Which OOC Team is Most Like Which Big Ten Team

Submitted by Zone Left on January 3rd, 2010 at 5:41 PM
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Who’s Who in College Football—or Which OOC Team is Most Like a Big 10 Team:

I’m interested by similarities between teams in different parts of the country.  Some teams just should be good.  Some teams just should suck.  This goes beyond who is the current coach and the team’s record over the past five years, but extends into areas that include demographics, recruit density, tradition, and conference affiliation.  Schools with everything going in their favor should be strong, even if they aren’t historically, and those who don’t shouldn’t be as good over the long run.  For example, Boise State just shouldn’t be as good as Texas—even if Boise State decided to pour the same amount of money into football as Texas.  They simply don’t have the necessary recruiting base, tradition, or exposure to draw the recruits required to compete with Texas—despite Boise’s relatively strong program.  With the long dark offseason upon us, I’m thinking of some comparative projects to occupy my college football obsession over the next eight months.

With that in mind, I’ve identified a team to match with each team in the Big 10 from elsewhere in the country.  This isn’t about who had the best and worst records this year or even in the last five.  It’s about looking at the whole picture and determining who is most similar to schools in the Big 10.  I’ll save Michigan for last, and I’m interested to see what everyone’s thoughts are.  This isn’t meant to be a definitive list or an insult to any school, rather something to foster discussion and force me to learn more about the greater college football landscape.

Ohio State = Texas

To me, this is the easiest comparison to make.  Ohio and Texas are two of the most populous states in the Union, with Ohio at number 7 and Texas at number 2.  Each state has a very large public university system, with Ohio State and Texas clearly standing out as the flagship schools for both states (I know Miami, not that Miami, is a solid school—but tOSU is vastly improved academically and is clearly Ohio’s flagship school).  Texas does produce significantly more talent as a state than Ohio, but I think the top recruits available per school are relatively similar because Texas supports so many more BCS teams (4, 5 with TCU to 2 for Ohio).  There were 13 Rivals 100 recruits in Texas to four in Ohio last year.

The football teams are obviously similar today and over time.  Ohio State is number 5 all-time in winning percentage and Texas is number 3.  Both teams have been elite over time and there is no reason to think that either school will falter soon.  The programs are also considered to be among the most valuable, according to Forbes, with Texas ranked number 1 and OSU at number 8.  You could even drill down further with the comparison.  They have had iconic coaches, Hayes and Royal, iconic players, Griffin and Young, along with numerous titles and conference dominance.  Ohio State may be coming out of a long period of struggling against elite competition, just like Texas when Big Game Bob Stoops was in his prime.  Finally, each team has a historically elite level rival from a smaller state that poaches many of its best players from Texas/Ohio—Oklahoma and Michigan.

Ohio State and Texas are elite football schools from football crazy states that should, based on demographics, own their conferences and regions.

Other schools considered: Florida, USC

Penn State = Florida State

Forget the obvious comparison between Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno.  Seriously, forget it.  Despite each of those coaches building their program completely in their image and serving as the single most recognizable person affiliated with either school, the comparison still sticks when the coaches are ignored or marginalized in the analysis. 

Pennsylvania is the 6th most populous state while Florida is 4th.  Florida is obviously one of the great recruiting hotbeds for football talent, with 7 Rivals 100 recruits last year.  However, Pennsylvania holds its own with 3.  Neither school is the strongest academic school in the state.  Pennsylvania has several top schools, such as Penn and Carnegie Mellon, while Florida and Miami are both easily stronger academically than FSU. 

Beyond the coaches, both teams are historically similar.  Both were long-time independents, and joined the Big Ten and ACC soon after Arkansas agreed to join the SEC in 1990—signaling the death knell for the Southwest Conference and putting the writing on the wall for independents everywhere.  By 1990, both programs were very strong, and were expected to dominate their conference upon entry.  This definitely happened in FSU’s case, but not so much for Penn State. 

As I previously stated, I believe that FSU and Penn State are very similar without the coaches.  When the coaches are incorporated, they become extremely similar.  I won’t bore anyone with the details, but they are both great, all-time win list, etc and the schools are both bracing for life after the program icon—with FSU having officially transitioned.

