I requested the Power Poll from Ted this week because I've been dying to toss some Godfather references onto OTE. I actually like G2 more than G1, but I'm a bit out of the ordinary. The flashbacks with De Niro put things over the edge with me. Favorite scene in either movie? Probably when De Niro is following Don Fanuccia on the rooftop with that mournful theme playing in the background. Just.kills.me. Bill Simmons did one of these years ago and so if this is a knock-off, well, the sincerest form of flattery is imitation.
So let's go. The ranking is on the left, followed by points (in my world, different than Ted's world, less points are better)...And the quote follows.
1. Wisconsin, 12 Points (12 first place votes) - "Freddie, that thing can't be real."... "Sure it is. That's why they call him Superman."
Maybe Wisconsin should be called the brick breakers. Wisconsin is the B1G's BSD right now, don't you forget it. This is also one of my favorite scenes in Godfather 1 and 2, for two reasons. 1) Michaels "hand over the eyes" reaction when he realizes Fredo betrayed him, 2) The collective gasp when Superman comes out.
2. Michigan State, 27 Points - "Where does it say you can't kill a cop?"
And with this statement, Michael Corleone turned from pretty-boy war hero to...mobster. It's a ruthless comment, but absolutely spot on, as Tom Hagan acknowledges. Sometimes you need to get vicious, just like Michigan State's beating of Michigan on Saturday.
3. Nebraska, 34 Points - "You can act like a man!"
An authoritative older man slaps and verbally abuses a younger one. Are we talking about Don Corleone and Johnny Fontane...or Bo Pelini and Taylor Martinez? Just kidding, sort of.
4. Penn State, 56 Points - "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."
Another classic Michael Corleone quote as he morphs quickly into a cold-hearted individual. Speaking of cold-hearted killers, I present to you the Penn State defense, whom no one wants to face right now.
5. Michigan, 60 Points - "We're both part of the same hypocrisy, Senator, but never think it applies to my family."
During the week, we're going to see a lot of articles about dirty Spartan play during the 28-14 win. But I think that's a smokescreen - Michigan would commit 15 personal fouls if it gave them a win over Sparty. The real talking points have to deal with Michigan's offense: 1) The installation of the pro form has made Denard's passing regress. 2) The Denard Dive is effective...but the rest of the run game is uninteresting. Michigan will hopefully focus on this, instead of thinking about the overaggressive Spartan defenders.
6. Iowa, 78 Points - "My father's name was Antonio Andolini... and this is for you."
The stomach slash by the young Don Corleone was needed, a score worth settling for his entire family getting killed years ago. Picking off Persa and running 90 yards the other way? Pretty nice image in that score-settling Hawkeye victory.
7. Illinois, 82 Points - "IN MY HOME! IN MY BEDROOM! Where my wife sleeps... and my children play with their toys."
OSU smashed the pants off Illinois in their home, in a very winnable game, inviting a phone call from Jon asking whether Zook should be fired for his idiotic in-game coaching. No one is going to claim Champaign gives a monstrous home field advantage, but scoring seven points at home is enough to embarrass even the biggest Illini homers.
*Not sure how anyone can, in good faith, say OSU is worse than Illinois after Saturday. But I guess three losses is hard to get past - oh well.
8. Ohio State, 83 Points - "If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone."
I guess we would have looked at OSU-Wisconsin and say, nah, that's a complete team versus an incomplete team, no chance for OSU. But after watching the power and speed of the Buckeye defense, well, I guess I could maybe see an upset in Columbus? Because if history has taught us anything, it's that you shouldn't count out Ohio State's ability to win big conference games,
9. Northwestern, 109 Points - "But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone. Governor Corleone. Something."
Just like Don Corleone wanted something more for Michael, ChadNUdj wanted something much more for this Northwestern squad. Let's not mock his 10-2 discussion, but four consecutive losses is not where the Wildcats were supposed to be.
*Bama Hawkeye thinks Purdue is better than Northwestern; he was the only one. Just sayin.
10. Purdue, 119 Points - "Good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power."
Hyman Roth (played brilliantly by Lee Strasberg, who taught Pacino how to act) is unhappily wheezing through his multiple sicknesses in Miami and Cuba, waiting for Michael to invest the Corleone money. And I guess Purdue coulda been bigger than U.S. Steel if they weren't always, always losing key players to ACL injuries. A good effort against Penn State should not be forgotten quickly though.
11. Indiana, 132 Points - "You know when I was your age, I went out to fishing with all my brothers and my father, and everybody. And I was, I was the only one who caught a fish. Nobody else could catch one except me. You know how I did it? Every time I put the line in the water I said a Hail Mary and every time I said a Hail Mary I caught a fish. You believe that? It's true, that's the secret. You wanna try it when we go out on the lake?"
Looking at Indiana's schedule (away to Iowa, OSU, MSU), it's going to take a Hail Mary or seventy for Indiana to get bowl eligible. Otherwise, it's off to the proverbial bottom of
Lake Tahoe the B1G for Indiana.
12. Minnesota, 144 Points - "Oh, Michael. Michael, you are blind. It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion."
Kay drops the bomb of all bombs and Pacino follows it with one of the best acting jobs...ever. The stoicism, the explosion, the slap, the yell. Genius.
This season...for the Gophers...is not a miscarriage. You know what it is.