The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

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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10 Responses to “Disappointment Zone Power Rankings: November”

  1. Erik said

    “They have captured the minds and hearts of the American sports-minded public”

    Is this hyperbole or did I miss something? 5-4 teams do not mesmerize the national public.

    In Boston, they’re so busy preening in the mirror over their Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics, I’m not sure they’re even aware that there is an NFL franchise named the Cleveland Browns.

  2. It’s hyperbole. This whole exercise is always a joke.

  3. Ben said

    The crazy thing is, the Browns have been getting better publicity from ESPN this season than the Cavs or Tribe did. These guys love DA, Edwards and Winslow.

    Watching ESPN, you’d think that the Tribe was in the playoffs just to there’d be a team to face the Yankees before the Sox-Yanks ALCS and that LeBron’s teammates are all deaf, dumb and blind (and it’s not true, no one is deaf or blind!).

    Plus, we all know that an 8-8 Browns season trumps a 72-10 Cavalier season in the hearts and minds of Cleveland fans, right?

  4. Ryan A said

    “The skies are sunny above Cleveland Browns Stadium.”

    You know what’s funny? During the 4th quarter of the first game of the season I had to run downtown and the ONLY place it was raining was when I passed in front of the stadium. Literally, it was raining for half a mile.

  5. Erik said

    The semi-related thing about it is, we wouldn’t know or care what the weather above Browns Stadium is if the powers that be would have put a dome up like they should have.

    I know you need to have hotels and night life to attract big events like the Super Bowl and Final Four, but I think it’s a chicken/egg proposition. Build a facility that can house those events, and the hotels and restaurants will come.

    I mean, if they can have a Super Bowl in Detroit (have you seen the area around Ford Field? Comerica Park, a couple of decent restaurants and 600 square miles of scary ghetto) they could certainly have one in Cleveland.

    Alas, we’re stuck with a freezing-cold outdoor stadium on an underdeveloped lakefront with 72,000 orange seats that are slowly fading to pink due to Sun-bleaching.

    The whole idea was ill-concieved and hastily thrown together. Yet another way Modell’s move screwed Cleveland.

  6. Ryan A said

    Domes are for sissies. I thought up a long and intelligent response to your post but that’s all that came out when I typed.

  7. Haze said

    I don’t understand how 3b and LF are not considered holes. If Jason f’in Michaels plays there, there is a hole. Fransico hit .326 in the minors this year and if if Delucci has something left it could be a nice team. The Indians need to trade for a 3rd basemen or sign Lowell. So far I’ve heard Cabrera (Marlins), Rolen, and a few other fags.. but here’s a thought: Brandon Inge? He’s coming off a horrible season which means he’s vulnerable to Death, which makes him a great fit for The City That Sucks the Life Out Everything, but he’s potentially a great player and I belive a free agent.

    And there’s another hole: RF. A guy who hits .266 with 14 HRs and is way streaky is not a qualified ouitfielder. But if you platoon him with a guy who has awful righty/lefty splits but bats on the opposite and is also streaky side you might have a good fit. Like Ben Broussard, who we traded for Choo, who is essentially worthless bc he can’t hit for power and now has arm problems.

    Now trade Lee, marte, some AA pitcher and Browowski for Brad Lidge. Put Adam Miller in the bullpen.

    Terrific! I solved our offseason conundrums! Lets get high.

  8. Haze said

    And turn that retard filter off I did not make that many typos jackass.

  9. Haze said

    Broussard is also a free agent btw.

  10. There is no filter, Haze.

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