So a couple of things I should probably talk about. First off, thank you all so much for following along this season. We only have two more Power Polls left, and I have to thank you all for letting me run with this column. It's always a blast, and while some of the topics hit and some don't, it's still always great to be a part of the whole thing. Secondly, that being said, you have to forgive me for being so late on the postseason poll. I wanted to wait until after we had the B1G Championship Game because the changes from end of season to now would be reliant on that outcome... and uh, you might not believe it, but Ohio State is sort of number one.
Anyhow, it's Christmas time which means it's time for the Postseason, pre-Bowl, B1G Power Poll featuring CHRISTMAS COOKIES! I love cookie exchanges, cookies everywhere, cookie emails, stories about cookies, and well, you get the point. So why not take that and apply it to this week's power poll? Works for me!
As a point of reference we had eight voters this week. Standard voting we've used all year applied again. 14 points for a 1st place vote, 1 point for a 14th place vote and everything in between follows that line of thinking. Got it? Sweet. Let's grab a glass of milk and eat some cookies.
1. Ohio State - Peanut Butter Blossoms
112 Points || #AllTheFirstPlaceVotes || High 1 || Low 1 || LW 1
I realize I'm supposed to write about how Ohio State is the best and then tie that back into something about the perfect textures of the Peanut Butter Blossom or something like that, but the analogies will come for other teams. This one is all about the wonderful amazingness of the Peanut Butter Blossom. Sure, I realize this cookie could be made other times than Christmas, but when do you ever see it otherwise? It's the perfect chocolate, peanut butter, carb, fat, sugar, salty, cookie and if you don't like it, you're probably just on your path from being wrong about that to figuring out how great this cookie is. This Power Poll is going to make me super hungry.
2. Michigan State - Gingerbread Man
104 Points || High 2 || Low 2 || LW 2
When we look back at the Christmas season, we often forget about how great you are. It's probably because we spent so much time in the moment talking about how overrated you were - you know, what with your all-galaxy spice mixture getting beat up by a mean glass of egg nog - but if we're honest, you're sort of a mainstay these days and should be appreciated. Not in like a, you know, actual appreciative sense, but in more of an aesthetic and help to the conference sense... Also, i could eat good gingerbread cookies all day.
3. Wisconsin - Thumbprint Cookies
93 Points || H 3 || L6 || LW 3
I don't really know how you came to be a thing, but it seems to me that it has to do with you getting dented at the last moment and filled with jam. Oh, and jam is a fill-in for getting destroyed by...
/Ohio State scores again
I look forward to using that some more. Lastly, these are easily the most versatile cookie for any situation. Jam if you are celebrating a division championship, icing when you're a little bit self-loathing, and bleach for when you realize your coach bailed for Oregon State.
4. Minnesota - Sugar Cookies
89 Points || H 3 || L 4 || LW 4
At first glance, you're a little unassuming. A sugar cookie? That seems lame, and nobody likes a team that only runs the ball anyways. But as you get the Christmas cookie spirit, decorate the exterior in something crazy, add in a healthy does of Maxx and David, and you have something that will surprise everyone. You know what being a mainstay looks like, and the path your on seems to be a good one. The downside is that the margin for error is thin as always, and if you mess up you'll either be a bloated doughy mess or a thin crispy awful tasting disaster. Better keep that chef of yours happy. Seems to me, he's the key.
5. Nebraska - Meringue Cookies
81 Points || H 4 || L 5 || LW 6
On paper, you should be some sort of awesome. You have a great texture, lots of sugar, and really did have a heyday in the not-too-distant past. But that's about where things stop being awesome for you. Now you're more or less a weird snack that all the kids these days avoid because WHAT THE HELL IS A NEBRASKA? While things could probably have stayed status quo for a little longer, looks like you chose to get a new chef. Hope the new guy is nicer than the last guy, and maybe he can get those meringues to look relevant again.
