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Ranking the 2015 B1G Football Games: The Top 30 Games are Getting Smashed Up

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Early on, there was this voice in my head - or really the voices of everyone who writes for OTE - that ranking every single B1G game was a bad idea. "You can't possibly have analysis on each and every game. Have you even heard of Richmond?" Nonetheless, MNWildcat, Candystripes for Breakfast, and I persevered and have given you arguably the most random B1G Football Game Rankings mashups ever. I mean, this is like a Power Poll of broken dreams, and I was a part of it.

That said, with a crazy short week due to Thursday football, trying to get every article we normally would have before the end of the week, and the insanity that are these rankings, we decided that we would list our Top 30 about as randomly as we ever have. Today you get the top three tiers. What will be the focus of each? Well you're just going to have to read on to figure that out, won't you. Anyhow, in case you missed what has been done to this moment:

112-96: The Bright Eyes Tier

95-78: The Pokemon Tier

77-60: The Excel Tier

59-45: The Table Games Tier

44-31: The Beer Tier

And now...

30-21: The Twitch Emote Tier (blame C4B)

For those unfamiliar with Twitch.TV (I will be assuming most of you are), it is a site where people live stream games of all kinds for the world to watch. To make it something more than just 24/7 people talking to themselves while playing, Twitch gives each streamer their own chat room. While some streams have emotes that you must pay to use, all of the ones I've chosen for this tier are free and available to use sitewide. They are also some of the most used, so prepare to see them a lot if you venture over. Also, on Twitch, they are much smaller, so to bring them up to a size you can see, there's a bit of blurring in most of them.

30. Northwestern @ Michigan - 10/10: BabyRage


Literally the face of a crying infant. Often used when someone (either on stream or in chat) is complaining or crying about something being unfair. Likely also a face the loser of this game will be making.

29. Oregon State @ Michigan - 9/12 ABC: PogChamp


Is the face of Twitch streamer Gootecks (full disclosure: I have no idea who that is). Has earned the nickname "Excited Asian", because the Internet is nothing if not on the nose about things. Represents this game because it's the only one in this tier that is 100% on free TV.

28. Michigan @ Maryland - 10/3 BTN: duDudu


Emblematic of Twitch chat's favorite song, Sandstorm by Darude. If you've heard the song, the emote name should make all of the sense. If you've somehow been living under a rock for years and haven't heard the song, it'll make sense shortly. Mostly included because anything that lets me link to Sandstorm is worth it, it also sort of references the large amounts of beachfront property that exists in Michigan and Maryland. Or something like that.

27. Minnesota @ Colorado State - 9/12 CBS Sports Network: CorgiDerp


This is a Corgi. I understand the Corgi is named Lana. This game seems like it might be a derpfest. So here is a Corgi.

26. BYU @ Michigan - 9/26: Kappa


The face of a former Twitch employee named Josh, it has become the commonly accepted shortcut on Twitch to indicate sarcasm or trolling. The fact that this game is being played is probably trolling someone. I just wish I was sure who.

25. Washington State @ Rutgers - 9/12 ESPN2/ESPNU: PJSalt


There's more lore to this that I care to say, but it's literally a salt shaker. Often used when someone has gotten excessively angry for no good reason. Will be the reaction of plenty of Rutgers fans if they lose this game.

24. Michigan @ Minnesota  - 10/31 ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: FrankerZ


Twitch's favorite dog emote (yes, there are enough that exist to make this a serious statement). Has its own song. Is the most commonly spammed emote on Twitch because of those reasons. Has no real bearing on this game, but might make a fun Halloween costume if you're so inclined.

23. Northern Illinois @ Ohio State - 9/19 ABC/ESPN2: FailFish


Is the face of Twitch streamer SpamFish. Pretty strongly implies something worthy of a facepalm has occurred. Will be the reaction of anyone who hears another person say that NIU has a chance in this game.

