The Situational: Week 12

By Ramzy Nasrallah on November 15, 2012 at 4:00p
tigah bait

There are six SEC teams ranked in the BCS top ten, occupying the fourth through ninth spots in succession. It's a glaring reminder of just how dominant God's Conference is once again.

The flip side of this recurring narrative is that the seven teams occupying the bottom half of the SEC now have holy crap 43 losses between them. That's over six per team with two left to play.

poor pigelephant

Fortunately for its brethren at the top, circular logic has never been stronger: A loss to another SEC team is really just half a win, and as long as you don't lose too many other games BCS title game contention is never out of reach. 

The B1G's problem isn't so much its bottom half as much as it is its flag-bearers: Your undefeated Buckeyes are sitting this year out, which obviously hurts. Penn State is on a lengthier sabbatical and will be MACish for the rest of the decade.

Michigan lost to Alabama and Notre Dame with everyone watching, Nebraska can't seem to beat anyone without the aid of sketchy officiating and Wisconsin has no gold stars of note. It's a holistic disappointment.

So threatening the SEC's six-year stranglehold on the BCS title obviously isn't the B1G, but Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame, all of whom currently are separating its six ranked teams from the big invitation. Nothing is guaranteed except that the SEC champion will not go quietly into a consolation game.

Also not guaranteed: The staying power of Alabama's funeral, which was delayed one week following its visit to Baton Rouge and instead conducted in Tuscaloosa last Saturday. 

That half-win against Texas A&M probably won't eliminate the Crimson Tide from title game contention anymore than its loss at home to LSU did last season. And if you're staring at the photo in amazement, it's actually a pig's head with delicious meat prosthetics attached.

Tailgating science in the SEC is just as impressive as its football dichotomy. Let's get Situational!


We have never had a president or vice president from the state of Wisconsin. America's Dairyland is known for manufacturing America's nourishment, with edible treasures like cheese curds, sausage and sweet, sweet beer – but Leaders of the Free World aren't among its exports.

Thus, it makes perfect sense this week to showcase America's highest-ranking big eater, who happened to be from Ohio.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Mustache RidesEvery month was Movember in Taft's America.

William Howard Taft had a BMI of 42.3, which put him in Obese Class III. Note that there isn't a Class IV, which means the American Presidency isn't the only highest office he was able to capture.

Regardless of how you feel about BMI as an obesity metric, Taft was a person of size by any reasonable measure. Taft is also an anagram for Fat-T. That's not coincidence. That's science.

Since Taft was from the Queen City, it's also important to acknowledge the high school he attended, as this is seemingly the most important thing in the mind of any Cincinnati native and generally the first question you're asked when you interact with one.

Taft attended Woodward. That made him, what, an East sider? The fact that he was both our president and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (where he judged alongside justices he had previously appointed while chief executive) is almost secondary.

The big fella was a decent and intellectually curious president who loved peace, the law, government and gluttony. Taft's snoring was legendary and he was known to belch and fart loudly in public. Gauche? Lewd? Indecorous? Awesome? Yes, across the board.

But most of all: Woodward High School. Go ahead and judge.


THE WRETCHED TURTLE: MARYLAND TERRAPINS (+31) against Florida State, even if they're forced to start their version of Storm quarterback.

THE POWER SURGE: KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES  (+2) against Bowling Green. Fun fact: Kent State's only loss of the season is Kentucky's only win. 

THE SAD CHICKEN: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (-8.5) against Boston College on Jim Bollman's first Senior Day at Chestnut Hill. His veteran offensive line has paved the way to the 118th-best rushing attack in the FBS this season. If you're wondering, Ohio State's is 110 spots higher and replaced 3/5 of its starters and its tailback – as well as its OL coach.

THE CRIMSON PUPPIES: ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES (-3) against Troy, because they put up 34 at Oregon and 50 on almost-Florida beater Louisiana-Lafayette. The latter is obviously Urban's fault.

THE MISSING FEDORA: SOUTHERN MISS EAGLES  (+3) against UTEP, because they took Ohio State's best OOC win, UCF, to overtime at their house. The Eagles also have the 117th-ranked scoring offense and 115th-ranked scoring defense. Oof.

LAST WEEK: 2-3 | SEASON: 23-32


America survived another presidential election last week, and as is always the case with these contests there were threats to leave the country if the wrong guy won.

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder (whom we'll revisit in The Situational's final segment) promised to leave the US if George W. Bush was elected in 2000. Bush served two terms in the White House, yet Vedder lived here for all eight years. You could say he...can't find a better land.

Died in France in 2004Gangster Sallinger.

Alec Baldwin made the same promise when W first ran for office. His brother Stephen made a similar threat over Barack Obama getting nominated in 2008. They both live in New York and neither left.

R.E.M's Michael Stipe said he would move to England if John McCain had won the 2008 election. He lost, so Stipe stayed. Unfortunately, R.E.M broke up soon after.

As far as The Situational knows, only former JFK White House press secretary Pierre Salinger put his money where his mouth was: He also promised to move to France if Bush was elected in 2000, and he actually did it.

But threats of post-election expatriation are not exclusive to famous people. TO THE TWITTERVERSE!