6. Iowa - Shortbread Cookie
73 Points || H 5 || L 6 || LW 5
If there's a plate of cookies on the table and Shortbread is put with any of the cookies above it on this list, you take every other cookie, and maybe even some below. It's not that the flavor is terrible, either. It's just... a little overworked. At this point, you've been baking the same recipes for a little too long and everyone has caught on that this is just store bought now. There's time to rejuvenate the whole thing, but you seem stuck in your ways. I suppose there are worst fates, but there are also plenty better for you.
7. Maryland - Spritz Cookies
59 Points || H 7 || L 8 || LW 7
I'm not sure I would have considered you part of our cookie group before the season, but after a year in which you did pretty well for yourself, we will begrudgingly start to refer to you as a real member... sorta. Well, at minimum, we're working towards it, and even though you stick out as a little different than all of us here still, we're happy you did so well and such. Oh, and
8. Rutgers - Pizzelle Cookies
57 Points || H 7 || L 10 || LW 12
I have to admit, I underrated this Italian waffle cookie going in. It looked weird, and I thought it would taste not unlike a necco wafer. I was wrong, though. It was much better than I anticipated and with a little bit more nuance in the recipe and application, you could be actually... good. The thing is, you still made some mistakes and half the time, the pizzelle fell apart when we ate it, but you've got a good thing going.
9. Penn State - Pecan Sandies
45 Points || H 8 || L 12 || LW 10
While this may not be a 'Christmas cookie' specifically, it sure is a delicious cookie that is finally making its appearance in a bowl for the first time in a little while. Oh, and I'm sure we can make a crumbling offensive line/cookie bolstered by a strong defense correlation if we all squint really hard... Come on guys, I'm doing a cookie power poll. This gets hard after a while.
10. Michigan - Russian Tea Cakes
37 Points || H 7 || L 12 || LW 9
You get points for being a tradition, but you're not really kidding anyone. These aren't all that delicious, and the failures surrounding you at almost every level of the organization are showing. Sure, people LOVE your delicious sugary exterior and BRAND has been a pretty amazing site to behold, even in your situation, but tradition does not equate to success. That pretty much sums things up about this season, right?
11. Illinois - Christmas Wreath Cookie (No Bake)
36 Points || H 9 || L 12 || LW 11
Oh sure, we have to admit you're actually a cookie this year because you're going bowling, but you're still not exactly busting at the seams with nice things. It might be that awkward tint, that way you let opponents run through the line as if you aren't attempting to tackle the guy with the ball, or even that coach you kept. Whatever it is, you're still here and still a real thing, and we may not know what happens next - my guess is more bad things - but at least you're at the table again.
12. Northwestern - Chocolate Covered Pretzels
30 Points || H 9 || L 12 || LW 8
If this list was simply, "Best Christmas Snacks" (aka, Education), you'd be much higher on this list, but what you represent here is that guy who comes to a cookie exchange with a bag of pretzels dipped in chocolate because he forgot that was happening and then on his way to the bakery, his car got in an accident and while he was realizing the other guy didn't have insurance, you got jumped and lost your credit card and house key. We are pretty disappointed with your contribution, but it's not like we don't sort of get it. Sometimes seasons are destined to end in failure, and this one just felt like that for you.
13. Indiana - Stained Glass Cookies
16 Points || H 13 || L 13 || LW 14
I had such high hopes for you. After all, you look like you should be super entertaining, but if there's anything we can learn from the season, it's that looks can be deceiving. Oh, we also learned that the answer to, "Can the defense really get much worse?" is definitely yes. Our preseason hopes were so high based on looks, but biting into melted hard candy after a pretty mediocre cookie part is a really good elegy to your season. I want to give you a pass because Coleman was so good, but come on... this was a bad year.
14. Purdue - Fruitcake
8 Points || #AllTheLastPlaceVotes || LW 13
Growing up, I thought fruitcake was just a myth. Like, people don't actually give fruitcake to each other just so they can try and give it over to someone else. It was something that didn't exist. I learned later that it was an actual real thing, and no matter how hard you try to get rid of it, it keeps coming back. Here's to you Purdue! At least you've been consistent? Oh, and sure this isn't a cookie, but at many points in the season - including the end - you weren't exactly a Big Ten caliber team. Let's just call it even.