Big Ten Power Poll, After Week 12: Michigan State Takes Down, Wisconsin Up?


My family is celebrating Thanksgiving Wednesday and I’m organizing, which means instead of writing this I should wipe down the baseboards or something. I always see memes about cleaning baseboards while on vacation, and I’m not sure I’ve cleaned my baseboards before, to be honest with you, either I’m gross or you who have dirty baseboards are.

I don’t have a ton of time to waste this week anyway, thanks to the burdens of the holiday season. Now is a good time to remind our predominantly male readership that the pressure, work and planning of the holiday season falls disproportionately on women, so if you have a woman in your life maybe try to do something to lighten the burden. or improve his life in some way or another in the weeks to come.

On that note, I chose a low-effort method to conduct this Power Poll AND the gentlemen of the OTE writing team kindly participated as well. We all spend way too much time on the internet (so do you) and so, compiling this collection of gifs for the Big Ten teams was a lot of fun. Let us know what evidence we missed in the comments!

And Happy Thanksgiving to you all! (Except the Iowa fans. They know why.) At OTE, we are grateful to all of you who read our silly stories and esoteric walks. We know there are finer, simpler places to play your sport without being disturbed by Victoriana, Hamilton’s words and evolutionary milestones, but we’re very happy that you choose to join us here.

A GOAT among the Big Ten gifs.

High: 1 | Low: 1 | Last week: 1st

What about everyone’s least favorite behemoth? Not a lot. They are good. They are boring. At first they lost to Oregon, which is hilarious in retrospect …

via Thumpasaurus

… but ultimately wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Now in full Death Star mode, they eagerly await a showdown with Michigan:

via StewMonkey

Or maybe they don’t really care, and just eagerly awaiting another playoff appearance, another top five, same old, same old, blah blah blah.

Congratulations I guess.

LW: 2 | High: 2 | Low: 3

A few of these teams feature characters associated with them that are themselves unique, and none more than Jim Harbaugh of Michigan. MGoBlog even hosted a Harbaugh Gif tournament in 2016.

I could probably do a Power Poll just from Harbaugh’s reaction gifs, and that would be amazing. Remind me to do this if Harbaugh gets fired.

He won’t get fired this year as Michigan is doing pretty well. Sure, they needed a little luck to beat Nebraska and they lost to Little Brother again, but overall it’s a decent year to be a Wolverine.

Lol, wishes from Michigan.

Good luck with OSU, folks. 🙂

LW: 4 | High: 2 | Low: 5

Stew named a timeless truth as the epitome of Wisconsin:

via StewMonkey

And while that’s certainly true, it’s more representative of the rest of the Hate Quadrangle than the badgers themselves. So I was forced to consider other gifs that reminded me of Wisconsin. This one, for the way their spooky mascot looks like a box of popcorn with a rodent head:

This one for the spooky way they have a “laid back weekend with friends and cheese:”

But after being written off early in the season, the West’s sheer yearning put them in position for another trip to Indianapolis for some real fun with the Buckeyes. So…

LW: 3 | High: 3 | Low: 6

Our first instinct was to honor Mel Tucker by being paid:

Good for you, Mel.

Granted, they followed that up by getting destroyed quickly by OSU, but they’ve already beaten Michigan, and they’re 9-2 and

LW: 6 | High: 3 | Low: 8

Raise your hand if you feel sorry for Penn State! Yeah, me neither. But they’re not in a completely enviable position – they’re pretty decent, but they have an unfavorable division – forever behind Ohio State, and this year behind Michigan and MSU as well. Franklin isn’t bad enough to get rid of him, and in fact … he just got a Mel Tucker salary, so we’ll see Franklin on the sidelines for a long time:

So this guy will be behind him, yuck.

Penn State seems doomed to always trying to make their way through a division where it’s really, really hard to do:

via Misdreavus

Good luck, Nits!

Participant East Division!

LW: 5 | High: 4 | Low: 7

To begin with, we must first make the homage obvious. Yes, we’ve seen it before, but it’s the Mona Lisa of the Big Ten gif, and we need to respect it where it belongs. I’m talking of course about Hawkeyes on My Belly.

Hang it in the Louvre.

