most historical moment in the NFL up until the year 2000 was their relocation. However, starting with their first Super Bowl win in 2000, the Ravens have gone on to be one of the league's top franchises.
Since 2000, Baltimore has made the playoffs seven times in 12 years. They've shown incredible consistency that has moved them in to the top echelon of the league.
While they don't have the historical resume the 49ers have, they would certainly be a worthy challenger.
For many years, the Baltimore Ravens have been one of the league's best defenses.
With leaders like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the Ravens have dominated opposing offenses week in and week out. We've seen younger talent like Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata have come in to keep the defense playing at an elite level. Still, the Ravens defense continues to age, and it's only a matter of time before we see it impact their play.
The San Francisco 49ers are on the other end of their defensive greatness. They have some very talented young players on the defensive side of the ball who will only continue to get better.
Patrick Willis is no doubt the leader, but matched with players like Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman, this defense has some great years ahead of it.
A Super Bowl showdown between these two teams would make for an interesting old school versus new school matchup.
Are the young guns of the 49ers ready to take over for the veteran Ravens? A Super Bowl matchup would give us the answer.
On an individual level, Jim Harbaugh's appearance in the Super Bowl would mean a great deal for his legacy as a head football coach.
There have been a slew of big-name college coaches over the years who have made the jump to the NFL and then are sent running back to the NCAA after a few rough seasons. It has just shown how difficult it can be coaching a group of college kids and then coaching a group of professional athletes. While some have certainly had success doing both, it's a limited group.
Harbaugh took over the Stanford program in 2007 and only went 4-8. The Cardinals' record improved every year from there including a 12-1 performance in 2010 and a win at the Orange Bowl.
With it appearing that Harbaugh has performed some of the same football magic in San Francisco, leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl in his first year would be a huge feather in his cap.
Who better to win your first championship against than your own brother?
On the flip side, you have John Harbaugh's legacy as a head coach.
John never reached the head coaching level at the collegiate level and spent all of his NFL coaching career as a special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. His resume was certainly less flashy than his brother's entering his first head-coaching job with Baltimore.
That hasn't stopped him from being one of the most successful coaches in the NFL.
He took over the Ravens in 2008 and has led them to the playoffs every year. He has led them to at least one playoff win in each appearance but has only ever won two playoff games once. This year is the first time he and his Ravens have captured the AFC North from their rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Regardless of how many times you lead your team to the postseason, criticism will eventually arise for not taking the next step.
John Harbaugh has been a great coach for the Ravens, but eventually, people will turn on him for not being able to win or make the big game.
An appearance against his brother for his first Super Bowl would not only make for great TV, but would go along way in validating him as a head coach.
For many years, we have heard the same adage that "defense wins championships."
Yet, as the years have passed, we have seen the NFL turn in to a more offensive league. More teams are spreading out their offenses and throwing the ball downfield. It seems like it's a requirement now for teams to have at least three receiving options if they want to be considered a good offense.
It's more clear now than ever about where the league is headed.
Just take a look at the top seeds in the AFC and NFC.
The Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots are the two worst passing defenses in the NFL, but they're also two of the best passing offenses. They combined for a 28-4 record on the year and are the current favorites to make the Super Bowl. The Saints and Lions fall in to a similar mold as well.
A Ravens and 49ers Super Bowl would prove that you still need a great defense to make the Super Bowl. It may not be exciting for some fans who love to see high-scoring games, but there are plenty of old-school football fans who would be perfectly content with a 17-14 thriller.