Liga MX took a ridiculously short break between seasons with just twelve days separating the final of the Apertura and today’s opening match of the Clausura. Just long enough to fill the void with a bunch of college football bowl games. To ease the transition back from bowl season to Liga MX, I created a handy comparison tool for those still in a Taxslayer Bowl type of mindset. I apologize in advance.
Club America – Texas
My instant gut reaction when thinking of a college football comparable to Club America was Alabama. They’re a powerhouse team despised by all of its competitors. Yet, the more I thought about it, they really are Texas. The same comparison still applies. The Longhorns certainly aren’t loved among their many rivals. Yet, it goes much further with these two. The old money behind each of these institutions ensures high expectations never fade despite occasional wavering success. Also, I don’t think it would be a stretch to slap the “insufferable” tag on these two giant fan bases.
Chivas – Notre Dame
Two institutions in their respective sports that now have a harder time finding success in the modern game than in the days of yore. Yet, with the right direction it isn’t impossible. This fits perfectly, and I could totally see Jorge Vergara sporting one of these sweaters with a smug look on his face.
Atlas – Purdue
People tend to care a whole lot more about the other team in the state. They don’t win things, but occasionally they are competitive. When Drew Brees eventually plays a few seasons for the Aguilas Blancas as his career winds down only to regret it immensely and be despised by the fan base, the connection will be complete.
Cruz Azul – Clemson
This is a pretty simple. Clemson has the propensity to live up to Cruz Azul’s most dominant characteristic. If you Google Translate ‘cruzazulear’ you get ‘clemsoning’. Now if Clemson somehow manages to defeat Alabama in the coming days, we’ll need to scrap this one. Unlikely.
Pumas – Texas A&M
Two teams that are known for their obsessive fan bases regardless of the on-field product. The original 12th man would get along quite well with incessant ‘Goya’ chanting. We just need to teach Pikolin how to properly celebrate a big save.
Santos – Michigan St.
I’d like to say there was more to this than being from the north(ish) part of the country and wearing green and white. Let’s pretend there’s some correlation between Torreon and East Lansing culture-wise. It would make this all work better. Thanks a bunch!
Tijuana – Oregon
The Xolos go against the grain for much of Mexican soccer. They are the border team that plays on the artificial turf. They don’t fit the mold. Oregon’s resurgence into national prominence mirrors the rise of Tijuana. They did so with a dynamic approach, back when Chip Kelly was dynamic, that challenged plenty of the norms in the sport.
Monterrey – Florida
Real powers when they have the right manager in place. Tend to have teams that respond in the big games and thus have plenty of hardware in their display cases. Their closest rivals have had a better run of form lately, but things could change soon.
Tigres – Florida St.
Neither are classic powers in their sport, but both became perennial contenders under the management of long-term coaches. Each of these teams are besting their in-state rivals at the moment. Also, Florida State has a ton of red-shirted French transfer students – as far as I know.
Pachuca – Alabama
Their origin stories go back to the beginnings. Their current regimes have figured out a thing or two. Pachuca has excelled because of their recruitment and development within their youth program. It doesn’t matter who is sold or for what price. There is another phenom coming up through the ranks ready to fill in the roster spot. It’s all a bit Crimson Tide.
Queretaro – UCLA
Sometimes they have an exciting player (Ronaldinho/ Maurice Jones Drew) or bring in a big-name manager (Victor Manuel Vucetich/Rick Neuheisel), but they never stop being disappointing.
Puebla – Mississippi State
You know how every few years there’s a preseason buzz for Mississipppi State? Or occasionally they win a few unexpected matches and get off to a good start to the season? This matches well with Puebla. Puebla, much like the bulldogs, never fails to return to the mean of being fodder for the bigger teams to bat around.
Toluca – USC
USC rollercoasters between title contender and unceremoniously firing managers. The highs and lows are pretty extreme. Toluca follows a similar trend while being able to capture more trophies than you might expect. Somebody please send Snoop Dogg a Diablos Rojos shirt and make this easier for me.
Necaxa – Houston
Solid history in their sport, but until the recent resurgence it’s been a serious lull. We shall see if either has the staying power when players/coaches begin to be poached.
Chiapas – Louisville
Morelia – Nebraska
Two fan bases that probably spend most of their recent time reminiscing on the glory days. Things could be better at present for these teams. If Nebraska had to face relegation out of the Big Ten, it would really improve their squad. #ProRelforCFB
Veracruz – West Virginia
Veracruz bought their way back in to Liga MX from the lower division rather than earning it through the difficult promotion process. West Virginia found their way to the Big 12 even though they are dramatically in the wrong part of the country. A good season pops up with these teams occasionally, but national powers they are not.
Leon – LSU
Perhaps the most intimidating home-field advantages in their respective leagues. Don't be surprised if Les Miles resurfaces in Guanajuato. Also something about lions and tigers, oh my.