There is only one man that truly symbolizes power, and that man is Dwight Schrute. In our last edition of the power rankings we ventured into the Office with Creed Bratton, but Creed does not know anything about true power. That is why we have Dwight to guide the way this week with his own special brand of misguided thoughts. After all, we can't do a power rankings without a theme here at Hammer & Rails. That is why we're counting down the Big Ten according to Dwight:
1. Purdue (14-0, 2-0) - When my mother was pregnant with me, they did an ultrasound and found she was having twins. When they did another ultrasound a few weeks later, they discovered, that I had resorbed the other fetus. Do I regret this? No, I believe his tissue has made me stronger. I now have the strength of a grown man and a little baby. - Behold the power of our defense! Maybe this is why Chris Kramer is so good. Maybe this is why his mom is so "supportive" during games. He has the strength of a grown man and a small baby. It is the small baby part that allows for such deft Kramer moments. It also explains the swim crawl from the Tennessee game.
2. Michigan State (12-3, 2-0) - Before I do anything I ask myself "Would an idiot do that?" And if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing. - It is the perfect quote for Michigan State because most of the time they just play smart basketball and wait for their opponents to make a mistake. That was evident last night when they asserted dominance in a defensive festival at home against Wisconsin. That smart basketball is why they have made so many Final Fours this decade. They rarely beat themselves, but they still seem about a step behind Purdue at the moment.
3. Wisconsin (12-3, 2-1) - Babies are one of my many areas of expertise. Growing up I performed my own circumcision. - Yeah, Wisconsin is that tough. They dragged Michigan State into their style of play last night in East Lansing and it nearly worked. I am looking forward to Saturday's game and its nature in Madison about as much as I would with a circumcision. I think the rest of the league does too when they play the Badgers. They will be desperate too. A loss to Purdue at home and they will already be two games behind Michigan State and the Boilers.
4. Minnesota (11-4, 2-1) - BLOOD ALONE MOVES THE WHEELS OF HISTORY! [pause] Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation - which everyone finds during the day - how long we have been striving for greatness? [bangs fist] Not only the years we've been at war - the war of work - but from the moment as a child, when we realize the world could be conquered. It has been a lifetime struggle [bangs fists again] a never-ending fight, I say to you [bangs again] and you will understand that it is a privilege to fight. WE ARE WARRIORS! [applause] Salesmen of north-eastern Pennsylvania, I ask you once more rise and be worthy of this historical hour. [even bigger applause as Dwight gives a horrible sounding laugh] No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend itself. Some people will tell you salesman is a bad word. They'll conjure up images of used car dealers, and door to door charlatans. This is our duty to change their perception. I say, salesman - and women - of the world... unite! We must never acquiesce, for it is together... TOGETHER THAT WE PREVAIL. WE MUST NEVER CEDE CONTROL OF THE MOTHERLAND... - Minnesota impressed me Tuesday night, just as Dwight impressed folks with this speech. Dwight had to borrow from Benito Mussolini for most of this speech, much like how Minnesota had to borrow from its scrapping defense to force turnovers against Purdue. Once they get Ralph Sampson III back they will be a very difficult, especially when they are defending the Motherland of The Barn.
5. Illinois (10-5, 2-0) - There are several ways to tell if a perp is lying...
The liar will avoid direct eye contact. The liar will cover part of his or her face with his hand, especially the mouth. The liar will perspire. Unfortunately I spoke to Oscar on the phone so none of this is useful. - We can't really tell much about Illinois in conference play yet. They have beaten Iowa, which says very little. They also gutted out a win over Northwestern in Champaign, which was pretty impressive. Are they lying by being 2-0 in the league play? Only Purdue and Michigan State can boast unblemished conference records with them. It is certainly not a bad place to be in, but we'll see what happens when Dwight (Michigan State and Purdue) visits their home.
6. Northwestern (10-3, 0-2) - I come from a long line of fighters. My maternal grandfather was the toughest guy I ever knew. World War Two veteran killed twenty men and spent the rest of the war in an Allied prison camp. My father battled blood pressure and obesity all his life. Different kind of fight. - Isn't this perfect for Northwestern this year? Their non-conference slate was pretty rough by their standards, but they got through it with some nice wins., In Big Ten play, however, they find themselves in a different kind of fight. Now they are down 0-2 when they really needed a split. Sunday's game with Michigan is a must win if they want to keep their NCAA chances alive. Not ever playing in the NCAA's is like being in an allied prison camp.
7. Ohio State (11-4, 1-2) - Why tip someone for a job I'm capable of doing myself? I can deliver food. I can drive a taxi. I can, and do, cut my own hair. I did however, tip my urologist, because I am unable to pulverize my own kidney stones. - Ladies and gentlemen, last night we discovered that Evan Turner is a urologist. Ohio State cannot have success in the Big Ten without him and he made them a much better team against Indiana. It could be a little early to see though. It is still Indiana and as we know with Robbie Hummel from last year back injuries can be tricky. I need a little more proof because I can't believe the loss of Turner is the sole reason for them looking so bad against Michigan and Wisconsin.
8. Michigan (7-6, 1-1) - I train my major blood vessels to retract into my body on command. Also, I can retract my penis up into itself. - That is the only valid explanation for Michigan playing so poorly. They need to let it hang out more and play to their ability. They are too bad of a team for having DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris. They also suffered the indignity of losing to Indiana. That should count as two losses with as bad as the Hoosiers have looked at times.
9. Penn State (8-6, 0-2) - Security in this office park is a joke. Last year I came to work with my spud-gun in a duffle bag. I sat at my desk all day with a rifle that shoots potatoes at 60 pounds per square inch. Can you imagine if I was deranged? - Talor Battle is the spud gun, but unfortunately he is sitting in a desk with the rest of the Penn State offense. He certainly misses Cornley and Pringle, which made this team a really good one last year. To put it into perspective: Battle is the team's leading scorer, rebounder, and assist man. He averages 10 more points per game than the next highest scorer. That makes Penn State about as lethal as a potato gun.
10. Indiana (7-7, 1-1) - I wish I could menstruate. If I could menstruate, I wouldn't have to deal with idiotic calendars anymore. I'd just be able to count down from my previous cycle. Plus I'd be more in tune with the moon and the tides. - Brings new meaning to the phrase, "Go Big Red" doesn't it? The program that dreams the most in the Big Ten (Indiana getting back to its championship roots) gets the craziest dream quote of the countdown. I honestly can't stop laughing to write any more about this.
11. Iowa (5-10, 0-3) - I grew up on a farm. I have seen animals having sex in every position imaginable. Goat on chicken. Chicken on goat. Couple of chickens doing a goat, couple of pigs watching. - I guess anything is better than watching Iowa basketball right now.