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Week 1 Power Poll: The Power Power Poll

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A Powerful Power Poll All About Power


After an exciting week of Big Ten Football (great game, Huskers!), it’s time for another power poll. Rather than think of a clever, interesting, or funny topic for the article, I decided to go the self-referential route. This Power Poll is about Power itself. If you are thinking that is a lazy way out of having to think of a good topic, you are kind of right. I had thought of plenty of topics, but, as unbelievable as it may sound, they were worse than the Power Power Poll.

Thanks to all of the “writers” for voting, and to Nate Peterson for making bar graphs so I didn’t have to. And many thanks and apologies go out to our fine readers; next week will be better!

Ohio State (#1): Kenny Powers

Last Week: #1
High: 1
Low: 2
Average: 1.11
First Place Votes: 17

Premiere Of HBO’s ‘East Bound And Down’ 2nd Season - Arrivals
Kenneth Powers
Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images

In the television program Eastbound and Down, which ran for four seasons on HBO from 2009 - 2013, Danny McBride portrays Kenny Powers, a washed-up pitcher. Powers was a great comedic character; an absolute jerk with awful opinions who returned to his hometown and expected everyone to bow down to his greatness.

As Mr. Powers must lead any list about power, Ohio State must lead any list about Big Ten football. Both Kenny and the Buckeyes are the best; both Kenny and the Buckeyes are arrogant jerks who will let you know they are the best.

Wisconsin (#2): Powers Boothe

Last Week: #3
High: 1
Low: 4
Average: 2.11
FPV: 1

HBO’s Annual Pre-Golden Globe Reception At Chateau Marmont Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Powers Boothe was a great character actor who could always be counted on for a memorable performance. While maybe best known for his role on Deadwood as the owner of a brothel/saloon/casino, he had many great roles throughout his career. His speech to the Wolverines in Red Dawn updating the teenage freedom fighters of war events was epic. He was also great in Tombstone and Sin City, as well as many other things that I probably haven’t even seen.

Much like Boothe, Wisconsin has been very consistent. While they are not going to wow you and are hard to get excited about, they will put together some great games and leave you impressed and wondering why they are not getting larger roles.

Iowa (#3): Ted Power

Last Week: #7
High: 3
Low: 9
Average: 4.47

Ted Power was a baseball player. He is currently the bullpen coach for the Reds. On an unrelated but great note, please watch this video for The Sloppy Boys’ “Party With the Reds”.

Anyway, please take a look at all of Ted Power’s baseball cards. Most of them are pretty good, but the 1987 Topps card shown above is the best. I’m not sure why they chose a picture of him not in a hat, but his hair is great.

Iowa, and specifically Kirk Ferentz, is the Ted Power of the Big Ten. They have been around for a long time and they have great old pictures.

Northwestern (#4): Purple Power Cleaner/Degreaser

Last Week: #6
High: 3
Low: 12
Average: 5.05

As you may be aware, Northwestern’s main color is purple. As you may not have known, there is a cleaning product called Purple Power. It’s a match made in heaven. You could say that Northwestern cleaned out Ross-Ade Stadium last week with an industrial strength cleaner/degreaser.

Penn State (#5): Max Power

Last Week: #2
High: 3
Low: 10
Average: 5.26

In a tenth-season episode of The Simpsons, titled “Homer to the Max”, a cartoon character named Homer Simpson decides to change his name to Max Power. People were much more impressed with Max Power than they were with Homer Simpson. That gave Max Power more confidence than he ever had with his old name.

James Franklin is a confident fellow, and he is also bald. Sometimes it seems like he is playing a role much like Homer did when he was Max Power. The Overtime scare against App State may force Penn State to change their names back to Homer Simpson, as Max Power did at the end of the episode.

