This is it, the big one! We mean by that, of course, that it’s the final football power poll of the season... but we also mean that it’s one of the most controversial subjects we could have picked. LaCroix, you see, is not emotion-neutral ground, and when we start finessing that even among fans with flavors? Oh my.
Anyway, Creighton and I put on our Millennial Pants (yes, we have special pants, because we are Very Special People) and poured out our thoughts on fizzy water and Big Ten football teams. Actually, it was mostly Creighton—I was relaxing in my Millennial Pants watching Netflix and drinking a Lime LaCroix. Let us know what you think about B1G football, bowl performances, and how the hell Michigan ended up 2nd. Oh, and LaCroix.
As you can see, it’s been a wild ride this year for pretty much everyone, except Rutgers (oh, the halcyon days of Week 0 and Week 1 before gently settling to the bottom!)
Ohio State (#1) - Pamplemousse
(First Place: 11 Last Week: 2)
Hilariously, most people in Ohio can’t spell Pamplemousse, but life is funny like that. The decision for an American beverage company to go with the French “Pamplemousse” instead of plain ol’ “Grapefruit” is a pretentious move, on par with insisting on using the article with your university’s name. Nevertheless, on nearly ever LaCroix listicle on the internet, Pamplemousse is tops in popularity and sparkling water success, much like OSU continues to draw the kudos through mountains of “Adversity.” However you feel about Urban Meyer or the Buckeyes though, that was a bowl performance to be proud of, so welcome back to the top of the list, OSU.
Penn State (#2) - Key Lime
(High: 2 Low: 4 Last Week: 4)
There’s already a lime flavored LaCroix, it’s one of the most beloved and classic flavors. So what’s with the key lime flavor? How the hell is that even different? Seems a little desperate. Don’t get me wrong the key lime flavor is pretty damn good, but throwing the “key” on there to make it seem more exciting and fun just seems kind of desperate.
Likewise, Penn State is looking at that #2 (lol) ranking and feeling pretty good about themselves, congratulating themselves on the coaching coup that is James Franklin. But no matter what you insist, Nittany Lions, just know that you’re not as great as you might think, because #2-9 in this conference were basically a coin flip. You’re trying so hard to be great, but you’re just... not. This nonsensical ranking notwithstanding.
Michigan (#3) - Soda Stream
(High: 2 Low: 5 Last Week: 1)
Oh hell yeah dude, a SodaStream machine! I can make my own fizzy water at home, and in every imaginable flavor! I can even mix them and make my own flavors!! What a perfect solution to a problem I didn’t know I had.
[4 years later}
Why is this thing still on my counter? It was kind of impressive in its own dumb way, but it never lived up to the promise. I should have listened to my friends who told me it was frivolous instead of the rich guy on tv telling me how it was the solution to all my problems. It was really expensive though, so when friends come over I still have to pretend that it’s my favorite thing in the world.
Maybe it just needs to find the right quarterback to reach its full potential.
Northwestern (#4) - Strawberry Perrier
(High: 2 Low: 5 Last Week: 3)
Ah yes, Perrier. Like LaCroix, but unflavored and more refined because it comes in fancy tear-shaped bottles. It’s the kind of water a butler would bring you on a silver tray.
So how does this fit in with Northwestern? They have a decent football team, but their brand is obnoxious and fabricated. They have a rotating series of uniforms like a Midwestern Oregon that nobody cares about. They call themselves “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” even though the home fans regularly get outnumbered in their own stadium. Pat Fitzgerald is just a less confidant, more toothy PJ Fleck. Go back to your adding machines and stop bothering everybody.
Strawberry Perrier tries to sit on its high horse and bring that pompous energy to the extremely competitive mildly flavored carbonated water market. The flavor is too strong. It’s got notes of Jolly Rancher with just a light hint of Twizzler on the back end. The flavor is unmistakably artificial, and far less great than you hoped it would be.
