NFL Conference Championships: The Top 10 Great Super Bowls That Never Happened

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NFL Conference Championships: The  Top 10 Great Super Bowls That Never Happened
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

With the NFL playoffs well underway and the AFC and NFC Championship Games mere days away, fans are more intrigued than ever to find out which two franchises will battle on the ultimate stage for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

When the postseason starts, there are so many potential outcomes that could happen.  

Across eight games in the first two rounds, the NFL's system of re-seeding and the strong likelihood for upsets in recent seasons, one wrong prediction can entirely change the course of a person's prognostications, rendering full-scale playoff picks and potential Super Bowl considerations practically moot.

However, that all changes with the Conference Championships.  With the Lamar Hunt and George Halas Trophies being polished for presentation, the total number of Super Bowl matchups has been limited from 36 (start of the tournament) to 16 (divisional round) to four.  With four teams left playing, only four possible games can result from Sunday's play.

As it concerns the big game, this is the week when one popular question gets asked to everyone, from NFL "experts" to laymen alike:

"Who do you want to see play in the big game?"

Some love the dramatic dynamics of a Harbaugh Bowl.

Others would relish in a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, pitting the Patriots against the Giants, the team that spoiled their bid for an undefeated season in 2007.

Many New Yorkers wouldn't mind exacting revenge on the Ravens for their brutal 34-7 loss in Super Bowl XXXV.

Lastly, the fourth possible pairing would be the Patriots and 49ers—a clash of two dynastic franchises (1980s and 2000s).

While it isn't every season that presents so many intriguing potential battles in the big game, most conference title weekends present the possibility of a classic pairing or two that have fans pulling in certain directions, even when their favorite teams are already disqualified.

Be honest: didn't some little part of you find the potential Gruden Bowl (Oakland vs. Tampa Bay) intriguing in 2002-03?  In that example, the (arguably) most intriguing Super Bowl game came to fruition.

Sometimes, that's not the case.  In fact, many great potential championships haven't panned out. 

This countdown showcases the top 10 Super Bowls that didn't happen.  These are the games that many fans surely looked forward to during the Conference Championship Games, only to have one or both teams not uphold their end of the bargain.

The criteria for selection is very simple: the teams had to both play for their conference's crown. 

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