OT: European Football (NTF) Super League

Submitted by Gameboy on December 14th, 2018 at 11:21 AM

There is a movement afoot about creating a European Super League that will include every known powerhouse teams including ManU, Barcelona, RM, Bayern, and others.

What I found interesting is in this article about the Super League, the author compares Super League to College Football;

With its pervasive, barely hidden tribalism, European soccer has always had more in common with college football than any of its pro-sports counterparts in America. (In case you’re wondering: Yes, Manchester United is Texas.) The sports also share a similar infrastructure. NCAA football has the Power Five conferences: the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC. Soccer has a clear group of five elite leagues: England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, and France’s Ligue 1. If you think of winning a domestic competition as a more meaningful version of collecting a conference title, then the Champions League is European soccer’s version of the College Football Playoff, an imperfect-but-wildly-successful-and-money-printing knockout tournament between the best teams in the sport.

If Texas is the Manchester United of college football, who is Michigan's equivalent? (I am thinking either Liverpool or PSG)

Some of my other comparisons:

  • Alabama is Barcelona (self explanatory)
  • OSU is Real Madrid (buys all the best players)
  • USC is Bayern (benefit from unbelievable home-grown talent)
  • Clemson is Man City (relative upstart who is dominating)
  • Oklahoma is Chelsea (a lot of fire power)
  • Nebraska is AC Milan (once glorious superpower)
  • ...

What say you?




December 14th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

Well, which team was dominant many years ago, hasn’t won anything meaningful in over a decade, and gets their best players plucked away from the top team in the league year after year?


December 14th, 2018 at 12:51 PM ^

Nah, I think Liverpool is the answer here. Liverpool have a longer, richer history than Arsenal, they have the most top-flight wins in English football but have been somewhat down for the past 20 years, much moreso than Arsenal. 

Liverpool also has a recent resurgence the past couple years while still falling short of any actual titles.

Arsenal has only been very recently down, i.e. the past two seasons.  They finished 4th or better in the PL every season from 1998-2016.  If they're Michigan, they're about 7 years behind, as they just had their first two RichRod years by finishing 5th and 6th the past two years.  They are on the downswing, although look like they might be having a Hoke Year 1 this season.

Liverpool had a deeper and longer downswing the past two decades and are mostly back but without the hardware.  That's more like Michigan.


December 14th, 2018 at 3:25 PM ^

BVB almost went bankrupt in the mid-2000s and hasn't been consistently good throughout its history. There isn't a German team that's comparable to Michigan unless you want to compare Michigan to Bayern in terms of European success (and that's a stretch). Liverpool really is the best comparison for reasons already stated.

CRISPed in the DIAG

December 14th, 2018 at 11:34 AM ^

Seems like we had a similar discussion a few months ago: Liverpool = Michigan. Dominated from the 70's through the 90's. Occasionally relevant on a large scale. Somewhat entitled and vocal fanbase. 

I say this as a Liverpool fan.

Nobody Likes a…

December 14th, 2018 at 11:39 AM ^

Every article on the possibility of the super league always leaves out the glaring and obvious reason that it won’t happen, TV rights. The top flight in the top leagues have a solid share of the profits from their leagues. Apart from Spain and the premier league very few league champions even come close to the amount of money that runners up make in their respective leagues. The TV deal would no doubt be massive but likely not enough to make it make any sense for some of the smaller clubs to join like Ajax, Bayern, PSG etc.


If you’re looking for who Michigan is comparable to it’s Tottenham. They taught their rivals how to play the sport and boy were they something back in the day (first side to win the double). Now they are young and energetic with great players and many things hoped for but haven’t been able to live up to possibly unrealistic expectations.


December 14th, 2018 at 11:49 AM ^

These comparisons just don't work. Bama is more Real than Barca, anyway, but in any case there is no college football equivalent to a superteam whose greatness began because it was the pet team of a fascist dictator. 

The tribalism issue has merit, but the sports are just too different for the comparison to college football to get deeper than that. 


December 14th, 2018 at 2:41 PM ^

I definitely agree with your whole comment. Bama is definitely more like Real, but no college sports rivalry can match the meaning of the rivalry between Barcelona and Real. I tried to think of one that would fit, but it just doesn't fit.

And it's not just Barcelona and Real Madrid, but all of the clubs in Spain that are tied to independence movements in their respective regions. There just has not been anything nearly as significant in the US.


December 14th, 2018 at 12:32 PM ^

In recent decades Michigan is Roma. Trust me, they are my only two teams. Bad thing though is Roma doesn't Harbaugh these days. But the consistent heart break is right there.


December 14th, 2018 at 12:34 PM ^

“If you think of winning a domestic competition as a more meaningful version of collecting a conference title...”

I’m not the only one that thinks conference titles are a big deal, right? Winning the Big Ten would be as big of a deal to me as making the playoff - and probably a bigger deal if the playoff expands to include all P5 champs.


December 14th, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

I actually think that Michigan and Manchester United are much more akin. Both run what most consider to be antiquated attacks while relying heavily on their defense (for Man Utd this year, not so successfully) and are currently in the throws of a stretch where their rivals are seemingly surpassing them in style-of-play and on-field success.


