ESPN has a four-step process for determining what it deems “Ultimate Standings,” whereby it attempts to rank all NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL teams 1-122 in eight different categories related to the fan experience.
If you really want to know about the process, you can read about it here. But mostly you probably want to just get to the important stuff, which is: Where did Minnesota teams rank? Here you go, including links to each of the four individual stories:
Perhaps no surprise, it’s the Wild at the top of the local standings. The local hockey team ranked No. 37 overall and No. 9 among NHL teams. With a very good fan experience and actual success, this is where the franchise belongs. That said, the Wild dropped 13 spots from last season.
The Twins are next at No. 47 overall, just outside the top 10 in MLB and up 15 overall spots from last season. Winning is good for fan perception and the fan experience. It’s been confirmed.
It drops off quite a ways from there, with the Vikings all the way down at No. 86. That is, however, a jump of 17 spots up from last year — fueled by the impending opening of the new stadium, per the story.
At the bottom? Yes, the Wolves. They’re No. 97 overall, but again like the Vikings they’re up 17 spots from a year ago.
What does this tell us? Well, quite possibly nothing. It’s a well-constructed ranking, but it’s also still subjective. If we are going to pay an attention to it, though, maybe we can gain insight in that the Twins, Vikings and Wolves made double-digit gains in these Ultimate Standings while the Wild had a double-digit drop.