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September 04, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
The final preseason RCS NFL Power Averages are out, and no surprise, the Patriots are ranked number one.
The RCS averages combine eight other sites' power rankings, who all have their own way of computing rankings (single person, panel, simulations, etc.) to make the most balanced and unbiased rankings possible. Looking at the RCS Power Averages, you can see some large discrepancies between the different ranking systems.
Within the top-ten teams alone there is a lot of variation from system to system, with the largest such discrepancy belonging to the Jaguars, who have rankings has high as 3rd (Covers) and as low as 13th (What If Sports). The Jets have the highest difference between two ranking systems, with What If Sports putting them 6th, and Fox Sports ranking them 27th (although, they last made their rankings on July 31st), but most have the J-E-T-S ranked in the 15-20 range. Two teams all the publications agreed on were the top-ranked Patriots (no lower than 2nd in any ranking) and the basement-dwelling Falcons (no higher than 31st in any ranking).
It looks as if most believe the AFC dominance of the league to be over, as the top-ten is evenly split between AFC and NFC teams. The NFC East is thought of as the strongest division, with all teams ranked in the top 15 (3, 6, 13, and 15); while the NFC West is thought of as the weakest (9, 21, 25, and 28). The NFC South is the only division without a team ranked in the top 10 (12, 16, 19, 32).