"There was only one road back to L.A. - U.S. Interstate 15. Just a flat-out high speed burn through Baker and Barstow and Berdoo. Then onto the Hollywood Freeway, and straight on into frantic oblivion. Safety. Obscurity. Just another freak, in the freak kingdom."
I asked the team at OTE if I could take this week's Power Poll. I recently rewatched Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and remembered just how awesome it is. This week goes out to a crazy week in the B1G, the Gonzo-like feel of the year, and the late great Hunter S. Thompson. Just like Raoul Duke realized, everybody is trying to get to LA, well Pasadena really, and it's going to be a high speed burn until then.
1. Michigan State 95 Points:
Raoul Duke: Don't take any guff from these swine. If you have any trouble, remember, you can always send a telegram to the Right People.
Everybody thought MSU was going down on Saturday, but they didn’t back down and won on an incredible play. Also, if Spartan Nation is correct on what went down with Delany and Co. in the week leading up to that game, then this is extremely on point. (link courtesy Seer)
2. Wisconsin 89 Points:
Raoul Duke: What was I doing here? What was the meaning of this trip? Was I just roaming around in a drug frenzy of some kind? Or had I really come out here to Las Vegas to work on a story? Who are these people, these faces? Where do they come from? They look like caricatures of used car dealers from Dallas, and sweet Jesus, there were a hell of a lot of them at 4:30 on a Sunday morning, still humping the American dream, that vision of the big winner somehow emerging from the last minute pre-dawn chaos of a stale Vegas casino.
Bucky fans are probably asking themselves the same thing right now after a trip to East Lansing. Were the cupcakes that Wisconsin feasted on before MSU all a drug-induced frenzy, or are they for real?
Raoul Duke: I was right in the middle of a f****** reptile zoo, and somebody was giving booze to these goddamn things. Won't be long now before they tear us to shreds.
This is probably how Nebraska feels at this point. Everyone left on the schedule is amped up to take it to the new guy, and the Huskers don’t exactly look ready for the task.
4. Penn St. 72 Points:
Raoul Duke:[to hitchhiker] But our trip was different. It was to be a classic affirmation of everything right and true in the national character. A gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country. But only for those with true grit.Raoul Duke: And we are chock full of that, man.Dr. Gonzo: Damn right!
Oh the hitchhiker scene. Penn State has been grinding out wins this season, and just in case no one noticed, they are 4-0 in conference play. Also, I could almost see JoePa having a similar conversation with any number of reporters at pre-game pressers this week.
5. Michigan 61 Points:
Raoul Duke: There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
6. Ohio St. 58 Points:
Raoul Duke: [driving the white Caddy] Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.
Getting Herron back is a huge boost to the Buckeye attack and they still can win their division if they win out. Maybe a few more $10,000 gimmicks would do the trick... kidding... kind of.
7. Iowa 51 Points:
Raoul Duke: Ah, devil ether. It makes you behave like the village drunkard in some early Irish novel. Total loss of all basic motor skills. Blurred vision, no balance, numb tongue. The mind recoils in horror, unable to communicate with the spinal column. Which is interesting because you can actually watch yourself behaving in this terrible way, but you can't control it. You approach the turnstiles and know that when you get there, you have to give the man two dollars or he won't let you inside. But when you get there, everything goes wrong. Some angry rotarian shoves you and you think "What's happening here? What's going on?" And you hear yourself mumbling...
Iowa has the chance to officially knock Minnesota out from bowl contention this week. Still, this one feels a little bit too familiar. Maybe last year was just the ether, or maybe Minnesota finally came off their trip... A heavy dose of Brewster has been known to do that to a person.
8. Illinois 36 Points:
Parking Attendant: You can't park your car here.Raoul Duke: Why not? Is this not a reasonable place to park?Parking Attendant: Reasonable? You're on a sidewalk! This is the sidewalk!
This goes out to Zook, who managed to pull another Zook. Illinois fans are wondering how they ended up here. Then again, a heavy dose of Zook has been known to do that to a person...
8. Purdue 36 Points:
Raoul Duke: I'm a relatively respectable citizen. Multiple felon perhaps, but certainly not dangerous.
Don’t look now, but Purdue is climbing the polls and looks reasonably respectable with only two more wins needed to be bowl eligible. They may have been the laughing-stock early, but things are looking up.
10. Northwestern 24 Points:
Raoul Duke: Eat some reds and try to calm down. Smoke some grass, shoot some f****** smack! Shit man, do whatever you gotta do.
Northwestern’s preseason expectations of competing for the B1G title have now been reduced to hoping to be bowl eligible. To ChadNUdj and all of the NW faithful, do what you gotta do this season, it still could get uglier.
11. Indiana 16 Points:
Raoul Duke: Panic. It crept up my spine like first rising vibes of an acid frenzy. All these horrible realities began to dawn on me. There I was. Alone in Las Vegas, completely twisted on drugs, no cash, no story for the magazine, and on top of everything else, a gigantic god damned hotel bill to deal with. How would Horatio Alger handle this situation? Stay calm. Stay calm.
The Hoosier football team is pretty much dead in the water for the year. With four games left in the season, it’s all about getting through the year and trying to get better. I am a little sad that we won’t have an Indiana-Minnesota game to decide which team is worst. I think Minnesota at least deserves a chance to not be relegated to the cellar without a fight.
Raoul Duke: A drug person can learn to cope with things like seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to handle this trip.
It’s really gotten that bad for Gopher fans... At least it’s hockey season, right?