Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Week 3

NBC’s Sunday Night Football package gives it flexible scheduling. For the last seven weeks of the season, the games are determined on 12-day notice, 6-day notice for Week 17.

Last year, no game was listed in the Sunday Night slot, only a notation that one game could move there. CBS and Fox were able to protect one game every week each but had to leave one week each unprotected and had to submit their protections after only four weeks.

Now, NBC lists the game it “tentatively” schedules for each night, and by all appearances, CBS and Fox can’t protect anything. However, the NFL is in charge of moving games to prime time.

Here are the rules from the NFL web site:

  • Begins Sunday of Week 11
  • In effect during Weeks 11-17
  • Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
  • The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
  • The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 p.m. ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
  • The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce as early as possible the game being played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game. The NFL may also announce games moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications.
  • The NBC Sunday night time slot in “flex” weeks will list the game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night.
  • Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
  • NFL schedules all games.
  • Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.

Here are the current tentatively-scheduled games and my predictions:

Week 11 (November 18):

  • Tentative game: Chicago @ Seattle
  • Prospects: Cloudy, but looking promising. Seattle is off to a decent start but Chicago could start stinking up the joint.
  • Other possible games: Redskins @ Cowboys; Panthers @ Packers. That the NFL’s biggest rivalry did not merit a preliminary pick on Sunday night does not bode well; however, either could prove a very, very significant matchup.

Week 12 (November 25):

  • Tentative game: Philadelphia @ New England
  • Prospects: Potentially appealing. It all depends on whether the Eagles continue in the mold of their recent win or their first two losses.
  • Other possible games: All the other teams in NBCSports.com’s top five in the power rankings have other commitments on Thanksgiving or Monday night. Ravens-Chargers, Broncos-Bears, and the dark horse in Bucs-Redskins could all be spoilers, but look for this to stay a McNabb-Brady matchup.

Week 13 (December 2):

  • Tentative game: Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
  • Prospects: Downright mixed. The Steelers have started promisingly, but the Bengals have struggled enough coming out of the gate that this could look very lopsided.
  • Other possible games: Jaguars-Colts, Seahawks-Eagles, and a true dark horse: Texans-Titans.

Week 14 (December 9):

  • Tentative game: Indianapolis @ Baltimore
  • Prospects: Very good, with both teams out to hot starts. However, the Ravens aren’t quite Super Bowl contenders, so Steelers-Patriots could well pull the upset.

Week 15 (December 16):

  • Tentative game: Washington @ NY Giants
  • Prospects: Bad. The Giants need to pick up quickly to avoid being flexed out.
  • Other possible games: Jaguars-Steelers and Seahawks-Panthers are dark horses, but look for Eagles-Cowboys to be flexed into this spot.

Week 16 (December 23):

  • Tentative game: Tampa Bay @ San Francisco
  • Prospects: Could be better than might have been thought before the season. However, it is a 9-vs.-16 matchup in the NBC Sports Power Rankings.
  • Other possible games: Texans-Colts, Packers-Bears, Ravens-Seahawks – with Jets-Titans a potential dark horse.

Week 17 (December 30):

  • Tentative game: Kansas City @ NY Jets
  • Prospects: Horrid. Two 1-2 teams? They need to get better fast.
  • Other possible games: Steelers-Ravens, Titans-Colts, Cowboys-Redskins, Panthers-Bucs, with Packers-Lions a dark horse. Playoff positioning watch begins after Week 9.

Enter NBC Sports, Exit Yahoo Sports?

NBCSports.com finally joined the power ranking party, so I will be kicking out the MSNBC/ColdHardFootballFacts.com rankings when I release the new SuperPower Rankings tomorrow.

I’m tempted to kick out the Yahoo rankings as well… on the one hand, they’re a duo of rankings, and I have a policy of always having an odd number of rankings, to minimize ties. Their duplicity was the sole reason I included the MSNBC rankings in the first place; the addition of NBCSports.com rankings renders them downright superfluous. On the other, I did include the Yahoo rankings for the first few weeks; to get rid of them would quite possibly reduce the reliability of the whole rankings. And they are among the 8 major multi-sports web sites, and according to Alexa rankings, among the top 5 among those 8, unlike upstart NBCSports.com.

Only one way for me to be sure: a new Da Blog Poll! Scroll down to the new poll and let your voice be heard for the next week. (Unless I get a flurry of votes to start, the Yahoo rankings will be included for the Week 3 Consensus Power Rankings.)

