Remember that famous chart Andrew Wiggins and his coach made earlier this year ranking schools in various criteria? At the time, we heard that the categories included location, chances at winning a National Championship, tradition, etc., but this morning Grant Traylor, aka the Wiggins decision insider, came on the radio show and told Matt that one of the categories on this very important chart was…food.
In the spirit of Wigginsanity, let’s examine each of the four schools he’s considering based on their culinary prowess. After profiling each state’s famous foods and school’s dining services, I’ll rank them on a scale of 1 (yuck) to 10 (yum).
1. University Kentucky
Hot Brown – Call me crazy, but the chances Andrew Wiggins ever has a hot brown while at UK seem very low, and the same can be said about burgoo. Regardless, the baked open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich slathered in Mornay sauce is a regional delicacy.
Ale-8-One – A million Ale-8-One commercials from my childhood just rushed into my head. Maybe the ginger soft drink will entice Andrew to wear blue and white?
Boone’s Butcher Shop – Delicious deli meats, custom processing, meat bundles AND quality customer service? How can Andrew turn that down?
UK’s dining facilities: Not many schools have a state-of-the-art basketball dorm complete with its own chef. As Calipari so gleefully bragged about in his video tour of the Wildcat Lodge, Chef Chris Cain will make players anything they want at any time of day:
“I’ll come over and say ‘Can I get a grilled cheese?’ ‘Yes, yes you can.’
‘Can I get a hamburger?’ ‘Yes sir.’
‘Can I get a cheese steak?’ ‘Gotcha’
‘Ooh! Wings!’ ‘Gotcha.'”
This alone makes up for burgoo.
UK’s food ranking: 8 (because of the private chef)
T2. Florida State
Fresh(er) Fish – Tallahassee may be an hour from the coast, but that’s much, much closer than any other school on the map. Are his parents’ tales of the fresh fish from Florida the real X-factor in his recruitment?
Gator – I recently ate fried alligator tail thinking it was really tough chicken. Although my husband pointed out that it wasn’t, I’m still not convinced.
Oranges – Vitamin C is important for many things, not just early 2000’s graduation montages.
FSU dining facilities: FSU went the corporate route with their dining services, with several chain restaurants across campus, including a Chili’s, Papa John’s, Pollo Tropical, and Subway in the Student Union alone, in addition to several Starbucks across campus. If Andrew wants to eat like he’s in an airport food court, FSU is the place for him.
FSU’s food ranking: 7
T2. University of North Carolina
BBQ – North Carolina is famous for their pulled pork barbeque and vinegar based BBQ sauce. As someone who went to college in the state, I am very familiar with this type of BBQ, as it was served at almost every college function we had. It is delicious.
Cheerwine – North Carolina is also home to Cheerwine, a soft drink they call the “nectar of the tarheels.” It’s basically Cherry Dr. Pepper. Interestingly, soft drink giant Pepsi also started in North Carolina, but that’s all moot. If Wiggins goes to UNC, he will only be drinking Co’Colars.
Bojangles – There is nothing like a chicken biscuit from Bojangles after a long night of…studying. The cajun fried chicken chain was started in Charlotte, North Carolina and makes Popeyes look weak in comparison.
Krispy Kreme – The delicious doughnut chain was founded in Winston-Salem, and to this day, a box of them on a Monday morning will make you the most popular person in the office.
UNC’s dining facilities: UNC has two main dining halls, the Rams Head Dining Hall and the Lenoir Dining Hall, which seem to serve standard cafeteria fare. UNC also has the Tarheel Take-Out Express, which will deliver food from 33 local restaurants to any on-campus residence. Lazy college students FTW.
UNC’s food ranking: 7
Beef – You know what Kansas has a lot of? Cows. In turn, Kansas has some of the best steaks in the country, which means it has some good steakhouses as well. Beef…it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.
BBQ — To be fair, it’s Kansas CITY barbeque that’s famous, but that’s only about 30 minutes from Lawrence. If Wiggins prefers Kansas City’s tomato- and molasses-based sauce to Carolina’s vinegar sauce, that may be a sign he favors the Jayhawks over the Tarheels.
Corn and wheat — Corn and wheat make up most of the state, so if Wiggins is on a carb-friendly diet, the Midwest is the place for him.
KU’s dining facilities – From sit-down meals to takeout, KU has 22 dining locations on campus. Mrs. E’s dining center is the largest dining hall, offering a wide variety of buffet style choices. Dibs on extra soft-serve!
KU’s food ranking: 6
You’ve got my rankings. Let’s see yours.