I watch The Bachelor. I watch Big Ten basketball. I'm not too proud of either so let's do this.
LAUREN B. = MICHIGAN STATE
At one point in last night’s episode, Ben described Lauren as "smart, sweet, sensitive" and then there were baby turtles. Strong performance all the way through this week -and really, the entire season from Lauren.
Ever since the start, you could tell Lauren would be an early favorite. Cute, bubbly, blonde, normal-sized smile (sorry, Olivia) and not crazy -she was the complete package. Was there ever a week in which her fate was in doubt? I think not.
This sort of consistency makes Lauren Michigan State. Sure, the Spartans have taken their lumps this season, but no worse than any other Big Ten team. And year-over-year, it’s Michigan State, Tom Izzo, a 20+ win season and some player that is annoying as hell to play against because he’s obnoxiously good.
With a pristine contestant like Lauren, the natural inclination is to be envious of her, but nobody on the show (except for Leah) or in public seemed to loathe Lauren. And similarly, how can you hate Izzo? Sure, you can dislike Michigan State (hey, Ann Arbor), but few hate Izzo and his program program in the same way some folks hate Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina.
The Michigan State-Lauren parallel will be completed in a couple weeks if she advances this far only to lose when it really counts.
JOJO = MARYLAND
For so many weeks I’ve wanted to believe JoJo -a fellow Dallasite- is going to win it all. While Lauren plays bubbly, innocent, girl-next-door, JoJo just seems like a person who knows how to play this game perfectly. But despite looking the part as one of the most solid contestants for several weeks, JoJo has recently been the shakiest, as well.
It is for this reason that JoJo is Maryland. The Terps came into the season with one of the most talented starting lineups in the country and began the year 15-1.
BUT THE SECOND HALF OF FEBRUARY HAS NOT BEEN KIND TO EITHER.
Feb. 14- Maryland loses by 13 to Wisconsin at home
Feb. 19- Maryland loses. At Minnesota. MIN. NE. SO. TA. It is the Gophers' first conference victory of the season
Feb. 22- JoJo also takes an "L" at home. JoJo’s ex sends her flowers, a note and then a phone call. This is followed by her family scaring the crap out of Ben, plummeting her Bachelor Stock
Feb. 27- Maryland loses its third game in four tries, coming up short against Purdue
In addition to this trend, I think we can all agree that both JoJo and Maryland have hometowns that are not kind to the opposition. At JoJo’s home, they drink and grill you. In College Park, they drink and then riot. Seriously, Terps fans love to riot, which some of their fans take as a badge of pride? Sure, you do you.
Things are looking up though for JoJo, as she is in the final two. Maybe Maryland will also realize its potential and rebound in March.
CAILA = INDIANA
I’ll be honest, I don’t think myself or many others considered Caila a threat until only recently. I mean, for most of the season, her biggest moment was a hot tub date with Ben and Kevin Hart. She was never the most vocal or distinguishable contestant, but Caila kind of just hung around until after the likes of the more-notable twins, Olivia and Amanda got eliminated, clearing the way for one of the show’s lone midwesterners.
Yes, Caila is Indiana. Early loses and the James Blackmon Jr. injury caused many to write off the Hoosiers, but IU kept chugging along throughout the season, taking care of business until the conference started to sit up and take notice. Sure enough, IU has seemingly crept into at least a share of the Big Ten title somewhat stealthily.
Also, Caila's dad sorta weirds me out in a way reminiscent to, well, you know who.
Lace and Rutgers: Both drunk.
Olivia and Purdue: Both had maniacal aspirations of running shit, but ultimately are left alone on a desolate island of mediocrity.