After soccer’s Super League collapsed in Europe a few weeks ago after it was revealed, we look at how the teams involved would best compare to college football teams
If you’re a soccer fan, you certainly heard about the Super League. 12 of some of Europe’s most prestigious soccer teams were all set to form their own league. The new league was quickly abandoned after intense pressure from fans around the world.
Many could argue that college football is essentially a Super League. Even though there are 130 FBS teams, there are really only a handful that have a realistic shot at making the College Football Playoff. In the seven playoffs that have been held, only 11 schools have been a part of the four-team playoff. Clemson and Alabama have made the most appearances, with each making the playoff six times in seven years. Ohio State and Oklahoma have the next most appearances, with the Buckeyes and Sooners each earning spots in four editions of the playoff.
College football wants you to think there is a chance that Cinderella will be invited to the ball, but we know better. It’s not like college basketball where you can see a mid-major school make a run into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. With 85 scholarships to work with, teams like Alabama and Ohio State don’t have to rebuild. Instead they can reload. Much like how the European soccer powers will dominate the transfer market (no, not THAT transfer market).
There were 12 teams that had already committed to play in the Super League before public backlash forced the new league to reverse course. Half of the teams in the league came from England. Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City had all already came to an agreement to join the Super League. Spain was going to contribute Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and Barcelona. Italy rounded out the initial group of committed teams with AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Juventus.
There are some similarities between the Super League and teams that could be included in a college football “super league”. There are some teams that have a rather obvious Super League comparison, while there are others that are tougher to find a comparison for.
Liverpool = Ohio State
I’ll admit that I’m the furthest thing from a Liverpool fan, so it was hard for me to pick the Reds as Ohio State’s best comparison. A major reason for pairing Liverpool with Ohio State is because LeBron James is a part owner of Liverpool. Both teams also have ridiculously rabid fan bases to go along with a decorated history of winning. Ohio State has won 39 Big Ten titles and eight national titles, while Liverpool has 19 league titles, seven FA Cup wins, and six Champions League titles.
Arsenal = Michigan
Both teams are living in the past. About 20 years ago Arsenal was one of the best teams in the world, and now they are struggling to find consistency. The Gunners and Michigan both have former players that aren’t the answer currently coaching their teams. Unless something drastically changes, Arsenal and Michigan are destined to be in the middle of the pack for the foreseeable future.
Tottenham = Oregon
These are two of the most popular picks for fans over the last decade that are new to their respective sports. Even though they are popular, it doesn’t mean success is a given. Oregon has made a couple title games since 2010, while Tottenham has won just one trophy in the last 20 years. Both teams might be fun to watch at times, but supporters know that the other shoe is going to drop soon.
Manchester City = Alabama
Manchester United = Auburn
I figured this would be the perfect spot for the SEC rivals, since the rivalry between United and City is just as intense. Manchester City has dominated English soccer recently, much like Alabama has dominated college football. The Crimson Tide pretty much get anyone they want in recruiting, just like how City can get almost any soccer player from around the world.
Manchester United isn’t quite what they were, but they still know how to make some noise. Auburn is very similar since they’ll have years where they are a title threat, and other years where they fall on their face. Both the Tigers and Red Devils are currently looking up at their rivals, trying to find a way to close the gap.
Chelsea = Clemson
As a Chelsea fan, I want to stuff myself in a locker for this comparison. The Blues have really become a force in the soccer world in the last 15 years, much like how Clemson has asserted their dominance on college football recently. Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has a lot of Dabo Swinney in him. Much like Mourinho, you either love Swinney or hate him, and chances are you hate him.
Barcelona = Oklahoma
Since Barcelona actually wins titles, this comparison might be more of a stretch. What is similar about these two is they love offense. Oklahoma always finds a way to put plenty of points on the board, much like Barcelona puts balls in the back of the net. The Sooners don’t have a Messi, but they have gave the college football world a number of Heisman Trophy finalists and winners over the last few decades.
Atletico Madrid = Florida
Real Madrid = Georgia
I figured that Georgia was a fitting comparison for Real Madrid since Kirby Smart probably drops off some big bags to recruits, much like Real Madrid gives some big contracts to the best players in the world. Georgia doesn’t quite win titles like Real Madrid, but since the Bulldogs have been a little better than the Gators since Urban Meyer left Gainesville, it just makes more sense that Georgia is paired with Los Meringues.
There’s no shame with Florida being compared to Atletico Madrid, since Atleti is always a tough out in La Liga and European Cup competitions, they usually just don’t have quite enough to get over the hump. Florida is still looking for their first College Football Playoff appearance, but Dan Mullen has them on the right track.
Picking teams for the Italian teams included in the Super League were a bit harder. I was thinking of USC for AC Milan, but I was hesitant to put them in that spot since I didn’t want to include UCLA as Inter Milan. The more that I think about it, the Milan teams would be best compared to Texas A&M and Texas. It doesn’t matter which team you assigned to their Italian counterpart, all that matters is they could renew a rivalry that would be as intense the Derby de Milano.
To round out the college football Super League, I would finally slot USC as Juventus. This comparison would have made a lot more sense if USC was at the height of their powers like they were in the early 2000s, but it still works pretty well. Both teams are stocked with some of the best talent in their respective sports, and they both have trouble finding traction outside of their conference/league.
Notable quick comps
There are still a few college football teams that I think should be included in this piece, there just wasn’t a place for them among the 12 teams committed to the Super League. I’m going to pass on including any Bundesliga teams in the comparisons since I can’t find another Bayern Munich out there, but I feel like these extras ones I have included will work just fine.
Celtic: Notre Dame
Paris Saint-German: LSU
Leicester City: Penn State