Iowa (#5) - Pure
(High: 4 Low: 6 Last Week: 5)
Pure is completely flavorless, plain fizzy water. Some call Iowa “boring”, but fans argue that it has a subtle complexity. You aren’t going to be blown away by anything they do, but it’s hard to screw up something that low key. Maybe you could get store brand club soda for a fraction of the price and it would taste exactly the same as the Pure LaCroix you’re paying $4 million/year for, but it wouldn’t quite be the same thing. Is Iowa always fun to watch? Absolutely not. But do they get the job done? Sure. You wouldn’t drink a Pure LaCroix before you’d grab that delicious, ice cold Coca-Cola, but put it next to a fancy sounding combination of flavors that tries much too hard but misses the mark like “Cranbasin-Honeydew Breeze” and the Pure will win every time.
Wisconsin (#6) - Passionfruit
(High: 4 Low: 8 Last Week: 6)
Quick, I want you to close your eyes and picture a passionfruit. Now open them. What the hell did you see, because I sure don’t have any idea what the hell a passionfruit is. I can’t tell you what they taste like, either. I’ve had the Passionfruit LaCroix, but if I had to describe the flavor I’d say “Like watered down cough syrup aged on a bed of flowers”. It’s better than it sounds, but I’ll never pick it off the shelf if I have other options. This brings me to the Badgers. Are they a good team with a bad offensive line holding them back? Are they a terrible team with an elite running back that makes everyone look better than they are? Maybe an average team with an average quarterback and coach? I wouldn’t be able to define them even if OTE tripled my salary, but I do know that they’re right in the middle. Much better than the worst teams, but definitely not a good team. At least you didn’t try too hard.
Minnesota (#7) - Muré Pepino
(High: 7 Low: 8 Last Week: 12)
The LaCroix family of beverages also includes their Cúrate line of flavors. These Cúrate flavors are bolder and stronger, with more of a latin influence on the flavors (actually they just throw in some Spanish words here and there while naming them). They sound fun, but to be honest it the Cúrate flavors peak somewhere between “It’s ok” and “fine”
LaCroix describes the Muré Pepino flavor as “sweet & sour blackberry notes and the natural earthiness of crisp cucumber create this unique new flavor combination”. The last time something was this unnecessary and in your face while being the poster child of mediocrity it was named PJ Fleck. All this flash, and razzle dazzle, and sideline sprints, and “anthracite” to showcase a product that’s somehow one of the most average and forgettable in the bunch.
Michigan State (#8) - Peach-Pear
(High: 6 Low: 10 Last Week: 7)
Peach-Pear is a surly and disgruntled flavor. Taking a sip, your brain can’t help but think of the wildly different textures between the two fruits, and this clash somehow makes its way further into your palate with every sip. The entire experience is like riding on a really fancy train as it plows into a dump truck stalled on the tracks.
Michigan State is equal parts comedy and tragedy. It’s a zombie movie mixed with an overly long biopic. Dantonio’s career is reaching the end of the line, and it’s getting weird.
Purdue (#9) - Lemon
(High: 8 Low: 11 Last Week: 10)
Everybody loves lemonade. It’s delicious and satisfying, and absolutely nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day. Of all the beverages in this country, lemonade is easily in the Top 5. But then, there is Lemon LaCroix, which is not the same thing AT ALL. To call lemon flavored LaCroix a poor imitation would be an understatement. It tastes like they took a single, watered down element of lemonade, its lemon flavor, said “there, now we have everything we need to make a damn good drink.” The resulting product tastes like the world’s cheapest glass of tonic water in a glass full of melted ice.
Such are the Boilermakers. Purdue’s record since Brohm showed up is 13-13, good enough for their best two year span in a decade. They tried their
best medium to be one of the big boys by putting everything they had into recruiting Rondale Moore, because if 90’s sports movies taught us anything it’s that a bunch of scrappy underdogs only need a single ringer to make them excellent. Rondale may be a Buckeye-level talent, but Purdue is but a cheap imitation of college football’s heavyweights.
Nebraska (#10) - Coconut
(High: 9 Low: 12 Last Week: 8)
Of all the delicious fizzy waters at your local grocery store, LaCroix is usually the most expensive and prestigious brand. However, few things on that shelf will be as undrinkable as coconut LaCroix. I mean, it might taste good if you have a thing for sunscreen-flavored burps, but that’s probably the only crowd it could possibly appeal to. It might be the worst beverage in its aisle, but it still gets to wear that premium LaCroix packaging and masquerade as grade-A, primo seltzer.