Other schools considered:

Michigan State = Auburn

This was a tough comparison in many ways.  MSU is its own special character, and finding it a partner wasn’t easy.  Obviously, you can’t define MSU without incorporating Michigan.  MSU, perhaps more than any team in the Big Ten is defined by its rival.  While there were periods where MSU was unquestionably better than Michigan, over time it isn’t even close.  There are several schools that are historically similar in addition to Auburn, such as Texas A&M and UCLA, but I chose Auburn because of Michigan’s and Alabama’s (state not school) similarities. 

Alabama is a much less populous state than Michigan, at number 23 to Michigan’s 8.  However, it is surrounded by (and is) very fertile recruiting territory and is surrounded by some very populous states, such as Florida and Georgia.  This enables Alabama to house two big time programs despite its relatively small size.  While both schools have had periods of great success, Auburn for much of this decade and MSU in the 1960s, both have generally been overshadowed by their in-state rival.

Both schools are considered to be relatively strong academically, but not at the level of their in-state big brother—although the University of Alabama appears to fluctuate quite a bit in the rankings I looked at.  They are both public institutions and long time members of their respective conferences.

Auburn and MSU are also both interesting because of their contrasting histories during the 1960s.  Duffy Daugherty at MSU famously took many black recruits that schools like Auburn and Alabama couldn’t admit, and built a national power in the 1960s.

Other schools considered: Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, UCLA

Illinois = Virginia

Illinois and Virginia are two of the schools whose lack of success in football is difficult to fathom.  Both are unquestionably old money, high quality schools.  The states are relatively populous, with Virginia coming in at number 12 and Illinois at number 5.  Also, I lived in Northern Virginia for about 18 months, and felt like Washington D.C. was almost a part of the state.  Assuming about half of the population thinks the same thing, with the other half leaning towards Maryland; the effective population expands to number 11 in the US.  Both are long-time members of their respective conferences, and have a solid recruiting base.  Each has won two conference titles in the last 25 years.

Given their population, history, and status as the flagship public school in a populous state, both schools should be much better at football.  Unfortunately for them, each has failed to keep up with their more powerful conference members.  In Illinois’ case, Notre Dame has also made life difficult for the football program.  Virginia has always been overshadowed by their more powerful southern cousins in the SEC.

Other schools considered: California, Arizona

Wisconsin = Colorado

Before I started this research project, I would not have placed these two schools together.  I started with the idea that Texas was very similar to Ohio State and how similar MSU was to teams like Auburn and Texas A&M, but I had very little to go on for the rest of the conference.  First, Colorado and Wisconsin are similar in population, ranking 22 and 20 respectively.  Neither is a hotbed of top recruiting talent, producing one Rival’s 100 recruit each in 2008.  Both are good, quality schools in pretty fun college towns.

They are pretty similar football wise, although Wisconsin has had much more success the past 15 years.  Wisconsin has six Rose Bowl berths, two since 1998 and has emerged as a solid 3rd or 4th team most years in the Big Ten.  Colorado was one of the stronger Big 8 teams right before the Big 12 was created, including a national title in 1990, but has fallen on hard times recently under Gary Barnett and Dan Hawkins. 

These schools are examples of schools that shouldn’t be very good.  Both are a long way relative to their opposition from the population centers that produce their conference’s best recruits, Texas in the Big 12 and Ohio/Pennsylvania in the Big 10 and they don’t have elite tradition on their side.  Wisconsin has built its niche in the Big 10 by being the only Big 10 team that still plays classic Big 10 meat grinder football, and Colorado likely needs to find a similar formula to build its success.

Other schools considered: Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Iowa =Arkansas

Iowa is really hard.  It is the least populous state in the Big 10 footprint, yet it is a top 30 public school.  They have solid football history, including eleven Big 10 titles.  It is difficult to find a school that matches it demographically, is strong academically, and has a solid football background.  I picked Arkansas for several reasons, delineated below.

Arkansas is behind Iowa academically by about forty spots according to US News.  However, it is still a solid school and has an underrated football history, like Iowa.  Arkansas has 13 conference titles to its credit, and both schools claim one national title.  Demographically, they are similar.  Iowa is the 31st most populous state, while Arkansas is number 33.  Each is the smallest state by population in their conference and produces similar top talent.  Iowa had one top 100 player last year while Arkansas had two.  Both are traditionally behind their more powerful rivals, but have been able to remain competitive.