NFL Week 2 SuperPower Rankings

New England dominated the Chargers on Sunday, but clearly it hurt the Chargers more than it helped the Patriots.

Like college football polls, people don’t like dropping teams when they don’t lose. New England barely took any spots away from the Colts, only passing them in MSNBC and SI, despite the Colts struggling against the Titans. However, the margin between the Colts and Patriots was so thin last week that it’s enough for the Pats to pass the Colts in the SuperPower Rankings, with added help from passing the Chargers in CBS for #2 and breaking the tie in USA Today.

Meanwhile, the Chargers slip after being the only other team in the top three in every single ranking before the season and after Week 1. By itself, having the offense struggle against the mighty Bears D and falling to the Patriots shouldn’t reflect too badly on the Chargers, and indeed the Chargers don’t fall that far (no fall in Fox and only a one-spot dip in ESPN), but the Chargers didn’t look like the third-best team in the nation against the Patriots. They fall to sixth in four rankings, eighth in the SI rankings, and fifth in the two Yahoo rankings, with the Steelers (in perhaps a bit of a hasty jump given the quality of their opposition), Broncos (also dubious given their reliance on last-second field goals against lowly Buffalo and Oakland), and Cowboys (the new #3) being the chief beneficiaries. The Chargers should be able to take a breather and allow people to get a true gauge of the state of their offense against the Packers.

Outside the top six, the Bears and Ravens remain strong while the surprises at 2-0 – the Packers, Niners, Texans, and Lions – divide the group. The first three are generally thought to be for real; the Lions, who have defeated two lousy teams in close games, aren’t. The Packers have the benefit of three of the four teams directly ahead of them in last week’s SuperPower Rankings losing, which basically guaranteed them a ticket to the Top 10. The Texans round out the Top 10 with the Niners close behind. One really divisive team is the Cardinals; three lists have them 15th or 14th, five within a spot of 20th, and one of the Yahoo lists has them as low as 24th.

The Bengals take a massive slip after their D played awful against the Browns. Either the D is going to be a massive seesaw from week to week or their strong performance Week 1 was more due to an iffy Ravens offense (they did lose McNair in the middle of the game). Which in turn, doesn’t reflect well on the Jets D. The Seahawks also fumbled away their Top 10 placement this week, setting up a game between teams that need recoveries from surprising losses, and the Saints take a big tumble after falling to lowly Tampa Bay – an upset I called, by the way.

At the bottom, the Browns’ win leaves the Falcons with the bottom spot all to themselves, although the Chiefs may have something to say about that. The Chiefs’ drop is mostly attributable to a number of surprises from the bottom; in addition to Cleveland, the Bucs won and the Raiders were a dubious timeout away from doing the same. The Dolphins and Bills also have to curse their former fellow cellar-dwellers, including Arizona’s stunning upset of the Seahawks.

Read the complete Consensus Power Rankings through Week 2 of NFL action here.

Football Lineal Title Update

The Football Hub is updated with all the wonderful lineal title changes of the past week. On the NFL side, Houston’s defeat of Carolina sets up a lineal title unification bout when the Colts face the Texans this coming week. Both of the college football titles that changed hands last week change hands again this week, and the 2004 Utah title is back in the hands of the team that created it.

Florida faces Ole Miss this coming week, while Utah faces UNLV, Ohio State faces Northwestern, and in the most likely title change (which isn’t saying much), LSU faces South Carolina. The 2004 Auburn Title is two weeks away from a potential unification with the Princeton Title; LSU needs to survive SC and Tulane, while Florida needs to survive Mississippi and Auburn. With Auburn’s struggles, SC is the most likely upset, but LSU is so strong it might not matter.

While my College Football Rankings won’t be released until this coming week, I can tell you one interesting fact about how they’re shaking out. Notre Dame is currently infamously embroiled in futility, and had I released the college football rankings this week, they would place dead last. Ouch.

Your Hub for All Things Football

I’ve added a new section to the web site – Morgan Wick Sports – that will serve as a home base for the Lineal Titles, the SuperPower Rankings, and the College Football Rankings. This week’s SuperPower Rankings are now available there. Go to morganwick.freehostia.com/sports/football.

The NFL lineal title history is now located there as well, and the ATH Drinking Game is now here.

Da Blog in LA Recap (what prodigious output!)

