If you read yesterday’s day one Power Tie Power Rankings, you know we’ve got problems in the Big Ten. Day two proved that they’re worse than we thought.
Not only did we have more (multiple) repeat ties, we had four coaches go with two styles that never impress the committee — it’s like scheduling Wofford — and one coach who refused to play the game at all.
With such blatant disregard for the entire field of neckwear analysis, you have to wonder how much longer the practice will even exist. But for now we forge ahead.
Here’s the traditional ranking of what was a very bad day for ties in Chicago:
T-7. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota; Jeff Brohm, Purdue: Fleck came bursting out of the gate talking a mile-a-minute in a camel-colored sport coat with maroon slacks, maroon-and-gold socks, maroon pocket square and double monk strap shoes. It was like he was wearing every item he was ever told was fashionable at once, and with so much going on he probably needed a solid-color tie just to give everyone’s eyes a breather. But, as we know, solid ties are like beating a bad FCS team 20-3. It’s better than nothing, but not by much. Brohm, the other conference newbie to speak yesterday wore one, too. Normally with a tie in the rankings, you let the teams share the highest standing possible, but yesterday was so sartorially sad that we’re going the other way.
T-5. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern; James Franklin, Penn State: Look, paisley is not my favorite pattern, but at least it’s something. The paisley tie is like beating a Group of 5 school (that will finish the season 2-10) 45-42 in the second week of September — there’s a lot to see there, but not much of it is good. Fitzgerald and Franklin might have a secret paisley pact, as both have worn the pattern at this event before. Last year, actually.
3. Chris Ash, Rutgers: A simple dot in red and black. Those two colors together aren’t the best option for that pattern, but in a weak division it really couldn’t finish that low in the standings.
2. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: Now I like Harbaugh’s effort to craft a look that is the archetypal football coach and throwback glasses, ball cap and khakis does the job. I also recognize that wearing no tie is sort of the ultimate power move, but I’m also a fan of decorum and respect for those around you. To consciously discard that in favor of what you want is to spurn the societal handshake being offered. That seems like a traditionalist value that would be right up Harbaugh’s milk-drinking alley, and you have to wonder if he realizes that gap between his approach and Fleck’s “hey, I picked up a copy of GQ once” is really pretty small.
1. Mike Riley (pictured above), Nebraska: Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Riley at the top, but I was. I had some fear that he would be one of the repeat offenders as he’s worn the red tie with simple white stripes that scored very well in these rankings two years ago on more than one occasion since. But Riley showed up in a perfectly nice red-and-blue striped tie that seemed to fit very well with his overall ethos.
The Grab Bag
- This is good: Ranking the Big Ten coaches based just on their time at the podium.
- Why Mark Dantonio may not get to write his own ending at Michigan State.
- Matt Brown of Sports on Earth is counting down the top 100 college football games of all time.
- If you missed any of our coverage of media days, you can find it all here.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.