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The B1G Power Poll Week 12: The Thanksgiving Foods Edition

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Tomorrow, millions of Americans will sit down to a Thanksgiving Meal. I always thought I had done a Thanksgiving Meal Power Poll, but I can't find it and so it doesn't exist! In honor of the great tradition of gorging ones self to the point of being sick, it's time for the B1G Thanksgiving Foods Power Poll! I'm talking sides, main dishes, and everything else except dessert because that has been done. It's time we compare your team to a food, right? Right.

As a general point of order, we had fourteen voters this week. Points are awarded as always. Fourteen points for a first place vote, thirteen for a second, and so on. Oh, and here's my weekly plug for insertname doing work on the graphs. In fact, here you go:

Great, now that we have that out of the way, let's look at mouthwatering picture of food! Recipes are included in the title.

1 Iowa HawkeyesGravy (via Food Network)

185 Points || 9 FPV || 0 LPV || H 1 || L 4 || LW 2 || Change 1

You're a thick, delicious mass of goodness. You are the amalgamation of hard work, leftover trimmings from the 'star' of the show, and determination. You also have proven that no matter what is thrown your way, you can cover and make it better. With one more obstacle in your way, a lot of people are getting ready to point out some of your lumps, but it's been clear sailing so far for the gravy boat. That's why you're sitting on top.

2 Michigan State SpartansMashed Potatoes (via Food Network)

184 Points || 3 FPV || 0 LPV || H 1 || L 3 || LW 3 || Change 1

You come from a very 'salt of the earth' approach. Like, sometimes it feels like your popularity and success literally comes from the ground. But the secret is that you have your own star in that Cream and Fat you mix in to make the potatoes delicious. So while it seems like you're just a rag-tag bunch of players, you proved you can beat anyone with a few all stars and everyone playing their role. There was a mishap earlier this year where maybe you got just a little too mashed and got thrown out, but that was just one mistake. Go out and take care of business and be the best potato you can be and you're on your way to the playoffs main table.

3 Ohio State BuckeyesTurkey (via Food Network)

170 Points || 2 FPV || 0 LPV || H 1 || L 4 || LW 1 || Change -2

Look, it happens to the best of us. You get a little fancy, you try to do a few too many things, and BOOM, you've got an overcooked bird and everyone is ready to throw you out. Still, who is considered the king of the table? That's right, Turkey is. I'm not convinced that you're completely ruined either. Turns out having this much star power can overcome lots of problems. My recommendation? GIVE THE BALL TO ZEKE.

Or, you know, don't hire TIm Beck in the first place.

4 Michigan WolverinesOyster Stew (via

160 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 2 || L 5 || LW 4 || Change 0

You're a weird one. Everyone sees that gooey mess on the table and kind of shuns it at first. It looks almost as bad as that time your mom didn't take the giblets out of the turkey and they spilled out with the stuffing that you probably shouldn't have been eating in the first place. Still, it's kind of intriguing, no? Oysters? Thanksgiving? This is one of those really old school traditions, and that suits you just right. Because at the end of the day, get me some good smoked oysters, the right ingredients, and a crazy chef who doesn't shy away from the camera, and you have got yourself a centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table. Get ready everybody, Oysters are back.

5 Northwestern WildcatsDinner Rolls (via Martha Stewart)

136 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 4 || L 8 || LW 5 || Change 0

None of us see you coming. You're always that, "Oh, and bring the rolls," throwaway side dish. Of course, what does everyone reach for when the plate needs to be cleaned? That's right. The dinner roll. You may have been left for dead earlier this year when everyone thought you were just some awful store-bought starch. But you kept at it and made that dinner roll something that could be worked with. People are now starting to even think, "hey, maybe I can get the recipe?" I honestly don't know if this is a perfect football analogy, but I fell asleep writing this power poll and I'll forget half of what I wrote tomorrow anyways. Work with it.

6 Wisconsin BadgersCandied Yams (via

120 Points || 0 FPV || 1 LPV || H 5 || L 14 || LW 6 || Change 0

It seems like no matter what happens to your recipe, you always turn out okay. Like, not anybody's favorite or anything, and definitely not the winner of the Thanksgiving Meal, but who doesn't love the fact that there is a sweet starch that we can all say, "Oh hey, is it cool that we toast marshmallows on top and call it a side dish?" I'd say that this seems to be a very midwest dish as it embodies the idea that adding sugar and fat to a starch is a vegetable, but look at the entirety of the meal... it fits right in.

7 Penn State Nittany LionsStuffing (via Food Network)

104 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 6 || L 10 || LW 7 || Change 0

You had your heyday, and you would love to get back to that point. Unfortunately, this current chef talks a big game and ends up leaving you confused as you bite into what is basically stovetop stuffing. Now, there are certainly worse stuffings out there, and the fact that you aren't cooking this inside the bird is probably a step in the right direction. But, let's be honest. Nobody thinks you're really going to be the star of the show in the near future, no matter how expensive those dried mushrooms were. Oh, and just because that bread looks like it could go to the next level does not mean it's going to take you higher than 7th in the Power Poll.

