We are starting into that point in the year where there is little difference between third and tenth place in the OTE B1G Power Poll. So to honor the parity that we're seeing before everyone cannibalizes the divisions, let's use one of the great video games of all time - Street Fighter. That's right. In all of its parity-driven, cheesy costume wearing, loud Japanese-styled theme song play, it was always fun. I don't own a version of the game right now, but after doing this, I kind of wish I did.
For housekeeping sake, remember the scoring system. First gets 12 points, second gets 11, etc. There were 15 voters this week, which is remarkable because that means we had a full slate of OTE voters.
1. Ohio State - M. Bison - 180 Points - 15 First Place Votes
You're the bully. People are all lining up to take shots at you, but right now you look to have the fewest weaknesses, and no one - me included - would be surprised to see you do that weird ‘turn into electricity and spin into the other team' routine this Saturday against the Hawkeyes. Until further notice, you're the boss at the end of the road and unless someone steps up, it looks like you might be unscathed after that.
2. Wisconsin - E. Honda - 163
You might have had a few too many sushi rolls - or cheese curds... probably the cheese curds - but that doesn't mean you aren't a fighting machine that is capable of rolling over opponents. You've got a sneaky good defense, that fast hands thing is boss, and you can rush opponents at will. Sure you've suffered some losses already, but if things break right, you may end up in the final level - Pasadena.
3. Michigan State - Blanka - 146
You're a big green monstrosity right now that is probably higher ranked than anybody would have expected. You're defense is aggressive, what with the electrical stand there and dare people to come at you look, and your new offense is just scary enough to make people wonder what the ceiling is for Sparty. Sure you're easy enough to defend, especially when another team has a decent enough defense, but it's not like you need much to succeed. Also, we need a Dantonio with orange hair photoshop, because that would make this complete.
4. Nebraska - Ken - 128
You are incredibly popular, but you still seem to be lacking something - actual success outside of video games. You're a little arrogant, you talk about the past an incredible amount, and sometimes your defense sucks. Most people still think you're probably a nice guy at heart, but you thinking your better than everyone else rubs people the wrong way. On the field, you have got more attacks than almost anyone here, but until you put together a full game, you're still just outside the cusp of championship.
5. Northwestern - Dhalsim - 125
You're a contemplative, almost spiritual type. Let's be honest, that means you're thinking about how you're going to destroy everyone else and sometimes that backfires. While you also don't exactly have the stoutest defense, you generally have had the ability to attack in a million different ways. Unfortunately, most of your attacks are complex and require precision and focus... losing that at any moment can and - as proven this weekend - will be catastrophic.
6. Penn State - Chun-Li - 105
You started out as kind of an anomaly here with a dedication to doing things the right way, acting pretty conservative in fighting style, working hard to defend, and then perfecting the few attacks you had. Then things got bigger and better for you and now you attack in lots of different ways. Unfortunately, you haven't quite perfected that style and at any given point in time you can get destroyed or destroy the other team. I guess that's fun to watch, but it makes it really difficult to predict what you'll do.
7. Michigan - Ryu - 94
You've been to the top and you know what it takes to get there, but you're not exactly the star of the bunch right now. Nonetheless, you're probably still the brash and arrogant person you've always been. Now you're forced to work your way back up from the bottom and while all the tools are there in theory, it's like you've been getting just enough breaks to make it but not enough to get to the next level. You still have a chance, though and even though every single one of your attacks missed last Saturday, you're only a one-loss team with a manageable schedule. It's now imperative you figure out what your attack identity is, otherwise you'll be a disappointing wreck the rest of the year.
8. Iowa - Guile - 71
You are an American through and through, and you would like to avenge the perception that you're not part of the elite of the game. You may not have all the fancy moves of the other guys, and you sure don't look like you care, but you do have a good rushing attack and you're strong enough against the run that things can go right for you if you have a good matchup. Unfortunately, the guy you want to kill this weekend is better than you and will probably kill you like he killed your friend. Sorry about that.
9. Indiana - Balrog - 64
You're missing an entire part of your game and it really holds you back in the bigger scheme of things. Just like kicking people is helpful in attacking, a defense is useful in winning. However, you compensate with having that much more of what you do best - punching people. The reality is that you probably aren't a major player and most people don't even realize you're an important character, but you have your place and you're a difficult out. Oh, and did I mention how good you are at what you do best? Because at least you got that going for you.
10. Illinois - Birdie - 42
You're kind of a tough one to predict. Sure, you have some good attacks and you're a lot better than both your name and backstory would predict. Then again, you're also pretty lame looking, have changed identities a few times, and are an easy out by any of the above characters. You don't really get nice things, like consistent backstories and skin colors, but let's be honest, you're not the worst thing here either. I guess that's a plus?
11. Minnesota - Skullomania - 34
Remember those good times a few weeks back when you were undefeated because you scheduled so many cupcakes? You know how we told you it would probably be good to get your good times in then? Well now you've turned into Skullomania, the guy who is down on his luck and has been forced to wear a Skull costume. Sure, you tell yourself and your friends that you're just doing this to go fight crime, but you're a dude in a Skull costume. Lots of shame and self doubt have probably crept in.
12. Purdue - Dan - 15
You are the bad character. The writers made you specifically terrible and you have no discernible skills. Sure, you have offense and defense, sure you have special moves, and sure, you even have a backstory like everybody else. But, when it comes down to it, none of it is worth anything. You are the guy who gets beat and everybody is like, "Well yeah, sure you had the best game of your life, but look who you were playing!"
Street Fighter is a video game franchise from Capcom. They obviously own all the rights to these characters, description of characters, and probably the metaphors I used to describe the B1G teams. With that in mind, go support Capcom - and lots of nostalgia over the hours you've spent playing this game in its ridiculous amount of forms - by finding a copy of the game and playing it over and over. It's a lot of fun to do.