And so it comes to this. Another end of the football regular season, and we can now literally count the games left. I guess we should stand up, shake the crumbs off the hoodie, and re-enter the real world. Of course, that means we're only about to exchange one vice for another, but is that all bad? Probably.
That in mind, we're dedicating the Big Ten Power Poll Week 13 to the vices of life, because after all, the vices really are just the spices of life, right? I'm not really sure that's a thing. With a huge tip of the hat to WhiteSpeedReceiver, Graham, and Speth, we embark on the guiltier parts of ourselves today. With a nod to the reality that the official Off Tackle Empire stance is that we do not endorse illegal drugs, addictions, abuses, and/or bad actions, it's time to give the public a more adult-ish power poll. Apparently the old guys don't like Scott Pilgrim.
As a quick point of order, there were only fourteen voters (I actually forgot to vote this week, so hey, it happens) this week. Insertname did another wonderful job with the graphs, and the cumulative product is pretty great:
Got it? Good. Let's go make bad decisions!
1 Michigan State Spartans - Cocaine
188 Points || 6 FPV || 0 LPV || H 1 || L 2 || LW 2 || Change 1
You're looking a little hyped up over there Mr. Spartan. Turns out, all those big hits and strong plays by the Cook are all it takes to get you going and even though you had that huge letdown when you came over to Nebraska's house and they switched you with a downer, you still have a chance to get that big score. A date with Iowa is all that stands between you and the biggest high you've ever had. I would say that's not really that bad a deal.
2 Iowa Hawkeyes - Crystal Meth
182 Points || 6 FPV || 0 LPV || H 1 || L 4 || LW 1 || Change -1
You, like your Green friend in the corner snorting coke, are definitely on your way to a very different high. This is something you have not experienced ever, and while all of your friends think you have lost your mind and keep telling you it's all a fake high that's not as good as the real thing, the fact of the matter is that you are experiencing it and it's fantastic. Sure, maybe this is just leading to a premature death, and maybe it really is just anhydrous ammonia you've been sniffing, but it feels good and you know what? Nobody can take that away from you.
3 Ohio State Buckeyes - Alcohol
175 Points || 2 FPV || 0 LPV || H 1 || L 3 || LW 3 || Change 0
Damn it feels good to be a gangster, right? Or no. Just because it's cool to drink as hard as you do doesn't mean it pays off. I mean, yeah, you were invincible for a while and there was that whole period where your entire existence proliferated
organized crime the second coming of the Big Ten Era, but if we're being real for a moment, it might be time for you to sober up. Sure, it's been a nice ride, but you woke up yesterday with Tim Beck in your bedroom and he said he had pictures of Ezekiel Elliot threatening to run naked through the streets of Columbus if he didn't get more carries, and it was weird.
4 Northwestern Wildcats - Caffeine
147 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 4 || L 7 || LW 5 || Change 1
Look at you go Mr. Purple Wildcat. Doing things the right way. Getting all high on caffeine. Running that peppy program like one of the big guys by just working hard and burning the candle at both ends due to your good friend coffee. I mean, you seem to just get more and more energy as you go along. Of course, that's why your vice isn't caffeine, and I swear Justin Jackson is your offense's version of adderall. Sure, it's only masking a bigger problem, but it's effective and can really get you going.
5 Michigan Wolverines - Gambling
145 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 3 || L 6 || LW 4 || Change -1
This is sort of a double-edged sword. Gambling is a fun outlet for many people, and that hit of adrenaline you get when you think to yourself, "hey, maybe I'll do that thing where I see what happens when I don't leave enough blockers to stop the advancing hoards of Michigan State," is pretty great. Of course, it also is playing with fire and sooner or later you've dropped $1k on yourself over the Buckeyes and OMG YOU JUST LOST THE GAME AND $1000! I don't know if this analogy works, but I'm enjoying the idea of Michigan gambling all the time. I hope Harbaugh loses his house. It's a funny thought.
6 Wisconsin Badgers - Fatty Foods
127 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 5 || L 7 || LW 6 || Change 0
You know what happens when you think, "what's the worst thing that can happen?" every time you eat another donut? You get fat. And not only do you get fat, you probably also get diabetes. So that's definitely in play here. Anyhow, the worst thing that has happened to eating your assistants and head coaches like they're a pastry, and hoping the next one will be as harmless as the last is asking for it. I would like to point out that the, "let's have mediocre QB play," is also a good route to take with this one. Oh, and LOL Wisconsin and fatty foods. Come on everybody, low hanging fruit here.
