In the trend of humor articles about comparing college football teams to other groups or events, I began thinking of what some college football teams' counterparts in the rock 'n' roll world would be.
Although I used to work at many radio stations, my car does not even have a radio today, I do not have cable television (which will change when football season gets a little closer). With that caveat of not really listening to music anymore, here we go:
Smart. Really smart. Vanderbilt is the "nerd" school of the SEC, and as such an institution they do not actually have an athletic department. The Gorillaz, similarly, do not actually exist. They are a virtual band.
Deep down, you root for them. You admire their tenacity and the brains that went behind some of the decisions to bring them to where they are. Also, you cannot name a single player/fake band member of either team.
BYU: Twisted Sister
Why, you may ask, is a college football team that has consistently been among the better non-BCS teams being grouped with a former glam rock band? The answer is actually quite simple.
Both BYU and Twisted Sister had one glorious year: 1984. BYU won the national championship and Twisted Sister had their only two hits: "We're Not Gonna Take It!" and "I Wanna Rock".
Southern Methodist:Van Halen
Which is the true Van Halen: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar? (I believe a similar question was asked in the movie "Airheads"...not to digress, but what is up with Brendan Fraser always selecting movie roles as a backwards idiot?)
Both SMU and Van Halen had their heyday in the early 80's. SMU was given the death penalty. Van Halen was given Sammy Hagar. Both have recently taken steps to come back, one with June Jones and the other with David Lee Roth.
Georgia Tech: Tilly and the Wall
Who?I am going to admit a little bias here, as I went to high school with a couple members of this band. But why is Georgia Tech listed as Tilly and the Wall? Because they both run one heckuva unconventional offense! Georgia Tech is going to be running the triple option for the foreseeable future.
Tilly and the Wall, instead of a drummer, has a tap dancer! (If you haven't heard it, you should YouTube it.) As strange as both may sound, they both have proven to bring success in, albeit, small doses. And that is the problem; neither one is going to get huge, but it doesn't mean you can't admire their drive.
Alabama: Led Zeppelin
I was really tempted here to put down Alabama (the band) as the counterpart, but they don't really do much of anything anymore (and yes, you could make a joke and say the same of the football team). I decided not to be that mean and I went with Led Zeppelin. Ok...so that may be meaner. Bear with me.
Both Alabama and Led Zeppelin were the best at what they did for a while there, but neither has done much of anything since 1979. (I know Alabama won a national championship in 1992, but man there were some hellacious sanctions in the years following.)
In 2007, Led Zeppelin got back together and Alabama has hired Nick Saban, both in hopes of recapturing old glory. I got news fans....you set the bar too high a long time ago. You might find some success, but nothing like you had.
Nebraska: The Who
Both The Who and Nebraska have to be considered among the best of the best. But you really have to think about it, because they both have seemed like they don't even exist. And yes, The Who actually stills tours.
More importantly, can you really name any players on the Nebraska team anymore? This is a team that has quickly sunk into anonymity, much like the band. It would be awesome if, instead of a regular huddle, Bo Pelini, makes his players have a Who Huddle?
Notre Dame: The Rolling Stones
Both Notre Dame and The Rolling Stones are very popular. Both the band and the football team have had numerous hits over the years, but they are both living in the past.
They both can sell out a show in no time at all, but when was the last time they did anything of true notoriety? And really y'all..."waking up the echoes"...do I really need to say more? (My bad on the "ghosts" thing y'all...thanks for catching that.)
It is so uncool to like either one of them, but admit it. Whenever "With or Without You" comes on the radio, you find yourself belting it out like there is no tomorrow. You respect them and even like them somewhere, deep down, even though you know you are bigger tool in the long run for doing so.
Perhaps most importantly, everyone in their field wants to be them. Football programs want USC's success and fame, and bands want the success and fame of U2.
In the new millennium Coldplay has been just as good, if not better, than U2...and yet, they are not U2. They try to be self-righteous just like U2. They may even have more hits in the recent past. But whenever another band talks about the most successful bands, U2 still tops the list.
LSU, despite having won more BCS championships than USC, still plays second fiddle to USC. You know that just sticks up their craw.
Ohio State: Dave Matthews Band
The guys you love to hate. You know they are good. You know all they do is succeed. But damned if you can't stand them. They seem so cocky and sure of themselves, and every now and then you catch yourself saying "Man that game/song was good!" And then you realize what you just said and you want to vomit.
You know how good they are, and yet, unless you were born and bred into liking them, you will never admit to your fellow human being that you actually respect them.
The Band has been saying a new album is on the way for a couple years, but they have disappointed so far. Sound like any National Championship talk you have heard lately?
Florida: Maroon 5
Other than the fact that Urban Meyer looks like Adam Levinein 10 years? Maroon 5 is like the American version of Coldplay, just not nearly as successful lately, no matter how much they try to convince themselves. You can't help but like the lead actor Tim Tebow/Adam Levine, and they can get some hot females to tag along, but in the end you would have no problems if they never played again.
Why? Because sometimes, and by sometimes, I mean almost all the time, you really just can't stand them. It's like they have taken this new-fashioned thing called the spread offense/emo to a whole new frontier and now claim they invented the damned thing.