On Friday morning, Netflix's Emmy nominated series House of Cards will release its third season to the public. The series revolves around politician Frank Underwood who uses questionable tactics in his rise from rural South Carolina to the height of power in Washington, D.C.
To honor the release of Season Three, we decided to take a look at how Big Ten basketball compares to the characters in the critically acclaimed show. There has certainly been plenty of controversy in the Big Ten this year, which would imply that they would line up well with the characters from House of Cards.
(Note: spoiler alerts from Season One and Season Two)
Big Ten As House of Cards Characters
Wisconsin Badgers - Frank Underwood
Look, there's no way getting around it. Tuesday loss or not, Wisconsin runs the conference this year just like Frank ran the House of Representatives and is set to run the White House in Season Three. The Badgers and Bo Ryan also instill the same fear in opponents that Frank can instill by leaning over his desk. Just like you don't want to look Frank directly in the eyes, you do not want to look Bo Ryan directly in the eyes.
Purdue Boilermakers - Claire Underwood
Despite an underwhelming perception by the public and rivals, Claire Underwood represents one of the most significant and powerful characters in the show, just as Purdue represents one of the most powerful teams in this year's Big Ten, despite their lack of hype. Purdue is in good position to get a double-bye and compete for an NCAA Tournament berth even though may doubted their chances just as Claire was able to help maneuver Frank's ascension to the White House despite constantly being doubted.
Michigan State Spartans - Edward Meechum
Outside of maybe Wisconsin, no team in the Big Ten has been as consistent as the Spartans in recent years. Every year, Tom Izzo finds a way for his team to compete, just like how Meechum always ends up in the right spot at the right time. Plus, although Meechum did letdown Frank at one point in the show, this also is like how MSU lost against Texas Southern earlier this season.
Ohio State Buckeyes - Adam Galloway
There is no doubt that Ohio State has talent on its roster and might even able to achieve something long-term, but they have yet to show the consistency to be a reliable contender for the Big Ten title in much the same way that Adam lacks the consistency to entice Claire to stay with him. OSU will achieve success in its own way this season, but likely will never be able to achieve its most lofty goals this season.
Iowa Hawkeyes - Lucas Goodwin
If there's one thing that Iowa has become known for this season, it's poking people. Adam Woodbury has been involved in at least three events this season that revolve around him allegedly poking someone in the eye. Iowa's season has become obsessed with eye pokes in the same way that Lucas became obsessed with poking into the story of Rachel Posner and Frank Underwood in House of Cards.
Michigan Wolverines - Freddy Hayes
Before this season, the Wolverines had a good run. They were a reliable contender in the conference and even tried a new recipe with players like Nik Stauskas last year and become a truly elite team. However, once their NBA players left for the Draft, they have struggled to reach the same level, in much the same way that Freddy struggled to have a successful business once Frank had to step away from him.
Minnesota Golden Gophers - Zoe Barnes
Earlier this season, Minnesota was a big deal. They looked like they could be a serious contender in the Big Ten and for an NCAA Tournament bid. However, once they started becoming entangled in the Big Ten, things started going downhill in the same way things collapsed when Zoe became involved with Frank. Many tried to point out that Minnesota was overrated earlier this year, just like many tried to tell Zoe dealing with Frank was a mistake, but despite their warnings, things still got ugly for both quickly.
Northwestern Wildcats - Rachel Posner
After years of being pushed around, Rachel finally started to stand up for herself at the end of Season Two and got some happiness in her own life. The Wildcats have been pushed around for decades and finally have started to do something significant with four wins in a row in conference play.
Maryland Terrapins - Jackie Sharp
The new kid on the block. Jackie Sharp was largely selected by Frank to become the majority whip in the House of Representatives and has made a splash ever since. Maryland is one of the top teams in the Big Ten this year despite just joining the conference and is far outpacing other newcomers Nebraska and Rutgers. Maryland also has a lot of history with ACC schools like Duke, just like Jackie has plenty of history from her time in the military.
Indiana Hoosiers - Raymond Tusk
There is a lot of power and tradition between Indiana and Raymond, but not necessarily the results that either one would like to see. Raymond made the mistake of underestimating Frank and Indiana made the mistake of underestimating several other programs around the Big Ten including Northwestern earlier this week. We don't know whether Indiana or Raymond can make a comeback at this time, but it will be interesting to watch them try.
Illinois Fighting Illini - Linda Vasquez
Depending on when you watch, Linda and Illinois are either real contenders or individuals who have lost their power. Both Illinois and Linda have had some bright moments, but Illinois has lost three in a row and Linda was forced out of the White House by Frank. There is still potential there for both to resurrect things, but big changes need to be made.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - Freddy Hayes' Son
In House of Cards, the son of Freddy Hayes becomes a minor character in Season Two as Freddy comes close to landing a franchise deal for his barbecue restaurant. Freddy tries to offer his son money for a place to live. Following Nebraska's loss to Iowa on Sunday, Tim Miles banned his players from the locker room. Now, with Freddy's franchise deal falling through, neither Freddy's son or Nebraska's player have a place to hang out (or eat smoothies).
Penn State Nittany Lions - Tom Hammerschmidt
There was some solid potential for Penn State and Tom, but after both had some explosions, things went downhill. Tom had a blowup on Zoe and Patrick Chambers had a blowup after the Nittany Lions dropped a game to Maryland after he became infuriated with the referees. Maybe Penn State or Tom can become a factor in the future, but it looks doubtful at this point.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Peter Russo
Things started roughly for Rutgers and Peter, but there was a brief moment when both were on top of the world. Rutgers upset a Top 5 Wisconsin team at home and Peter almost became the Governor of Pennsylvania. However, both died following their brief moments of success.