22. Rutgers @ Penn State - 9/19 BTN: BibleThump


From "The Binding of Isaac". Often used as a reaction to something sad occurring on stream. If I have to explain why that's relevant to this game, you haven't seen ttfp vs. the State University of New Jersey arguments here often enough.

21. Penn State vs. Maryland - 10/24: PraiseIt


Yes, it's a Twitch Plays Pokemon reference. It probably has some other meanings you can derive from it, but for this, let's just call it "being glad that this tier is finished." Over to you, Jesse.

20-11: The Spirits Tier (blame Jesse)

20. Iowa @ Iowa State - 9/12 FOX: Cheap Vodka (non-brand edition)

Let's be real, this is a must see game in the same way that your college experience needed to include that night you thought buying the $10 2-Liter of Vodka without an actual brand name was a good idea. You'll hate yourself in the morning, but it's a fixture of the year.

19Michigan State @ Michigan - 10/17: Less Cheap Vodka (Skol edition)

On paper, you're like, "Hey, this might not be so bad. The game is later in the season. It could be competitive. These teams really have a rivalry." Then you remember that whoever wins or loses, your consumption still ends with a headache as your roommate tells you how great last night was and how epic they are and... yeah.

18. Iowa @ Wisconsin - 10/3: Rye Whiskey

Like Chris Thile says, "Rye Whiskey makes the Hawks seem better, makes your QB suck less, makes you kind of like your coach. OH BOY!" Sorry, if you don't know that song, or that band, or whatever, well, you should and I have no problems making you click the link. Also, this starts a nice run of QoH action, so that's fun.

17. Wisconsin @ Minnesota - 11/28: Tequila

The first shot feels like hell, but you're like, "eff it, I'm going to live forever," and so you take a second shot. Like four shots later, you've lost all your clothes, and find yourself eating a dilly bar in a snow bank with the Wisconsin bros talking about that time they bought an ax or something. I don't know. I actually think this could be the decider for the West this year.

16. Minnesota @ Iowa - 11/14 BTN: Vermouth

Just like a good sweet vermouth, this is one of those games that needs to be respected as part of the bigger picture. While it may not be super entertaining on its own, it's necessary and we all respect the hell out of it. You know, that and it will taste like death as you consume it. #AllTheDefense

15. Nebraska @ Minnesota - 10/17: Ouzo

I'm sure there's a joke about old man flavors - like black licorice - but I'm bad at old man jokes and feel like this is a great game that will be a party and everyone will have a good time and no one will be sad and there will be lots of OPAH! happening and... Wait, I'm really just naming alcohols at this point. I am guessing the loser - and the winner here - will be reaching for a clear liquor after this game.

14. Ohio State @ Virginia Tech - 9/7 ESPN: Absinthe

It's clean, a bit overrated, and definitely can sneak up on you and do crazy things. This game should be pretty straight forward, but you never know what will happen in Blacksburg. Oh, and hey, the idea of someone losing an ear is pretty fun. So there's that in play.

13. BYU @ Nebraska - 9/5 ABC: Milk

You know, because BYU kids can't drink. But seriously, consider the parallels here. Pretty dumbed down systems due to all of the suspensions, both working on making their schedules better (nutrition angle... I don't know) with early tough wins, and definitely will be hard for some people to digest when it's finished.

12. Michigan State @ Nebraska - 11/7 ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Gin

Again, on paper it sounds like a good idea to mix this game with a nice tonic and down it like there's no tomorrow, but not unlike the less cheap vodka option, you're going to wake up annoyed at someone. As a side note, I really had no idea there was this many Nebraska games on this tier. I swear we had multiple people helping rank these.

11. Minnesota @ Ohio State - 11/7 ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Bourbon

Mostly because this is the best game in the tier, and partly because I like our Minnesota and Ohio State contingents just enough to assume they'll all be drinking bourbon win or lose. Oh, and this game is interesting. By all means, Ohio State should crush Minnesota, but I like the Golden Gopher's defense just enough to keep it close. Note, 11/7 could be a fun weekend apparently.