This is you, Cornhuskers. You get to show up and pretend to be one of the blue blood programs, and everybody just rolls with it. If you make a list of the “top” Big Ten programs, without actually defining what you mean by “top,” Nebraska is always going to be on that list. You went 4-8 this year. Again. You get to wear the neat, crested members only blazer that they give to the premier Big Ten football teams, but nobody is buying it. You can look down your nose at the off-brand water on the shelf next to you all you want, but guess which one is getting taken off the shelf first?
So yeah, you’re a REAL LaCroix fancypants namebrand and everything... but you still suck.
Maryland (#11) - Berry
(High: 10 Low: 12 Last Week: 9)
Berry? What kind of berry? There’s like a hundred kinds of berries. Is it all of the berries? Is it just a couple of the berries? Is it a certain kind of berry with a stupid name that you didn’t want to put on the cans? You can’t just say “berry” and call it a day.
Even the flavor is ambiguous. It’s one of the sweeter flavors in the lineup, but the actual flavor profile is nebulous and unimpressive. First you get a vague taste of some type of fruit, with light fruity notes, and a pretty unmistakeable berry-type fruit coming in late.
It’s as ill-defined and non-committal, and ultimately, unimpressive as Maryland.
They have a transitive win over Georgia after embarrassing Texas in week 1, but did exactly nothing to impress for the rest of the year. The color scheme and the the flag stuff all over the uniform seem edgy and exciting, but Maryland is perhaps the most one dimensional football team in the entire conference. I’m sure Mike Locksley will work out fine though.
Indiana (#12) - LaCola
(High: 11 Low: 12 Last Week: 11)
Did you ever drink the entire cup of Coke (Vanilla Coke, if you will) from Wendy’s or wherever, and then go back and take a sip from it once all the cola-soaked ice melts? Now imagine that but with bubbles, and now you know exactly what LaCola tastes like.
Nobody asked for it. Nobody wants it. It’s so bad that even the twelve people who drink LaCola regularly only do so with a strong chaser of self-loathing and regret. This, incredibly, is ALSO precisely the experience of being an Indiana football fan.
Illinois (#13) - Kroger brand Cranberry-Lime Seltzer
(High: 13 Low: 13 Last Week: 13 — Definitely Illinois’ lucky number)
The only people that could possibly be a fan of this flavor are all masochists and serial killers, because there is no logical reason why you would do this to yourself. The cranberry-lime is a mess. Does the tartness of the cranberry seem like it would clash with the sourness of the lime? Well do I have good news for you, because this product doesn’t taste anything like it’s name! Technically this is Illinois “football”, but nobody should be able to name it that without being branded a liar. The best thing I can say about this flavor is that it’s carbonated far too much, and sometimes that overpowers the flavor, even as it makes your nose feel like it’s about to explode, Pompeii-style. It’s the same exquisite torture experienced by Illini fans. Sure, you know Illinois is going to get beat like a government mule that stole something, but sometimes you can’t help but tune in just to see how bad it’s going to be. I-L-L!
Rutgers (#14) - LaCroix You Forgot About For a Few Hours and Now It’s Warm and Flat
(Last Place: 11 Last week: Last — Not a word, but a lifestyle)
We’ve all done it. The LaCroix beckons from the fridge, cold and enticing, tempting your 30-something sensibilities with a calorie-free refreshment experience. But then you open it, set it down, and go do something else, like paint a bedroom Millennial pink or go buy succulents in bulk or whatever. We left you open on the table by the bathroom and didn’t find you until we were cleaning the house four days later. We know you’re going to be warm and flat, but maybe you’re still worth drinki-NO! GOD NO! WHY DID I TAKE A SIP? HOW ARE YOU THIS MUCH WORSE THAN EVERY OTHER KIND OF WATER? TEPID SEAWATER WOULD BE PREFERABLE TO THIS.
/dumps down sink
If only ridding ourselves of Rutgers football was that simple.
Does LaCroix have a place in your life?
This poll is closed
Yes, and I will argue about flavor preferences below