Football and universities go together like, well, sport and higher ed.
Many years ago Malcolm Tight published a seminal article on the relationship between university rankings and football league positions in England. More recently we looked at a number of universities which have got sponsorship deals with local football teams (and some other sporting teams too). And now looking at the phenomenon of Bands FC, which combines band logos and football team badges in a really sharp and innovative way, it seemed to me that universities and football teams should be their next project.
I haven’t got the skills to combine badges and logos in the way that the Bands FC people do but could imagine the following obvious combinations where names work really well.
Bournemouth University FC
Leicester City University
Aston Villa University
Birmingham City University
And, of course, Wolves.
And there are many, many more.
Actually existing teams
But of course this overlooks the fact that there are already some universities with teams in various (lower tier) leagues where no combinations are required. For example, and perhaps unsurprisingly given the University’s sporting pedigree, Loughborough University FC play in the Midland League Premier Division.
Stirling University’s men play in the Lowland League and, more impressively, the University’s women’s team plays in the Scottish Women’s Premier League. Then we have Southampton Solent University’s team, Team Solent FC, who play in the Wessex Premier.
Team Bath, from the University of Bath, enjoyed some impressive success, reaching the Conference South before eventually being dissolved in 2009 because the Football League determined that its financial structure precluded further promotion.
And we can’t forget the giants of Oxford University AFC who achieved something that no other university team has managed in winning the FA Cup. Back in 1874.
Then there is the wonderfully named Polytechnic FC who play in the Southern Amateur League.
There are many more associations between football and universities and I’m sure there are plenty of other teams playing in football leagues beyond BUCS. Which ones have we missed? And which Unis FC combinations work best? #UnisFC