Canada has historically been America's in-case-of-emergency-break-glass option. Want to avoid going to Vietnam? Canada. Enjoy strip clubs and Molson but aren't 21 yet? Canada.

Here's the catch: That's not glass you're breaking. It's a solid sheet of ice. But on the bright side – it's melting.

The Commander-in-Chief eliminating three million jobs is pretty unlikely. The bad news for J'Cub is if it happened, our 28,500 military men and women currently stationed there would be coming back here as he was going over there.

And then Red Dawn would happen in America. For real. And he would miss it.

Gorgeous country. Try the ceviche. Grow a beard. Go bird-watching. Get your Darwin on.

Ashley, you're moving a France ou quelque chose. You've got to learn the language like some of us already have, so that when you go there and make your best attempt to execute on the native-speak...they'll answer you in English anyway and treat you like garbage.

They already hate you, Ashley. The French hate everyone. C'est vrai.

Good idea, Seth. Better idea: Go to South Florida where almost a million Cuban Americans live and let them know how you feel. You'll make a bunch of new friends!

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE. Obama won; you can stay! Also – had Mitt Romney won, you could stay! That's what's great about the American presidency: It's just one guy and it's extremely temporary. It's just not worth the hassle of relocation.

You can go ahead and sino off from the United States but THE CAT STAYS, SLIM SHADY.

The international democracy index ranks Singapore 81st, which is "kinda free." Saudi Arabia is an Islamic absolute monarchy, ranking 161st (for context – North Korea, which is deadddddd last, is 167th). Your current country is 19th, a full democracy as demonstrated last Tuesday.

Canada, its flowing beer and under-21 strip clubs? They're 8th. Those constitutional monarchies are slippery.

Madagascar is 116th. You'll be disappointed to learn that their animals aren't hilarious either. DAMN YOU, HOLLYWOOD.

A cool 79th, right behind Ghana. Plenty of houses available though. 

Instead of moving to another country, consider just visiting instead. The world is awesome, but America is pretty sweet too. Plus, you already know all of the words to our fight songs! Maybe.


There is a bourbon for every situation. Sometimes the spirits and the events overlap, which means that where bourbon is concerned there is typically more than one worthy choice.

Plenty of people think eggnog is disgusting, and 100% of them are wrong. The problem is that it has a horrible name.

Eggnog only sounds awful. If bacon were called porknog you would probably avoid it too. Nobody ate the Patagonian Toothfish until some clever chef decided to rebrand it as Chilean Seabass. And now it's endangered and no less tasty than it was when it was basically fishnog.

Panty melter. You're welcome.The Bacon Bourbon Breakfast. Your move, lunch and dinner.

In that same rebranding vein, this week's Situational Bourbon is the 3B, which the caption beneath the gorgeous picture to the right spells out for you.

Here's what you'll need: Two packages of bacon, eight eggs, three cups of real whole milk, two cups of heavy cream, a half-cup of real maple syrup and three cups of Early Times.

First, cook up one package of bacon. Now eat it. Then, get the second package of bacon and cook that too – but you're going to use this one for the drinks so show some restraint. 

Now pour yourself one cup of the bourbon to drink while you make a batch of 3Bs. 

Separate yolks from the eggs and put them to the side. Beat the whites until they look like something you would shave with and then add in the syrup and beat it some more. Then remove that foamy tan goodness and put the yolks into the same beating bowl.

Once you've whipped up the yellow like it's Michigan under RichRod, add in the milk, cream and the remaining two cups of the bourbon and gently combine everything all together.

The porknog you didn't already eat gets to act as stirrers. This recipe serves anywhere from one to several people. Cheers, President Taft.


Occasionally a non-English song will gain heavy traction on American airwaves in exchange for catchiness. Currently that distinction belongs to Gangnam Style by Psy, whose Korean lyrics act as undigestible sandwich bread around the tasty meat refrain of HEYYYYY SEXY LADY

It doesn't happen frequently, but it happens, and it isn't even genre-specific: You don't have to be reminded that the Macarena once conquered the American charts. So did Andrea Bocelli's Con te Partio. Singing along to either of those carries a high degree of difficulty in our monolingual land. 

However, non-English songs don't necessarily have to come from foreign artists. Sometimes they come from Americans:


Before Pearl Jam's Yellow Ledbetter was released as the B-side for Jeremy it was an outtake that was just sort of made up on the spot.

Guitarist Jeff Ament was riffing on some Jimi Hendrixish chords and frontman Vedder just started singing along – possibly after one too many 3Bs – in whatever language that is.

Excelling in music is not unlike being a clean-up hitter in baseball: Sometimes all you have to do is swing blindly and you knock it out of the park. Yellow Ledbetter is awesome. And, as it turned out, accidental.

The song, through no marketing or promotional vehicles of its own (it was actually left off of Pearl Jam's first commercial release on purpose) still managed to chart in the 20s, which makes it more successful than the vast majority of songs released with a purpose.

It's slightly less coherent than [several Bob Dylan songs go here] but it's still incredibly catchy, despite singalongability being a challenge. Vedder didn't even provide a HEYYYYY SEXY LADY for everyone to enjoy. He was too busy not moving out of the country.

See you next week, when you-know-who comes to Columbus for the first time. Definitely going to have to find that barbecued elephant recipe before then.

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