So here it is again, the spookiest time of the year has arrived. There’s a chill in the air, the hair on the back of your neck is standing up, you feel mere seconds away from uncontrollable screaming. A B1G West team is undefeated and there’s no natural explanation!
Fear not, Constant Reader, there are more terrifying things in this world than 8-0 Gophers, for tonight is Halloween. Over the next few nights, you may come in contact with ghosts, pirates, ninjas, aliens, sexy kittens, Sexy Rexy Grossman, robots, Lovies, Lovie dancing the robot, bumblebees, and M&Ms. Are you ready to embrace true horror? Then join me as I guide you through the horrible B1G Power Poll: Stephen King Edition.
I’m a simple man. I won’t turn down any offered beer or pizza. I’ve read literally dozens of books in my life, many without pictures. Stephen King is by far my favorite. We all loved BigRedTwice’s Power Poll on Pride and Prejudice (seriously, this is a must read for all), but I’ve never read the book and neither have 85% of you. 75% of us truly knew none of the references. But 100% of us are scared shitless about Pennywise the Clown! If your nephew croaks out “Redrum”, you’re turning tail and avoiding all future family reunions. That’s the power of a good storyteller, or a good drink or food. Even when Stephen King is bad... he’s still pretty good.
King has also transcended the written media. Much as our favorite conference is good not only at football, but almost every collegiate sport (eat it, water polo), Stephen King has high quality movies and television shows, his own band The Rock Bottom Remainders, references in others’ music, and lots of merchandising.
1) Ohio State - The Shining
First Place Votes: 14 Last Week: 1
This overpowered, living, sentient power wants to consume everything. You’re trapped, and there’s nowhere to go, and omigod it’s sending those creatures to kill you, and that one’s running for yet another touchdown. Ohio State is a death machine. The Overlook Hotel has seen more than it’s fair share of deaths, too. It’s also had plenty of... useful caretakers. I tell you honestly that The Shining is the only book that has ever scared me, though that has absolutely nothing to do with anything else. *whistles* We’ve all gotten to see Tressell and Meyer, as we’ve mostly all experienced Stephen King or STANLEY FRIGGIN KUBRICK’s take on The Shining. May as well forecast another remake by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio, because Ryan Day and Justin Fields are keeping the Redrum rolling.
2) Penn State - The Talisman
2nd Place Votes: 14 Last week: 2
This is my favorite Stephen King book. Co-written with Peter Straub, The Talisman follows Jack across the US in two different worlds. Those different worlds, Jack can flip between them! A very cool feature for our fictional hero, the ability to flip isn’t quite as great for our real life heroes. The Nittany Lions flip between an amazing team and an amazingly shitty team. Penn State will hopefully use the bye week to learn how to just stay good.
I’ve never tried deciphering which author wrote which chapters, though I’m certain that info is on the internet. Similarly, I can’t tell whether Ricky Rahne or James Franklin is ignoring the surefire homerun that I can see thousands of miles away. And you know what? It’s better this way.
3) Minnesota - 11/22/63
High: 3 Low: 5 Last Week: 3
Considered one of Stephen King’s best recent novels, 11/22/63 works perfectly for Minnesota, who is enjoying easily their best season in recent history. The main character finds a portal to 1958 (I promise it’s good, Scoffy McSnobFace), and discovers that changing the past alters the present, but he continues to age at real time.
Being that King grew up in that era, his character decides stopping the Kennedy assassination would be the best thing he could do. You think Coach Fleck is changing game results...?
Bonus: Fun fact I discovered while researching this article, in the show, Jake transports to Oct. 21, 1960 where Minnesota is undefeated in the middle of their most recent national title season. What Goofer wouldn’t keep going back?
4) Wisconsin - It
High: 3 Low: 5 Last Week: 4
lol at these clowns. Alright, sure, Pennywise is goddamn terrifying. He’s a supernatural being who thrives on the fear and blood of the weak. But looky what happened when the Losers Club decided to stop being afraid and face this demon. Illinois punched that clown! Illinois punched the clown and nobody saw it coming. Boy, did they beat it. The very next week, Ohio State did what everyone expected and also whipped the hell out of the Badgers.
But a good evil alien parasite is hard to keep down...
5) Michigan - The Dark Half
High: 4 Low: 5 Last Week: 6
King wrote The Dark Half in response to the outing of his pen name, Richard Bachman. In the story, author Thad Beaumont has his own pen name, but that turns out to be an evil twin personality. Oh hey there, Michigan. That’s quite a nice defense you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if any evil twin personality of yours were led by... Josh Gattis! Wait, does it seem like maybe the Wolverine offense is getting stronger?
Bonus: The real shame in timing is the Iowa Birds have already played and lost to the Wolverines. True King fans know what sparrows can do.
6) Iowa - Misery
High: 6 Low: 7 Last Week: 5
The title fits other teams a bit better (looking at you, Marygers), but Misery was way too good of a story to waste on them. Annie Wilkes, the stout, corn-fed bull of a woman has managed to
kidnap rescue her favorite author, and will now keep him bound safe until he heals. It’s not stalking if you really care, Huskers. And gosh darnit, Iowa really really cares about the COCKADOODIE HUSKERS! I thought you were good, Iowa, but you’re not good. You’re just another lyin’ old dirty birdy.
