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Big Ten Football Teams as Original Pokemon

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Name That Pokemon!

With the launch of Pokemon GO taking over everyone’s lives and taking many of us back to our days of playing Red/Blue, we here at Off Tackle Empire decided to see if we couldn’t figure out which of the original 151 Pokemon most accurately matched each of our football teams. Jim Harbaugh is definitely the real-life incarnation of Gary Oak, but since everyone knows that, let’s talk about the actual Pokemon.

Illinois Fighting Illini: Clefairy

Most of the time, Clefairy’s Metronome technique does something profoundly ineffective or even self-defeating. But every once in a blue Moon Stone, it comes up with a Hyper Beam that propels it to the Rose Bowl or the Big Ten title even though its trainer is somewhat bewildered. Ron Zook didn’t have enough badges to control a high-level Clefairy and it was arrested numerous times.

Indiana Hoosiers: Raticate

With good speed, Raticate is capable of using Hyper Fang to make some noise on offense early in the game. However, its lack of defense eventually catches up to it and sooner or later it’s going to sit forgotten in your PC. Hey, at least it didn’t end up like Gary Oak’s Raticate.

Iowa Hawkeyes: Beedrill

Long ago, it started as a dumb little thing in a vast expanse of tall grass that was useful only for training other people’s Pokemon to take on a gym. After one evolution and years of hardening courtesy of the signature Midwestern stoicism, a skilled trainer finally evolved it into Beedrill, a big yellow-and-black flying thing that is sometimes dangerous. Some Beedrills can take down the Elite Four; others are fodder for a Chippewaarmander that just learned Ember. Sometimes it’s hard to know which one you’ll get.

Maryland Terrapins: Krabby

You know why. With some work, it could evolve into a Kingler and drop the Crabhammer on unsuspecting fools. More likely though, you’ll use Guillotine. It’s supposed to be an automatic KO...but you’ll miss so many times you might just lose to a severely underleveled Minnesota basketball team.

Michigan Wolverines: Onix

Big, obnoxious and everywhere, and usually looks like it’s yelling. My odds of turning on sports radio and not hearing about Jim Harbaugh are about as good as my odds of going into a cave and not immediately encountering Onix. I don’t care how large you are, Onix, stop throwing rocks at me.

Michigan State Spartans: Snorlax

Can spend long periods of time asleep, but is currently awake and very grumpy. You’ve never seen one smile. Good at attacking physically, it’s one of the few that can take down Alakazam on a regular basis.

Minnesota Golden Gophers: Seel

An ice type Pokemon, Seel is oddly adorable despite not being the greatest of Pokemon. Without much in the way of speed, Seel just kind of plods along looking slightly like a doofus hoping the enemy is vulnerable to cold.

Nebraska Cornhuskers: Voltorb

What’s red and white and used Selfdestruct last year? It’s either Voltorb or Nebraska, and the best part of that Selfdestruct is that it did enough damage to take down Snorlax somehow. Of course, there are still lingering questions about the trainer’s capabilities and the soundness of his battle plan...

Northwestern Wildcats: Pikachu

Small, oddly competitive. Everyone’s supposed to find it really adorable, but if you don’t, you probably can’t stand it. Attacks do not affect Onix at all.

Ohio State: Alakazam

Inherently has few weaknesses as a psychic type. Ohio State isn’t gonna lose many...just because they’re Ohio State. You can get your shots in, but you’d better do it before you get hit with Psychic powered by an insane special attack stat. Borderline unfair.

Penn State Nittany Lions: Persian

Catty and self righteous looking. The pet of the once great Giovanni, but Team Rocket has fallen and so have you. Your normal type attacks are rather basic, but can definitely catch some other Pokemon off guard.

Purdue Boilermakers: Psyduck

Take, if you will, the 2009 season:

at Oregon: Purdue is confused! It hurt itself in its confusion!

vs Northern Illinois: Purdue is confused! It hurt itself in its confusion!

vs Notre Dame: Purdue is confused! It hurt itself in its confusion!

vs Northwestern: Purdue is confused! It hurt itself in its confusion!

at Minnesota: Purdue is confused! It hurt itself in its confusion!

vs #7 Ohio State: Purdue is confused! Purdue used Psychic! It’s super effective! Ohio State fainted!

There’s no point trying to make sense outta this shit.

Rutgers: Magikarp

Perhaps someday Rutgers is destined to evolve into something fearsome. But if that’s ever going to happen, it’s only going to be after levels and levels of futile splashing. Got any Rare Candies on you?

Wisconsin: Tauros

Good at running straight ahead and getting in the way. In theory, Tauros should be able to use a lot of different techniques to go above and beyond a consistently above-average Pokemon, but in practice, it'll just revert to using Stomp over and over again.

There was much debate over these. What do you think? Where’d we miss? Who’s the rest of the country? Is Urban Meyer Giovanni? (Urban Meyer is definitely Giovanni)