Wednesday, December 30

The NFL standings, slightly re-ordered

That's what ESPN should start calling its weekly "Power Rankings", because that's all they really are. This week's edition simply orders the NFL's 32 clubs by their season marks, except flopping the 13-2 Saints and 12-3 Chargers, and the 7-8 Titans with the 8-7 Giants. Wow, brilliant insight into the league and its trends. What's the point of this? Shouldn't something like this reflect how well the teams are playing, who has key injuries, who's gelling, and such? Anyone can just look at the standings and order teams like that. There's no thought or effort put into this inane document. Take a look at the bottom 10 (click to enlarge):

Now that's what I call a non-effort! In particular, and as a shining example of the laziness of thie ranking, I'm not pleased with where the Browns are sitting. We should be 24th on this list. Yes, the three teams seated directly above us all have one more win than us, because that's how ESPN has elected to generate this ordering, but again, that shouldn't be the objective of such a list. It's not the Super Bowl, I know, but if you're going to do this at all, at least try to do it right!

Look directly above us: Seattle. ESPN's comment says it all: "The Texans, Bucs and Packers have outscored the Seahawks by a 106-24 margin in the past three weeks." They suck! They're playing their worst football of the season, including a bad home loss to the team you ranked #29! Where's the "Power" here? Seattle should be #30, better than only the Rams and Lions. And while we're discussing the league's dregs, don't Tampa's recent two wins count for anything? I mean, Seattle blows, but they're still usually a handful at home, but toppling New Orleans in the Superdome must get you some credit. What's a brother have to do to get out of the cellar?

Right above Seattle, we have the Buffalo Buffaloes. We beat Buffalo, in their stadium. Not to mention that they're coming off an absolute slaughter in Atlanta, while the Browns just pocketed their third straight win. Move the Brownies up another slot. Win streaks should count in Power Rankings - for that matter, you could talk me into moving San Diago to the top spot.

Going one step higher, we see Oakland [does spit take]. Oakland? WTF? The team we beat BY TWO TOUCHDOWNS LAST WEEK? Are you fucking kidding me? Fourteen point victories don't get you as far as they used to, I suppose. This team has the worst point differential in the entire AFC, somehow managed to commit 13 penalties for 126 yards in a single game last week, employs JaMarcus Russell, and you rank them above a team that manhandled them on Sunday? Ridiculous.

My whole point is not lobbying for the Browns to move higher, because it really doesn't matter (though I would like to see their place higher to reflect the progress the club has been making), but rather: if you're going to bother with the exercise of a Power Ranking, put some thought into it rather than just lining everyone up by record.

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