Michigan State (#6): Powerade

Last Week: #4
High: 4
Low: 10
Average: 6.32

Boise State v BYU

Powerade is generally seen as a rip-off of Gatorade. A poor-man’s Gatorade if you will. A pale imitation of the great and original sugar water sports drink, Gatorade.

It is not. Well, it is a rip-off of Gatorade, but I think it is better than Gatorade. Michigan State is the Powerade to Michigan’s Gatorade. Michigan has more tradition than MSU, but at this point it is inferior to the less renowned version.

Maryland (#7): The Power of Positive Thinking

Last Week: #12
High: 4
Low: 11
Average: 7.58

By Nandukrishna t ajith [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Maryland football is in need of a self-help book. One of the numerous college football scandals to erupt over the summer involved our turtle friends on the East Coast. After their annual win over Texas in Week 1, Maryland and their coaching staff will need to keep thinking positively and hope that leads to wins. They will not be able to use negative reinforcement for obvious reasons this season, so they should embrace the lessons in The Power of Positive Thinking, a classic self-help book.

Michigan (#8): Power Pop Pop-Pop

Last Week: #5
High: 4
Low: 14
Last Place Votes: 2
Average: 8.68

The Best Show is a former radio program that is now a podcast. It is a weekly show hosted by Tom Scharpling. On most weeks, a character voiced by Jon Wurster will call in and have a discussion with Tom. In the above clip, Wurster plays a character who works for the fictional Power Pop Pop-Pop.

Quad P is the godfather of the Power Pop scene, and he claims to be the only person to publish a career-spanning retrospective on Dave Smalley. He wears a vintage Knack T-shirt and rides around town in a sidecar in which he always travels downhill. Power Pop Pop-Pop wields a weapon called a Popper that shoots concentrated garbage, and no one will speak up to him and tell him to stop (at least until his assasanation).

While it is definitely a stretch, Jim Harbaugh seems ridiculous at times, much like Power Pop Pop-Pop. Since we have to include Quad P in a Power Power Poll, Harbaugh and Michigan seem like the best fit.

Purdue (#9): Steam Power

Last Week: #8
High: 7
Low: 13
Average: 9.32

By Tenderlok [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Well, this one is a little on the nose and may be the most obvious one on the list. The Purdue Boilermakers mascot is a train. During the time that Purdue acquired the Boilermaker nickname, trains ran on steam power. Boilermakers worked on train engines and other steam pipes and fittings. So Purdue is Steam Power.

Nebraska (#10): Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Last Week: #9
High: 1
Low: 14
FPV: 1
LPV: 1
Average: 9.37

While it may be an obvious joke, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were popular in the 90s and are trying to make a comeback. Similarly, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were good in the 90s and are trying to make a comeback.

Minnesota (#11): The Power of Love

Last Week: #11
High: 2
Low: 12
Average: 9.68

Minnesota gets the first song of the list, “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and The News. Like Minnesota, it’s a pretty good song. Unlike Minnesota, it is on the soundtrack to the 80s classic Back to the Future. The boat rowers hope to go “Back to a Bowl Game” this season.

Indiana (#12): The Power of Love

Last Week: #10
High: 6
Low: 13
Average: 10.84

It’s the second appearance by “The Power of Love”, this time sung by Celine Dion. Since Indiana is ranked lower than Minny, they get a sappy song that is objectively worse than the Huey Lewis version.

Rutgers (#13): Microsoft PowerPoint

Last Week: #13
High: 4
Low: 14
LPV: 1
Average: 12.05

I guess PowerPoint is OK. It is certainly useful in some situations, much like the Rutgers New York cable money is to the Big Ten. It is what it is; kind of boring.

Illinois (#14): Power Wheels

Last Week: #14
High: 7
Low: 14
LPV: 15
Average: 4.47

Power Wheels are like real vehicles, but they are not. They are an electric battery powered junior version of real vehicles. Much like Illinois football at present resembles a junior version of Big Ten football.

Let us know in the comments what the correct power is for each team; these can’t be right!