Minnesota = Syracuse

Did you know both schools didn’t always suck at football?  Both schools are northern programs far, far away from the recruiting hotbeds in the South and West.  Both recently played in really crappy dome stadiums despite the potentially massive advantage of playing outdoors in a northern stadium.  Minnesota moved out of the Humpty Dome last year, but the Carrier Dome still lives.

Minnesota was actually Michigan’s first real rival, having excellent teams in the 30s, 40s, and 60s, with the Little Brown Jug going back to 1903.  Both Syracuse and Minnesota were early beneficiaries of integration, especially Syracuse with Jim Brown and Ernie Davis.  Each have solid academic programs in very cold places.

Other schools considered: Oregon

Northwestern = Stanford

Obvious, right?  The only other good options were Duke and Vanderbilt, but they’ve shown very little inclination to be serious about football in the last long time, even though Duke has had success in the distant past.

Other schools considered: Duke, Vanderbilt

Purdue = Maryland

Both schools are solid schools in similarly sized states.  Each is easily overshadowed by their more powerful neighbors.  Each claims one national title and several conference titles.  Both schools have had recent success, but show no signs of breaking through and competing year in and year out for titles.

Other schools considered: Pitt

Indiana = Washington State

Both historically suck, can you tell I have nothing to say about Indiana?  The states are similarly sized, with Washington at 13 and Indiana at number 16.  Washington produced zero top 100 players last year, while Indiana had one.  Indiana has played in nine bowl games, while Wazzu has played in 10.  Both have losing records to Michigan (and just  about everyone else) and lay claim to fountains of unintentional comedy—Lee Corso and Ryan Leaf.

Other schools considered: Kansas, Iowa State

Michigan = Oklahoma

I really think this is a great comparison for many reasons.  However, I want to get the glaring weakness out of the way first.  The University of Oklahoma may be the best school in the state and the best school for many, many country miles, but it is not even close to Michigan.  Enough said, right?

I chose Oklahoma for Michigan over everyone else for the reasons below.  However, because this is a Michigan blog, I want to explain how I eliminated everyone else. Michigan, like every other team, is defined partly by the demographics and history of its conference.  If we accept the Big 2 (tOSU and Michigan) premise that most years those should be the best teams in the Big Ten based on historical success, then no one in the PAC 10, Big East, or ACC closely matches Michigan’s situation.  Each has its historical strong school, but not two or more historical juggernauts.  I could place FSU and Virginia Tech here with the ACC, but I don’t believe they match Michigan and Ohio State’s situation because there isn’t a historical rivalry and neither has the same amount of history.  The SEC has two teams that are close to Michigan's situation, Tennessee and Alabama.  I discounted Tennessee because their monster rival from a bigger state (Florida) hasn’t been as good for as long as tOSU and they have only played 39 times to 106 for Michigan-Ohio State and 99 for Texas-OU.  Alabama was discounted because they don’t have a great out of state rivalry that has mattered nationally like Michigan-Ohio State.

Football-wise, these schools are very similar.  Both are very old money.  Each claims 42 conference titles and many national titles.  Both schools have had some of the best coaches out there, and continue to be relevant today.  Despite their astonishing success, neither is a recruiting hotbed.  Each school must poach most of its top players from elsewhere in their conference footprint and nationally.

I find the most intriguing similarity to be the comparison between Oklahoma and the members of the Big 12 to Michigan and the members of the Big 10.  Both schools are either the best or second best school in just about each meaningful modern statistic in their respective conference: conference titles, All-Americans, wins, etc.  Both schools have a much larger school to the south that is its traditional rival, Texas and tOSU.  Both schools down south hold just about every advantage over Michigan and Oklahoma.  They are in top recruiting states and should be consistently better based on demographics.  Yet Michigan and Oklahoma claim more conference titles and national championships than their bigger rival.  Each even has an upstart little brother in-state that claims to be their most important rival!

Michigan and Oklahoma defy the odds to remain relevant.  Assuming most recruits like to stay near home and a similar commitment to football excellence by all D-1 programs, neither would be as strong as they are.  However, tradition and commitment to excellence have kept both relevant and powerful.

Other schools considered: Alabama, Tennessee

Again, this is meant for fun, and not as a definitive list.  There is no perfect comparison, and each school is very different.  I’m interested to hear everyone’s thoughts.



