First we looked at bar foods and compared them to college football teams. Now we are going to step it up a notch. We are going to look at how college football teams compare to fast food restaurants. We have to lay some grounds rules. First, fast casual will be allowed in the discussion. Second, it does not have to be a national chain. We are going to look at regional chains. The restaurant does need to be a franchise though. I also do not care where a franchise is located. Just because it is specific to one state does not mean it is going with that team, but it will be considered. While I do love local fast food places, we need it to be a franchise in some fashion. With that being said, let’s jump right in!
McDonalds (Michigan) – Take a moment and think about McDonald’s. It is a classic fast food restaurant. They have the Big Mac and were one of the first to really set themselves apart. In recent years, they have taken a step back because all they do is announce the McRib is back and hope people do not realize the McRib sucks. Michigan has the most wins all time and 11 National Championships. When you look at the last two decades, has Michigan accomplished anything? They have continued to flaunt Jim Harbaugh out there with hopes fans will believe they will return to glory.
Burger King (Kansas) – Burger King sucks. Let me make this very clear. There is nothing good on the menu at Burger King. If you go to Burger King, you might as well eat out of their dumpster to get better food. My girlfriend told me she loves Burger King and I nearly broke up with her. The correlation is obvious here. Kansas is awful. The Jayhawks went winless in 2020 and were blew out in nearly every game. Only one of their games were decided by single digits.
Chipotle (Oklahoma) – If someone says they are going to Chipotle, I guarantee there will be others who follow. Everyone has their specific order at Chipotle and rarely stray from it (burrito, white rice, black beans, chicken, hot salsa, corn, extra cheese). You could go multiple days in a row and not get bored of it. The food baby can be overwhelming at first but after it settles, you remember how good the food was. While Oklahoma may not be a food baby, their offense is a sight that never gets old. Oklahoma can put up 50 or 60 points every week and we will all be there watching. Each year they continue to amaze with the ability to recruit offensive skill players.
Culver’s (Wisconsin) – I know I said location did not matter but for this one it does. I screwed up Wisconsin on the bar food article, so I am not making the same mistake. Culver’s is as Wisconsin as they come. When you google “Culvers” to see what comes up you get a very Wisconsin phrase. Frozen Custard, Butterburgers, and Cheese is the what the first result says. For a program that is known for beefy offensive linemen and running the ball down the opponents throat, the team for sure eats a lot of Culver’s.
Popeye’s (LSU) – I really could not pick another school for Popeye’s. It is know as Louisiana Fried Chicken. Popeye’s advertises about their secret blend of spices for a Cajun feel. You do not have to look further than LSU’s tailgating and atmosphere to know they have an amazing game day experience. Coach Orgeron played at LSU and has an incredible southern accent to perfectly fit LSU’s culture.
Long John Silver (Tennessee) – Anyone who prides themselves on fish in fast food form should be shamed. Deep fried shrimp is acceptable as well as hush puppies. Fish sticks scare me. I refuse to believe Long John Silver serves real food. Tennessee does not play real football so this is a perfect match. The coaching search that result in Jeremy Pruitt was a disaster as was his entire tenure. The administration did their own investigation to fire Pruitt with cause. Tennessee is a disaster just like fast food fish.
White Castle (West Virginia) – How many people can actually say they have been to White Castle? Keep your hand up if you actually enjoyed it. Everyone’s hand better be down. The meat is not real and it is scary how many White Castle restaurants are in the United States (377). West Virginia’s student population is not from the state and they make sure to leave right after graduation because even they do not like it there. They show up drunk, burn some couches, and leave. You can show up to White Castle and have the same experience.
Sonic (Miami FL) – I always felt like Sonic’s way of serving customers was too complicated. There is no actual area to sit down inside. All seating is either outside or in your car(I know it is a drive in, I do not care). The food is just okay and Sonic is starting to go out of business. Miami is struggling to get back to the top and is trying to get creative in how they acquire talent but it has not been fully succeeding. Relying on the transfer portal can be a slippery slope especially in terms of recruiting but they are still alive so they will keep trying.
Subway (USC) – Overall Subway is a solid meal. Lately Subway has started to become over priced. A $5 footlong is now more than $5. The sandwich artists seem to skimp on how much food to put on my sub like they think I need to be on a diet. USC has been solid over the past two decades with high moments and low moments but it averages out to be an overall good program. USC seems to be missing out on one or two key pieces to really put them over the top and help them reach excellence again.
Starbucks (Washington) – Here is another one where I am considering the location. Starbucks is the king of overpriced coffee and adding way too many ingredients. When you get down to the actual coffee, their blend is just okay. It is nothing to boast about. From an outside perspective, Washington looks to be a good program. When you dig a little deeper, you notice they only have three Pac-12 titles since 2000. They do have a playoff appearance to help their resume but they fell off after the game against Alabama. Is Washington just an overpriced cup of coffee?