7) Indiana - The Eyes of the Dragon
High: 6 Low: 8 Last Week: 7
The Eyes of the Dragon is my favorite Stephen King book. It’s a nearly complete departure from the horror he usually produces. Instead, the book is a fantasy of the best kind. The king was murdered! The prince imprisoned! What’ll happen with the realm? Why is Flagg such an asshole? An excellent story, and one deserving to be associated with the 2019 Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana is now bowl eligible, truly a departure from their wheelhouse. Maybe even a fantasy season? #9Windiana
Bonus: The Eyes of the Dragon is 100% kid-friendly. This book was my kids’ introductions to the works of Stephen King.
8) Michigan State - Pet Sematary
High: 7 Low: 9 Last Week: 8
Sometimes dead is better. The Spartans have come back from the dead countless times, and never for the better. They just seem to pop up out of nowhere and scare the hell out of you. Last week, Penn State hit Dantonio with a Peterbilt truck and buried Sparty on a dark and stormy afternoon. Whatever comes back is now Illinois' and Michigan's problem.
Bonus: Zero Sparty fans noticed the misspelling in the book’s title.
9) Illinois - The Green Mile
High: 8 Low: 10 Last Week: 10
Sweet, kindhearted John Coffey is everything that’s good with the world, and mean spiteful bastards like Percy Wetmore just can’t stand to see Lovie Smith happy. Lovie Smith, like John, finds himself on death row. There is something different about him, though. John’s releasing his healing powers and Lovie’s showing off his Badger/Boilermaker beating powers! Maybe things will turn out right this time. The B1G has been given a tremendous gift, surely the warden or the governor or even the president will save us, right?
We’re all gonna be bawling like babies once Tom Hanks does what death row guards do.
10) Nebraska - The Dark Tower Series
High: 9 Low: 12 Last Week: 11
My favorite Stephen King work, The Dark Tower is his magnum opus. “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” Roland Deschain and his ka-tet (group, for you hayseeds who don’t know the High Speech) are on a quest, seeking the fabled Dark Tower, that which holds together the fabric of all existence. On the way, they must travel across worlds while facing their internal demons, an insane train, bizarre creatures, and mutant crabs. Coincidentally, the 2020 Huskers schedule includes Northwestern, Purdue, the Bearcats of Cincinnati, and rutger.
Bonus: Top notch through the mid-90s, The Dark Tower series fell pretty hard after Stephen King almost died. Huskers don’t have that good of an excuse.
11) Purdue - Cujo
High: 11 Low: 12 Last Week: 9
I think I can sit back and let wikipedia explain this one:
Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote the film was “by no means a horror classic, but it’s suspenseful and scary.” Variety panned it as “a dull, uneventful entry in the horror genre, a film virtually devoid of surprises or any original suspense.” Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune gave the film one star out of four, calling it “one of the dumbest, flimsiest excuses for a movie I have ever seen.” Roger Ebert called it “dreadful,” and Linda Gross of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “no theater is air conditioned enough to justify watching this scary, gory and beastly movie.”
Bonus: The book was just as bad. Not a single chapter break, Steve? Took me a year to finish it.
12) Maryland - Needful Things
High: 8 Low: 12 Last Week: 12
Imagine, if you will, something new comes to your town with the promise of granting you the possession you most desire. Best of all, you never have to pay a thing at all. A bit too good to be true?
Mike Locksley returned to the Terrapins sidelines with tons of promise. Look what his offenses did at Alabama! All the recruits will be yours, too. And it was bought, all of it. Only now do you realize the evil you’ve brought into your lives. It’s too late, Terps, your soul now belongs to Saban!
Tied For Last) rutger - The Tommyknockers
High: 13 Low: Last Last Place Votes: 7 Last Week: Last
Stephen King was super high on drugs for this piece of shit. What’s your excuse, Delaney? Congrats on the liberty win, though!
Also Tied For Last) Northwestern - Insomnia
High: 13 Low: Last Last Place Votes: 7 Last Week: 13
Purple rutger offense, the cure for Insomnia. Meh book for a meh team. You want a better analysis? Get Fitz to do a better job.
Bonus: Kind of a psuedo-important novel, as it contains the first reference to the Crimson King, the super bad guy who plays into many SK books.
NCAA Football - The Stand
An epic struggle of good versus evil, I highly recommend this to everyone. It’s been a great 150 years, folks. I’m excited to see what the next 50 brings.
NCAA Lawyers - ‘Salem’s Lot
C’mon, you get this joke.
PAC12 - Duma Key
This is a book that was written. I know I’ve read it. I can tell you nothing else about it.
SEC - Night Shift
A bunch of gems in this collection of short stories, but there’s a whole lotta filler in there, too.
Your Realization That You Haven’t Bought Candy Yet - Maximum Overdrive
That movie was ass! And now you’re either going to have to haul ass to Walgreens or hide in your house with all the lights out because you suck at life. Go get some candy! And if you’re watching something scary tonight, make sure it isn’t this.