11W Heart of It All Classic: Politics & Military Region Round Two

By D.J. Byrnes on March 23, 2014 at 10:00 am

Welcome to the second round voting of the Politics and Military Region. #12 President Harding and #11 President McKinley showed they might have been underseeded after pulling shocking first round upsets over Clarence Darrow and Eddie Rickenbacker. 

Vegas odds-makers say it's likely to come down to a blood battle between General William Sherman and President Grant, but anything can happen in what is likely the most-stacked region in the tournament.

2nd ROUND VOTING: Business & Science | The Arts | Sports

#1 Ulysses S. Grant vs. #8 William Howard Taft

Ulysses S. Grant: Former Supreme Commander of the United States Army, Ulysses S. Grant was instrumental in securing the B1G's first and only Civil War championship over the SEC.

Not satisfied with merely being reveled as he drank his way to the grave, Grant ventured into politics and became the nation's 18th president. 

Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, was no match for Grant in the first round. The man who made Robert E. Lee bend his knee advanced by a score of 1,188 to 63.

William Howard Taft: Cincinnati's William Howard Taft is the only person to ever serve as President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

A hefty burrito (5'11" 335 lbs), Taft trust-busted powerful corporations, oversaw Civil Rights expansion, improved the US Postal Service and helped pass the 16th Amendment. He also owns one of the silkiest mustaches in the history of America, let alone Ohio.

In round one, Taft was able to deliver a knock-out blow to a fellow Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Salmon P. Chase, 966-257.

#4 Tecumseh vs. #12 Warren G. Harding

Tecumseh: Native american icon and folk legend, Tecumseh, has the oldest Ohio roots in the tournament. The Shawnee Native American spear-headed the formation of a Native American Confederacy in order to resist the American government's expansion into Ohio.

Tecumseh was also the first Ohioan to sack Michigan, as he was instrumental in the capture of Fort Detroit in the War of 1812. Had his brother, ironically-named the Prophet, not picked a fight with William Henry Harrison at Tippecanoe, American history could have been written with a much different pen. Tecumseh was slain in the Battle of the Thames in 1813.

He earned his spot in the second round by destroying militant abolitionist John Brown, 907-339.

Warren G. Harding: The 29th President of the United States, and Marion's own, arrived on the scene at age 19 when he bought a near-bankrupt paper with his friends. After winning full controlling ownership in backroom poker game, Harding turned The Marion Star into the county paper of record.

After marrying his arch-rival's daughter, Harding waded into politics. His ascension didn't stop until being elected President in the then-largest landslide in presidential election history. After mysteriously dying in 1923, rampant corruption was exposed in his administration, but Warren G. Harding has never been proven to be complicit in any wrongdoing.

Harding finds himself in round two after the most decisive upset in first round voting, beating famed trial lawyer Clarence Darrow to a tune of 917-331.

#3 John Glenn vs. #11 William McKinley

John Glenn: John Glenn is a former astronaut most famous for becoming the first person to orbit the earth in 1962. He is the only surviving member of the Mercury Seven, the program NASA used to train elite astronauts for orbit.

Two weeks after President Kennedy's assassination, Glenn returned to his home state to run for senate. It's a position he held from 1974 until his retirement in 199. He is one of the most beloved politicians to this day.

Woman's suffragette Victoria Woodhull was no match for Glenn's prowess in the first round. Glenn rolled to a 1,171-83 victory.

William McKinley: McKinley is the nation's 25th president. He was the last Civil War veteran to be elected president. He oversaw America's victory in the Spanish-American dust-up in 1889. 

A popular president, McKinley was elected to a second term. His reign would be cut short, however, when he died from undiagnosed gangrene after being shot by an anarchist in 1901.

McKinley pulled a shocking first round upset over World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker, 644-590.

#2 William Tecumseh Sherman vs. #7 George Custer

William Tecumseh Sherman: A Big Ten and Ohio legend, Sherman replaced Ulysses S. Grant as Supreme Commander of the United States Army. A supreme tactician, it was Sherman who convinced Grant to let him deviate from the script and bring total war to Georgia. He said he could make Georgia howl, and boy, he was not wrong.

With people dismayed over Grant's grind-it-out style, it was Sherman's scorched-earth March to the Sea that finally broke the Confederacy's back.

Sherman treated his round one foe, abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor, John Rankin, like he was Savannah, Georgia; Sherman bulldozed him, 1,440-114.

George Custer: Custer would rise from last place in his graduating class at West Point to becoming a respected calvary leader. He remains one of the under-appreciated heroes of the Battle of Gettysburg to this day.

After the Civil War, Custer was sent out west to squelch out Native American unrest. Custer, however, was the one snuffed out when he and all his men were slain in Montana during the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.

Custer earned his second round birthright by holding off a feisty upset bid by #10 "Bombs Away" Curtis LeMay, 701-552.

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