ESPN's Page 2 staff just released their collection of the Ultimate Power Rankings based on the merger to present time. The following criteria were taken into account: Super Bowl Championships and appearances (fancy word for defeats), playoff wins, crushing playoff defeats (mentally, not statistically), overall winning percentage, seasons of 12+ wins and of 12+ losses, no. of players on first team All-Pro roster, franchise stability (coaching changes, draft busts), and media buzz and fan interest (appearances on MNF). Each category is given some weighted value, and you have to wonder if they figured it out ahead of time because the Dallas Cowboys (1498 points) beat the Steelers by the narrowist of margins (well, the margin was 3 points). Here's the Top 10 real quick, then I will dissect the 1-2 order because I strongly disagree.
3. San Francisco
9. St. Louis
10. New England
Okay, now my problem with Dallas being ranked ahead of Pittsburgh. They each have 5 Super Bowl rings, but Dallas has lost two more times than the Steelers in the finals. The scoring system awards the Cowboys 50 points for "appearing" in the those two extra Super Bowls, but any fan will tell you that those losses are gut wrenching, and for a team to claim that as an accomplishment is just stupid. If anything, you should get negative points for choking in the big game. That's outrageous (FYI: The Steelers are 2-1 against the Cowboys in Super Bowl Games). Playoff victories since 1970 are close, with the edge going to the Cowboys (can't argue against that). The Cowboys have had 4 more 12-win seasons, but also have had 2 12-loss seasons. The Steelers have never (NEVER) lost 12 or more games in the last 40 years, which speaks volumes of the team. The Steelers have had more All-Pros, the Cowboys more MNF appearances. The two most telling things about this chart is the stability (the Cowboys have had 3 times as many coaching changes, which will go up when Jason Garrett leap frogs Wade Phillips) and the one stat not measured: Greatest Single Team. Let's not forget that when football gurus rank the greatest teams that have ever played the game, the 70's Steelers routinely come in as best dynasty ever. That trumps any little statisitical advantage given to America's Team. Write it down folks, Steelers are the true number 1.