For the most part, my week in LA consisted of little more than hanging out around my dad’s house. I had some enlightening conversations with him about heavy topics and briefly caught up with some family, but not much happened.

Some catchup from the week that was:

  • NFL Lineal Title news: Carolina picked up the core Lineal Title off the Rams. They face Houston next week. The Colts will be defending against the Titans next week. If Houston and the Colts win unification would come Week 3. Atlanta and New Orleans are rooting for Carolina and Tennessee to win respectively.
  • After a week of no CFB lineal changes we get changes galore this week. Florida held on to the Princeton title against Troy, while LSU demolished Virginia Tech to retain the 2004 Auburn title. But Boise State falls to Washington while BYU loses to UCLA, making unification between the 2006 Boise State and 2004 Utah titles likely. UCLA plays Utah next while Washington plays Ohio State; the latter has a very high risk of averting unification. Unification is certain, however, if both teams retain.
  • SuperPower Rankings will start being hosted on the web site tommorow. They are currently delayed; Sporting News is joining the race but SI appears to be dropping out and if USA Today has any power rankings ongoing they don’t have this week’s up yet. My Week 2 picks are partly dependent on the SuperPower Rankings and are similarly delayed.
  • The voting-method-for-100-greatest-movies poll received no votes whatsoever in almost two months. I’m ashamed of you.

The web site picks’ mock fantasy football league

(We’re still working on the title.)

The idea is simple: simulate a fantasy football season based on the draft boards of many of the leading sports sites. I don’t know if you trust the same sites that give you the stats and scores to give you the best picks in fantasy, but we’ll do this anyway. I’ll hold a draft involving the boards for the following sites.

During the season, we’ll use ESPN.com standard scoring and rosters but use total points, not H2H. All picks will be based on the best available player on each service’s draft board until late in the draft, when any positional deficiecies will be taken care of in the following order: RB, QB, WR, TE, DEF, K. After each week, any player not in the top 200 overall, and also not in the top for their position (16 for kickers, 24 for defenses, TEs, and QBs, 40 for WRs, 50 for RBs), will be autocut and new selections will be made to replace them; worst team gets the free agent with the most points, unless they need to make up positional deficiencies for any reason next week, or unless their rankings are dynamically updated. For the first week, starters are determined based on the draft board, and thereafter by most points among contending players on a team, unless rankings are dynamically updated.

Teams are listed by first-round draft order and with their first round picks, Week 1 starters in bold:

  1. NFL.com: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
  2. ESPN.com: Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
  3. CBS Sports.com: Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks
  4. Fox Sports.com: Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs
  5. SI.com: Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
  6. Yahoo: Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
  7. USA Today: Rudi Johnson, RB, Bengals (ends a streak of four straight picks ranked 3rd or 4th on their respective boards)
  8. Sporting News: Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles

Here’s the rest of the draft:

