This has been a spectacular year for Power Polls, and I am happy to say we have something super special this week. A couple weeks back I got an email from LincolnParkWildcat asking me if I had an idea for the Power Poll. I did, but I was always open to new ideas. He had one better than an idea - he had someone willing to help out in the outsourced Power Poll arena (which, huge thanks to everyone who has helped so far). That person just so happens to be a Senior at Rutgers studying Evolution and Ecology, who is in the RU Marching band, and who is on the path towards being an awesome paleobiologist. Yep, we have a dinosaur expert, it's the one and only ZuzuRU!
She was kind enough to take time out of school, marching band stuff, and all that jazz to do a dinosaur power poll. DINOSAUR POWER POLL!
Before I turn it over to her, some Power Poll business. We had 17 (!!!) voters this week. This is Week 9. Points work like they have always worked with 14 points for a First Place Vote. Everything else should be good to go. Oh, and as always, graphs are done by insertname. Here's the average rankings so far. Look at that Nebraska line tank.
Any other questions? No? Good. It's dinosaur time!
The B1G Power Poll Week 9: Dinosaur Edition
by ZuzuRU (@)
Super stoked that I could contribute to this week’s B1G Ten Power Poll! I will use this as an opportunity for both power poll smack talk AND soft paleontological education by using obscure dinosaurs.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes - Argentinosaurus
238 Points || 17 FPV || H 1 || L 1 || LW 1 || Change 0
I’m sure you’re all upset that Ohio State is not some big terrifying predatory dinosaur. Well, the sauropod Argentinosaurus, the biggest land animal to ever exist, once it reaches full size, has close to zero natural predators and literally has to do nothing to ensure its own safety… If that isn’t Ohio State after a week of not playing and still unanimously being number one, I don’t know what is.
2. Michigan State Spartans - Eotriceratops
217 Points || H 2 || L 4 || LW 2 || Change 0
If you catch the largest ceratopsian charging at you, you’re definitely injured to dead. Eotriceratops is just super lucky it’s been all offense and that no predators have caught it from its vulnerable backside. Another dinosaur nearly caught them like that a few weeks ago, but they were lucky and turned around at the last moment to deliver a shocking blow to the egos and pride of this other dinosaur resulting in many dropped jaws and hands on heads.
3. Iowa Hawkeyes - Carcharodontosaurus
203 Points || H 2 || L 4 || LW 3 || Change 0
I know, finally, a theropod dinosaur. And I’m not just attributing a theropod dinosaur to Iowa because as hawkeyes (bird mascot) their mascot is technically also a member of the theropod family… no way. Carcharodontosaurus is rising to prominence as an awesome and household name dinosaur. It was one of the biggest theropods ever (bigger than T-rex), but size doesn’t matter unless people know about it. People are starting to notice it and it is pretty cool. Having pronunciation issues? Just say car-car-o-donto-saurus.
4. Michigan Wolverines and Refs - Parasaurolophus and herd
184 Points || H 2 || L 7 || LW 4 || Change 0
That crest on its head was hollow and it allowed Parasaurolophus to be LOUD and obnoxious. Picture giant herds tubas ringing out for miles. It was a pretty large hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) that when it wasn’t slowly plodding along on all fours had the ability to stand and run on its hind legs. Harbaugh has given Parasaurolophus purpose to get up on its two khaki-clad legs. Then, the herd keeps it safe from most lesser predators. It just has to be lucky enough to be in the right place in the herd at the right time.
5. Wisconsin Badgers - Pachycephalosaurus
169 Points || H 3 || L 7 || LW 5 || Change 0
With its nine inch thick dome-shaped skull, this dinosaur was built as a battering ram. It used this battering ram over the weekend to leave a poor, far lesser dinosaur bruised and bloodied in yet another blowout win. Pachycephalosaurus, for the most part, attempts to ram through its adversaries with its head down and not looking in front of it. This method has worked out for it so far it seems, but I’m sure it had a slight a headache the day after each of its matches, win or lose.
6. Northwestern Wildcats - Carnotaurus
151 Points || H 5 || L 7 || LW 6 || Change 0
Northwestern started out the season as the Disney version of carnotaurus (as seen in Zuzu’s profile picture) from the film Dinosaur. This version was a big fearsome predator, made out to be bigger and scarier than any actual theropod. It maintained this act until recently when it was realized by everyone that the actual carnotaurus, while still larger than any modern carnivore, is MUCH smaller than other theropods like T-rex, carcharodontosaurus, even allosaurus. With its short, snub snouted face, no doubt carnotaurus was a smug little genius, using its dinosaur wittiness to make up for its lack of useful arms.