December 14th, 2018 at 12:51 PM ^

MSU is newcastle.

was almost there once on top but choked in the last few games. stinks pretty much every time.

and squad members tend to fight each other during the game than with the opponent.


December 14th, 2018 at 1:03 PM ^

My analogies for conferences and leagues:

SEC is La Liga.  Strongest teams and top heavy.

BIG TEN is EPL.  A lot of good but not dominant teams.

ACC is Bundesliga.  Clemson is Bayern and everyone else is far away.

PAC 12 is Seire A.  Kinda down right now.  However there isnt really a strong analogy for Juve.




December 15th, 2018 at 12:54 AM ^

EPL is MUCH deeper than any other league and has been forever.  Yes, RM and Barca have dominated the CL lately but Manchester City is by far the best club team in the world right now.  Also, the EPL has the highest attendance and TV deals.  In all of those regards, it's more like the SEC.

Sadly, La Liga is probably a better comparison to the Big Ten days when it was big 2, little 8. Not so much anymore thanks to M being down and there being more parity, although in recent Big Ten seasons there has been a slight return to dominance by the big two.  So now, the Big 12 is probably a better comparison to La Liga with OU-Tex as RM-Barca.  Texas as at least had more success this century than Michigan has.

Agree with ACC = Bundesliga but Serie A might be the better Big Ten comparison as Juve does compare with OSU and as someone else mentioned, Roma is a good Michigan comparison in recent decades.  While the big two have have a bit of a resurgence for the Big Ten, the league in general had fallen behind some other leagues before the arrivals of Meyer and Harbaugh, which is like Serie A.


December 14th, 2018 at 1:29 PM ^

In Portugal:


 Michigan is Benfica - historic, most titles, massive fan base, but also with long spells of no championships ( Benfica from mid 90s to early 2010’s won 2-3 titles. BUT won 4 in a row in recent years).

Porto is OSU- second most titles, also large fan base, but lots of corruption, shady business, mostly terrible fan base. However, they’ve won a bunch as of late and reached pinnacle of success most recently (UCL title in early 2000’s). 


Sporting is MSU - some titles but not close to the other two. Severe inferiority complex, laden with problems as of recent years (their most recent president is a nutcase, not in same fashion but see Engler and Simon for horrendous leadership issues at MSU).


besides the fact that Benfica’s main color is red and Porto is Blue, everything else is essentially spot on. Sporting’s color is green.


in Europe, Michigan being Liverpool is accurate, or Juventus. 


December 14th, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

Michigan isnt Liverpool because Liverpool were far more dominant in their dominant era than Michigan has been at any time since WW2.

The fact Michigan fans think they are Liverpool proves we’re Spurs or maybe even Newcastle.


December 15th, 2018 at 1:21 AM ^

"Liverpool were far more dominant in their dominant era."  That's not really true.  Michigan was very, very dominant from 1900-1940ish.  As dominant as any Liverpool stretch.  You're correct that it was pre WW2 but the dominant eras are comparable.

Maybe you're thinking Michigan's "dominant era" was the Bo years as someone suggested earlier.  And I agree with you there that while Bo's teams were very good in the big ten, they weren't dominant on a national level.

And it seems that you're only thinking of EPL teams, in which case, yes, M probably isn't Liverpool.  But this is a Europe wide comparison.


December 15th, 2018 at 10:11 AM ^

I don’t know what is ambiguous about what I said. I said since WW2 because noone cares in reality about what happened 80-120 years ago. Just like hardly anyone even remembers Newcastle’s stretch of dominance with three league titles between 1905 and 1909 or Huddersfield’s three titles in a row in the mid 1920s.

Michigan comparisons to Liverpool stem from the notion of a far more recent fall from grace. Liverpool however were easily and by far the most dominant team in England from about the 1960s through the late 80s and one of the most dominant teams in Europe. They  of course haven’t won a league title since (and really have only come close even a couple of times) and have fallen behind several other clubs in the European pecking order which is how Michigan fans relate. But Michigan has been more often than not a very good but not great team since WW2. There were no dominant 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s. Michigan’s track record is one where this year stands as a pretty typical season within the context of the last 70 years. A comparison to Liverpool is basically a denial of Michigan’s real standing in the competitive landscape of college football.


December 14th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

who is Michigan's equivalent? (I am thinking either Liverpool or PSG)

Liverpool is possible.  PSG is a relatively young club (united only in 1970) so they can't be it.

Arsenal is also a solid comparison.


December 14th, 2018 at 1:43 PM ^

How can Alabama be Barca? Real is coming off of 3 straight champions league winners, and has the most European championships of any team. 

I agree with Arsenal for Michigan. Liverpool might have had more downtime lately, but they did win the CL in the last 20 years. 

Rest of the post is spot on. I can't decide if I would be for this or not. Hate the thought of destroying the domestic leagues. Though it would be cool to see some of the lesser teams in these leagues have a chance to win. Most of the best leagues in Europe have a group of 2-3 teams that win every year (England has 6ish) besides the Leicster City aberration. 


December 15th, 2018 at 4:36 PM ^

Michigan will NEVER be PSG. 
Please do not EVER compare the great University of Michigan to the ***** . PSG.


Also French's ligue 1 one of the top 5 ligue? Let me rotfl just Portugal and Nederland is already way better.