Commentary

Power Rankings: Buckeye blues

Originally Published: May 31, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's time to dot the 'i' in the ESPN.com Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: a human poll concocted by ESPN.com Page 2's Greg Hardy and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, our computer spent the holiday weekend editing out all references to the ESPN.com Page 2 Power Rankings Computer from the upcoming 700-page book about the history of ESPN.com's Page 2 Power Rankings. Well, that leaves more room for the chapters that dissect our Yankees-Red Sox gags, we suppose. To the results!

1. Tressel to go

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.6 19.3

Credentials: Tattoos, cash, cars ... you name it, there's been a college football reporter trying to nail down a scandal. And, well, unfortunately for Buckeye nation, they've been hitting a lot of paydirt. It's so bad that even the fan magazine "Jim Tressel Weekly" is going to press this week with an expose that reveals he knew that subscription numbers were fudged to show a circulation of 150,000 per issue, when really, it was only going out to the 20 or 30 people left in Ohio who believed anything he said. So as America's Next Top Sweater Vest Model drives off into the sunset, someone check the registration for where he got his car.


2. Dale Jr. out of gas

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.0 18.5

Credentials: How is it that NASCAR's most popular driver can have a "winless skid" of 105 races in a row? Heck, even the Detroit Lions need you to spot them a good decade or so to lose that many games. Junior's latest "skid" happened Sunday when he ran out of gas in the last turn, handing the win to Kevin Harvick. The worst part for Earnhardt fans is -- especially considering how dependant race car drivers are on sponsorships -- that for the foreseeable future, he's eliminated himself from having any promotional giveaways with any gas companies. Can you imagine? "Get your replica of the No. 88 car at your friendly local station, free with an 8-gallon fill-up!" Uh, no.


3. Indy crackup

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.5 8.4 16.9

Credentials: Dear J.R. Hildebrand: We can't imagine the agony of what it must be like to be a 23-year-old IndyCar rookie who slipped on a banana peel on the way to auto racing's tastiest bottle of milk. All we can offer in way of career advice is this: In the unlikely event this auto racing thing doesn't pan out, but you still want to be a professional driver? If you ever apply for one of those "30 minute or less" pizza delivery operations, don't include a video of your finish at the 100th Indy 500 with your resume. Unless you want the manager to have nightmares of tomato sauce, mozzarella and crazy bread splattered all over the last block of the subdivision of his best customers.


4. Miami Heat fans

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.4 15.1

Credentials: We don't want to accuse the South Beach crowd of being a glam collection of bandwagon hoppers. But you know those identically colored T-shirts they hand out at every NBA playoff game to show crowd unity? The ones dispersed at AmericanAirlines Arena are reversible, so in case the Heatles lose, everyone can wear a shirt that reads, "What? Me? A Heat fan? Naw, I got this shirt at the Florida Marlins game I was at that night."


5. Jason Terry's tattoo

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.5 14.6

Credentials: The Dallas Mavericks guard has announced that he will remove his ink on his inside right biceps of the Larry O'Brien Trophy if the Heat are the ones who triumph in the NBA Finals. In a related story, Mark Cuban is going to continue to deny the existence of his tramp stamp that depicts a downtown victory parade until the day of that fateful celebration arrives. (Editor's note: When that fateful day arrives, avert your eyes.)


6. Sliding into home plate

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.1 12.3

Credentials: Here's one more example of how baseball's rules committee just still doesn't get it when it comes to using common sense to improve the on-field product: In the wake of the Buster Posey injury, there are no plans to address the practice of baserunners charging into the catcher. But it will be submitted at the next owners meeting that the umpires will be able to use replay to see 12 times in a row how badly the catcher's body will be permanently disfigured after a collision at the plate.


7. "The Hangover, Part 2"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.3 10.5

Credentials: We're not accusing the sequel of being a note-for-note cover version of the original, but we did wake up from a nightmare this morning that we lived in an alternate universe, where the only difference was that in the parallel reality the original "Hangover" took place in Bangkok and "Hangover 2" took place in Vegas. That, plus movie-goers slather their movie popcorn with cinnamon butter.