January 3rd, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

Thanks for a very good post. I have been thinking along the same lines, but a lot more simplistically: how teams are similar on the field right now.

In the "conservative offense" department, it struck me the other day how similar Pitt and OSU are. Metaphorically, I would call Pitt paleolithic while OSU is merely neolithic, but both are definitely "old school," even when they have the personnel to play a more modern game.

The main difference I see is that while Wannestadt is a "one-trick pony" who only knows one way to coach, Tressel chooses to play that way but is able to change his playcalling tendencies for big games, such as against Oregon in the Rose Bowl or the UM game in 2006.

I would rate an OSU/Pitt bowl game as a possibility for "all-time snoozer" if it ever happened.

As for Michigan, I like your comparison all the way around and I hope they look like Oklahoma on the field next year. Stoops did get a lot of his offense from RR, so the comparison is quite appropriate.


January 3rd, 2010 at 10:29 PM ^

Rich Rod and Stoops conferred over an offseason on how Oklahoma can use Rodriguez's superbacks and how Michigan can use Oklahoma's spread tight ends, so it was more of a brainstorming session thsn Stoops getting his offfense from RR. Elements from the offenses became more similar, but not the same.

As for the UM-OU comparison, perfect, couldn't have said it any better. Ironic that those two are my favorite schools...


January 4th, 2010 at 6:14 PM ^

Yeah, but in the grander scheme of things, Tennessee has a lot more competition than Michigan in recruiting and on-field success.

Interesting tidbit, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State is the most lopsided little brother rivalry in the country. 80-15-8. And OU beating a favored OSU team 27-0 this year... el oh el.

Not a Blue Fan

January 4th, 2010 at 12:58 PM ^

It's documented that Jim Tressel conferred with RR at WVU and Mack Brown at Texas in the past few years. Similarly, Mack Brown conferred with Nick Saban this past offseason.

Would you say that OSU "took their offense" from WVU or Texas? Did Texas "take their offense" from Alabama? It is not that the comparison between Oklahoma and Michigan isn't apt (in fact, it's eerily so); it's that making a self-congratulatory statement like "Stoops took his offense from RR" is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. Coaches confer ALL THE TIME. I understand the compulsion to find a bright patch in what will likely be a long, dark off season, but who is kidding who here?

Neg away, if it makes you feel better. But implying that Stoops and Oklahoma just ripped off RR's offense reeks of unwarranted bravado (just as claiming that UM's offense would resemble the UO offense that was going to hang 1,000,000 points on OSU).


January 4th, 2010 at 6:10 PM ^


Stoops did get a lot of his offense from RR, so the comparison is quite appropriate.

Elements from the offenses became more similar, but not the same.

is not this:

...it's that making a self-congratulatory statement like "Stoops took his offense from RR" is ridiculous to the point of absurdity.

Ipso facto: Oklahoma learned how to use RBs in the shotgun from Rodriguez, and Michigan learned how to use tight ends in general from Oklahoma.


January 3rd, 2010 at 6:32 PM ^

Thought-provoking post (thanks)! Comments (for what they're worth):

* OSU and Texas: Columbus is a much dorkier town than Austin (even after the latter's Yuppification). I generally like the football comparison, but UT has more logical in-state rivals at least close to its weight class than OSU does.
* Penn State and FSU: Like OSU, Penn State doesn't have a public in-state rival close to it. (I suppose we could forget that Pitt is private for a moment.) Comparing Penn and CMU to Miami and Florida is a bit outrageous, too. Lots of football parallels, though (agreed). Also: There are hicks aplenty in both college towns. It's not called Pennsyltucky for no reason.
* MSU and Auburn: I think that's a great comparison.
* Illinois and Virginia: UVa has much more of an old-money East Coast vibe to it. Illinois is more like Beaver Cleaver. Otherwise, it seems like a good comparison. Academically strong and underachieving in football...
* Wisconsin and Colorado: See MSU and Auburn. Madison and Boulder have lots of parallels, too.
* Iowa and Arkansas: Good comments on their off-the-beaten-track natures...
* Minnesota and Syracuse: Syracuse is private and not as closely associated with its state as Minny is. Still, good football comparison...
* NW and Stanford: Almost all conferences have their odd ducks that boost the academic reputation. Even the MAC has one (Miami of Ohio, which is miles ahead of its conference peers).
* Purdue and Maryland: Seems about right...
* Indiana and Washington State: Wazzou is a little brother to an academically superior school (UW), which would make it a perfect partner for MSU. Indiana isn't a little brother to another school in its state.