  1. SN: Willie Parker, RB, Steelers
  2. USAT: Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
  3. YAH: Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots
  4. SI: Travis Henry, RB, Broncos
  5. FOX: Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens
  6. CBS: Reggie Bush, RB, Saints
  7. ESPN: Steve Smith, WR, Panthers (ooh, slow start…)
  8. NFL: Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins
  9. NFL: Drew Brees, QB, Saints (huh? why not Palmer?)
  10. ESPN: Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts (but what about a QB?)
  11. CBS: Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals
  12. FOX: Terrell Owens, WR, Cowboys (where to start…)
  13. SI: Edgerrin James, RB, Cardinals (talk about controversy)
  14. YAH: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars (ditto)
  15. USAT: Torry Holt, WR, Rams (both ESPN and USAT have not selected second RBs, worrying me)
  16. SN: Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins (another RB controversy)
  17. SN: Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals (note: no QB selected yet)
  18. USAT: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
  19. YAH: Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants (four! four RBs selected already!)
  20. SI: Thomas Jones, RB, Jets (ditto)
  21. FOX: Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts (still no QB selected, like YAH and SI)
  22. CBS: Cedric Benson, RB, Bears
  23. ESPN: Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints (finally select a second RB but still no QB)
  24. NFL: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills
  25. NFL: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots (I smell QB controversy; 26th on its board, and next would be #32 Ahman Green)
  26. ESPN: Carnell Williams, RB, Buccaneers (NFL robbed ESPN of Brady for no reason)
  27. CBS: Roy Williams, WR, Lions (first WR picked by CBS in this draft)
  28. FOX: Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers (Fox has him ranked 26th! It is the fifth round, but shouldn’t they at least take a QB first?)
  29. SI: Randy Moss, WR, Patriots (finally ending the RB streak, but where’s the QB?)
  30. YAH: TJ Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals (ditto)
  31. USAT: Marion Barber III, RB, Cowboys (last team to take a second RB)
  32. SN: Javon Walker, WR, Broncos
  33. SN: Donald Driver, WR, Packers (when will they take a QB?)
  34. USAT: Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants (third WR taken, suggesting a WR-centric strategy)
  35. YAH: Marques Colston, WR, Saints (still need a QB)
  36. SI: Andre Johnson, WR, Texans (ditto, and Bulger is next on SI board… where will he go after 5 1/2?)
  37. FOX: Ahman Green, RB, Texans (also still need a QB)
  38. CBS: Marc Bulger, QB, Rams (as with NFL, a QB controversy)
  39. ESPN: Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns (ranked ahead of Bulger on ESPN board)
  40. NFL: Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals (last team to take a WR, after 3 RBs and 2 QBs)
  41. NFL: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
  42. ESPN: Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings (ahead of Peterson on ESPN board)
  43. CBS: Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles (ESPN rules allow a max 4 QBs, so CBS can only take one more!)
  44. FOX: Julius Jones, RB, Cowboys (thru 7 rounds, Fox has 4 RBs, 2 WRs, and a TE, but is one of five with no QBs when CBS has three! There should be only two no-QB teams! I need to add a trade rule)
  45. SI: Lee Evans, WR, Bills (three straight WRs after four straight RBs)
  46. YAH: Jerious Norwood, RB, Cardinals (five! five RBs in just seven rounds!)
  47. USAT: Kellen Winslow II, TE, Browns (USAT has had a very balanced draft, with a third WR instead of RB the only shortcoming, including being one of only three with a QB)
  48. SN: Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs
  49. SN: Darrell Jackson, WR, 49ers (Through 8: 3 RB, 4 WR, 1 TE. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K.)
  50. USAT: Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants (Through 8: 2 RB, 1 QB, 3 WR, 2 TE. Shortcomings: DEF, K.)
  51. YAH: Hines Ward, WR, Steelers (Through 8: 5 RB, 3 WR. Shortcomings: QB, TE, DEF, K.)
  52. SI: Lavernaues Coles, WR, Jets (Through 8: 4 RB, 4 WR. Shortcomings: QB, TE, DEF, K. Very streaky with streaks of 4 straight RBs and WRs.)
  53. FOX: Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers (Through 8: 5 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K.)
  54. CBS: Jon Kitna, QB, Lions (Through 8: 4 QB, 3 RB, 1 WR. Shortcomings: WR, TE, DEF, K. That’s it, CBS can’t take any more QBs. Now there should only be one QB-less team.)
  55. ESPN: Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks (ESPN should have picked up a QB a long time ago, but now at least half the teams have QBs. Through 8: 1 QB, 5 RB, 2 WR. Shortcomings: TE, DEF, K. After three rounds with only one RB, ESPN went on a four straight RB tear.)
  56. NFL: Tatum Bell, RB, Lions (Through 8: 2 QB, 5 RB, 1 WR. Shortcomings: WR, TE, DEF, K.)