Either way, Iowa has had an interesting season. They were ranked No.2 and, while at the peak of their power, had a controversial moment in the Penn State game. As several PSU players suffered injuries, the Iowa crowd chanted:

Alleging that the “ho on fire” was a plot to “slow down the offense,” unbiased observers as well as Penn State fans pointed out that this was almost certainly not true, as it is about the Iowa offense:

Rather than condemning this, HC Kirk Ferentz appeared to double down on the plot. But you know what they say:

via Misdreavus

Soon Iowa was no longer No. 2 in the country. Hell, they’re not even close to second place in this poll. There’s nothing wrong with a 10-2 regular season, but in this case the pride definitely came before the fall.

LW: 7 | High: 5 | Low: 8

Here is a collection of old-fashioned train gifs:

This concludes my thoughts on Purdue.

LW: 8 | High: 6 | G: 8

The Minnesota course did not go well this year. Hilariously, they dropped an early game at… Bowling Green ?!

Although the ship was righted for a while, an inexplicable 14-6 loss to the mighty … Illinois ?! complicated things for the Gophers:

They have a chance of winning the division, mathematically. But euh…

Good luck, Gopher.

LW: 12 | High: 9 | Low: 12

The story of the season:

Scott didn’t know at the time against Michigan that it could, in fact, be a lot worse. The faith of Husker fans has been tried and tried and tried again this season. They don’t blow themselves up, and that’s good, but they’re almost comically determined to lose close games to a point I’ve certainly never seen on any other team.

Some fans broke:

The most extreme of these examples was Milton Munson, Jr., a longtime Husker fan who passed away on November 16. His obituary reads as follows:

“The grim reality of the Nebraska Cornhuskers ending another season with a record losing record proved too much to bear for Milton Andrew Munson, who decided he had seen enough of this world during the recent week off from the club. ‘team,’ the notice read.

“The Huskers may not have sent him to the afterlife with a win, but at least they didn’t lose. And sometimes that’s the best you can hope for.

This season is definitely the best you can hope for. By the way, Munson had one last wish:

“Instead of flowers, please place an irresponsible bet on Nebraska beating Iowa.”

Rest in peace, Mr. Munson. I hope the Huskers can win one for you, but honestly I’m not very optimistic.

LW: 11 | High: 9 | Low: 12

As with Iowa, we must first recognize a unique gif in Maryland:

I wonder where she is now. Hope she’s okay. And I hope this guy in the end has finally recovered too.

While everything in this gif is awesome, the real Maryland theme this year is pretty juuuuuuuuuuuut. They got just enough wins at the start of the season that they were able to get their butt kicked by most of their division. They’re on the cusp of a bowl game, and they just have to get past the mighty Rutgers. This is traditionally when Maryland plants the face:

The interesting thing here is that this is ALSO traditionally when Rutgers faces:

This should be a lot of fun for all weirdos.

LW: 9 | High: 9 | Low: 13

Illinois has been interesting this season, haven’t you? They get knocked down, and they get up:

And then they lose to a snail pace offense in Iowa City.


Illinois won’t bowling this year and has hovered between competent appearance and victory in a 9 OT extravaganza over Penn State.

They did all of this without a functioning quarterback, at least that’s what Thump informed me.

LW: 10 | High: 9 | Low: 14

Misdreavus has found the perfect gif for Rutgers this season – after the first signs this year that the promised sleeping giant may be stirring. go back to bed.

The lows for the Scarlet Knights this season have been significant: They are the only team to lose to a putrid team from the Northwest. Although they’ve beaten a completely demoralized Indiana team, the punches have grown in intensity lately: a 52-3 beating at Wisconsin and a 28-0 loss at PSU may have revised the timeline a bit. Schiano.

Like Maryland, despite the general incompetence, the Gers can advance to a bowl game with a win on Saturday, which would be a big step in the right direction for the program. This means Big Ten fans get to see two teams fighting quite poorly for relatively high stakes. Hopefully some hijinks ensue, or like the giant we will be wondering:

LW: 13 | High: 11 | Low: 14

If you’ve ever read GoForThree’s Sunday Morning Coming Down, you know that Northwestern enjoys a strong gif heritage, thanks to the popularity of chats on the internet. However, this season there have been fewer cats rolling around happily, and more … that.

via pkloa

via MNWildcat

LW: 14 | High: 12 | Low: 14

Indiana. A story in pictures.

via Misdreavus

via Stewmonkey

via Candystripes


How do you say it?

  • 78%
    Gif – as a “gift” without the t

    (61 votes)

  • 21%
    Jif – like peanut butter

    (17 voices)

78 votes in total

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