Trying out a new methodology this week. MNW was so kind as to set up an aggregate form to capture everyone’s input on yesterday’s B1G reader rankings article. 22 hours later, I have 87 responses to drag accurate rankings out of.
Note: This isn’t the writers pulling something out of their asses like football season. This is completely up to the readers’ asses.
Note note: I bear no witness, nor responsibility to live up to the excellent power polls that happen during football season. I am merely a messenger with a random idea and some time to write who happened to be on Slack at the right time.
Now let’s get down to business. The fourth installment in the Matrix series comes out next week, and all signs are pointing to an absolute turd. The series really lost it’s magic in the third movie, but there are definite signs of the cash grab starting up in second film, The Matrix Reloaded.
But—you can’t deny the absolute cultural impact the first film had. It’s a top 5 science fiction movie for most of the generations that are alive right now. The movie is incredibly confusing, had special effects never before seen, and spawned a litany of the most important movie factor, memes. Keanu Reeves was vaulted into superstardom and typecast roles for the next 15 years (TBH, he’s well suited for them. Bring me John Wick 8). The rest of the cast... not so much. In honor of what I’m bracing for to be an absolute box office bomb, enjoy our reader-supported B1G Basketball rankings, Matrix-style.
Actually, wait. I have a really burning fan theory about the Matrix universe that I’ve been dying to get out into the world. While watching these movies, I thought the matrix world was a simple allegory to a computer system. “The Matrix” environment itself is a computer—be it Windows box, Linux, or a down AWS region. Programs are the people and things that occur, and Agent Smith is a computer virus. Infecting people (programs) and attempting to bring down the entire system. Neo and his band of normal ass humans that follow him around are anti-virus. Attempting to eliminate the Agents to keep the PC (The Matrix) alive. It explains most of the entire saga. I mean, the key character is called The ORACLE, for Pete Mote’s sake. I wouldn’t be surprised if Larry Ellison has a producers’ credit.
Thanks for indulging me. I’m a weirdo.
1. Purdue Boilermakers — Architect
You were expecting Neo, right? Nope. The Architect designs the system in which the machines and humans exist in. He can create new ones, tear old ones down, and program everyone to do whatever they’re designed to do.
But also, he’s flawed in not recognizing which programs have the ability to exist outside of his system. Very vulnerable to cheesesteaks and “the works” - which is a blend of oil/vinegar/seasoning.
2. Michigan State Spartans — Morpheus
He’s been searching for an NCAA Championship since 2000. Legendary status in the Matrix community, but a lot of folks think he’s washed up and chasing a dream - the prophecy. Steadfast in his resolve, he shows he’s still got a great amount of skill in a majority of scenes but just can’t put it together to be “the One”.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes — Neo
He’s the one, right? Chosen by taking the red pill to doom himself to the Matrix? Taking losses to Florida but handing those smug Agent Smi-, I mean Dukies a big fat L?
I think it’s gonna take a few movies, but eventually OHST is gonna pull some magic out of their basketball hats and save all of the B1G. EJ Liddell is on a tear recently and looks like a top 5 NBA draftee.
4. Illinois Fighting Illini - The Oracle
Not that database extortion company! The real MATRIX Oracle!
Illinois has it all. A program that can exist outside the Matrix and guide everyone involved in it towards an end goal. The problem everyone asks themselves is: how do we know the Oracle is for real? Things happen like crushing Rutgers, but then difficult to explain losses to Cincy, Iowa, and Marquette. Do we ride with the Illini making another Tournament run?
5. Wisconsin Badgers - Apoc
An easily forgettable, but wildly important character.
Sure, he’s killed in the first movie pretty easily and quickly - but he gives Neo his first weapon. Starting the path towards being “the one”. He’s a valuable crew member who runs most of the virus infrastructure and red/blue pills. He’s got moxie and grit by the truckload.
And yet, you don’t remember who he is. At all.
6. Minnesota Golden Gophers - Niobe
A savvy captain with and individualistic streak, Niobe pilots the sister ship to the Nebuchadnezzar. A solid character who constantly backs the team up in the “real” world - unfortunately her name belies a solid Minnesota basketball problem. Niobe was a Greek queen of Thebes who, while being the queen of one of the advanced civilizations of the world at the time, had to watch most of her family pass away.
Seems to be that’s the trend Minnesota has when it comes tournament time, as well.
7. Indiana Hoosiers - Cypher
Remember when this look was “cool”? But only Samuel L. Jackson could/can pull it off?
Judging by my personal experience that the Midwest is about 10 years behind in common fashion - there’s probably cats still running around Bloomington rocking this look.
TBH, I’m just taking potshots at Indiana. Crimson Quarry sucks. But the basketball team hasn’t played anyone of relevance, they do have ONE good player, so who knows what’ll happen.
8. Iowa Hawkeyes - The Keymaker
He just sits around making keys and getting better all day. Iowa’s one purpose is to destroy teams’ hopes when they feel good about themselves by JORDAN BOHANNON SHOOTING A THREE FROM THE CORNER WITH NO TIME LEFT.
Not that bitter.
9. Michigan Wolverines - The Merovingian
The guy’s an asshole. Treats everyone that comes to his club like they’re dog food and plays constant games when world-saving information is on the line. Expensive cars, wine, residences - but based on what? This guy’s just a gatekeeper. A middleman. A has-been.
I bet everyone ‘says’ they’ve been to the Merovingian’s program, but in reality, they’re not smart nor rich enough to ever get a seat at that table. They probably just have merchandise from the little store next to the restaurant. As noted asshole Chris Brown has said:
“how you gonna hate from the outside of the club, when you can’t even get in?”
Does this sound like any university sports program you may know?
10. Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Trinity
Opinion alert: I don’t know what role Trinity serves in the movie other than being a love interest. She’s basically a less adept version of Morpheus.
The allegories write themselves, folks.
11. Maryland Terrapins - Agent Smith
No one likes encountering Maryland. It doesn’t matter if it’s home or away, they constantly represent a chance of taking some form of being the opposing team format that your basketball team sucks against.
I liked Turgeon there because you at least had that wildcard floating around the conference. Now, you’re likely looking at a powerhouse. With the ability and prestige to hire at a successful B1G program - the AD Evans has his work cut out for him recruiting someone who can take MD somewhere.
12. Northwestern Wildcats - Spoon Boy
Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
13. Penn State Nittany Lions - Tank
Somehow I found a picture of Tank from 1987 in Getty. Go me.
Hmm... another Matrix character with a self-importance problem in real life? Apparently, Marcus Chong, the person who played Tank in the first Matrix, demanded increased salary for the sequel, The Matrix Reloaded. Those talks quickly broke down since he was a supporting character. The directors killed him off, found a look-a-like, and named that character ‘Link’ and created a ‘brother’ storyline for a replacement.
14. Nebraska Cornhuskers - The Trainman
Creepy dude who only runs one subway station in the Matrix. Super annoying character who believes that just because he lives in the sewer, he can make the rules - and has some lingering importance because of that fact.
Sure, he can defeat Neo - but only in that one train station in one iteration of the Matrix. The odds of him winning a real challenge are microscopically slim.
Oh, hey Nebraska Basketball.