Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Power poll ranks Vikings 31st

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Bears, Lions, NFC, Packers, Vikings fans, Vikings draft Updated: March 23, 2012 - 12:04 PM

Look at this way, frustrated Vikings fans.

If the Purple chooses to reach for the modern era's most annoying motivational tool -- the "No-Respect Card" -- they apparently won't have to extend too far in 2012.

In an ESPN power poll released today, the Vikings came sputtering in at No. 30. Only the Indianapolis Colts, who have done everything but shutter the doors and sell their remaining players on Ebay, rank lower.

The poll was compiled by five panelists, including John Clayton. The Giants ranked No. 1, the Patriots No. 2 and the Packers No. 3. The Lions were No. 8 and the Bears No. 20.

Yes, power polls in general don't mean diddly. And they really don't mean anything on March 23.

But as of March 23, this poll looks about right. And regardless of the date, it's never comfortable to be looking UP to see the Cleveland Browns (No. 29).

The Vikings ended last season at No. 31 and have dropped a spot because, as you might have noticed, they've been a tad quiet when it comes to free agency. 

I'm guessing the folks at Winter Park wouldn't be rattled by a No. 31 ranking that was assembled two weeks before the Masters. To them, the draft is the most important part of the offseason. Plus, their ability to improve hinges on the development of quarterback Christian Ponder. And that's something that can't possibly be judged until the season starts.

It's unlikely the Vikings will climb much higher in any power polls until they win some games. But, hey, at least they won't be stretching the truth when they deliver the most overused 21st century cliche in all of sports: "Nobody gave us a chance." 

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