  1. NFL: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers (to think I thought the 8 RB limit wouldn’t be a factor!)
  2. ESPN: Ladell Betts, RB, Redskins (ditto)
  3. CBS: Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles (both Vince Young and Philip Rivers are ranked ahead of him, making this the first intervention; can they not be far on the other lists? Corrects WR shortcoming.)
  4. FOX: Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks
  5. SI: Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
  6. YAH: Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
  7. USAT: Todd Heap, TE, Ravens (After following very good strategy for most of the first half, USAT falls apart with three straight TEs. That’s the maximum.)
  8. SN: Chris Chambers, WR, Dolphins
  9. SN: Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns
  10. USAT: DeShawn Foster, RB, Panthers
  11. YAH: Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars
  12. SI: Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys (Corrects QB shortcoming. But this seems a little risky, even if he is next on CBS after Young and Rivers.)
  13. FOX: Terry Glenn, WR, Cowboys
  14. CBS: Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens
  15. ESPN: Joey Galloway, WR, Buccaneers
  16. NFL: Vince Young, QB, Titans
  17. NFL: Phillp Rivers, QB, Chargers (NFL.com takes both QBs passed up by CBS and hits the four-QB limit itself)
  18. ESPN: Alge Crumpler, TE, Falcons (Corrects TE shortcoming.)
  19. CBS: Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers
  20. FOX: Bears Defense (69th on FOX board. First D off the board in 11th round.)
  21. SI: Lamont Jordan, RB, Raiders
  22. YAH: Warrick Dunn, RB, Falcons (7th RB taken by YAH)
  23. USAT: Eli Manning, QB, Giants (Enforced pass-up of Redskins TE Chris Cooley. Second QB taken by USAT when four teams still go without.)
  24. SN: Donte Stallworth, WR, Patriots (7th WR taken by SN and 4th straight.)
  25. SN: Bernard Berrian, WR, Bears (SN becomes first team to hit 8 WR limit with its 5th straight WR. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K. May have to start enforced position selection Round 14.)
  26. USAT: Brett Favre, QB, Packers (Enforced pass-up of L.J. Smith and Randy McMichael. What is Favre doing here in the 12th round? 3rd USAT QB. Shortcomings: DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 15.)
  27. YAH: Chris Cooley, TE, Redskins (Takes care of TE need. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)
  28. SI: LenDale White, RB, Titans (6 RB, 5 WR, 1 QB. Shortcomings: TE, DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)
  29. FOX: Kevin Jones, RB, Lions (Shortcomings: QB, K. Potential EPS starting Round 15.)
  30. CBS: Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Jets (Shortcomings: TE, DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)
  31. ESPN: Joe Horn, WR, Falcons (Shortcomings: DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 15.)
  32. NFL: Ravens Defense (Enforced pass-up of Matt Leinart. This is everything that’s right about caps because this actually takes care of a need. Shortcomings: WR, TE, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)

  1. NFL: Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers (Corrects TE shortcoming, delays EPS to Round 15.)
  2. ESPN: Isaac Bruce, WR, Rams
  3. CBS: Benjamin Watson, TE, Patriots (Also passes up Matt Leinart, but delays EPS to Round 15.)
  4. FOX: Patriots Defense (How greedy to take a second defense you’ll practically never use when you really need a QB!)
  5. SI: Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals (Will engage in EPS Round 14.)
  6. YAH: Kevin Curtis, WR, Eagles (Will engage in EPS Round 14.)
  7. USAT: Devery Henderson, WR, Saints
  8. SN: Vernand Morency, RB, Packers
  9. SN: Ben Roethlsiberger, QB, Steelers (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  10. USAT: Adam Vinatieri, K, Patriots (USAT has him 91st on its board! This is only an 8-team draft and it’s still only the 14th round of 16! But that means the only EPS would be DEF in Round 16 if one isn’t taken in the 15th.)
  11. YAH: Jay Cutler, QB, Broncos (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  12. SI: Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  13. FOX: Chargers Defense (WTF? That’s the third defense, that’s the limit! Now we have to wait for the 15th for an EPS QB!
  14. CBS: Leon Washington, RB, Jets (Will engage in EPS Round 15.)
  15. ESPN: L.J. Smith, TE, Eagles (Will engage in EPS Round 15.)
  16. NFL: Chris Brown, RB, Titans
  17. NFL: D.J. Hackett, WR, Seahawks (EPS kicked in just in time, because the next player available on the board, Ben Roethlisberger, had enforced pass-up on him, and was 100th out of 100.)
  18. ESPN: Jaguars Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  19. CBS: Steelers Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  20. FOX: Alex Smith, QB, 49ers (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  21. SI: Broncos Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  22. YAH: Dolphins Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  23. USAT: JP Losman, QB, Bills
  24. SN: Panthers Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency. Amazingly, this is the first 15th round defense to be ranked behind another 15th round defense.)
  25. SN: Nate Kaeding, K, Chargers (All Round 16 selections are forced.)
  26. USAT: Cowboys Defense
  27. YAH: Jeff Wilkins, K, Rams (Ranked ahead of Kaeding.)
  28. SI: Robbie Gould, K, Bears
  29. FOX: Matt Stover, K, Ravens (Ranked ahead of Gould.)
  30. CBS: Jason Elam, K, Broncos (Placed third among kickers behind Wilkins and Vinaitieri.)
  31. ESPN: Shayne Graham, K, Bengals (Ditto.)
  32. NFL: Neil Rackers, K, Cardinals (Ranked ahead of Stover, Elam, and Graham. “Mr. Irrelavent” himself.)

