It’s early July, which can be one of the toughest stretches on the calendar for college football fans. If you’re like me, you’re sludging through the summer doldrums seeking to make it through to the much anticipated “Media Day” season. I may not be a fan of any team from the vaunted SEC, but even I’ll watch a few hours of that pompous production each year. What gets a person like me through the rough stages until Big 12 Media Days? Answer: Pointless conversation with my buddies about various players, coaches, programs, and what best to associate them with.
Our most recent discussion sparked me into constructing the following list. Now, I know you’ve seen lists like this before. Heck, these are exactly some of the items that get me through the offseason. I purposefully did not pull a Google search to see if this topic had been done before. I didn’t want my heart to be broken, as I’d like to think I was the first at officially addressing something like this. I know that’s a stretch, and I’d love your feedback. Anyways, let’s get to it… What Beer is Your Big 12 Team?
In order of final 2014 standings…
Baylor – Bud Light Lime
- The Bears are officially the “new hotness” of the Big 12, having seamlessly rolled from the success of the RG3 era into consecutive conference titles and New Year’s Six bowl games. The Bears are here to stay, and that wasn’t a guarantee three years ago. Same goes for Bud Light Lime. When it first came out in 2008, I didn’t think it would last past one spring/summer release. Like the Bears of recent past it was trendy, way too sweet, and you really didn’t want to be the only person associated with it on gameday. However, each entity has achieved a deserved level of legitimacy in recent years, all while displaying a high level of flash and freshness that drives the youth crazy! If you’re a Baylor fan, being the Bud Light Lime of the league is a great thing, for now…
TCU – Budweiser
- Doesn’t Gary Patterson just look like a Budweiser kind of guy to you? That’s part of the reason I went with “The Diesel,” to represent the Horned Frogs in this list. “Hey, Gary! Toss me a Bud Heavy,” is something I’d love the chance to shout at Coach Patterson on a Saturday tailgate. That’s assuming he arrives at the aforementioned tailgate sporting his typical black, short sleeve faux-turtleneck and visor. No strange turtleneck, no admittance. As for Gary’s team the Frogs are tough, have great substance, and are extremely enjoyable to experience. All traits they share in common with “The King of Beers.”
Kansas State – Hamm’s, Schlitz, Pabst
- Coach Snyder turns 76 this fall, which means “Grandpa’s Beer Night” in Aggieville has to be one of his favorite events to attend. Not only could he enjoy flavors from his younger years, but he could also get them at dang near era-dated prices! K-State fans like myself know you’d never find Snyder in The ‘Ville during the season, but there is something to be said for those “old,” beers like Hamm’s, Schlitz, and Pabst still being sought after. Like Snyder’s Wildcat squads these brews are occasionally bland, but offer consistency and formulas, continues to recruit well and find gems that get the average person to the desired end result: a “winning,” state of mind.
Oklahoma – Miller High Life
- If I owned a brewery, I would have no problem with one of my creations being known as “The Champagne of Beers.” Champagne is for toasting and celebrating major achievements. Coach Stoops and the Sooners have experienced the pinnacle, toasting to a BCS title in 2000. That’s a good thing, but there is a catch. Miller High Life is severely outdated, just like the Sooners’ championship season from 14 plus years ago and the more recent BCS title game birth at the end of the 2008 season. Being the toast of the party is something you want, but “The Champagne of Beers,” can also lead to a nasty hangover. Something everyone associated with the Oklahoma program has been experiencing for years now.
Texas – Busch NA
- Like Coach Patterson, Coach Strong looks like a Budweiser type of guy. However, we’ve all seen Charlie’s rules (No drugs, stealing, guns, etc.) and how they’re enacted in his program. With that in mind, we have to assume that the Longhorns are going sober, to a degree, as they try to right the mighty Texas football ship. There can be no missteps or mistakes early on, so take out the variable of alcohol which could induce a setback or two. However, Texas will not tell you they’re drinking Busch NA. They’ll assume info like that will hurt their imagine, show weakness, and further push away Manziel-like recruits from the program. Typical Texas. For all we know, cases and cases of NA have been consumed by folks in Austin, longing for the years of Vince Young and Colt McCoy to return… quickly.
West Virginia – Natural Light
- Being a recent import to the Big 12, I wanted to go with something foreign to describe the Mountaineers. However, having a general knowledge of the culture and fan base from out west, I figured I should assign moonshine over Stella Artois. But, this is a beer list, so moonshine is not an option. So, I went with one of the cheapest, party/tailgating beers you can find around the nation: Natty Light. What beer would better describe the ravenous, John Denver loving fanbase and their “skullet” wearing coach, Dana Holgorsen? Nothing would, that’s the point. Also, West Virginia wins a lot of football games by being rougher and tougher than their opponent. A similar roughness and toughness is required by their fanbase to constantly consume so much Natty Light.
Oklahoma State – Busch Light
- In 2011, the Pokes were knocking on the door of the BCS title game. Three seasons after, and Oklahoma State appears set for another middle-of-the-road finish in the Big 12. Strange, right? I’ll have to admit, this was probably the toughest team to assign a brew to. Partly because I’m nearing the end of the list and partly because their recent narrative. So, with that doubt, I decided to go with an ag school favorite: Busch Light. Busch Light, or Busch Latte as us sophisticated types like to call it, is one of the more popular, light, domestic beers in the Midwest. Like the beer, the Cowboys’ higher level of popularity in recent years has led to the signing of highly rated recruits and some highly discussed uniform deals. Let’s see if the Pokes can continue to keep up with the popularity of their beer brethren in seasons to come.
Texas Tech – Bud Light
- You see the TV commercials, you hear the radio ads, you see pretty people in the magazine drinking it… Everything about Bud Light looks awesome! However, you take a drink and realize there’s no flavor, there’s hardly any substance in terms of ingredients, and it cost way more than you wanted to pay for it to begin with. Sound familiar? It should, because it’s pretty much the same thing a Texas Tech fan is experiencing with their Red Raider football program at the moment. Just like Anheuser-Busch should spend a little more time on their Bud Light recipe instead of can style and marketing, Kliff should follow suit in the respective areas of game planning and uniform design. For 3.1 million a year, how about a little more of the former and not the latter.
Kansas – Michelob Ultra
- At the moment, I do not believe KU fans consume beer on football Saturdays. A couple of reasons for that… First, I doubt many of them even realize there’s a football game taking place. Second, Kansas football fans need something way more potent than beer in order to cope with the product that’s been on the field recently. Fans drinking beer at a Kansas tailgate would be a great sign, one that your football team is good enough that you do not need to consume the hard liquor. Speaking of the recent, we know KU has no problem spending money (Buyouts for Mangino, Gill, Weiss) so the expensive domestic choice of Michelob Ultra suits the Jayhawks best.
Iowa State – Coors Light
- Coors Light prides itself on being cold, or even “Super Cold.” Heck, it’ll tell you that right on the can if it’s cold enough! Well, it can get super freaking cold up in Ames, Iowa during the college football season. Also, like the Iowa State football players, their coaches, and their fans, Coors Light is an easy-to-like domestic beer. However, there is another beer option that Paul Rhodes is getting closer and closer to identifying with, and that’s Corona. If the losing seasons continue to mount for the Cyclones, Coach Rhodes won’t be spending his seasons on the sidelines of Jack Trice, but most likely on a beach, “Miles from the Ordinary.” On second thought, that beach might be a welcomed alternative to Ames in late November…
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