August is always a wonderful time of year in sports. Many leagues are starting – or about to start – their latest seasons. Two sports that annually kick things off in August are La Liga and NCAA American College Football.
Although the sports share very little in common (except maybe both going by football and taking place in large stadiums), you can compare some of the American college programs to the top clubs in La Liga.
Real Madrid – University of Alabama
When you look at college football betting favourites, you almost always see Alabama atop the league. And Alabama, like Real Madrid, owns the most championships in the sport’s history. The two teams are also known for their dominance during different eras. It is not just the championships the last 15-20 years – it is their extended runs over the history of the sports that make them the elite of the elite.
Barcelona – Clemson University
While Clemson does not have the historical success of Barcelona, the two programs have one thing in common in the last decade. If someone is going to win it all and it is not Real Madrid/Alabama, the best bet is Barcelona/Clemson. The two powerhouses of their sports have engaged in some epic battles over the last decade. Something that will continue as long as they remain the elites of the sports. We do not expect their reigns at the top should end any time soon.
Atletico Madrid – Ohio State University
Once every few years, Ohio State University manages to sneak into the conversation for the best team in the sport – and on the odd occasion (in 2014), they took home the title. The results are very similar to Atletico Madrid – who also won in 2014 but have many more finishes as runner-up or third than championships.
Still, every year there is hope for these teams. We saw Atletico Madrid capture the crown in 2021, and Ohio State is hopeful their team can produce another title run during the 2021-22 season.
Athletic Bilbao – University of Michigan
The historical importance of these teams is the main reason they remain relevant when talking about their sports. The two teams are among the most successful in the sport’s history but have gone long periods without winning a championship.
Of course, fans of these teams are always going to say – they are closer to competing for a championship than you think. Even if the chances of them winning anything meaningful is slim to none. You could also sub out Michigan for Notre Dame and get a similar comparison.
Deportivo de La Coruña – Brigham Young University
This comparison is a bit of a stretch, but we shall try to explain it. Brigham Young University (often shortened to BYU) is not your traditional American football powerhouse. The school does not play in a Power-5 conference and is not considered one of the country’s elite college programs. However, in 1984 everything came up BYU. The school went undefeated (13-0) and won the program’s first and only National Championship.
It is sort of like Deportivo de La Coruna in 2000. The club reached its apex during that season, capturing its only title to the surprise of many. The club followed it up with a few more successful seasons but is now in the third tier of La Liga – far away from winning another championship.
Valencia – University of Southern California
These two teams compare to each other thanks to their relevance in the early 2000s. Both USC and Valencia had their greatest successes as we entered the new millennium. The success roughly 20 years ago has carried on since, putting them in the “great” conversation the last decade-plus, even if they do not deserve the praise.
We hope you enjoyed the list (made for fun) and whether you are a fan of La Liga or NCAA Football (or both), have a great season in 2021-22.