Da Blog in LA

Tomorrow, I’ll be flying to Los Angeles for a week and a half with my dad. I hope to post regular blog posts about my experience there under the label “Da Blog in LA”. I’ll probably be bored out of my skull there, but what the hey.

Meanwhile, if you want my NFL picks every week, they should be available here every early Tuesday morning. Please keep in mind at all times that I know nothing about football.

All the college football lineal titleholders have retained so far, with only BYU still playing.

NFL Preseason SuperPower Rankings

In the same vein as my 100 Greatest Movies Project, here’s my NFL Power Rankings based on the Power Rankings of most of the leading sports sites. I include ratings from the following sports sites: ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, USA Today. I’m willing to take in NBC Sports, Yahoo, and Sporting News if they choose to take part in this excersize. One point per rank; #1=1, #2=2, so on. Lower scores score higher. The asterisk indicates a Lineal Title holder.

Note: The Fox Sports rankings occured at the start of this month; the others, right after the draft. Among other things, it explains why they rank the Falcons near the bottom when the others put them in the middle of the pack.

Team Name TW (LW) ESPN CBS Fox SI.com USAT Comments
Patriots 1-T 1 2 2 2 1 Should be a lot scarier with Randy Moss.
Colts 1-T 2 1 1 1 3 Don’t sleep on SB champs, or overstate impact of losses.
Chargers 3 3 3 3 3 2 Maybe the most talented team in the NFL.
Saints 4 6 7 4 4 4 One of the NFC’s best teams only improved. The D is still an issue.
Ravens 5 4 6 5 7 5 Expect McGahee to be an immediate help on offense.
Bears 6 5 5 7 5 6 A lot of question marks but the SB defense is still there.
Broncos 7 7 4 6 6 7 Made some impact additions in offseason. Will Cutler be enough?
Eagles 8 8 8 12 8 9 If McNabb’s healthy, they could be a powerhouse.
Seahawks 9 11 15 8 9 10 They need a healthy Alexander to remain top dog in a tougher division.
Bengals 10 10 10 9 17 8 Bengals underperformed last year, but D still an issue.
Cowboys 11 9 9 13 14 11 The good news is they dumped Parcells. The bad news is they dumped Parcells. All eyes on Romo.
Jets 12 12 16 10 11 12 Revis, Harris, Jones are impact additions, but still not enough D.
Steelers 13 13 11 15 12 13 Will Tomlin get the ’05 Steelers or the ’06 Steelers?
Jaguars 14 14 12 11 18 14.5 All eyes are on the QB position after a mediocre ’06.
*Rams 15 18 17 18 10 18 The Rams made sure to get better in the offseason. Will it be enough?
Panthers 16 16 21 16 16 14.5 Good draft, not much else. All eyes on Delhomme with Carr looking over shoulder.
49ers 17 15 19 14 22 16.5 With improving young players, could contend in West and win in ’08.
Giants 18 17 14 19 21 20 All eyes on Manning and Brandon Jacobs.
Falcons 19 19 18 30 20 16.5 Will probably stink without Vick, but they still have strong pieces.
Titans 20 21 29 22 15 19 Young will have a lot of weight on his shoulders without more offensive help.
Cardinals 21 22 13 20 30 22 “No, this really is the Cardinals’ year, really!”
Chiefs 22-T 20 26 17 26 21 The QB question still looms, especially with good but not SB-carrying D.
Bills 22-T 23 20 21 23 23 Went with youth by dumping vets and hoping Losman improves.
Vikings 24 25 23 29 31 25.5 Good defense and Peterson is good RB, but weak WRs and is Jackson ready?
Packers 25 24 22 23 25 24 Favre may be getting an absolutely awful offense. Retire already!
Dolphins 26 26 24 27 19 28 Will Green provide the pick-me-up the team needs?
Lions 27 30 27 26 13 29 The WRs are meeting their potential and Kitna can carry the team, so they could surprise.
Buccaneers 28 27 25 24 29 25.5 A boatload of QBs with other questions going ignored.
Redskins 29 28 28 25 24 27 Campbell must perform or Gibbs could be running back to NASCAR.
Texans 30 29 30 28 27 31 Schaub and Green will help but the OL is still nonexistent.
Raiders 31 32 31 31 28 32 D is good, but even with Russell they were likely to struggle.
Browns 32 31 32 32 32 30 Young team with two top draft picks that could be a big contender… in ’08.