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Big Ten Power Poll, Week 3: Six Seasons and a Movie!

Let’s head into the study room, take off our clothes, and find that purple pen.

I really hope no one’s done this before, because turns out my original idea wasn’t so great.

I spent 2022-23 working at a community college, and to cope, I revisited the fan-favorite Community. What ensues are my power rankings, mostly of Big Ten teams but also of characters and events in that show.

Two points off the top:

  • No one is Annie, because I don’t have complicated feelings about any of you.
  • No one is Paintball, because no one’s that awesome.

On we march.

1. Penn State Nittany Lions (213 points, 6 FPV) — Troy Barnes

Our stereotypical football player, you’re on your way to greatness before one keg flip—it’s way harder than a keg stand—goes awry. While you might harbor ambitions to be a sexy Dracula, you’re much more at home palling around with the rest of the conference.

Turns out you might have a real knack for air conditioner repair—or a really good quarterback, I forget the oeuvre of the Power Poll—but now we’ll have to see if you realize that ambition or opt to find yourself on a cruise around the world on the Childish Tycoon.

But now that you’re coming back for the movie, maybe we’ll actually get the closure we expect.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (206, 4 FPV) — Jeff Winger

We get it. We know. It revolves around you, and while you might briefly lose your top spot when Abed mans the deep-fryer and hands out those sweet, sweet chicken fingers, in the end the focus will always be on you. Damn you, Thoraxis!

3. Michigan Wolverines (203, 6 FPV) — Dean Craig Pelton

Always in khakis, a real will-they-won’t-they with Jeff... Technically in a position of power at Greendale, you manage to shoehorn your name into every deanscussion, but in the end you’re going to wind up the punchline when you show up at the bank in that outfit. Even if it does start a good conversation.

4. Maryland Terrapins (170) — Abed Nadir

September Maryland rolls into now. Now if it can just plug in that bonesaw...

Maryland, you’re in your own little world and I’m never quite sure what to make of you. Once Britta got you out from under the thumb of your father and gave you some money to play with, you really went gung-ho on the filmmaking thing. You escaped what looked like the darkest timeline.

...but do you know this is reality? Is September just another claymation world of your own imagining? Did you actually poop your pants on the set of Cougartown?

Is any of this real, Maryland?

5. Iowa Hawkeyes (159) — Leonard Rodriguez

Shut up, Leonard. I know about your crooked wang.

Shut up, Leonard. I found your YouTube page—what’s the point of reviewing gas station frozen pizza?

Oh, and...

6. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (143) — Shirley Bennett

You’re not wrong: bringing TV markets making desserts is the only thing you’re good for.

All you wanted to do was study business and open a sandwich shop, just like Mike. Greg Andre left for a stripper named Mysti—I hear she’s from Tampa—but he came back and, while things have changed,

You were never my favorite character, if I’m honest, but beneath that gruff exterior there’s something to like—or at least respect—about a character who does it their own way. Your age doesn’t give you quite the clout you think it does, though, and I’m hoping you head off to take care of Mister Butcher soon enough.

7. Wisconsin Badgers (127) — Vice-Dean Laybourne

As vice dean of Greendale and head of the Air Conditioning Repair School, you’ve run the show in your little annex—lawyers, barbers, even an espresso machine. And, when the dean takes notice, you upbraid him for being the pansexual little imp that he is.

But suddenly you come back wearing a ponytail and wearing pajamas in Abed’s pillow fort. You’re just “going through some stuff,” you say, but when has taking to the air ever truly worked out for such a large man? You’re just one ruptured freon line from going straight back to irrelevance.

8. Minnesota Golden Gophers (119) — Britta Perry

What happened to you? You started the series so promising, so full of verge and life and vigor, and we all kind of figured you and Jeff would wind up together—by the end you were still independent but a cartoon who we could count on to screw it all up.

You’re never winning the West, Gophers. But hey, you’ve been to New York!

9. Purdue Boilermakers (81) — Season 4 won the Big Ten West last year?

Let’s just chalk it up to a gas leak.

Sure, you have some redeeming moments: batshit insane football is nice, you helped us explain the whole group’s origin stories all the way back to 1896 2008, and you gave us a Harboring a Brie Larson guest spot.

But on the whole, this was just a weird, dark timeline.

10. Illinois Fighting Illini (78) — Garrett

You’re large and you shout a lot.

Didn’t we save you already?

11. Nebraska Cornhuskers (61) — Buzz Hickey

Yep, you’re the new addition to the cast, the tough guy who’s going to show us what it’s like to be a real faculty member, to play real footba—oh what’s that, you’re drawing a duck in your office? Got it.

12. Michigan State Spartans (52, 2 LPV) — Ben Chang

When we first met you, you were just a dick, torturing the study group as El Tigre in Spanish class. It was fun and you served a purpose as a useful antagonist.

And then it all went off the rails. A power-hungry security guard? Holding the dean hostage for a decade season? Expelling the study group? Kevin, with a bout of Changnesia? That brief moment where you made the College Football Playoff hit it big with “Hammmm, girl?”

Pick a lane, Ben.

No...not that one, actually.

13. Indiana Hoosiers (48, 1 LPV) — Frankie Dart

Remember when you were going to change the Big Ten? You were all no-nonsense and doing it your own way? Turns out you’re just kind of boring and not that great a character.

14. Northwestern Wildcats (20, 13 LPV) — Chevy Chase

Getty Images/iStockphoto

So, uh, turns out you WERE the rich, spoiled, problematic assholes all along.

I’m never doing this again.

See you tomorrow for DWT;WT.

Six seasons and a movie.