8 Minnesota Golden GophersGreen Bean Casserole (via Campbell's Kitchen)

93 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 6 || L 10 || LW 8 || Change 0


But seriously, this one works too. You came into this year with really high expectations just like we always think, "oh man, I love Green Bean Casserole. It's delicious!" Then you get brought to the table and everyone clearly understands that you're working with a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, Canned Green Beans, and Canned Fried Onions. That's not exactly a murderer's row of ingredients. But hey, this is traditional and the guy who went out and got these ingredients understands that even if they're just canned ingredients, they may be kind of quality. Like, organic or something. Anyhow, that guy is gone and the new guy cooking is still getting that salt level balanced out. It's not perfect yet, but you like where this could go. Sure, it's not as good as we all hoped yet, but look at the potential.

9 Nebraska CornhuskersCollard Greens (via

92 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 6 || L 13 || LW 9 || Change 0

You know what makes good Collard Greens? Pork. Maybe that's ham. Maybe that's bacon. Hell, maybe you're even a little crazy and do a bit of chorizo or something. No matter what it is, it takes time to get it together. Problem is, who has time for that to happen? This is a dish that also was much more popular in a different era in a different region, and it's hard to convince the new table that this is worthy of respecting. Thing is, maybe people just need to try a few bites. Let it sit a bit. I don't know. Before you know it, you'll be shooting up the power poll.

10 Indiana HoosiersBrussels Sprouts (via Food & Wine)

77 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 7 || L 11 || LW 10 || Change 0

You were such a trendy side. Every home chef in America thought that this was the year you became the star dish. And hey, early on those dishes with bacon and winning were great. The problem is that you're not exactly easy to make consistently, and if we're being honest, who really likes cabbage? Doesn't this kind of feel like window dressing? Moreover, if you're looking for something you can dismiss, isn't the weird cabbagey vegetable something that can be skipped? I'm not here to totally count you out, but you gotta prove your staying power.

11 Illinois Fighting IlliniCreamed Corn (via Martha Stewart)

56 Points || 0 FPV || 1 LPV || H 10 || L 14 || LW 11 || Change 0

Creamed Corn man... I don't know if it's the consistency, the fact that you remind me of a canned vegetable, or if it's just the name, but none of these things are nice things. Yes, the fact that you make the table in the state you're in is really impressive. And yes, if you had better ingredients and somebody who understood how to take advantage of your unique place, you'd be pretty amazing. The fact of the matter is that you require perfection for that to happen. Perfection isn't happening. And so you're just a non-descrip mushy extra dish that nobody eats.

12 Maryland TerrapinsAmbrosia (via All Recipes)

35 Points || 0 FPV || 4 LPV || H 11 || L 14 || LW 12 || Change 0

You're colorful, bright, inviting, and definitely seem to make the table look really interesting. Everyone grabs a spoonful and thinks, "oh, this has potential!" Then we get to the heart of what you actually are. You're a bland fruit salad, made mostly of canned fruit, bound together loosely by a mayonnaise sauce, and to make it worse, you add mini marshmallows for the hell of it. This sounds like a recipe for a disaster and if we break format for a moment, that really does seem to describe the Maryland football team pretty well, no?

13 Rutgers Scarlet KnightsJello Salad (via Food Network)

33 Points || 0 FPV || 1 LPV || H 11 || L 14 || LW 13 || Change 0

You're a wobbly, kind of awkward, not-so-staple, staple of the Thanksgiving Table. I understand that people who love Jello will defend its place with everyone else, but maybe you should worry about your own dish before you go proclaiming why you belong. I mean, the variations alone are weird. There's the, "secondary suspended so lets add lettuce to jello" salad. There's the, "we have no offensive identity so lets put fruit in jello" salad. Or my very favorite, the, "Our star WR was part of a really bad situation and even though his name was cleared everyone feels bad so lets just add Cool Whip and marshmallows and call it a," salad. What I'm saying is that you should figure out what you are and get back to us.

14 Purdue Boilermakers - Canned Cranberry Sauce

25 Points || 0 FPV || 7 LPV || H 11 || L 14 || LW 14 || Change 0

You more or less are here because for some reason, you've been here all along. You offer very little to the group as a whole - minus that moment in the meal where you become the star of the plate as you add a little awkward moisture to the meat and give the potatoes a weird flavor - but you started everything and you want to see that through. Sure, your core ingredient is an almost inedible fruit that nobody like so you add a bunch of gelatin and sugar and can the product so that you get ridge lines when it falls out of the can. I don't know if this is really that apt a description, but cranberry sauce from a can is gross. So is watching Purdue football most of the time.