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The Unbearable Powerfulness Of Ranking

If you are like me, by and large, you find most NFL Power Rankings to be a tremendous waste of time.  For one thing, there is so much turnover year to year in the NFL that preseason rankings are only slightly less ridiculous than preseason college football rankings --- we simply don't know this far out who the best teams in the league are, so we we are left (at best) basing it on last year's results, with a couple wild guesses thrown in.  Or, in the case of Paul Kuharsky, with some patently obvious biases thrown in.  Whatever.

Secondly (and perhaps more importantly), most power rankings give no sense of context.  I mean, is the difference between the #1 team and the #2 team the same as the gap from #2 to #3?  Or is it like the Richter scale, where each place is an order of magnitude higher than the one below it?  (Actually, that would make last year's #1 regular season team, the Patriots, better than the #32 team, the Panthers, by a factor of 10^31, which sounds about right.)

No, what we need is a Power Ranking that gives you a sense of how much difference there is between the teams as well as a frame of reference for how good each team is on its own.  And, because we don't actually care about most other teams, and because I am lazy, we should limit this ranking system to the AFC South.  After the jump, that's exactly what we'll do.

 Sliced_bread_medium 1. Sliced Bread.  To be the best, you've got to beat the best.  So, until you hear someone saying that "____ is the best thing since the Houston Texans," the champ retains his delicious sourdough belt.
 Houston_texans_helmet-9154_medium 2. The Houston Texans.  Do I think it's a tad early to rank the Juggernaut so highly?  No, I do not.  Why not?  Because I just ranked bread on a football blog, so I'm clearly not playing with a full deck here.  Also, look at the rest of the division.  The Texans are primed to be King Turd of Crap Mountain.
 Brisket_medium 3. Brisket.  I love brisket.  I love brisket so much, I almost felt guilty ranking the Texans above it.  If the deity of your choice were turned into delicious foodstuffs, s/he would be brisket.  (Note: this last statement probably does not apply to Hindu deities.)
Basset_medium 4. Basset hounds.  If the basset hound were a woman, you wouldn't be able to stand her.  She'd be smart, manipulative, lazy, amazingly stubborn, and ferociously ugly.  Throw those qualities into a dog, however, and you've got something. Drool, mainly.
Brie_medium 5. Alison Brie.  Like there was any chance that I wasn't going to find a way to work her into this list.  Of all the rankings, I am most comfortable with hers, actually.  She's clearly not superior to brisket, basset hounds, the Texans, or sliced bread, but she's also pretty obviously superior to everything else.

6. Hot Pockets.  Hot Pockets are like ABBA's music and reality television --- in occasional doses, you actually enjoy them, even though you know on some base level that they are pretty awful and will probably give you cancer.  (Note: Per BRB's legal staff, I must mention that there is no known link between ABBA and cancer.  Yet.)
Coltshelmet_medium 7. The Indianapolis Colts.  How much does Peyton Manning mean to this team?  Well, they only slot in this high because I am hedging and assuming he'll come back around Halloween.  It won't be enough to get them to the playoffs, but it should be enough to make them better than the other two teams in the division.
Stu_scott_medium 8. MS Paint Stuart Scott.
Pythagorean-theorem_medium 9. The Pythagorean Theorem.  You know what has always bugged me?  In the Wizard of Oz, after the Scarecrow gets his diploma (i.e., brain), he spouts off, "The sum of the square roots of any 2 sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side."  It's like the filmmakers were trying to reference the Pythagorean Theorem, but got the kind of triangle as well as the difference between squares and square roots wrong.  Quality work , gentlemen.
Liquor_medium 10. Sunday liquor laws.  So, let me get this straight: I can buy all the booze I want on Saturday for Sunday consumption, I can go to a restaurant and get hammered on Sunday, but I can't just go to the liquor store and buy beer to drink at home on Sunday, and it's all justified under the idea of a "common day of rest" on which Home Depot and every other store is open?  Yeah, that makes sense.
Redacted6_medium 11. Syphilis.  I figured I'd spare you a picture.  Nevertheless, just remember that everything that follows this is worse than syphilis.
Mattstevens_medium 12. Matt Stevens' coverage skills.  It's almost cheating to rank something that never existed in the first place, but you know what I mean.
 Titans_helmet_medium 13. The Tennessee Titans.  Count me among the people who don't buy that the Titans might surprise some teams this year.  The only thing surprising about this team is that their fans wear shoes and Kenny Britt isn't in jail.  But, hey, good luck with Matt Hasselbeck!
Not-sure-if-sweaty-or-just-sharted_medium 14. Sharting your pants.  "Shart" might be the greatest portmanteau of the last twenty years.  I mean it has to be that or "turducken," right?  Not that either of them will ever top "spork."
 Manning_neck_medium 15. Peyton Manning's neck.  Did I name one of my fantasy teams "Vertebreyton Mannings" just to irritate the Colts fan in the league?  (Hint: Yes.)
 Own_medium 16. The Oprah Winfrey Network.  I assume this actually exists.  Based on that assumption, I also assume that it sucks worse than sharting your pants, to the point that I'd rather shart my pants at work (again) than browse my TV channels to confirm the existence of said network.
 610x_medium 17. Jared Allen as a human being.
 Dallas_medium 18. The city of Dallas.  Unless, of course, you like the smell of Aqua Net and credit cards in the morning.  In which case, you probably also think Tony Romo is the bee's knees and Felix Jones is going to rush for 1,800 yards.
 Dane-cook_medium 19. Dane Cook.  He's the karate of comedy.  Yes, ha ha, spaghetti from your fingertips.  That's brilliant.  You're a regular Mitch Hedberg, had Mitch Hedberg been terrible and unfunny.
 Jacksonville_jaguars_helmet_rightface_medium 20. The Jacksonville Jaguars.  They're the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.  I gotta go; my damn weiner kids are listening.

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