I’m a child of the 1980s, actually born in 1980, and my childhood in Chicago’s southwestern suburbs was pretty idyllic. Before my Saturday mornings were spent watching ESPN College GameDay, I enjoyed watching cartoons on network TV on Saturday morning! (I didn’t get cable until the mid-90s when a bolt of lightning hit the antenna on my roof and fried every tv in the house).
Saturday morning cartoons were honestly the highlight of my week as a kid, and I learned a lot from watching them. One thing that stuck with me is the memorable villains, some of whom were comical, and one in particular made me cry.
To the polls!
Ohio State (#1) - Megatron from Transformers
126 Points. First Place Votes: 9. High: 1. Low: 1. Last Week: 1
Megatron, leader of the Decepticons from Transformers, ruined a Saturday morning when he murdered benevolent Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. Just like Megatron, Ohio State is a villainous program that ruins careers (You might need to update your resume, Harbaugh, just sayin..) and the hopes and dreams of fans of other programs wanting to attain glory. Case in point, after Michigan State beat my Wildcats (grrr), Ohio State flat our murdered them last week 52-12.
This week Ohio State is sitting at home because of Covid infections in the Michigan program.
Indiana (#2) - Mumm-Ra from Thundercats
117 Points. High: 2. Low: 2. Last Week: 2
Mumm-Ra, the enemy of the Thundercats, is just like Indiana, historically has looked decrepit, but after invoking the 4 spirits of Evil, turns into the monstrous Mumm-Ra the Everliving, one of the most frightening villains of the 80s.
Hmm, is Tom Allen one of the 4 spirits of evil? He’s certainly empowered Indiana into a fierce contender this season, and if Ohio State is ineligible for the Championship Game, my Wildcats will have a fight on their hands. Time will tell if Indiana peters out after an extended period of fighting, just like how Mumm-Ra can only be in his ever-living form for a brief period of time.
Last week Indiana defeated overrated wiscovid, and this week they fight Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket.
Iowa (#3) Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
101 Points. High: 3. Low: 4. Last Week: 4
Ah yeah, Skeletor. I had Skeletor and He-Man toys as a kid, and enjoyed having He-Man defeat Skeletor repeatedly. I also enjoy the meltdown rants of Iowa fans and writers (OG BHGP, looking at you) after Northwestern defeats the Hawkeyes, just like how Skeletor ranted after He-Man defeated another one of his schemes.
Last week Iowa defeated Illinois, and this week they play Wisconsin
Northwestern (#4) Doctor Claw from Inspector Gadget
99 Points. High: 3. Low: 10. Last Week: 3
Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun Inspector Gadget! Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-oo-ooh!
Doctor Claw was a sadistic, intelligent, and wealthy villain who bedeviled Inspector Gadget, just like how Northwestern is an intelligent and wealthy school, and opposing offenses find their defense quite sadistic. I mean, our defensive coordinator is not a man who you wanna fuck with, a misstep against that team from East Lansing aside,
(Personal note, I don’t remember watching this show much as a kid)
Last week Northwestern was sitting on the couch on account of Covid infections in Minneapolis, and is now the B1G West champion for the second time in two years. This week my ‘Cats will play Lovie Smith’s Fighting Illini for the Land of Lincoln Trophy and get even closer to evening out the historical win-loss record
Maryland (#5) Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
81 Points. High: 5. Low: 9. Last Week: 6
I think we all saw this coming, a villain from TMNT for the Terps...
Shredder, the leader of the evil Foot Clan, is the primary antagonist of beloved teenage mutant ninja turtles in a half shell Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo, and Donatello.
Maryland’s created a hype video with a new version of Testudo that looks a little too much like one of the guys from TMNT, literally!
Anyway, here’s Shredder.
wiscovid (#6) Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
81 Points. Last Place Votes: 1. High: 5. Low: 14. Last Week: 5
Krang, a secondary villain from TMNT, always creeped me out. How does a literal alien brain living in a goon’s open stomach (or maybe that’s a robot, I forget) not get sick? wiscovid has had several games canceled this year, and last week they lost to Indiana. This week wiscovid is going to play Iowa. Stay healthy Iowa players!