8. Stanley Cup finals

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 5.0 10.1

Credentials: Surprise, surprise. The NHL press is doing cartwheels over the Vancouver-Boston showdown. News flash, NHL media: There are other teams in the league that play each other all year long besides Vancouver and Boston. But you'd never know otherwise, thanks to the coast-to-coast hockey media elite. We wish they'd tone down the hype and give us something subtle, like the way Boston conducts its baseball business with the Yankees. Speaking of, can you believe we have to wait all the way until June 7 for the next Red Sox trip to Yankee Stadium? If there's a hockey game one of those nights, we'll try to keep up via text alerts in the Bronx.


9. Tony Romo's wedding

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.9 4.4 9.3

Credentials: We wish nothing but the best for the Cowboys QB and new bride Candice Crawford. But how odd was it that one of the angles most breathlessly covered was that Jerry Jones was able to get the blessing of the NFL front office to attend the festivities, since NFL lockout rules prohibit players and owners from interacting. But hey, everyone's wedding is always better when your boss can show up and do The Electric Slide with you and your guests, right? Fun fact: The lease at Cowboys Stadium allows Jones to preside over weddings, just like the captain of a ship can. But if you decide to rent the place out for your special day, make sure in advance they've got the extra seats properly installed.


10. French Open

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 4.2 8.9

Credentials: You can argue whether it's frustrating or adds to the intrigue when matches at Roland Garros are suspended due to darkness. We'll just keep arguing: How can a tennis stadium in the "City of Light" not have lights set up for night matches? Next thing you're going to tell us is that the Gatorade bottles in Paris are filled with actual Gatorade instead of liters upon liters of thirst-quenching, energy boosting, antioxidant-riffic red wine.


11. Flamin' Dodgers

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.9 4.1 8.0

Credentials: Where's the spin on the two blazes that broke out at Dodger Stadium this weekend? Officially, the word is that "paper products" in a storage area in the upper deck caught fire -- both on Saturday night and Monday morning. We'd be willing to pay good money to see Frank McCourt apologize that he was setting fire to the team's cash reserves, and in the future for transparancy's sake will set the team's money on fire in center field during the seventh-inning stretch. Because having extra cash on hand is a fire hazard, and this is a measure to keep fans safe.


12. College lacrosse champs

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.1 7.1

Credentials: Congratulations to the Virginia Cavaliers, who as a 7-seed in the NCAA tournament became the lowest seed ever to walk away with the crown. Which just goes to show all you college kids out there: All you need to make your dreams come true is hard work, dedication, faith in your teammates and a stick with a net on the end of it. Actually, that last item really only comes in handy when you're trying to make your lacrosse dreams come true. We wouldn't recommend showing up for your microbiology final with a stick with a net on the end of it. Unless it's required for the extra credit part of the oral exam.


13. Royals and the rodeo

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 3.4 6.5

Credentials:Great news, fans of those who enjoy watching Britain's royal family pretending that it cares Canada exists! Those wacky kids William and Catherine are gearing up for their first joint international dog and pony show by visiting the Great White North at the end of June. The British tabloids are noting the trip will allow them to attend the Calgary Stampede, where cowboy-riding hilarity is sure to ensue. But Prince William has been warned that international treaties forbid him from trying out for the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders. For that, he can blame his dad's disastrous 27-interception season as quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes in 1977.


Also receiving votes
• Nebraska football: Look out, Big Ten. With the disarrayed Buckeyes likely out of the picture when it comes to competing for conference titles in the foreseeable future, the new kid on the block Cornhuskers are looking at the type of football fortune rebirth not seen since the Dallas Cowboys sent Herschel Walker to the Vikings. Someone ask Tom Osborne how he feels about sharing Jerry Jones' lucky stars.

Never receiving votes
• FIFA scandals: We're not saying bribery allegations at the top of soccer's governing body are out of hand, but obviously all the money we spent to grease our way into owning a piece of the action of being the official shin guard provider of the Qatar World Cup have not come through, and that's why we're talking smack about them right now. That's $50 million down the tube, and we're not kicking each other in the shins right now.

Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.


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Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.

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