I think you're on-the-mark with the Michigan and Oklahoma pairing, too. Good work on the post.

Zone Left

January 3rd, 2010 at 7:07 PM ^

Nice point on the football side, but IU has historically been a much better school than ND. However, ND has leveraged its endowment and proximity to Chicago to vastly improve its academic standing to the point where it is a better school than IU and is approaching elite status.


January 3rd, 2010 at 8:04 PM ^

I'd view ND more as a cousin, since it's a private school.

I agree that their undergrads are a cut above IU's, but at the graduate level the picture is murkier. IU's business school, for example, is very well-regarded.


January 3rd, 2010 at 11:04 PM ^

Only comment is that I don't really like the UM to OU comparison. We're a much better school, and lately, they're a much better football team.

I think the Michigan - Notre Dame comparison is probably closer (as suggested by an above poster)


January 3rd, 2010 at 11:19 PM ^

I'd really like to know why Maryland has "recent success" in football while UVA has a "lack of success." Maryland spent the mid-to-late 80s and the 90s sucking donkey dick. They had three excellent years earlier this decade and then pretty much returned to sucking donkey dick. UVA spent 13 years in the same time period as a consistent 7-to-9 win team, and went to more bowl games this decade than Maryland to boot.

Granted, it's been a tough past four years for UVA - tough enough to wipe out all memories of UVA as a good football team for all time, apparently. (Not just in this thread, either.) But in those four years, we have just one more loss than Maryland does - and a three-game win streak over them, too.

Zone Left

January 4th, 2010 at 12:15 AM ^

Actually, I remember the heady days of George Welsh, et al.

My point with UVA and Illinois is that both should be consistently very good IMHO. Seriously, why is Va Tech better than UVA and Northwestern better than Illinois? Have you seen Blacksburg?

I'm not trying to insult UVA. I'm actually applying to B-School there.


January 4th, 2010 at 12:29 AM ^

Seriously, why is Va Tech better than UVA and Northwestern better than Illinois?

Well, I'd strongly dispute the second point, for one - Northwestern seems to be really, really good once every five years or so and suck really badly the rest of the time. I'm not sure I'd call that better than Illinois.

As for VT/UVA, one school bends its (already pretty lenient) academic rules and occasionally turns a blind eye to off-field shenanigans, and one goes so far to the opposite tack on both counts that it is actively a detriment to the team. Also, VT puts a hugely disproportionate share of its resources toward football to the detriment of its other sports, which are all terrible, while UVA is very well-rounded.

But seriously....Maryland sucks, man. Somehow they've parlayed three ten-win seasons into everyone thinking they're a national power. Their results the past five or six years have been much more representative of their real football prowess.

But good luck getting into Darden. Excellent school if you can get in. Top 15.


January 4th, 2010 at 12:12 AM ^

I still think UC-Berkeley is the most similar school to us. Even down to the colors and the colors of the rivals (nearly). Plus the Cal-UCLA dynamic can be compared to us with MSU. And both UM and Cal are two of the top public schools in the country. Granted they haven't had quite the same success in football as us, but they do claim 5 national championships.

Also both campuses just feel the same.


January 4th, 2010 at 1:34 AM ^

I agree with this general idea about UC Berkley. If this is just for football, it makes a lot more sense than overall pairings. Academics wise, there are some definite incorrect pairings. But it'd be difficult to match all the variables together regardless.


January 4th, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

Completely disagree. As a big Pac-10 fan, I gotta disagree with this comparison. Yes, they're both great public schools, but their athletic programs can't even be compared. From 1951-2002, they went to 6 bowl games. 6! The Bears were terrible before Tedford got their. Hell, Steve Mariucci was only there for 1 year, led Cal to a 6-6 record and a bowl birth, and that was impressive enough to parlay into a job as the head coach of the 49ers.

FWIW, their claimed "5 NCs" were all in the 20s and 30s.

Blue in Seattle

January 4th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

Excellent topic for off-season, and a good read.