7 Penn State Nittany Lions - LSD
107 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 6 || L 10 || LW 7 || Change 0
Hallucinogenics? Sure, that works here. You're basically living a dream right now where everything is okay and Coach Franklin is doing a great job, and hey, why not hire back Jay Paterno as OC to help save Christian Hackenberg because he's a NFL QB and... Oh man, is that a Spartan literally eating our faces off? Woah. I'm going to have to sit down after that one. That was ugly.
8 Minnesota Golden Gophers - Cigarettes
87 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 8 || L 10 || LW 9 || Change 1
Remember the good old days when everyone thought this was an okay vice that didn't take years off your life? Yeah, that was super fun, just like the good old days when Minnesota fans thought this team was going to be good and enjoyable for them and not one that made them wish they had barely engaged in the activity of watching Mitch Leidner throw a football. The worst part is that the high you get is nothing more than a temporary hook. Something that allows you to feel good, but worse, feel bad when you're not partaking. Sorry Gopher bros, you're in this thing for the long haul. (I'm sure there is a Tracy Claeys joke to be had, but I'm willing to allow a grace period for jokes so we can be better at them next year)
9 Nebraska Cornhuskers - Pornography
86 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 6 || L 12 || LW 8 || Change -1
You've got kids, a family, a good job, and all that jazz, but something is missing. So you just take a look. It's just like the real thing, right? I mean, you tell yourself it's not giving you a skewed sense of reality, and your other relationships aren't suffering at all. Wait, what are you doing on your phone? YOU'RE AT WORK! NO SCOTT FROST IS NOT ENGAGING IN POSITIVE BEHAVIOR FOR YOU TO ENGAGE WITH RIGHT NOW! Real life is hard, and when you've been on a cold streak like this, I guess I can't blame you, but uh... it's time to get your eyes focused on the real thing.
10 Indiana Hoosiers - Internet Trolling
84 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 7 || L 10 || LW 10 || Change 0
That's right, you aren't even engaging in a real vice. You've lowered yourself to the point where you get your jollies by being an internet d-bag to anonymous people on comment threads. Of course, who am I to blame you? It's been sort of a rough life, and if it weren't for a bunch of unfortunate events, maybe you'd be the really famous one and not the one living in your mom's basement. Never fear, you've got a grade a vocabulary, a Jordan Howard, and I hear you've even been invited to an internet awards ceremony. Things are looking up guys!
11 Illinois Fighting Illini - Sugar Free Gummy Bears
55 Points || 0 FPV || 0 LPV || H 10 || L 12 || LW 11 || Change 0
"Oh, I just can't stop eating these sugar free gummy bears. They are delicious. I just feel so bad. They're my vice."
This is what you sound like to the rest of us, and we're not buying it. As WhiteSpeedReceiver said, "never trust a man who says he doesn't have a vice." The sugar free gummy bear is not a vice, and we're pretty sure you are actually into some dark stuff. I would venture to guess you are probably into watching snuff films or something, which would explain why you decided against firing your interim coach and went the, "let's give him two years" path. Dark stuff indeed.
12 Maryland Terrapins - Marijuana
41 Points || 0 FPV || 1 LPV || H 11 || L 14 || LW 12 || Change 0
"Hey man, I don't know what you're all getting angry about. Like, just chill out and don't worry about the fact that the coaching search hasn't really gone as well as you planned. I mean, [stifles a giggle] I'm sure we can get [giggles] Jon Gruden to come here. Oh, he said no? Really? Well, did he see that time our old coach thought a wrestler could play QB? No? He'd be super stoked to come coach this team. Man, where is everybody? I like basketball. I think I'm going to go eat one of those crab pretzels now."
13 Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Lying/Gossiping
24 Points || 0 FPV || 6 LPV || H 11 || L 14 || LW 13 || Change 0
You just can't help yourself. You just have to tell a little lie every time you pass on information. "Oh, Rutgers is going to be good soon enough." -or- "Hey, we're going to hire a competent coach and our new AD totally knows what he's doing." Look, just like all of the other vices on this list, you get a little kick in excitement when you do it, but you're only hurting yourself. It's time to just be okay with the situation as it stands. Greg Schiano is not walking through that door.
14 Purdue Boilermakers - Laziness
22 Points || 0 FPV || 7 LPV || H 12 || L 14 || LW 14 || Change 0
Robe on? Check. Couch indent? Check. Day old pizza? Check. Look, doing things is hard, Purdue. Just like winning the B1G - or you know, more than one FBS game - takes energy. Maybe it's just better to turn on TV and think about basketball. Laziness, like losing frequently, requires so much less work. We understand Purdue, we understand.