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The 2014 B1G Power Poll Week 5: Soup Edition

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Where the Off-Tackle Empire grabs a bowl and spoon because it's soup time.

Cindy Ord

This season is just cruising along! We're already at the Post Week 5 point and conference play is officially in full swing. I don't really know how to feel about all this, but it's happening and it's great.

With Fall just around the corner, I decided that a good old fashioned food poll was in good form. But, understanding that I wanted to save the really good food polls for later - Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, etc. - I decided I needed a new angle. 'Fall' food was a little too generic, but then it got a little cold out and all I could think about was how I wanted soup. SOUP! So there we have it, in honor of Fall starting, cooler nights happening, and nothing tasting better than a hot bowl of soup, I bring you the B1G Power Poll Week 5: Soup Edition.

As a general point of order, there were 13 voters this week. I feel like it's Week 5 and you should be able to decipher these numbers by now, but for those who will inevitably be all like, "Jesse, I have no idea what these numbers mean," here's the explanation. Each First Place Vote is worth 14 points, second is worth 13, etc. The numbers listed are First Place Votes total, highest placement received, lowest placement received, and last week's place. Oh, and we get to see Last Place Vote totals as well because LAST PLACE VOTES ARE FUN!

1. Michigan State Spartans - Chicken Noodle Soup

181 Total Points || 12 First Place Votes || High 1 || Low 2 || Last Week 1

While you may not always be considered the 'best' soup on the menu, you definitely have all the right ingredients to be successful. I mean, chicken, noodles, fresh veggies, competent QB play and a Galaxy-ish Class Defense? What's there not to like! That said, I think you have a few weaknesses, specifically that we're not sure if you're correctly seasoned or not. You play the part of a classic well right now, and it's time to show the world how great you are.

2. Nebraska Cornhuskers - Chili

165 Points || 1 FPV || H 1 || L 4 || LW 2

Look, you have had some good runs at the top, but it's a little rare that you're considered the king these days. Sure, there's still some local praise, and far be it from me to down what Runza is doing for your image. On your own, you are a good solid soup with a lot of beef and some spice on occasion. Lucky for you, that's not the only thing you have going this year. It seems that the secret ingredient - Ameer Abdullah Cinnamon Rolls - has been added to the dish. Will that be enough to get you over the top this year? Maybe. The jury is still out, but it feels good to at least be in the game.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes - Creamy Tomato Soup

156 Points || H 2 || L 4 || LW 5

It could be easily argued that you're the top soup of them all. At minimum, we're pretty sure you've been the most popular over time, and who doesn't love a good cup of Creamy Tomato Soup? The problem is that normally you're best served with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and we're not so sure you've got that element yet. Sure, things have been looking up lately and that replacement sandwich is definitely exciting, but can you top the classic? Hard to say, but it looks like you're going to try.

4. Wisconsin Badgers - Beer Cheese Soup

148 Points || H 2 || L 4 || LW 3

Because obvious...

But seriously, you're heavy up front, and that easily overwhelms the competition. Whether it's the cream or the cheese or the beer, we're not sure, but you sure do seem to be able to beat other people senseless. While you're not necessarily as balanced as some of the previous soups, it doesn't seem to matter. People love you, you're a staple to the party, and like I said BEER AND CHEESE AND CREAM AND BREAD AND DEFENSE AND OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY AND MELVIN GORDON! You've got a winning combination right there.

5. Maryland Terrapins - Crab Bisque

123 Points || H 5 || L 7 || LW 9

Us Midwesterners still aren't sure what to do with you. You're bringing crab to this party - along with a flashy sense of style that can dull the senses. However, we would all be remiss to say we were happily surprised by your competence, delicious creamy texture, and ability to win games we didn't expect you to win. This is still that feeling out period, and while we're happy your expanding our food horizons, we might be skeptical for a while.

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers - Pho

117 Points || H 5 || L 8 || LW 10

You are perfectly basic and there is nothing wrong with that. From the outside, you're just another noodle soup that happens to have some random castoffs of meat cooked in, but as we pull back the various layers, we're immersed into your delicious blend of spices, textures, and runs down the middle of the line with Cobb. Far be it from me to judge from the outside. You're definitely a soup on the rise.

