This last weekend, my wife and I hosted Friendsgiving, which... well, which meant that we made an excuse to have the friends we generally always have over, but this time we made Turkey and Pie and such. I'm pretending that was the only thing that happened last weekend and I will not...
/Wisconsin scored again
I hate everything.
But this article isn't about my angst. It's about the conference. Specifically, it's all about this week's Power Poll which has a little more movement than we've seen in a while. Not like, earth shattering movement, but still movement which is kind of fun. With only two more weeks of football, things have more or less come into focus. Arguably the biggest wildcard is the Nebraska-Minnesota-Iowa tier in which we'll see which of those three teams finishes strongest (my money is on Minnesota) and which of the three finishes on a Torches-And-Pitchforks riot on their coach's lawn (my money is on Nebraska).
That all in mind, with there being only two weeks until Thanksgiving, I'm going to hold off on the annual Thanksgiving Food's poll for one more week, but when I was thinking of things that could be timely... well, it struck me that we needed to honor our other favorite thing on television - cooking shows. Specifically, I realized that I watch Food Network almost as much - okay probably more - than I watch football. OTE writer* notwithstanding, that is a lot of Food Network. So, I bring you this week's Power Poll: The Food Network Stars Edition.
There were 13 voters this week. Our scoring is pretty standard with 14 points for a first place vote, 13 for a second, and so on. Numbers indicate high placement, low placement, last week's placement, and any First and/or last place votes given. It's all pretty straight forward and if you all haven't figured it out by now, I don't know how to help you. Are we all good? Good. Let's get down to business...
1. Ohio State - Bobby Flay
181 Points || 12 First Place Votes || High 1 || Low 2 || Last Week 1
You're not exactly everybody's favorite personality... Oh come on, who are we kidding. If I'm watching Iron Chef, I totally want it to be you. You're loud, you have fun signature aiolis, and a JT Barrett to run around the field. Sure, we love it when you actually lose in one of your many competitions, but deep down it's because we're secretly - not so secretly - jealous of your success. So while you'll inexplicably lose some throwdowns, we expect you to be the standard bearer for our credibility and you've been living up to that as of late. Thanks for that.
2. Wisconsin - Michael Symon
165 Points || H 1 || 1 FPV || L 3 || LW 4
You're a fun-loving guy who is absolutely impossible to defeat when you're on top of your game. Iron Chef? You could call MGIII anything at this point and I think I'd believe he could do it. It looked a little murky for you as you battled your way to this position, and there was that one time you tried to be the Dinner: Impossible guy, but that's all behind you now and you're a star. Now go do something with it!
3. Michigan State - Richard Blais
161 Points || H 2 || L 3 || LW 4
You know, sometimes all it takes is a little bit of competing anywhere and everywhere, having a system and sticking to it, finally winning something, and then oversaturating the world with how awesome you are. All that said, you got your own show - or talk of making the playoffs or whatever - and are firmly in that top tier of personalities now. Sure, you're not on your 'A' game like that time you won Top Chef, but I would say you've earned your spot in this list. That All-Galaxy Defense dish is a dish best served cold, which is good because WEATHER PUNS! (Yeah, I'm not even going to try and come up with an ending for that... we're just gonna move on)
4. Minnesota - Alton Brown
136 Points || H 4 || L 5 || LW 5
You know, you seem like the guy everyone wants to get a beer with. Maybe it's the fact that outside of those who see you as a rival, you really are just kind of one of the good ones who has a process, doesn't try to do too much, and then surprises the hell out of everybody with just how much you know. And yeah, there's a chance your best work is behind you for the year, but it has been a good run and you know what? Everyone respects you for it.
5. Nebraska - Rachel Ray
133 Points || H 4 || L 7 || LW 3
Of course you're popular, but that has no direct correlation with how good you are. I guess there's a chance that you are actually something of a savant, but that seems like we're being generous. I think the fact that you keep getting prime time slots is a testament to your brand, because when you're there, you look anything but interesting. It's probably because...
/Wisconsin scored again
Whatever. I hate everything.
6. Iowa - Robert Irvine
118 Points || H 5 || L 6 || LW 7
We're still not 100% on all of your credentials, and while it's cool that your OC helped Texas to a National Championship and your HC won an Orange Bowl in the last decade, it seems like your resume is a little bloated on successes that may or may not sound cooler than they actually are. But you know what? It doesn't matter all that much. You do a couple of things really well. 1) You can take those 2* diners and fix them into NFL caliber players with the best of them. 2) You can underachieve in so many other areas that we question if the fixes are enough. On an upside, I think Irvine looks about as ripped as Scherff, which is fun.
