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Big Ten Basketball Pre-Conference Power Poll: K-Cups!

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After a split with the ACC in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, who do our writers rate as the best basketball team in the Big Ten?

Kuerig Green Mountain To Buy Dr. Pepper Snapple Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Ahh, K-Cups. They’ve now become a staple in most offices across the country. Sure, it’s not a full blown Cappuccino machine, but when you need a cup o’ Joe to go or just survive, it’s a nice way to go.

Disclaimer: I’m an engineer, I don’t have near the creativity that many of our other Power Poll guys have. However, as I sit here typing this on 3-hours of rest due to work, it’s all I got. (Why, yes, I could use a nap, why do you ask?)

The format largely remains unchanged. Five of our esteemed ‘writers’ completed this task. And no, there aren’t any graphs, at least not right now. I’m tired, damnit.

#1 – Michigan Wolverines – Tim Hortons Dark Roast

(Pts: 70, FPV: 5, High: 1, Low: 1)

I’ll fully admit I have a strong bias towards this Canadian brewer’s dark side. However, for as strong as it is, it’s actually really smooth. Michigan is a fitting comparison. John Beilein has built a team that’s quietly become one of the best in the nation. The Wolverines have an incredibly strong defense and a smoothly-operating offense. Their rivals to the west were expected to carry the day, but they’ve come on strong. (Please note, don’t let this stuff get cold. It gets ugly fast.)

#2 – Michigan State Spartans – Tim Hortons Original Roast

(Pts: 65, High: 2, Low: 2)

Another classic from our friends up North. While not quite as strong as the Dark Roast, it still provides a solid flavor. The only problem with Tim Hortons is the crash. Much like Sparty failing to close out against Louisville, this blend leaves you wanting more around 2 PM.

#3 - Wisconsin Badgers – Green Mountain Lake and Lodge

(Pts: 58, High: 3, Low: 5)

This has become one of my favorites. It’s a little grittier than the Timmies but still provides a great taste that makes me wish I were sitting on a deck overlooking a serene lake, much like Wisconsin this year. Their resurgence in the non-conference is going to give more than a few opponents heartburn, making them wish they were sipping some coffee as the sun rises over a lake.

#4 – Purdue Boilermakers – Eight O’Clock Columbian Peaks

(Pts: 55, High: 3, Low: 5)

Columbian Peaks is amongst my favorites. It’s a very nice blend that’s a little milder than other selections. However, it’s flavor is the star. As this blend, er, um Carsen Edwards goes, so goes the Boilers. It doesn’t always travel well against top competition and seems to fade down the stretch, but most of the time, it gets the job done.

#5 – Iowa Hawkeyes – Green Mountain Nantucket Blend

(Pts: 50, High: 4, Low: 6)

Another solid brew for a solid team. Again, slightly milder than the top, but a great middle of the day type coffee. Iowa is shaping up to be a decent team this year, their defense is going to keep them from being a First Cup of the Day type team but they’re offense is a nice surprise when all things are considered.

T6 – Nebraska Cornhuskers – Starbucks Crème Brulee

(Pts: 41, High: 6, Low: 8)

I’ll be honest, I struggled with this pick. I originally had the very good Caribou Blend here, but that really needs to be with Minnesota. I don’t drink much Starbucks but this is a favorite of my wife. Right now, Nebraska is passing the smell test. Their offense is clicking along and Tim Miles has what should be a tournament team. I’m not a huge fan of flavored coffee (much like seeing Purdue travel to PBA), but the end result is pretty tasty.

T6 – Ohio State Buckeyes – Green Mountain Dark Magic

(Pts: 41, High: 6, Low: 8)

I’m certain Chris Holtmann is using some sort of Dark Magic. His second-year team continues to exceed my expectations much like Dark Magic. It’s not easy to keep darker roasts from being too bitter but this blend balances out nicely.

#8 – Maryland Terrapins – Dunkin’ Dounts Original Blend

(Pts: 40, High: 4, Low: 8)

Full disclosure, I don’t drink much DD’s and especially not their K-Cups. I feel like there’s a whole lot of talent being wasted. That said, I needed a dunking analogy due to Bruno Fernando. Dude straight up throws it down. And Dunkin’s original blend fit the part. Sorry. Not really.

#9 – Indiana Hoosiers – Maxwell House Original Roast

(Pts: 29, High: 9, Low: 10)

There’s something inherently wrong with this stuff. I’ve tried drinking it in many different forms and every time I end up with gut rot. The only way I enjoy Maxwell House is if it comes from a percolator. Much like Archie Miller’s team, when it’s at home serving up cupcakes, it looks good but the flavor just isn’t there for me.

#10 – Minnesota Golden Gophers – Caribou Blend

(Pts: 26, High: 9, Low: 10)

Again with the obvious tie in. Minnesota and Caribou Blend is good enough for coffee. However, unless I’m at MSP, I don’t feel the need to go out of my way to have any.

#11 – Penn State Nittany Lions – Green Mountain Breakfast Blend

(Pts: 17, High: 11, Low: 12)

This is good enough of a brew in a pinch. However, it’s just a little weak for my taste. Penn State did raise some eyebrows by knocking off Virginia Tech but losses to DePaul and Bradley leaves me wanting more.

#12 – Northwestern Wildcats – “Flavored” Coffee

(Pts: 16, High: 11, Low: 13)

I’ll just say it, I hate this stuff. Oh, you want to smell like a blueberry muffin or a cinnamon roll? Have a sip. Go ahead, all it leads to is disappointment. C’mon Northwestern, prove to me you’re more than just something that smells good but leads to sadness.

#13 – Rutgers Scarlet Knights – Vending Machine Coffee

(Pts: 12, High: 11, Low: 13)

Decent enough when you’re drowsy. It fights off full offensive collapse with a stingy defense. That said, you don’t know if you’re getting brown colored water or even a mouthful of grit.

#14 – Illinois Fighting Illini - Decaf

(Pts: 5, LPV: 5)

What’s the point? Drink some water.


Agree? Disagree? Give us your power rankings in the comments. We’ll have a game thread for tonight’s Big Ten action later in the day.