Well, we have reached the mid-season mark. I guess that means it is time to give you my conference rankings up until this point of the season. Since it is a bye week too I thought I would try something a little different with my rankings. Along with the rankings I have tried my best to compare each team to a different type of alcohol. We’ve got a long November ahead of us and who knows how it will turn out. Drink up!
1. Ohio State (6-0, 2-0) – Champagne
– Right now the Buckeyes are the class of the league. They have the longest win streak, stretching back to last season. When you walk into a restaurant and see people drinking a bottle of champagne you kind of think to yourself, “these people must be a pretty big deal” or “well, those people are pretty full of themselves, aren’t they.” I think that is how most people look at Urban Meyer and as they like to say in Ohio, THE Ohio State University. But let’s face it, the Buckeyes have the league’s best shot at popping bottles at the BCS National Championship game.
2. Wisconsin (4-2, 2-0) – Bud Light
– I mean this is Mr. Consistent right? Doesn’t matter where you are or who you are with a Bud always sounds like a safe choice. The Badgers don’t care who their QB is or who their coach is, they are going to continue to be consistent. But when you walk into an open bar you have the choice of wine, liquor or beer. Most times the beer gets over looked. Beer may always be your go-to, but when all is free why not go for something a little pricier and pungent. That is just like the Badgers they are the three-time Big Ten champs, but seems like they enter every season as a dark horse.
3. Michigan State (5-1, 1-1) – Whiskey
– They call it trouble in a dark bottle. That’s Michigan State for you. They always say whiskey can make you a little mean and kind of sneaks up on you. I think the same could be said about the Big Green. When you look at your schedule you see teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, this year even Northwestern, but you don’t think too much of that Michigan State game. Well that defense is the definition of mean and if you aren’t paying attention they may just punch you in the face.
4. Nebraska (5-1, 2-0) – Tequila
– This is the party drink and I think almost everyone has a good story from a night with our old friend Tequila. There are memories there, history, TRADITION. Sound familiar? Well you have to be careful with this party drink because once you get going you have no idea how your night is going to end up. That’s how I feel about Nebraska this season. You never know what you are going to get with this team. Are you going to score 70 points or are you going to give up 700 yards? Both are possible, I guess we’ll just see where the night takes us.
5. Michigan (5-1, 1-1) – Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice
– Ok, ok I know this isn’t really alcohol, but this is the first thing I thought of when I think of Michigan’s season so far. Every year they enter the season as a favorite. They are up on a pedestal with Ohio State. Honestly, you look at the bottles and Welch’s looks a lot like Ohio State’s champagne bottle. The media seems to always love them, big stadium, the fan base, and don’t forget about top-notch recruiting, but then when you open the bottle… it’s just juice.
6. Penn State (4-2, 1-1) – Wine
– The say wine gives you a terrible hangover. The headaches kill. A few years ago Paterno and Sandusky left the Nittany Lions in quite a hangover and they are still feeling the headaches in the aftermath. But you know what, wine is still very popular and people continue to drink it even knowing the side effects. Just like Penn State, who even with all their sanctions, managed to bring in a great coach in Bill O’Brien. Now O’Brien has this group back on track and even though they are down if you don’t give them your full attention they may leave you with quite the headache. Just ask Michigan.
7. Northwestern (4-2, 0-2) – PBR
– Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of the originals. It was around way before you had all these options of Bud, Coors, Miller, Michelob, etc. When all those new beers came around PBR got kicked to the wayside by most. Now it seems like you are seeing more and more people going back to old can with a blue ribbon on it. I’ve heard it described as a “retro-hip” beer now. Well that is how Northwestern is. They are one of the original Big Ten members. But for a while now they have been lost and forgotten. All it took was some new marketing and getting a few people to buy in, and slowly PBR has started returning to your front aisle. Well, Pat Fitzgerald has a few people buying into Northwestern too.
8. Iowa (4-2, 1-1) – Vodka
– This drink can mix with just about anything. You want to class it up, you can mix vodka and champagne, and if you just want to hang with the regular Joes you can mix it with juice. That is kind of like Iowa and where they stand in the Big 10. They are stuck in the middle. Every now and then they will get up and mix with the top of the league or they can hang with the teams in the cellar and miss out on bowl games. Are they going to pull off the upset or blow the gimmie game? Grab your glass of vodka and pick a mixer Iowa. Let’s figure out who you are.
9. Indiana (3-3, 1-1) – Bud Light Lime
– I mean sometimes on a nice, hot sunny day a Bud Light Lime can really hit the spot. This Indiana football team can really hit the spot sometimes too. They have taken down Penn State already and I can see them pulling at least one more upset before the season is over. Maybe Michigan this week? Even though sometimes that hint of lime can really quench your thirst, it is definitely a seasonal drink and so is Indiana. We’ll see you basketball season Hoosiers.
10. Illinois (3-2, 0-1) – O’Doul’s
– Boy oh boy do the Illini try to fit in. Every year it seems like we kind of buy in a little too. I mean it seems like every season after the non-conference schedule we say, “The Illini may have something going here.” But then we enter league play and well they don’t. O’Doul’s may look like beer. It even tastes like beer, but when it is said and done there is no alcohol there and what we are seeing is merely a mirage.
11. Minnesota (4-2, 0-2) – Mike’s Hard Lemonade
– This is the kind of drink that you see one of your friends drinking and you make fun of them. Then you take a swig and think to yourself, ‘that tastes pretty good.’ I feel like that is how Minnesota is kind of viewed. They definitely aren’t a powerhouse, but once you really look at them it seems like they are starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together. They have a coach, Jerry Kill, who you can tell is a fighter by his health issues he fights every day. They have a nice stadium and a fan base you know would get behind a winner. It’s easy to make fun of a Golden Gopher squad, but deep down I think we really hope they can pull it together.
12. Purdue (1-5, 0-2) – Everclear
– Last season Illinois didn’t win a single conference game. It looks like Purdue may take over that role this year. So the Boilermakers are pulling up a bar stool, asking for the strongest thing they have and hoping not to wake up until next season. Everclear is 95 percent alcohol and 190 proof. That may do the trick. Boiler Up!
Hope you enjoyed my “rankings.” I really enjoyed putting it together. Got to love bye weeks. Let me know if I missed the mark on any of my drinks. Loved to hear if you guys have any good ones.
Brian Bosiljevac is a freelance writer and Omaha native now living in Kansas City, Mo. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. New to Twitter. Follow him at @brianbosiljevac. Thanks for reading.