7. Penn State Nittany Lions - Utahraptor
147 Points || H 4 || L 7 || LW 7 || Change 0
Utilizing its agility and sharp claws, this raptor was able to easily slice and dice any lesser prey they come across, and even some opponents slightly larger than a single a raptor thanks to its pack. With its prideful pack, led by the fearless alpha Franklin raptor, you’d think they could take on any dinosaur. However, everyone else knows that there is no chance in hell this team stands a chance against a large predator or an herbivore with weaponry. Hollow bones and lean muscles mean that this animal has very little defense against any blow from a larger, more powerful adversary.
8. Minnesota Golden Gophers - Tyrannosaurus-Rex
114 Points || H 8 || L 10 || LW 10 || Change 2
While this certainly seems odd to see the famous T-Rex in this middle range, the reason is that things drastically changed for T-Rex during the latter end of its existence. Even though it was a large powerful predator, the environment in the Late Cretaceous, due to volcanic gases filling in the atmosphere, was not ideal which caused a lot of problems for this dinosaur (sparse prey, egg not developing properly, etc.). Also, let’s be honest, T-Rex is a pretty basic dinosaur.
9. Illinois Fighting Illini - Iguanodon
84 Points || 2 LPV || H 8 || L 14 || LW 8 || Change -1
This is an old, over-used dinosaur. One of the earliest ever discovered, Iguanodon has gone through many designs. First, as a giant lizard with sprawling legs and a dragging tail in the 1800’s (it actually looked a lot cooler back then) and eventually the modern, morphologically correct and boring version. Fans of iguanodon are still reeling from the fact that other, cooler herbivores have been discovered and replaced this as a popular dinosaur. It really was so boring… had no unique features except a spike for a thumb… It had a head, a tail, and four legs. One could say it had no nice things…
10. Indiana Hoosiers - Gallimimus
77 Points || H 9 || L 12 || LW 11 || Change 1
This ostrich-like dinosaur was actually a lot bigger than it looked. At 26 feet long it was almost as large as the theropods it shared its environment with. The only problem… this dinosaur exclusively had its speed, agility, and its flock to get it anywhere and to protect itself with. As in the film Jurassic Park, when ambushed suddenly by a T-Rex, it had literally zero defense, and the T-rex ripped into it to the horror of those two annoying children from the film.
11. Purdue Boilermakers - Therizinosaurus
57 Points || 1 LPV || H 9 || L 14 || LW 14 || Change 3
This animal was likely the sloth-giraffe of the dinosaurs. Instead of maybe using its massive terrifying claws to fight and hunt, and it could probably be really effective if it tried, it preferred to use them to grab branches to bring closer to its mouth. However, sometimes it gets lucky, as it did this weekend, because one hit of those claws can cause an instant kill for any dinosaur unlucky enough to illicit a swipe from it. Was it on purpose, however? Only time will tell. (Probably not, though—it was likely reaching for another branch and poor old Nebraska got in the way)
12. Nebraska Cornhuskers - Spinosaurus
49 Points || 4 LPV || H 8 || L 14 || LW 9 || Change -3
This ranking seems weird, of course. Spinosaurus at 12? Wasn’t it the biggest theropod to ever exist, a fifty foot long T-Rex killer according to Jurassic Park? Well, it was until science caught up with it. Turns out, spinosaurus was actually a quadrupedal, knuckle walking, webbed footed, fish eater. This new design made a lot of people angry and many felt that it lost its greatness. Spinosaurus can be great again as it has a lot going for it. It just needs to accept itself for the new way it is and use that against its enemies.
13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Protoceratops
46 Points || 4 LPV || H 8 || L 14 || LW 13 || Change 0
This dinosaur wants to think itself as a more impressive ceratopsian with horns and size, but it has long way to go before it can be compared to animals like Triceratops. Proto means "first" and this dinosaur always boasts about being first at something, but why something with that special aspect has ended up as the lesser of its relatives and gets frequently smacked by most other dinosaurs is confounding. Sounds like lots and lots of herd mismanagement. It cannot really tango with the big dinos yet.
14. Maryland Terrapins - Anchiornis
34 Points || 5 LPV || H 11 || L 14 || LW 12 || Change -2
The colors you see in the picture were determined to be the pigment that the actual feathers were. It was colorful… that’s about it. It was about the size of a pigeon, and probably just as annoying. I imagine if you’re an insect this animal is dangerous. For a vast majority of situations, it can be eaten in one bite or stepped on and killed by everything else in this power poll. There is nothing unique about it. It was just an early bird that found itself living alongside much cooler dinosaurs.
Again, a huge thanks to ZuzuRU! Awesome work here. If you have ideas, feel free to drop me a note here, on twitter, via email, or whatever. If it's good, we can chat about getting you featured.