You stimulated me to look up some more info on Oklahoma, and came across this from Wikipedia,

"After ten years of football, the [Oklahoma]program began to get serious and started looking for a permanent coach, Bennie Owen. Owen was a quarterback on the undefeated Kansas team of 1899 led by famous coach Fielding Yost. "

You can also add some comparison on Michigan and Oklahoma having distinct mascots in comparison to their conference, although this is stretching things quite a bit.

Michigan Wolverine has no physical representative as a mascot as opposed to the rest of the Big Ten (including the OSU Nut Head Guy)

Oklahoma's mascot is a wagon - the Sooner Schooner as opposed to the rest of the Big 12 which have various animals/people

that sounded more exciting before I typed it.


January 4th, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

While your MSU / Auburn comparison is a good one, I like MSU / Texas A&M better. The main reason is that while Auburn is definately second fiddle to Alabama, both regard one another as their main rival and the Iron Bowl is a huge, national game each year. Texas A&M definately fits the "Little Brother" model better than Auburn as they obsess about Texas much in the same way as MSU obsesses about Michigan.

Zone Left

January 10th, 2010 at 1:05 AM ^

Bo Jackson beats just about everyone, everywhere. State actually has some great history, and they were very important in integration and providing top black athletes from the South an opportunity to play (Bo may not have had a job opening available at Michigan if Bubba Paris was at Michigan).

Fortunately, State has sucked for the better part of forty years.


January 4th, 2010 at 9:19 PM ^

I think that MSU is very similar to NC State. They're both argriculturally based schools who live in the shadow of their higher profile counterparts. Michigan is # 1 in football wins. UNC is # 2 in basketball wins. Michigan and UNC are both Top 5 Public Universities. MSU and NCSU are both pretty non-descript academically. Michigan's "real" rivalry is with OSU. UNC's "real" rivalry is with Duke. This annoys the hell out of "little brothers".

Zone Left

January 10th, 2010 at 12:56 AM ^

I think the importance of the Iron Bowl is due to Auburn's relatively high level of success in recent years.

I don't like comparing a Texas school to a Michigan school because Texas is either #1, #2, or #3 in recruit density depending on who you ask, and Michigan is miles away from that level of recruit density.


January 4th, 2010 at 3:19 PM ^

Here's what I came up with. Three of mine are the same as yours:

Illinois = Maryland. I like your comp (Virginia) better.
Indiana = Kentucky. Basketball school, little history of football success.
Iowa = Arkansas. Smallish school, good fans, poor recruiting area, history of being good but not great.
Michigan = Nebraska. Big fan base, plenty of history, bad recruiting area. Oklahoma fits the description pretty well too, especially since I came up with...
MSU = Oklahoma State. Good fans, but hampered by a strong in-state rival in a state that is not a recruiting hotbed.
Minnesota = Rutgers. Big school, dominates a weakish state, little tradition, mediocre fan base.
Northwestern = Stanford. This was the easiest one for me.
OSU = Texas. Big dog in a big state.
Penn State = LSU. Similar to OSU = Texas but with slightly less success.
Purdue = Kansas State. They usually hold their own despite a lack of natural advantages.
Wisconsin = Cal. Good school with a rep for lefty politics, some recent success after decades of mediocrity. I think your comp (Colorado) is better.


January 4th, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

I hate to be the negative Nelly (or is it Nancy) but I really have trouble comparing Michigan to Oklahoma. Obviously Oklahoma isn't in the same league as Michigan as far as academics. But on the same note, Oklahoma has played in 4 national title games in the past 10 years and won one. Maybe historically they are close, but I just see the comparison to Nebraska football being a lot closer than Oklahoma.

Raback Omaba

January 4th, 2010 at 5:17 PM ^

A lot like mine a few weeks ago, but you went the extra mile.

I've thought about this before as well....and a lot of your comparisons are dead on. MSU = Auburn is one that I always make, but I usually make the Alabama = Michigan comparison right off the bat.

In any case, OU and Michigan isn't a bad comp either.

Good Post.


January 12th, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

But, Michigan=Alabama. Both very big winning teams, rich in tradition. But, Oklahoma works and makes sense as well. But, my problem with this was the offensive comparison of Auburn to Michigan State. Let's get real. I much preferred the Texas A+M comparison. But other than that, very well done.