7. Iowa Hawkeyes - Corn Chowder

104 Points || H 5 || L 10 || LW 8

You're probably a bit underrated as a whole. You mix corn and cream, usually some alcohol and some potatoes, and you come up with a slightly unwieldy mess at times. But when all the ingredients get put together in the right way, you are a solid, consistent soup. Sure, the other soups point and laugh - especially when they see the price tag at restaurants because you do seem a little expensive for what you get at times - but you know you've generally got the potential for good things. Sweet, salty, creamy, and sometimes even spicy. You're a solid middle-of-the-road soup. It's not all bad.

8. Penn State Nittany Lions - Ramen

84 Points || H 6 || L 10 || LW 4

There are two ways to look at this. The first is that Ramen can be a very high society dish, one that consists of fresh vegetables, high quality meats, and a luxurious broth that bathes the classic noodle in deliciousness. The other is that the current iteration seems to be more of a knockoff that is trying to hide deficiencies, fried noodles, and absurd amounts of dead calories. Either way, you're very popular and we all accept that you can't have one side without the other for the time being. You just better hope that the cheap version doesn't show up as much as the expensive one.

9. Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Italian Wedding Soup

80 Points || H 6 || L 10 || LW 6

You're another new soup to our rotation and we're trying to understand why you put meatballs in the soup and whether that is cool or not. Again, like most everyone above you, you've got some really nice elements, but those meatballs are just throwing us off. Maybe they just need some more seasoning and experience, but they're not consistent and we're not sure if you're good or just almost-good. No matter, you promise us that you have a winning recipe, and we have no choice but to believe you. Now is your time to prove that.

10. Northwestern Wildcats - Vichyssoise

75 Points || H 8 || L 11 || LW 13

Well aren't you fancy? For most of us, we'd just call this a potato and leek soup, but you needed to be better than that. After all, you were Chicago's Soup (Note: Not verified). The thing is, we like you. Under the right circumstances, and with the right ingredients, you can do really good things. In fact, last year, we might of even considered you as an upstart, delicious soup that could rule all other soups. But the cream separated, the potatoes were mealy, and we're just still having trouble forgetting that. You started a little offputting this year, but that recipe seems to be coming together.

11. Indiana Hoosiers - Borscht

53 Points || H 10 || L 12 || LW 7

You're a hot and cold soup. Rather, you're a hot and cold soup with cabbage and beets and fancy offenses, but we don't trust you yet, and that color is hard to understand. Oh, and the consistency is a bit off-putting. But, you have been around for forever and sooner or later you've got to break into that next tier of soups. Will it be this year? Really doubtful because the path ahead isn't exactly pretty, but hey. At least we're talking about you and so that's good.

12. Illinois Fighting Illini - Egg Drop Soup

38 Points || H 11 || L 13 || LW 12

I understand that you probably aren't as bad as most of us think. And hey, even a throwaway addition to every cheap Chinese takeout has a place in this world, but there just isn't a lot of substance to you. You're kind of thin, often weirdly flavored, and missing things like a talented OLine. We blame the guy in charge as there definitely seems to be lots of things around you that would imply that you have the potential to be great. Then again, maybe that's just one of the issues. We'll see. Right now, it's not like there's a lot of reason to believe things are getting better for you.

13. Michigan Wolverines - Taco Soup

22 Points || 6 Last Place Votes || H 12 || L 14 || LW 11

In theory, you should be the most delicious soup here. You have tomato, cheese, cumin, chili, ground beef, more cheese, avocado, and everything else you can imagine being here. The problem, however, is that in execution of this soup, you turn into a heavy, congealed mess of a dish. It seems that whoever is in charge, be it the Chef, Sous Chef, Coach, AD, whatever, is not in control of anything. It makes us a little nauseated looking at it. With the right leadership, you can be the best thing here, but right now we don't want anything to do with you.

14. Purdue Boilermakers - Can of Broth

19 Points || 7 LPV || H 13 || L 14 || LW 14

You know, we've been over this for a couple of years now, but you seem to just be missing all the ingredients you need to be successful. You have a pretty decent base, but nothing is coming together and you're a mess. It wasn't that long ago that you were used for more than a first meal in the hospital after surgery, but those times have come and gone and we're wondering if it might be better to just throw you back in the cupboard instead of trying to deal with the salty mess you have going on. On the upside, at least we're giving you credit for having a base, so that's fun.