Penn State (#7) Cobra Commander from GI-Joe
66 Points. High: 7. Low: 11. Last Week: 12
Like most boys in the 80s, I had GI Joe toys, from Duke to Baroness DeCobray to Cobra Commander. The masked for his own good leader of COBRA, the commander was slightly delusional and eventually he was replaced by Serpentor. Is the Penn State brain trust looking for their own Serpentor to replace the bumbling James Franklin? At least Penn State defeated Michigan and Rutgers recently. This week they play Michigan State
Minnesota (#8) Hordak from She-Ra: Princess of Power
61 Points. High: 6. Low: 10. Last Week: 9
Hordak was the mentor of Skeletor and the enemy of She-Ra.
I didn’t watch this show as a kid, but from what I was able to gather, Hordak seems more formidable than the chumps and goons I’m going to assign to the crappier teams.
Minnesota is having a crappy season (compared to last year), and last week a rash of Covid diagnoses led to a cancellation against Northwestern. This week they’re going to play Nebraska, and for fucks sake Nebraska bring back the Broken Chair!!
Nebraska (#9) Gargamel from the Smurfs
53 Points. High: 6. Low: 11. Last Week: 13
Gargamel will get the Smurfs if it’s the last thing he’ll do, but he always ends up screwing up, to the point his faithful cat makes fun of him.
(I also didn’t watch much of this show as a kid, fair warning)
Nebraska has been a bungling program in the third year of Scott Frosts’s leadership, but unlike Gargamel’s inability to fully capture Smurfs, at least Nebraska’s won a few games this season. Last week Nebraska defeated Purdue and this week they’re going to face Minnesota.
Illinois (#10) Venger from Dungeons and Dragons
51 Points. High: 3. Low: 12. Last Week: 11
(I didn’t watch this show).
Venger was an evil sorcerer who kept kids from escaping the realm of Dungeons and Dragons, amongst other things.
Last week Illinois lost to Iowa and this week they play Northwestern for the Land of Lincoln Trophy
Michigan State (#11) Slithe from Thundercats
36 Points. High: 8 Low: 13. Last Week: 10
Michigan SSState is not having a good season, yessss?
Ha, I couldn’t help but break out and imitate the bumbling leader of the mutants on third earth, who ends up playing second fiddle to Mumm-Ra in opposing the Thundercats on Thundera.
Michigan State got hammered by Ohio State last week and this week they’re going to play Penn State
Rutgers (#12) No Heart from Care Bears
34 Points. High: 9 Low: 13. Last Week: 7
(I didn’t watch this show as a kid).
No Heart was a classic evil wizard who wanted to take over the world, however, he didn’t have much luck. Rutgers fans are having more luck than No Heart because they’re team is doing a little bit better than they have in Schiano’s first season back, at least winning a few games. Last week the Scarlet Knights lost to Penn State and this week they’re going to play Maryland for Delaware, or a rusty harpoon.
Purdue (#13) Draxon Drear from Lazer Tag Academy
25 Points. High: 11 Low: 13. Last Week: 8
As a kid, I was really into Lazer Tag and I watched Lazer Tag Academy almost every Saturday. Basically, in the year 3000 a girl named Jamie was the world champion of Lazer Tag, and her light gun enabled her to go back in time. Unfortunately, a G-Gordon Liddy lookalike called Draxon Drear and his henchmen, the skuggs (more on them later) followed her back to 1987 to cause her and her ancestors a pile of grief, but like most things in saturday morning cartoons in the 80s he didn’t succeed.
Purdue fans wish they could go back to the age of Drew Brees (or the nice victory over Ohio State, jealous) after last week’s loss to Nebraska, but they’re not going to have much luck next week playing Indiana.
Michigan (#14) The Skuggs from Lazer Tag Academy
8 Last Place votes. High: 7. Low: 14. Last week: 14
Draxon Drear, the villain of Lazer Tag Academy, decided to use these confused creatures as his henchmen. As a kid, I couldn’t help but laugh at their incompetence.
I also can’t get enough of Michigan football’s incompetence this year, and am quite sad I can’t watch Ohio State beat the living piss out of the Wolverines on saturday.