Commentary

Power Rankings: Auriemma edition

Originally Published: April 4, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's a dog-eat-dog world (or at least a Bulldog-eat-Husky world) with 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 calculating its "Way-Too-Early 2012 Final Four" picks. Here is what it came up with, using a formula it claims to be 99.99999 percent accurate: It'll be a 2 seed, a 4 seed, a 7 seed and an 11. Come back in August when our computer will ID what those schools actually will be. To the results!

1. Geno Auriemma

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.4 9.6 19.0

Credentials: What do you think UConn's boiling-point women's coach is more upset about -- falling short of the Huskies' bid for a three-peat, or that he won't be able to complain about the lack of media and fan fawning if he had accomplished it? Nobody can argue that not landing a third crown would tarnish his reputation. However, we will submit that anyone who can be considered indirectly responsible for allowing a Notre Dame team to position itself to win any manner of championship must be taken down a peg.


2. Butler nation

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.1 18.6

Credentials: Now that the Bulldogs are playing in the NCAA final for the second year in a row, when does the balance of underdog favoritism tip the scales enough that they become as hated as, say, Duke? Forget it, it will never happen. Choir boy/supernerd-image Brad Stevens has about as much a chance of being in charge of an evil empire as Coach K has of retiring from the Blue Devils and becoming a jolly department store Santa.


3. Barry Bonds trial

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.4 17.2

Credentials: It's a little odd that the courtroom took the day off Monday because a juror called in sick. But hey, things like that happen. Meanwhile, his defense lawyers are praying that Bonds isn't going to ask for a day off because a series of migraines is giving him trouble holding his head up.


4. Knicks in playoffs

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.4 15.1

Credentials: Madison Square Garden will be hosting its first playoff game since 2004. Cue the interactive part of this entry: Somewhere, (fill in the blank: Isiah Thomas, James Dolan, Donnie Walsh, Spike Lee, Stephon Marbury, all of the above) is spinning in his grave. OK, maybe not spinning in their graves, but at least trying to remember if MSG has different entrances for postseason games.


5. 0-3 Red Sox

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.6 14.7

Credentials: Is it panic time after being swept in the opening weekend by the defending AL champ Rangers? We'll know if Theo Epstein tries to sign Shaq to play shortstop.


6. India cricket

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.5 12.7

Credentials: It was a unifying, electrifying moment when almost 68 million viewers in India tuned in to see the historic World Cup victory over Sri Lanka. Then again, the only other thing on their other stations at that time were reruns of the trashy reality show "Ganges Shore," so maybe that contributed a bit.


7. Charlie Sheen ticket holders

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.3 10.7

Credentials: To all the people who complain about ESPN programming taking over the planet: Obviously, we don't offer enough TV channels, radio stations, 3D broadcasts, websites and podcasts if the good citizens of Detroit are so entertainment-starved that they voluntarily buy tickets to a live Charlie Sheen performance … and then are so unsatisfied with that show that they start booing him. And too bad he couldn't win you over by wearing a Tigers jersey on stage. Then again, at least he restrained himself by not pointing out that there was no way he could wear any Lions gear and claim he was still into "winning."


8. "Source Code"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.0 10.2

Credentials: The Jake Gyllenhaal time-hopping, "Groundhog Day"-ish thriller picked up $15.1 million in the opening weekend box office. The sequel is being made in conjunction with the NHL, where Gyllenhaal will play a hockey player who has to keep serving the same five-minute major over and over until he can figure out when Sidney Crosby will return to the ice from his concussion.


9. The Masters

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 4.4 9.5

Credentials: Move over, azaleas. There's only one storyline we want to follow at Augusta this weekend, and it's whether Tiger Woods is going to show any sign whatsoever that he can be a credible threat to win a major again. If we were his Nike rep, we'd try to provide a little incentive by not including a red shirt among the apparel he's to wear. "Oh, you're looking for your lucky red shirt? We'll give you one if you're within 5 shots of the lead on Sunday. If not, stop wasting our time and just wear this old Nickelback tour shirt."


10. Cyber-concussions

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.0 4.2 9.2

Credentials: Whether or not there's a 2011 NFL season, there will be a Madden 12 video game, and it's been announced that the rules will treat concussions very seriously -- even benching players for the rest of the virtual game if they take a nasty knock to the dome. And if the software determines that you intentionally were headhunting with your controller, it will issue you a $10,000 fine payable to GameStop.


11. Mets for sale

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: Someone needs to step up to the plate and win a bid to buy a minority stake in the team before it can't afford to pay the light bill at Citi Field anymore. One of the groups appears to involve one of the producers of "Entourage," and the expectation is that he'll get some of the co-stars from the HBO comedy to get in on the act. For the sake of the Wilpon family, who is having its business practices questioned, that would be easier to take than if the winning bid came from the producers of "Criminal Minds."


12. The Rock

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.3 7.3

Credentials: At Wrestlemania XXVII, it was a case of "the show must go on" when the brawny box-office draw got back to his roots and stormed on the scene to demand the match between The Miz and John Cena end with a bang. For his next case of settling sports disputes, let's hope The Rock will end the NFL lockout by smashing Robert Kraft in the back of the head with a metal folding chair.


13. Michael Jackson statue

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 2.4 5.5

Credentials: Some of you want to be sophisticated worldwide soccer fans, but can't tell the teams apart from afar. Well, here's one way to know what team Fulham FC is in the Barclays Premier League: It's the one in London where team chairman Mohamed Al Fayed had a Michael Jackson statue unveiled outside its Craven Cottage stadium. Attention high school students: We hope it's not a sign of our crumbling education system if you can't answer the SAT question: "'Michael Jackson' is to 'British soccer' as 'logic' is to (fill in the blank)." When in doubt, just put "Elephant Man bones."


Also receiving votes
• Butler vs. VCU's TV ratings: More than 14 million people tuned in to see these mini-mid-majors square off in the Final Four. You know what this means? Move over, "ACC/Big Ten Challenge." Next year, the networks will be scrambling to broadcast game after game of the "Horizon League/Colonial Athletic Association Supremacy Cup." We'll let you know when Loyola-Towson tips off.

Never receiving votes
• Rutgers petty cash: So, let's get this straight: If it gets discovered that a Scarlet Knights assistant coach buys a high school athlete a $7 sandwich on the sly, it's a recruiting violation, they lose scholarships and are in trouble for years. But paying Snooki $32,000 to share her life experiences for a public speaking engagement? COMPLETELY LEGIT. Further injustice: The producers of "Jersey Shore" won't get in trouble if it's discovered Snooki traded a Rutgers football jersey with her name on the back for free tattoos.

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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