The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Archive for November 14th, 2007

Disappointment Zone Power Rankings: November

Posted by disappointmentzone on 14 November 2007

My elite team of MIT-educated number crunchers has been busy working in a dimly lit basement somewhere in the lower-middle contiguous United States. The mixture of location and importance of purpose has forged in them a bunker mentality. Take that as a sign of how meaningful these rankings are. Take them seriously, if only to give the MIT-educated number crunches an additional modicum of self esteem.

1) The Cleveland Browns

They have captured the minds and hearts of the American sports-minded public, riding a 3-1 record over their last four games and averaging about twice as many points per game during that stretch than they averaged all last season. Though they’re currently on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, they have an insanely easy schedule to close out the season. The Browns should be favored in at least five of their last seven games, if not six, if not seven. Five wins puts them in pretty good shape for a Wild Card berth; six puts them in great shape; and seven wins might put them back in contention for the division crown. When the season began no one expected them to be doing nearly this well. They are essentially playing with house money at this point, and when you play with house money you cannot lose. That said, if the Browns miss the playoffs there will be a lot of broken hearts, but there’s something to be said for having your team crush your soul in the last week of the season as opposed to during the first week of the season. Of course, the Browns are in that rare position of being able to do both at once. Still, we’re holding out hope. The skies are sunny above Cleveland Browns Stadium.

2) The Cleveland Indians

The Indians lost to Boston in seven games of the de facto World Series, a series that very well might have been decided by home field advantage, which the Red Sox won in a tie breaker over the Indians when both teams finished with 96 wins, tied for best in baseball. The core of the team is returning next season, as is most of the peripheral help. The Indians have the option of being extremely selective this off-season; there are no holes. LF and 3B could use an upgrade, but even if neither is addressed the Indians will still be favored to win the Central Division and will be one of the early season favorites for the World Series. Oh, and CC Sabathia won the Cy Young Award. Not too shabby.

3) Aston Villa

Since being destroyed 4-1 by Man U back in mid-October the Aston Villa has run off a 2-0-1 record, leaving them firmly entrenched at #8 in the EPL standings. Villa has six wins so far this season, tied for fifth most in the EPL with four other teams, including Liverpool, whose undefeated. Not too shabby. Were it not for a spectacular run for the Browns Villa might still lay claim to supremacy among Cleveland-related football teams, for for the time being that distinction belongs to the Browns.

4) The Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are 4-4 and coming off their toughest road trip of the season, a six game swing through the second tier of the Western Conference. Entering the season a 4-4 mark would have been considered a large success. After the first game of the season, however, a 4-4 mark would have been considered nearly impossible. When they’re not tired or unfocused, the team has shown the ability to play quite well. Other than poor free throw shooting LBJ has been a monster; Daniel Gibson is showing that last spring was no fluke; Devin Brown has been every bit as good as anyone hoped; Larry Hughes has missed a few games due to injury, which is probably a good thing; and both Z and Ilguaskas are having terrific seasons. All that’s left is getting Varejao signed, which one hopes happens sooner rather than later.

5) Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Boy does that loss to Illinois hurt. Too painful to write about. They better defeat Michigan or this might go down as one of the most depressing collapses in their fabled history.

6) Ohio State Basketball Buckeyes

The jury is out on this team until further notice, which is as generous an assessment as one can make after they lost to DII Findley. A finish in the upper half of the Big Ten and a 10-7 seed in the NCAAs would represent a good season. Lighty is a beast.

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Posted in Aston Villa/English Premier League, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Sports, Ohio State Buckeyes | 10 Comments »