RF365's power ranking power rankings
Would you believe the first power rankings for NFL season 2007 are out? Springing up like fungus all over the Internet are the neat, 32-item lists that represent one of the greatest paradoxes of modern football fandom: Isn't this the same nation of millions that nearly as one openly and loudly despises the ranking system employed by Division I football in helping determine its champion?
In any event, we here at RealFootball365.com are no strangers to the irresistible pull to immediately express in list format exactly how we know the NFL season is bound to go down in 2007. Still smarting from the unceremonious nuking of his first brutally bad prediction of the year, this writer won't go so far as to delineate the new season (yet).
Instead, today we're going one better than the standard online power rankings poll. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present the first RF365 Power Rankings Power Rankings Poll.
(And please send your lists here for inclusion in possible future RF365PRPRPs.)
1. Walter's Football Site
That's "Walter" as in "Walter Cherepinsky." (What? You've never heard of Walter Cherepinsky?) Say what you will about the dude's obscurity, he makes some gutsy picks and tells it like it is, which is to say he's in line with my own power rankings. In Walter World, the Patriots are at No. 1 and what they're "doing is almost unfair." A bold choice at No. 2 is the Denver Broncos . Though he's probably well underrating the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 16 and overrating the Dallas Cowboys at sixth overall, Cherepinsky makes the correct choice for the cellar: The Houston Texans : "Charley Casserly's moves have set the Texans back a decade. It doesn't even matter what they do until 2017." Right on.
The Worldwide Leader in [American] Sports predictably has the Patriots at No. 1; why haven't they begun hyping the Week 4 Monday night matchup starring New England and their No. 10 (giggle) Cincinnati Bengals ? Possible perceptive picks were made here at No. 4 (Baltimore Ravens ), No. 7 (Broncos) and No. 15 (San Francisco 49ers ). But what's up with Dallas at No. 9? And we should believe the No. 5 Chicago Bears are the favorites to repeat? Come on.
3. About Football
This one's a decent debate-starting mix of conservative choices and surprises, i.e. pretty much exactly what a pre-preseason power rankings list should be. You've gotta like writer James Adler's slotting of the Tennessee Titans at No. 12, and you've gotta love the 49ers at No. 9 here. But what's up with the Bears at freaking fourth? The Texans at No. 21? The Minnesota Vikings at No. 31? Ouch. (No, this last one could happen. Ouch.)
4. CBS Sportsline
CBS has Indianapolis Colts -Patriots-San Diego Chargers 1-2-3 and produces a bland, no-surprises list thereafter. One glaring bit of silliness earns the Sportsline the Early Bandwagon Jumper of 2007 award by putting the Arizona Cardinals at (guffaw) No. 13 while placing the similarly weak of O-line Detroit Lions , Texans and Oakland Raiders at Nos. 27, 30, and 31.
5. Dru Fantasy Football
Ol' Dru might have been ranking higher had he thrown a pithy comment or two our way, but instead the gamer provides only a list. His top 10 is believable if slightly unimaginative, and this writer fails to understand how so many can have the Raiders at No. 32. Are they expected to hold this spot in perpetuity until someone chumps them out of it?
The more-than-slightly self-adoringly named Football Expert places the Colts in the top spot with the old "The reigning champs" argument. Fair enough, but the Patriots at No. 4, implied solely on the basis of Randy Moss acting as a disruptive force? Be serious. Bonus points for informing the No. 24 Miami Dolphins that "[Daunte] Culpepper is done" and cheers for guts if not skills in running with the Titans at dead last; heavy minus points for blah writing.
7. NFL Guru
The shamelessly named NFL Guru well demonstrates the futility of the post-postseason power poll. Taking no intuitive leaps whatsoever, it's as though the guru is in some mythical Week 21 of the 2006 season. Despite a below-average free agency period and draft, the "Super Bowl Champs ... look able to repeat." The No. 2 Chargers "have a lack of playoff success and experience which could be their ultimate downfall." On the No. 8 Cowboys, it's "the defense is young and improving and they can contend in the weak NFC."
Well, of course, no one can resist making up power rankings; they're so deliciously meaningless and addictive -- a lot like Madden football. So, yeah, I've got my list, but for now it will remain, as Shakespeare once said, "all locked safe in here."
Until things really start to slow down.