View Full Version : Power rankings since 1970?

09-17-2008, 03:19 PM
Don't know if this has been posted yet.

Anyways, "Page 2" at ESPN came with their rankings since the 1970 merger.

Of course, a shock they would put the Cowboys at the top.:yap:

One thought I do find funny though. If you ask most national sports scribes which team's fans get on their case the most when they seemingly diss that team, I think the vast majority would say Pittsburgh fans. With that in mind, I've noticed a trend in the national press. The scribes now seem to preemptively set out an explanation when they get to the Steelers' section of their articles as to why they ranked us as they did. Take note in this article of the second sentence in the Steelers' paragraph.:laughing:

Anyhow here is our paragraph and the Cowpies:

The Cowboys might not be your team, but they are indeed America's Team.

Since the merger, no team has displayed as much consistent excellence across as wide a variety of criteria as Dallas. During the NFL's modern era, the Cowboys lead the NFL in Super Bowl berths and playoff victories. No other team has won a Super Bowl under three different coaches.

The Cowboys have ranked in the top three in scoring 11 times and in scoring defense eight times since 1970 -- advancing to the NFC Championship Game an astonishing 14 times in that period.

Only Pittsburgh has had more first-team All-Pros. Only San Francisco has had more seasons of 12-plus wins. Only Miami has had more "Monday Night Football" appearances. How good are the Cowboys? So good that they won a Super Bowl with Barry Switzer as coach.

Certainly, the Cowboys have had their share of off-the-field issues. That's a case study for another day. What we'd really like to know is … how did these guys ever lose to the Lions and Cardinals in the playoffs?!



The Steelers narrowly missed out on bragging rights to the top spot. But before you blame Page 2, notice that Dallas was penalized with two "crushing" postseason defeats to Pittsburgh's zero. Left off that list was the Steelers' loss to San Diego in the 1994 AFC Championship Game, which occurred days after some Pittsburgh players met with a choreographer to make plans for a music video for a Super Bowl rap song called "The Blitzburgh." Embarrassing? Certainly. Crushing? Probably not.

So if you need to blame someone, we suggest Neil O'Donnell. Those two dubious interceptions to the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX amount to a 50-point swing.

On the positive side, Pittsburgh has enjoyed the NFL's most stable coaching situation -- consider that the Steelers have employed as many head coaches since the merger (three) as the Falcons have in the past nine months. Pittsburgh also leads the league in first-team All-Pros since 1970, with nine players being so honored at least five times. The Steelers have advanced to 13 AFC Championship Games, winning six.

The rest: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=nflrankings/1-10/080917

Here is where I think they are wrong. If you are truly going to rank teams from 1970 on, you have to consider more than what the teams did when they were really good. The Cowboys have had some great years to rival those of the Steelers, but when the Cowboys have been down they have been horrid. In fact, I can't think of a significant victory of the Cowboys that was unexpected when they wern't winning the supoerbowl.

On the other hand, even when the Steelers have not been in their glory years, they have come up with unexpected and quality victories. Remember the eighties were a pretty bad decade for us. Still, in the 1984 superbowl season we made the AFC Championship game and were the only team that year to beat the Superbowl Champion 49's, at their home no less.

In sum, penalize us for our crushing defeats (San Diego, ugh again), but credit us for our stunning victories because Dallas doesn't have any.

09-17-2008, 04:11 PM
if this is from 1970 to present, then they failed to mention the cowboys lack of a playoff win in the last 10 yrs.

09-17-2008, 04:35 PM
It goes back to who did more with what they had. The Cowboys always spent like drunken sailors, while the Steelers were forced to be more thrifty.

And good point about no playoff wins for a quarter of this time period.

Make that:
1. Steelers
2. Cowboys

09-17-2008, 05:04 PM
When the Cowboys win a playoff game to end their 10+ year drought, please call me and let me know about it. :coffee:

Basically they got the top spot because of them being known as "America's Team" and nothing else.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2008, 05:48 PM
At first I thought the Browns might be be ahead of the Bengals, but then again.....this only refers to the last 38years.

The Bengals at least got to the super bowl 2 times, while the Browns best days were when Brian Sipe was around.

09-17-2008, 06:51 PM
The 80's were a good decade or a bad decade depending how you look at it as a Steelers fan.

There were positives in the 80's, though there were little of them. There were a lot of gutsy wins in that era, and the Steelers advanced to an AFC Title game.

The Negatives? Take your pick. Cliff Stoudt? Mark Malone? Passing on Marino?

09-18-2008, 02:15 AM
One point I forgot to make. How much of a "homer" decision is it for ESPN to consider the number of MNF appearances as one of the criteria? To me that means very little, if anything.

For what it is worth, here is my ranking - 1970 to present:

ESPN rankings ( )
1) Steelers (2)- see above
2) Cowboys(1) - see above
3) Niners - (3) Arguably they had the longest single streak of greatness. However, before and after they have been horrible. Therefore, the Niners don't quite even up with Dallas or Pittsburgh.
4) Dolphins- (4) I had intended to drop Miami further down the list, but almost by default they belong here. Plus, the highest winning % (.608) of any team in the NFL.l
5) Broncos - (5) The Super Bowl record notwithstanding, Denver never seems to have long periods of "crapiness" like many of the other teams considered for this spot.
6) Skins - (8) I know their owner is a giant boob, but the two teams that ESPN ranked above them have had even bigger periods of "crapiness" (Vikings, Raiders). They had some great years and even with Snyder's bad management they have made the playoffs a few times.
7) Vikings - (7) 0-3 in Super Bowls, but look at all the all-pros .. and they have had moments of "goodness" in all four decades.
8) Giants - (11) OK, I'm shocked that there overall winning % is only .485, but most the rest of the teams left are barely over .500. Plus, like the Vikings, they have had moments where they have been pretty good in each decade since the 70's. Finally, you have to give them some bonus points for the unexpected victory last year.
9) Raiders - (6) Ok, they were great in the 70's and early 80's. I downgraded them because they have been pathetic since their last Super Bowl and, lest we forget, for the 10+ years previous to that.
10) Paricheats (10) I put them this high because appearing in the Super Bowl six times and winning three is pretty good compared to those below them.
11) Packers (14) IDK, I kind of like the fact that ESPN, who usually slobers all over the Packers, ranked the Packers lower than I would have thought. That said, once they got good in the last half of this era, they have been pretty consistent without big money to back them. They got kind of screwed that their first two Super Bowl wins don't count.
12) Rams (9) I was surprised with the number of playoff wins -15 and winning %..534. I still think ESPN ranked them too high.
13) Eagles (13) Not sure why the Bears are ranked above the Eagles. Yea, they are 0-2 in Super Bowls, but a winning % .534 and 13 playoff victories are better than da' bears
14) Bears (12) - see above
15) Colts (16) No way the Ravens should be above the Colts. Remember, the Colts keep their records from the Baltimore days. Some "crapiness," yes, but also some goodness.
16) Bills (18) Yes, they got spanked in four straight Super Bowls, but how about some credit for picking themselves up each year and getting back into the game after such devastating losses? All you have to do is look at what has happened to recent teams that have lost in the Super Bowl to appreciate what the Bills did accomplish.
17) Titans (17) - They still retain the Oilers old history and they were pretty good in the late 70's, and have had some other pretty good runs, thereafter. Plus, 12 playoff wins outranks everybody left.
18) Jags (20) Expansion team yes .. but look at that winning %. - .543. For being in the league only 13 seasons that is not bad.
19) Ravens (15) I don't know why ESPN ranked the Ravens so high. They don't retain Baltimores' records - which went with the Colts. I know they won a Super Bowl, but geez.
20) Chiefs (21) Only 2 playoff wins is pathetic, but they have been a good regular season team. - win %.506.
21) Seahawks (19) I rank them lower than ESPN because they were really bad for a very long time.
22) Panthers - (22) 6 playoff wins in 13 seasons is better than many on this list
23) Chargers - (23) 0-1 in the Super Bowl, but you have to give them some credit, since they had no reason to really be in that game. Talk about you unexpected victories.:doh:
24) Bungles (24) - At least they made it to two Super Bowls.
25) Buccanears (25) 1 Super Bowl win, but man they were bad early.
26) Jets (28) I know ESPN points out that they have the worst winning % in the AFC -outside of the Texans - since 1970. However, at this low point, it is hard to say much positive about any team. And I just see the Jets as a bit more competative than the rest of the remaining herd.
27) Falcons (26) Made the Super Bowl once - nobody else left has.
28) Texans (30) Yea, they have not won a playoff game their 6 year exsitence, but that puts them only 1 behind the Lions and 4 behind the Browns in their 37 years each. Give them a chance.
29) Browns (29) - see above.
30) Saints (31) Only 2 playoff wins, and man they have been bad for long stretches.
31) Lions (27) 1 playoff win in 37 years.:chuckle:
32) Cards (31) ditto. Plus, no 12 win seasons and a paltry .402 winning %.

That's it. What do you think?

Galax Steeler
09-18-2008, 03:49 AM
Its funny to see the bengals and browns down toward the bottom.

09-19-2008, 01:49 PM
Still, in the 1984 superbowl season we made the AFC Championship game and were the only team that year to beat the Superbowl Champion 49's, at their home no less.

That was the first football game I ever saw in person, so I have to bring that up every time I hear about it. If I remember right, the 49ers banged a game-winning field goal off the upright late in the 4th quarter and were actually THAT close to a legitimate perfect season. For them to lose it to the Steelers is probably the only way I'd have it and not mind.

I also think the Cowboys should be #3 behind Pittsburgh and SF.

The 49ers probably got whacked more than they deserve for being so bad lately -- you have to remember they had a 20-year run of dominance that spanned the entire career of TWO Hall of Fame quarterbacks back-to-back. That's unheard of in the modern era.

The Cowboys and Steelers both had two eras of greatness, but we beat them head-to-head twice in the first one. The Cowboys and 49ers were both a lot worse than us durin their low times. We've never gone worse than 5-11 since 1970, I remember the Cowboys and 49ers going 1-15 and 2-14, respectively. We were never so out-and-out horrid.

09-19-2008, 04:16 PM
In addition, IIRC, Brian Hinkle intercepted a Joe Montana pass that helped the Steelers to victory.

As much I dislike the Cowboys I think they are above the Niners. The Niners did have the longest sustained run lasting about 16 years, but as with the Cowboys they have done very little since the late 90's. The problem is that the Cowboys were much better in the 70's. Plus, the "Cowpies" have more playoff victories and a better over all winning %.

At least we can agree who should be first .:tt02::helmet::tt:

09-19-2008, 05:33 PM
.............above .500 seasons......P.OFFS.....DIV TITLES...........SB.....SB WINS
.pitt...............26............................ ....22................18........................6. .........5
dallas..........25................................ 25................17........................8..... ......5
SF................20.............................. ..21................17........................5... ........5.