After last night's Republican debate, I thought it might be fun to compare Big Ten programs to GOP candidates. Also, I've included every team's 2015 projected FEI (Fremeau Efficiency Index) and there are some surprises at the bottom. The Only Colors has no political affiliation.
Ohio State (FEI #1) - Jeb Bush
Look, he's not a sexy pick. But the Bush family, like the Buckeyes, have had success at the highest levels for years. Also like the Bush family, many people find Ohio State totally infuriating.
Michigan State (FEI #10) - Marco Rubio
After the last go-round (2012 for Rubio, 2013 for MSU) people thought they would be the front-runners. They may have lost some ground, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism (Rubio's broad support, Michigan State's offensive and defensive lines).
Wisconsin (FEI #22) - Scott Walker
Scott Walker referred to himself as "aggressively normal" and I think that might be the best way to describe Wisconsin's rushing offense. They've both got a puncher's chance, and they're both from, uh, Wisconsin.
Nebraska (FEI #32) - Mike Huckabee
They've both had high levels of success in the past (Huckabee won Iowa in 2008) and seem likable enough. But they seem somewhat out of touch and you don't know where they're headed (Huckabee hasn't held office since 2007).
Michigan (FEI #36) - Donald Trump
This might have been the entire reason I decided to write this post:
Donald Trump is brash, arrogant, hasn't won much in years, and is a front runner months before the games count. holy crap Trump is Michigan— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) August 7, 2015
I'd add that both Trump and Michigan, despite huge media coverage, have virtually no shot of winning.
Penn State (FEI #39) - Rand Paul
Rand Paul is "a different kind of Republican." Well, much like Paul following in the footsteps of his father, Penn State is getting back to being their own type of program by removing player names again. Good luck with that, the both of you.
Minnesota (FEI #48) - John Kasich
They 're very nice and have been surging a bit lately. But you have to wonder about their ability to keep it up and truly contend. If others gaffe and drop out of the race (I'm looking at you, Scott Walker/Wisconsin) then their chances will dramatically improve.
Iowa (FEI #52) - Lindsey Graham
They both seem really down on themselves, guys. Also we're firmly in Lloyd Christmas "So you're saying there's a chance?" territory.
Northwestern (FEI #56) - Ben Carson
Clearly intelligent, but with little to no chance of winning. They're certainly unusual candidates, though.
Illinois (FEI #82) - Carly Fiorina
Racked up enough wins to
win the JV debate make a bowl game.
Indiana (FEI #83) - Rick Santorum
Maryland (FEI #89) - Ted Cruz
Maryland fans, like Ted Cruz, are just generally annoying. Also Maryland hates Duke, which makes this comparison hilarious:
oh my god i can't unsee it now pic.twitter.com/34qCIOFu4a— dicta ಠ_ಠ (@big_dicta) March 5, 2015
Purdue (FEI #95) - Jim Gilmore
Who? Exactly. Irrelevant since the early '00s.
Rutgers (FEI #97) - Chris Christie
They're not even liked within their home state of New Jersey.