By Margaret Lyons
January 10, 2011 at 07:55 PM EST
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Tonight’s BCS game between Auburn and Oregon is poised to be one of the most high-scoring title games in recent memory, but here at PopWatch, we’re less concerned with hyperspeed offenses and 6’6, 250-pound quarterbacks and much, much more concerned with a far more pressing issue: Which school wins in the arena of pop culture?

On the alumni front, things are pretty evenly matched: Whether you prefer Auburn’s Taylor Hicks over Oregon’s Colin Meloy is probably just a matter of taste — but neither graduated from those institutions, anyway. Auburn’s got Charles Barkley and Bo Jackson, both of whom crossed from sports to pop; Oregon’s got Ahmad Rashad and Steve Prefontaine.

On the field, though, Oregon has the clear culture advantage. The Ducks use six four-picture signs to call their plays — and a handful of those pictures are themselves pop-related. (SportsCenter anchors are pop figures…right?)

Finally and crucially, Oregon made one of the most important contributions to collegiate pop in history: National Lampoon’s Animal House was filmed on its campus. That’s pretty much impossible to top.

Whose pop bonafides win in your book, PopWatchers? And are you rooting for the Ducks or the Tigers?

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