Commentary

Power Rankings: Final Four edition

Originally Published: March 29, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You're soaking in a new vat of Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: A human poll concocted by ESPN Page 2's Gregory Hardy, and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, the computer we were going to use short-circuited when it was dropped into the Hot Tub Time Machine. Last we heard, it resurfaced in 1985 as a mixing board for the Chicago Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle" sessions. To the results!

1. Final Four 5s

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.5 19.0

Credentials: It's a Final Four only a numerology professor could love. Yes, we've got a fine, traditional match of No. 1 seed Duke vs. No. 2 West Virginia. But No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Butler? Time was, conventional wisdom said a 5-seed was ripe pickings at the hands of a 12-seed. But if "5-on-5" is going to start referring to bracket-picking strategies, we might as well start flushing our $5 bracket entry fee straight down the toilet.


2. Urban Meyer

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.0 8.9 17.9

Credentials: Word has leaked that Florida's uptight papa Gator is planning an April Fool's joke to get back into good graces with reporters. On Thursday morning, he will start screaming at the first guy who asks a question. Four minutes into the tirade, he'll collapse and act like he just had a heart attack. When the ambulance arrives, Tim Tebow will jump out of the back and "miraculously" revive his old coach. After everyone has a good laugh, Meyer will then genuinely scream at the next reporter who asks a question, just to prove he hasn't lost his touch.


3. "24" Canceled

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.7 8.7 17.4

Credentials: The "Mission Accomplished" banner will be hung on Fox's landmark action show at the close of this eighth season. Fans have agreed to wish Jack Bauer a happy retirement -- so long as the plot of the upcoming "24" theatrical movie in no way includes him passing the torch to an illegitimate son played by Shia LaBeouf.


4. Bracketology

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.4 17.0

Credentials: Have you remembered to pay the entry fee of your office pool? Your pool manager will want to make sure the payout is ready next week for the secretary who filled out her sheet with Butler as national champion just because she's the local president of the "Mr. Belvedere" Fan Club. Darn those Brocktoon buffs.


5. Tiger Woods

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.2 8.5 16.7

Credentials: Oh, how times have changed at Augusta: In 2010, "Tiger-proofing the course" now consists of disabling cell phone coverage across the entire layout.


6. Wandering Joba

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.1 8.2 16.3

Credentials: His bad news: His role with the Yankees this season will be as eighth-inning reliever after not making the cut in the five-man starting rotation. His good news: A-Rod will still allow him limited use of his self-kissy-kissy mirror. As long as Joba cleans it afterward.


7. Chad Ochocinco

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.9 14.9

Credentials:We're not trying to say the Bengals receiver is overexposing himself, but this weekend ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" producers reportedly turned down Ochocinco's request to star in a spin-off called "The Ochocinco Hour." Not because Chad lacks the charisma to host his own talk and variety show. It's that he insisted the show air seven nights a week from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. without commercial interruption.


8. Connecticut's Awesome Women

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.2 14.3

Credentials: Well, this might help explain why the Huskies are on a seemingly unstoppable 75-game win streak: According to initial census survey results, Connecticut law allows Geno Auriemma to reserve the right to expel from the state borders any woman between the ages of 18 and 22 who can't play defense.


9. New Jersey Nets

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.8 6.6 13.4

Credentials: And now, the moment we've all been waiting for: The 9-64 Nets have their breathing room to hit double digits in the win column. On the "Sopranos" scale of New Jersey cultural milestones, this ranks above a RICO indictment but below a severed head in a bowling ball bag.


10. WrestleMania XXVI

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.6 5.3 10.9

Credentials: While fans will be talking for years about whether Sunday's Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker main event lived up to the hype, we're still bitterly disappointed by one noticeable no-show: How come Liam Neeson wasn't allowed to grab the microphone and yell, "Release the Kraken!"? It would have been cool to see Triple H try to take down that behemoth with a metal folding chair to the skull.


11. The Intimidator

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.2 10.6

Credentials: A thrilling Dale Earnhardt Sr.-inspired roller coaster opened this weekend at the Carowinds theme park in North Carolina. But safety precautions strictly limit who can board it: No small children, pregnant women or deceased NASCAR legends are permitted to ride. It's perfectly safe for everyone else, though.


12. Gilbert Arenas Sentence

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.5 4.8 10.3

Credentials: There will be some who say he deserved jail instead of 30 days in a halfway house for his felony gun possession. But just remember his harshest punishment remains ahead of him. He still has to return next season to a Wizards roster that could get creamed against a team of mall security guards.


13. NIT Final Four

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.3 9.1

Credentials: One big reason to catch NIT fever: This could be the last year of the showcase if it gets devoured into a 96-team NCAA monstrosity. So which head is most fit to wear the final NIT crown: Dayton, Mississippi, North Carolina or Rhode Island? Oh wait, we forgot: The winners of the NIT don't get a crown -- they're given a paper bag to put over their heads when slipping out the Madison Square Garden back entrance.


Also receiving votes:
• The Easter Bunny: Little known fact: This time of year, he's also making a list and checking it twice. But he's gonna find out who gets chocolate eggs and who deserves a Spring Break hangover remedy.

• Census Forms: Important distinction about these surveys when they're filled out by sports bloggers who live in their parents' basement: They're not intended as a way to register your imaginary girlfriends.

Never receiving votes:
• "Butler Did It" headline writers: So what's the proper punishment for these hacks who had zero originality? Should we come up with something clever ... or resort to something as tired and clichéd as a baseball bat to the nose?

• Iditarod Drug Testing: Great news: The first 40 finishers of this month's race have all tested clean for illegal substances. However, stay tuned for an upcoming "Outside the Lines" in which ESPN investigative reporters look into accusations that the mushers have been using Milk-Bones as a masking agent.

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.