Throughout the year, there are a lot of Power Poll ideas I come up with. Some are ridiculous - like that time I thought Excel Formulas would work as a subject - and some are less ridiculous - like that time Graham ran with the Mariah Carey Power Poll. Nonetheless, the saddest subjects are the ones where there just literally are not enough individual items to pull into a subject. With fourteen teams week in and week out, basically I'm stuck with really large datasets. More often than not, that's no big deal, but after a recent conversation with friends about what album I've probably listened to most in my life - not necessarily favorite, but definitely most listened - I realized that I really needed to do a Weezer Blue Album Power Poll somehow.
Now, I suppose I could probably have done something along the lines of, "Weezer Blue Album with Deluxe b-sides" Power Poll and gotten all fourteen teams, but then I remembered that this is bowl season and I can exclude those teams that did not make a bowl. We'll do an end of season review after they are all played, but for now it's all, "OH MAN! LET'S EXCLUDE SOME PEOPLE AND TALK ABOUT ONLY IN DREAMS!"
Even better, I decided I don't need anybody else's opinion on this one, so you're just getting the way I see the ten bowls. So if you're angry about things, you'll have to take it up with me... Which, that's kind of easier. I don't know why I just put myself out there. Um, let's just get to it. It's time for the 2015 Big Ten Bowl Power Poll: Weezer Blue Album Edition! (Yay for hyper-specificity)
1. CFP Semifinals at the Cotton Bowl: Michigan State Spartans vs. Alabama Crimson Tide: Buddy Holly
Arguably the most popular Weezer song of all time, and definitely the most successful. Not unlike the Michigan State Spartans at this exact moment, no? Oh, and let's make some comparisons to content!
"I don't care what they say about us anyway. I don't care about that."
BOOM. If that's not a perfect Mark Dantonio 'chip on the shoulder' speech, then I have not been paying enough attention.
By the way, I've said a lot of things like, "Alabama is going to absolutely crush Michigan State," and sure, it's partly because Nebraska's only wins over a team with a winning record is over the Spartans, but uh... wait, I'm not sure where I'm going here. The speed of the collisions in the trenches is going to be fierce, though. I dig that a lot.
2. Rose Bowl - Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Stanford Cardinal: Only in Dreams
So there's a lot of ways we can go with this. On one hand, it's like, "super sad, the playoffs ended up all being a dream that we woke up from," but then again... Iowa is in the Rose Bowl. I'm guessing even the most gold-tinted Hawkeye fan did not see that happening this year. So the other way you could go is, "sure, we're not in the playoffs, but we're in the Rose Bowl and this song seems kind of optimistic if not incredibly long... like that Michigan State drive that made us sad."
Oh, and if we're going to talk about the game - which we totally should on a football blog - can we all admit this is a really fun matchup. Two pro-style offenses going toe-to-toe, a defense on each side that is menacing, and enough offensive pieces to really make this fun. I realize that I'm saying nice things about Iowa, but this is a great game. Easily the second best matchup of the bowl season.
3. Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Say it ain't so
So, a couple of things. 1) I am currently three songs into this and I've already ran out of comparisons, so that's really fun. 2) Say it Ain't So is easily my favorite, "I just bought a guitar and need to learn a song to impress girls," songs.
Sidenote story to this tangential thought. When I was in high school, I had this sweet Fender Strat. Like, it wasn't a Squire Strat, it was a legit Fender product. Anyhow, I thought I was a really cool kid and would take my guitar - in it's super sweet padded case - to school so I could practice in the bandroom with our band. So there we were, trying to practice and I was like, "hey we should play a show," and somehow somebody let us open for them at the Ranch Bowl in Omaha. We had literally three songs - one original - but we were amazing. We played Say it Ain't So, and I was the lead guitarist. This is the greatest moment in my life. fin
Okay, back to the song. This is the at least the third best - if not higher - song on the album and this is the third best - if not higher - bowl matchup. From a talent perspective alone, this thing is out of control, but go a little deeper and you have a Urban Meyer - Brian Kelly coaching matchup that has a lot of intrigue. Plus, you know, the best part is that we can all root for meteors and not feel too bad about it. I do think Joey Bosa and company are going to bring a lot of pain to the Notre Dame offense. So that's fun to think about.
4. Outback Bowl - Northwestern Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers: Surf Wax America
Northwestern is really kind of like Iowa in that this is a success of a year no matter what anyone else says. An Outback Bowl appearance alongside the Volunteers is just gravy. Sure, some people want to talk about the rat race of next year and all that comes with trying to build a program and whatever, but the Wildcats are like, "I'm going bowling cause I don't like your face."