Dairy Queen (Cincinnati) – Dairy Queen has the best desserts but I will refuse to eat their dinner. A restaurant that prides itself on its ice cream is going to have a hand time convincing me they also make a good cheeseburger. The Blizzards are amazing. Personal favorite is the s’mores blizzard in the summertime. Cincinnati is the best group of five team right now and not many will debate that. When it comes to letting them play with the big boys, will anyone actually consider it?
In-N-Out (Alabama) – When it comes to the actual food, In-N-Out might have the best combination of quality and taste. In-N-Out is only on the west coast because they do not ship their beef very far. They do not take shortcuts when it comes to their burgers. Making a burger “Animal Style” is a must. Alabama and Nick Saban do not take shortcuts either. Many of their star players do not see real playing time until their second or third season. They recently had multiple five stars transfer out because they just were not good enough to see the field. Iron sharpens iron and Alabama is proof it works.
Whataburger (Texas) – I have never had Whataburger but people tell me it is good. Until I actually have it, I will need to leave my review at the door. People rave about it to a level which can be annoying. The hype Whataburger gets is the same hype Texas gets every year. All gas, no brakes. Until Texas delivers, I will not believe the hype. Until I eat Whataburger, I also will not believe the hype.
Wendy’s (Ohio State) – When it comes to nationwide chains, Wendy’s is hands down the best one. The 4 for 4 is the best deal in fast food and the 2 for 5 is slept on. If you do not get a frosty, did you even go to Wendy’s? Ohio State is one of the largest fan bases and they stretch the entire country. Wherever Ohio State goes, they always have a large section of supporting fans. The Buckeyes also made the National Championship game and are consistently a contender. They may not have the quality of Alabama yet, but they are pushing for it.
Boston Market (UCLA) – How is Boston Market still in business? I believe it is because of their frozen dinners. People love to heat up full meals in their microwave and oven so they have to be surviving off that money. Anytime I drive past a Boston Market there is never anyone in there. Have you ever seen a UCLA football game? They play in the Rose Bowl and it always looks empty. For a school that plays in the second largest city in the United States, you would hope they could attract a few more fans. The football program does not make enough money to cover themselves so they have to use the university and other sports programs to stay afloat.
Taco Bell (Notre Dame) – Everyone loves to hate on Taco Bell because the quality of food is poor. I love Taco Bell and hate it at the same time. Will it make me feel awful the next day? Absolutely. Will I get it again? You bet your ass I will. Notre Dame is the school people love to hate. Notre Dame plays a tough schedule yearly. They consistently play more power five teams than almost anyone and when they go undefeated, it upsets fans because Notre Dame does things different.
Raising Canes (Georgia) – Raising Cane’s has the best dipping sauce on this list and I will fight anyone who says different. The problem with Raising Canes is they only have four items on the menu. The menu items are chicken tenders, cole slaw, texas toast, and fries. If that is all you are looking for, then this is the place to go. If you want variety, you might want to look elsewhere. Look at Georgia’s offense. Until the last few games of 2020, the last three years under Kirby Smart have been the same. They have a couple stud play makers but were limited at quarterback.
Skyline Chili (Miami OH) – Many people reading this may not realize what Skyline Chili is or where it is even located. First, Skyline Chili is almost like a sauce that goes on your spaghetti. There is a large faction of southwest Ohio who love this. My parents used to make it for me growing up, but I refuse to eat it now. Miami (OH) is located in Oxford, Ohio which is outside of Cincinnati. I have never met anyone who went to Miami (OH) or even visited the school. I am not even sure if it is a real place. The real Miami is located in Florida. Are we sure Miami (OH) is a real place? Are we sure Skyline Chili is even real? Am I having the Mendela Effect with Skyline Chili?
KFC (Florida) – KFC seems to have a solid base of food and will occasionally pop up with something exciting. Remember when KFC came out with the Double Down? Instead of bread, it used two chicken fillets while also having bacon and cheese in the middle. Florida is consistently a good team wining 10 or more games in nine seasons since the year 2000 including two national titles. They have their moments when they are great but on average, they are still a solid team.
Checkers (Temple) – First, I went to Temple. I get to make fun of Temple because I am an alum. Second, the only time I have ever seen Checkers is in an sketchy area but for some reason there are always people there. Someone has to like Checkers. Temple finds a way to be relevant every few years by having a first round pick on their team or playing a good opponent close. Also, Temple is in the hood of Philadelphia so it just makes senses.