THE TOP TEN: The Power Nine + 1 Tier (blame C4B)

Finally, we arrive at the Top Ten B1G Games this season! For this tier, I'm taking inspiration from my favorite trading card game, Magic: the Gathering. 9 of the 10 cards listed here are commonly accepted as the most overpowered of all time. The tenth is only not in that select group because it was printed later in Magic's history, and is really only overpowered in certain circumstances. Also, due to age and rarity, these are 10 of the most expensive cards in existence, which is an impressive statement about any pieces of painted cardboard.

10. Nebraska @ Miami (FL) - 9/19 ABC/ESPN2: Timetwister


The least respected of the Power Nine, Timetwister is arguably the most balanced of the cards, because the effect it provides is symmetrical. It tries to reset the game to an earlier time, much how fans of Miami and Nebraska probably wish it was the 90s all over again.

9. Stanford @ Northwestern - 9/5 ESPN: Library of Alexandria

Library of Alexandria

The non-Power member of this list, Library is built to offer you more of the game's most beneficial resources, mana and cards in hand. It is only rarely seen in tournament play, and only in certain strategies, but here, it makes a fine nod to the academic reputations of Stanford and Northwestern. Also, you know, NEEEEEERDS!!!!!

8. Michigan @ Utah - 9/3 FOX Sports 1: Mox Sapphire

Mox Sapphire

Freely making additional mana is rather busted in Magic. Blue is the color that usually takes the most advantage of this ability, thus Mox Sapphire is the most powerful of its cycle. It is also the most prominent color of the University of Michigan.

7. Penn State @ Ohio State - 10/17 ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Mox Pearl

Mox Pearl

The second in the Mox cycle, Mox Pearl sees perhaps the least play of any of the Moxen, but is still an important part of the decks it does happen to be in. The Pearl makes white mana, which is a major color in both the Penn State and Ohio State color schemes. (Yes Buckeye fans, I am well aware your colors are Scarlet and Gray, but your away jerseys are blatantly white. It counts. Shut up.)

6. Ohio State @ Michigan - 11/28: Ancestral Recall

Ancestral Recall

It is widely acknowledged that drawing a card is one of the best things you can do in Magic. Drawing 3 instead of just 1 is great. Doing so at Instant speed is a huge advantage. Doing so for a single mana is utterly broken. This effect has been iconic for basically forever, as (some people would say) has the Ohio State - Michigan rivalry.

5. Wisconsin @ Nebraska - 10/10: Mox Jet

Mox Jet

If I was feeling generous, I'd say this was a nod to Nebraska's Blackshirt tradition. But no, this is 100% here because of the Jet Sweep. /Wisconsin just ran again

4. TCU @ Minnesota - 9/3 ESPN: Time Walk

Time Walk

Taking an extra turn in Magic is a huge advantage, because you have an additional opportunity to deploy resources that your opponent does not. For this game, though, it'll probably just feel like Minnesota is taking all the turns because of how fast TCU will either score or turn the ball over.

3. Wisconsin vs. Alabama - 9/5 ABC: Mox Ruby

Mox Ruby

Wisconsin wears red. Alabama wears red. This was a ludicrously easy choice. Moving on....

2. Oregon @ Michigan State 9/12 ABC: Mox Emerald

Mox Emerald

Forgot we had these two back to back. Well, if it works once....

1. Michigan State @ Ohio State 11/21: Black Lotus

Black Lotus

Finally, we come to the crown jewel, both of Magic, and of this 2015 Big Ten season. The #1, most must-see game of the year, between the two teams most likely to finish the season as champions of the B1G (sorry Wisconsin, but it's true). As the Black Lotus symbolizes the pinnacle of Magic excellence, so too does this game represent the best the Big Ten has to offer in 2015.