Oh, and while we're here. What in the world Tennessee? I realize that a Nebraska fan calling any fanbase out is kind of silly, but some of the trash talk that Volunteer fans throw around because they destroyed Iowa last year is just... strange? Like, I think Tennessee probably has more talent than Northwestern top to bottom, but it's not like the Wildcats are trash or anything. I think the Wildcat defense is up to the task. Now the offense? Well, keep thinking happy thoughts Northwestern bros. Just enjoy the waves and relax. It's been a good year.
5. Holiday Bowl - Wisconsin Badgers vs. USC Trojans: Holiday (get it... because it's the Holiday Bowl and...)
Let's go away for a while, you and I, to a strange and distant land... like California... where the Badgers go a lot... and they play a Pac 12 team... and. Okay, so you get it. The Badgers are back in a bowl with an okay year to back up a sneaky good transition to a new coaching staff. I very much look forward to the USC Trojan offense against the Badgers defense. I very much hate the idea of the USC Trojan defense against the Badgers offense. I guess that's why we're already at the fifth bowl on this list, but wait! There are still five more.
Oh, and this is a really good track on the album. Very nonsensical, kind of filler, and not exactly musically diverse, but it fills its spot like a boss, and it leads right into the end of the album. Just like this bowl will lead to the end of the B1G's bowl season pretty well. THESE COMPARISONS WORK IF YOU TRY!
6. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida Gators: Undone (the Sweater Song)
Just like this track is overrated, so is this matchup. Just start pulling at a thread and you can see that these are two pretty incomplete teams that have excellent defenses that will look even better against incredibly overmatched, incompetent offenses. I know I already made fun of Northwestern's offense... and Wisconsin's offense, but bruh... This Florida offense is super bad. There will be more punts than there will be points in this game.
And seriously, this song was about as cool as anything else on this album in high school, but it's kind of meh now. Funny how that works.
7. New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Indiana Hoosiers vs. Duke Blue Devils: My Name is Jonas
This song is kind of a tragic story about not catching any breaks, which is really not a bad description of these two football teams. That said, remember Week 4 when both of these teams were considered really good with starry eyed visions of bowl games danced in their heads? Well, it was a rough patch in the middle there, but here you are. I think this is a really interesting matchup between the Indiana offense and Duke defense. The other side of the ball - as seems to be the case in these things - will be much sketchier. Duke isn't as awful on offense as Indiana can be - at times - on defense, so we'll see how that pans out. All that said, I'm really happy for the Hoosiers. Enjoy bowling.
8. TaxSlayer Bowl - Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Georgia Bulldogs: The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
This is a ridiculous song for kind of a ridiculous bowl game. Penn State fans and Georgia fans have spurned various parts of their coaching staffs - or all of them - and this game is being played because there are forty bowl games and someone has to play in them. I mean, that's technically most bowl games, but this one feels really boring to me. There is still plenty to be interested in - like how many Georgia kids will go to the NFL, is Hackenberg good, will Carl Nassib go out in a blaze of glory, etc. - but mostly because football is good and whatever. Otherwise, this game is kind of a 'meh' matchup.
9. Foster Farms Bowl - Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. UCLA Bruins: No One Else
I want a coach, who will laugh for no one else. I want a coach, who wins games and championships and trophies. I want... Okay, so I'm not sure this works here completely, but just like this song is kind of about a ridiculously jealous boyfriend, the Nebraska fanbase can kind of be that jealous fanbase who does irrational things.
That said, here we are, right? Nebraska is bowling again, and while you can debate the finer merits of a five win team bowling - mainly that it probably is part of a bigger problem with bowl games being a little less special now - you can't deny that you're not a little intrigued by the matchup. UCLA epitomizes up and down football, and Nebraska is just chomping at the bit for a little momentum going into 2016. I think this ends up being a very entertaining game, not unlike Nebraska-USC last year. Nobody probably remembers the score, but it comes down to the last possession, and that's fun.
10. Quick Lane Bowl - Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Central Michigan Chippewas: In the Garage
It's okay Minnesota. We understand that there are some afterthought games, and this one is the definition of afterthought game, but hey, you're bowling. I think Central Michigan beat some good teams this year too, so maybe this ends up fun!
One final note on the Blue album. As I put this together, I forgot how much filler there is. Like, there's just a lot of songs I'm like, "meh, I could take or leave that one," but all together it's a solid effort across the board. That's how I see this bowl slate. There's a lot of filler, but man I enjoy the whole of the bowl games the Big Ten is in. So yeah, apt comparison? Sort of. I hope you have Buddy Holly stuck in your head too. It's the least I could do for you on this Wednesday morning.