It's the 1930's--Prohibition and the B1G are the law of the land, and we welcome Rutgers and Maryland
Let's be honest. Two of the easiest columns to write (and get feedback from your readers) are 1) the power rankings column and 2) the pop culture comparison column. Much like that magical day when somebody got their peanut butter on my chocolate (or did I get my chocolate in her peanut butter?), it was predestined that one day these two great columns would be brought together...
During Prohibition, people would do almost anything for a drink, and a violation of the Volstead Act was enough to get you thrown in jail. The B1G was in it's heyday, as was organized crime. And we can all imagine Jim Delany as a major crime boss, can't we? So, let's get to it, and stay tuned for two bonus rankings at the end.
Oh, because I didn't say this the last time: SPOILER ALERTS ABOUND!!
1. Ohio State: Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson
You were kind of a gentleman's gangster the first couple of seasons--crooked as hell, but a seemingly nice guy. As the show has progressed, you've become increasingly ruthless. You're probably going to end up a bullet riddled corpse, but for now, you're the King of Atlantic City.
2. Nebraska: Chalky White
Chalky runs his own part of Atlantic City, and he has his own muscle, but he still takes orders from Nucky. You're pretty country, and your education isn't AAU quality, but you make up for it with a straightforward gameplan that leaves you on top more often than not. Chalky is a guy I would not want to run afoul of.
3. Michigan: Gyp Rosetti
Your hatred for Nucky knows no bounds, and the feeling is mutual. You tried to do business together, but your blood feud won't be settled until one of you is dead. And actually, you want to kill everybody, you just don't have the muscle to do it. But you're getting there.
4. Penn State: Gillian Darmody
Oh my, but you're a weird duck. You have a really, really, REALLY unnatural attachment to your son that some would consider criminal. But you've managed to carve out a place in Atlantic City, and have even gotten a little ruthless yourself. Your red hair gives you a moxie that too many people underestimate.
5. Northwestern: Owen Slater
You want to run with the big boys, but right now all you are is a glorified underling. You've got a plan to break out of your current situation and run your own show. Just don't get yourself boxed in while in New York. Could be bad.
6. Wisconsin: Agent Van Alden
Devoid of humor and full of upper Midwest stoicism, you are absolutely brutal to lesser characters on the show, yet against the big boys, you're in over your head, and you end up with a fork in your cheek. You do make a hell of a home brew, though.
7. Michigan State: Eli Thompson
You're the perpetual little brother. You even went off to try and make your own way and get out from under your brother's shadow, yet all it got you was nearly killed and a couple of years in prison. You're beginning to realize you'll never run the show. And it grates on you.
8. Minnesota: Margaret Thompson
You're a survivor. At this point in history, you know you're never going to run things, but you take small victories where you can, like the Women's Health clinic, sponsored by Meineke. Your future seems uncertain though. You seem nice enough, but you're starting to get a reputation as a bitch. Amirite A.J. Barker?
9. Indiana: Eddie Cantor
You can put on a good show, and it's generally entertaining, but when it comes right down to it, the big boys can make you pretty much do whatever the hell they want you to. And you dance to their tune. Except for on the basketball court.
10. Purdue: Leander Whitlock
You're a fairly minor character that really doesn't do much of anything, but you have the most epic facial hair. And that counts for something.
11. Iowa: Angela Darmody
You were an emotionless character, with no real love or passion for much of anything, except maybe painting. And that was fairly mediocre too. You seemed overcome with melancholy, and the most exciting thing about your entire story line was your brutal execution.
12. Illinois: Guy Killed With A Shovel
You were buried up to your neck in sand with no hope. The plan was to let you drown as the tide rolled in, but mercifully, you got brutally whacked by a shovel wielding Gyp Rosetti. At least your death was quick. But it was painful. Because you can't have nice things.
Bonus, Maryland: Turtle
I never watched much of Entourage, but you were always wearing a Yankees cap, and you were best known as a guy that loved to sponge off of Vince. You're going to be in the B1G soon--ditch the goddamn Yankees cap; that's way too East coast, bro. But enjoy the cash infusion. Put that money to some good use, and quit wasting it on pot, for Christ's sakes.
Bonus, Rutgers: The Situation
Much like Big East football, I've never watched Jersey Shore, except highlights. And that's all I ever needed to see. And this fuggin' GUY is every fuggin' guy from New Jersey. Ever. You're going to be in the B1G soon--Be grateful we got you off that God awful show, but take the product out of your hair, pull up your pants, and and drop the 's' when you try to pronounce 'you'.
In all seriousness to Rutgers and Maryland, welcome. This is how we roll here on OTE. If we're not making fun of you, we don't like you. And I really wanted to not like you, but after thinking about it, you will make our conference stronger in the long run, and me longing for the good ol' days while lamenting the changing face of the B1G in the 21st century isn't your fault, it's mine.
So on behalf of the staff here at Off Tackle Empire, good luck to you both, and we hope you guys enjoy being a part of the B1G, and a part of this community.
I wish you both well in what I still think is the best college football conference that this country has ever seen, and I also hope Ohio State kicks both your asses seven ways to Sunday.
Boardwalk Empire (oh, and the character of Turtle from Entourage) and the images used in this story are from HBO. You can see Boardwalk Empire Sunday nights on HBO, at 8 PM EST.