Commentary

Power Rankings: BCS Box Office

Originally Published: January 10, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You've arrived at the will-call window of the Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: a human poll concocted by ESPN Page 2's Greg Hardy and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, our computer spent the weekend computing which superhero would win in a fight between NBC's "The Cape" and Jim Carrey's "The Mask." The problem was triangulating the variable of which concept is inherently harder to take seriously. To the results!

1. Fake BCS Tickets

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.5 19.2

Credentials: Do we hear $1,000? $3,000? $6,000? The sky seems to be the limit for buying tickets to the BCS title game between Auburn and Oregon, much to the chagrin of college football pilgrims who've traveled across the country to Arizona. OK, so lots of people are getting rich off StubHub cattle swapping. And lots more people are getting burned in "too good to be true" bargains as kickoff nears. Hint: Your ticket is probably not 100 percent authentic if it includes a holographic image of Cam Newton's father's face. Hey, since technically the BCS title game is a vacation destination, has anyone checked to see if Orbitz or Priceline has game tickets? We'd trust Williams Shatner to let us name our own price for 50-yard-line seats before we'd trust the judgment of NCAA presidents to set up a fair playoff system.


2. Seattle Seahawks

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.2 18.4

Credentials: Stats don't lie: Pete Carroll's NFL teams are undefeated in home playoff games when they are 7-9 in the regular season and Marshawn Lynch breaks off a 67-yard run during which he treats Saints defenders like paper cutouts of Smurf characters. For his slightly more improbable next trick, Carroll will get Lynch to throw for 300 yards in Chicago out of the Wildcat while blindfolded while Matt Hasselbeck juggles seven Brian Urlacher bobblehead dolls.


3. Philadelphia Arithmetic

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.5 17.1

Credentials: Compute this: David Akers missed two field goals + the Eagles lost by five points to Green Bay. Said coach Andy Reid after the game: "We can all count, and those points would have helped." Right now, Akers doesn't need 10 toes to count how many Philly fans are in favor of his being in the next training camp.


4. Golden Voice Salvation

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.8 15.7

Credentials: Can having a God-given golden voice solve all your problems? That seems to be the case in the feel-good story of how Ted Williams went from anonymous homeless person to Internet sensation. Though ideally, wouldn't having a golden voice give you the talent to just talk your way out of getting into trouble in the first place?


5. NBA Trades

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.2 7.3 14.5

Credentials: How does a potential 15-player deal grab you? Be aware that negotiations that delicate and complex require lots of double-checking by the lawyers. Because if the wrong contract is signed, Carmelo Anthony could either land with the New Jersey Nets or become enlisted as a communications officer on a frigate in the Chechnya navy.


6. TV Golf Instruction

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 6.6 12.7

Credentials: The Golf Channel now has a show where we can watch Rush Limbaugh learning to be a better golfer. Which is a great deal for him. After all, he's so rich, and cable programming has become filled with so many niche channels, that surely if the whim struck him he could start his own Rush Limbaugh Golf Instruction Network in time for the next sweeps period. Now Rush can use the money he would have needed to launch his own TV satellite toward buying more stylish pants. In an unrelated story, ask your cable provider for how to subscribe to the upcoming channel, Howard Stern's Bowling Lesson Oasis (warning: adult content).


7. NFL Coaching Carousel

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.5 11.3

Credentials: A few good men are still needed in places like Cleveland, Denver, Carolina and Oakland. Tony Sparano took his name out of the running for these jobs once he learned that he edged out Jim Harbaugh to keep his own job in Miami. At this rate, Sparano would just like some job security that doesn't involve reapplying for his next contract extension via the team website.


8. Peyton Manning

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.6 10.8

Credentials: We're not saying the Colts' QB will be haunted this offseason by his coach's ill-advised timeout late in the game against the Jets. But next fall, don't be surprised if one of Peytie Pie's new audibles will be "JIM CALDWELL IS AN IDIOT! I HATE HIS GUTS! I'VE SEEN BOLL WEEVILS THAT CAN MAKE BETTER DECISIONS! GREEN14! HUT!"


9. Bruce Pearl

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.2 10.5

Credentials: The Tennessee coach says he feels "helpless" as he starts an eight-game span where the Southeastern Conference has barred him from coaching the Vols courtside. University lawyers say they are confident that there is a loophole that will allow Pearl at home games to be on the court during timeouts with a T-shirt cannon. As long as said T-shirt does not include instructions for when to switch tempos on defense.


10. Golf's Love Links

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 4.5 9.2

Credentials: The LPGA's Natalie Gulbis says she's dating the PGA's Dustin Johnson. Before their Sandals vacation photos start showing up in US Weekly, just realize what they've got is like any jock relationship in high school -- as long as she's OK with the fact that she's only going to be able to borrow a letterman's jacket and not a green Augusta jacket from him any time soon.


11. Les Miles

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 4.7 8.7

Credentials: It's now or never for Michigan. If the Wolverines want to reclaim any credibility for their football program, they need to show the mercurial LSU coach some serious green -- whether that's actual money, delicious field turf or a combination therein. How can a guy who is pure manic energy recharge the Wolverines? The first step is to spark the Buckeyes rivalry by requiring all his Ann Arbor recruits to get tattoos saying, "Terrelle Pryor Can't Escape The Hat." It's not a recruiting violation if Miles inks those messages himself in his office, right?


12. NBA Travel Advisory

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.6 4.3 7.9

Credentials: Typically, it's no big deal when the NBA road schedule requires two teams to share a hotel in the same city for a few days. But that's not the case for the Cleveland Cavaliers when they're in L.A. at the same time as the Miami Heat. So it was interesting to learn that the Cavs switched up their Beverly Hills hotel to avoid running into LeBron on the way to the pool. This coincides with Cleveland's plan to avoid the postseason entirely, so there aren't any awkward encounters for either side in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Cavs fans, your team can now be found at the bed and breakfast known as "The Humiliation Inn."


13. George Steinbrenner Statues

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 2.6 5.7

Credentials:The Yankees unveiled a life-size bronze statue of their late, legendary owner at their spring training complex in Tampa (which you can find at George M. Steinbrenner Field, if you need to program your GPS). The statue is identical to the one in the lobby of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Which begs the question: Who in the Yankees organization is in charge of ordering duplicate life-size statues of George Steinbrenner? Do they now maintain a farm system where they're stockpiling George Steinbrenner sculptors? Will George Steinbrenner statues be part of future personnel trades? "The Twins acquired three minor league pitchers, one outfielder and two statues of George Steinbrenner -- one wearing a Babe Ruth uniform, one in Tampa Bay beach swim trunks and sandals."


Also receiving votes
• More Beckham babies: David has announced that soccer's first family will be expecting a fourth child. Congratulations, Victoria, to someone who's already cemented her place in history as the world's greatest soccer mom. Let's raise a toast to you with L.A. Galaxy-logoed sippy cups.

Never receiving votes
• READING BAD NEWS: A study of the most literate cities in America places Glendale, Ariz. -- home of college football's BCS title game that's played in a stadium named after an online university -- in 66th place out of 75 towns. So, while anyone who reaps a $3,000 profit by selling one football ticket gets an A as a finance major, don't be surprised by awful spelling and grammar on display in fan signs in the stands. "GO AWBERN! WAR EEEGLS!!!" You can write that down.

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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