7. Maryland - Duff Goldman
100 Points || H 5 || L 9 || LW 6
You're the lovable guys from the state of Maryland. While we think of you as more of a baker - sort of an ACC thing - we're pretty impressed with what you've brought to the table this year. As time goes on, it will only get harder for you to compete, but we think you've shown us that you're up to the challenge. Whether it's making a cake that looks just like Emperor Delany or if it's actually winning a B1G Championship, this was one step in the right direction for you. Gotta feel good about that.
8. Michigan - Giada De Laurentiis
81 Points || H 7 || L 11 || LW 8
You're crazy popular, have one of the biggest brands on the network, and people will tune in to watch you whether the content is there or not. While you have gone through some rough patches on the network, we know that you're probably one executive producer away from always having the best product in all of the cooking show world. Lucky for you, the talent and charisma is still there. Just got to figure out how to put all the pieces together consistently. I'm sure there's also a Brady Hoke eats joke in here, but I'll let you all make that fit.
9. Penn State - Ina Garten
77 Points || H 8 || L 10 || LW 9
You're still a little old school, and half the time the product you put out is exactly what we expect. The other half is a really watered down Martha Stewart and a whole ball of awful. Specifically, this is a joke about how bad your offense is. Like, I literally want to punch my television when your offense has the ball and is on my screen. Weirdly, I can't turn the channel. Anyhow, the key here is that you probably have a few recipes to make this whole thing work, but you have a ways to go before we're going to believe the whole party host schtick you've got going.
10. Northwestern - Ted Allen
73 Points || H 8 || L 11 || LW 12
Some people might think of you as that smug smart guy that always knows the right thing but isn't contributing much. It's probably a fair commentary if you take out the fact that you bring a lot of credibility to the non-cooking part of this operation. Oh, and every once in a while you might surprise everyone and come up withe one of the best wins out of conference which we'll be confused as hell about. Sure, we think of you as a little nerdy and I'm sure we will make fun of the fact that your suit cost more than our car, but it's cool. You know what you bring to the table. The rest of us just get to bask in the insanity of it all.
11. Rutgers - Alex Guarnaschelli
55 Points || H 7 || L 12 || LW 10
You're also newer to the group and we're not sure how to take you. In general you seem a little brash, overly confident, extremely competitive, and maybe a little not nice. The dirty little secret is that you're also on the cusp of backing that all up with results. Things haven't gone exactly to plan so far, but you're working your way up. You had to figure out the lay of the land, but I wouldn't be surprised to see you as the resident expert sooner or later.
12. Purdue - Jeff Mauro
46 Points || H 10 || L 12 || LW 11
You're the Sandwich King. Who is that? Well, that's the problem. We're still not sure. You started off really shaky and despite getting some big press here and there, you were miring away on Sunday mornings wondering where your life was headed. Then you got some better writers, made a switch at QB, and we can all see you're on schedule to be a lot better this year than last year and next year should be even better than this year. You may be mostly gimmicks, but gimmicks go bowling. You have a chance to finish the season strong. Don't mess that up.
13. Illinois - Melissa D'Arabian
22 Points || 4 Last Place Votes || H 13 || L 14 || LW 13
In theory, it's not all that bad. Sure, you were saddles with a bad show and bad writing and you took what you could get. Oh, and yeah, a lot of your fame is from the fact that your recipes use a lot of pre-packaged food. Oh, and there's that whole part where you have a coach who is a dead man walking and an apathetic fanbase who couldn't care less at this point. Oh right, so it is sort of bad. I mean, bad in that, "HEY GUYS WE'RE STILL B1G!" Which, honestly, maybe that's worth celebrating in and of itself.
14. Indiana - Guy Fieri
17 Points || 9 LPV || H 13 || L 14 || LW 14
Just like the win over Missouri was the highlight of your season, the highlight of Guy Fieri's career is... well, we're waiting for that moment. I think that when we look back at all of the Power Poll comparisons later, this might be one of the most generous, which is saying something because just like Guy's acting ability, your team has been awful.
Disclaimer Type Thing: Food Network is a channel on TV that has a lot of food shows. All of the images are of people that they employ and who more or less talk about food and you should probably go watch that now because who doesn't want to know how to make their Thanksgiving awesome?