AP is pushing its “Pro32” list in annoying ways

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Like every other media outlet that covers the NFL, the Associated Press finally has come up with a system of power rankings.

Unlike every other media outlet the covers the NFL, the AP is affirmatively promoting its power rankings, aggressively.

Clumsily dubbed “Pro32” in an apparent effort to avoid drawing too much attention to the fact that:  (1) it’s just a set of power rankings; and (2) the AP is more than a decade late to the party, we’ve noticed that the AP is now dropping parenthetical references to the “Pro32” list in its NFL articles.

For example, in a story about the upcoming Cardinals-Raiders preseason game:  “(Arizona and Oakland are tied for No. 23 in the AP Pro 32.)”

It’s an annoying practice because the mention of where the team lands on the AP power rankings has zero relevance to the stories in which the reference appears.  It’s just an awkward, out-of-place reminder of the existence of the “Pro32” in the apparent hope that, if the name gets printed enough, people will start to:  (1) pay attention to it; and (2) actually start using the term “Pro32” instead of “power rankings.”

We understand that cross-promotion has become a key component of the ESPNification of sports coverage.  But this is too much.  Indeed, not even the folks who brought us ESPNification would dare wedge a “by the way the Packers are No. 2 in our ESPN Power Poll brought to you by Power Bar” into its on-air copy.  (Crap.  I may have just given them an idea.)

Power rankings are inherently meaningless, and the decision of the AP to shoehorn an acknowledgement of its own power rankings into nearly every NFL story is even more bizarre than the decision of the AP to calls its power rankings something other than power rankings.

22 responses to “AP is pushing its “Pro32” list in annoying ways

  1. PFT’s power rankings heading into this season is pretty close to perfection in my opinion.

  2. I think Florio is overstating the problem here. In fact, the very appeal of the AP Poll is that, you know, it’s generated by the Associated Press – an organization comprised of dozens of media outlets – , and not a single media outlet like SI, ESPN, NFL.com, or (cough!) NBCSports.com.

    The broad sampling that makes the AP Poll unique is what also gives it an advantage over the generic polls generated by the ESPNs of the world. The AP has clout and credibility where single media outlets like ESPN have none.

  3. Yes- shameless plugging of a seemingly outdated practice is pretty stupid.

    But the “Pro32” actually looks like an attempt to incorporate a popular talking point of college football into NFL discussion, with the AP polling media members- and then tallying up the votes.

    So as an NFL ranking system, its semi-fresh in that it polls media members, but it is just as valuable to the NFL playoffs as the AP College Poll has/had on the BCS

  4. So…

    Does this mean the Associated Press game stories will include No. 23 Oakland Raiders vs. No. 23 Arizona Cardinals ala the Top 25 Poll game stories the AP puts out?

  5. ALL of these kinds of rankings are garbage.
    I never pay attention to them,much less put any stock in them.

    For example….
    ESPN & every talking head out there last season had the Bengals 32 and going 0-16 after having a top tier defense.

    It may be only silly in hindsight to some,but did they forget about the Lions,Browns,Jags,etc?

    Point being,nobody knows how things will play out and ranking them in preseason is a crapshoot.
    Too many things factor into the outcome that aren’t taken into account.

    Might as well call up Ms. Cleo and ask her who’s going to win the SB.

  6. who cares these things are never right anyways experts are only expert at one thing: picking the cowboys every year to win the superbowl

  7. I’m pretty sure that ESPN went past “too much” at least three years ago. “Who’s Now” honestly destroyed any hope I had for the network. PFT can be quite strange at times but at least they don’t have to resort to incredibly stupid gimmicks like that.

  8. 1. We don’t need a ranking for the NFL because they can’t pad their schedule with off weeks and cream puff opponents whenever they want to.
    2. Rankings mean nothing because the NFL has a full playoff system based on season record and wins. Not some bs computer system design whose only purpose is to guarantee the biggest ratings and pad some bowl committee’s salaries and perks.
    3. Because of 1&2, great stories like the 2007 Giants, the 2010 Packers, the 2011 Giants, Elway’s drive against the Browns and Montana to Dwight Clark against The mighty Cowboys in ’81.
    CONCLUSION: The AP is desperate to prove its relevance in Sport with a last ditch effort

  9. The Pro16 would be a better idea. That way there would be something else for the bottom 16 teams to shoot for…

  10. Stupid idea. This is the kind of crap ESPN pulls. Surprising these jerks didn’t come up with an equally useless poll.

  11. Maybe the AP can invent a sweet new social media outlet for people to connect and see pictures of their friends…….call it, AP Head Place

    Or, maybe they could have a media outlet on the web where people can share brief thoughts…….call it, AP Chitter

    Man, the world is their oyster!

  12. Agree with above, QBR is a joke, and it was beaten to death in every broadcast the last few years.

  13. AP runs the top 25 college rankings they just want to do the same with the NFL I have no problem with them loosely throwing the parentheses in there

  14. It’s a good idea. Power rankings are very popular with fans, and even players. Yours are the mosted commented on every week. And they’re mostly meaningless because they’re all influenced by some biases and aren’t as well thought out as we’d like.

    Who cares what they call it? So they had to call it AP Power Rankings? That’s a lot. Pro32 is short.

    As far as shoehorning in a 12-word sentence, I do not care… Just throwing this out there, I read a lot of articles on here because of the abundance of news and updates, and every article of yours I skip the first and maybe the second paragraph just to get to the point of the article. A 12-word sentence isn’t a big deal.

  15. On first glance I initially thought it might be a power bar (or something) being promoted by Adrian Peterson.

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