By Sam Rubenstein

What is power? What is better? What is worse? What is good? What is bad? Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why did Judas grab the Romans while Jesus slept? Sorry, I still feel bad that I missed out on this. Not the best way to describe it, but GZA was supposed to perform Liquid Swords all the way through, no other material. Enough sidetracking.

These are what other websites call Power Rankings. It’s a term that I’ve never liked, which is why I came up with The Dirty 30. Simply put, it is rankings from best to worst. It’s a better way to measure how good a team is than W-L record. The Hollinger movement is a little too scientific for my tastes, and I’m sure he has lots of projections based on point differential, PER, age, and so forth, but to each his own. I used to be more into the harsh reality of data than I am today. Back in a previous life before SLAM, my job title was “Data Manager”, although I tried to get them to change it to “The dark prince of data” and I wanted my business card to read “Putting the MAN in data management.” No luck there. As far as lists and data go, between you (all) and me, I find their rigidity restrictive.

This year, like everything else at slamonline, I hope to make the Dirty 30 more of a group effort. Perhaps it can even lead to the current Dirty 30 writer insulting the previous week’s writer, and what’s better than that? This is a fun exercise in creating a list that will no doubt piss someone off more than it should and they will have responses or their own ideas.

Holly MacKenzie gives us our first Dirty 30 of the season. I’m sorry to report this but Marc Stein, Marty Burns, Jeff Dengate, and anyone else writing a power rankings column, your reign at the top is over. It was short like leprechauns if you need another Hip Hop reference. Take it away Holly.