I owe an apology for a mistake in my last article re: the ESPN Ultimate Standings. Some of the data came from the 2007 rankings and some came from the 2009 rankings. I've made the appropriate edits to the article but I'd like to summarize them here and add some additional comments.
From 2008, the Raiders have improved in the rankings in both their overall standings and several categories. Not much-improved but improved nonetheless. Last year the team ranked 117 and ownership and players were also ranked slightly higher.
The summary provided by ESPN does not give a very specific reason for their decision. As noted in my previous article the offense definitely had something to do with it. The article points to the Raiders' six-year record of 24-116.
Reasons for poor grades this year also included the team's on-field performance and betrayal of its "Just Win, Baby" slogan.
The one category that saw the biggest jump was affordability, scoring an 89. The network notes that tickets to games are $10 below the league's average. But this seems like a sad attempt of showing a silver lining to the situation.
As noted previously, the rankings seem suspect and at times flat out random. The LA Clippers came in dead last where many thought the 0-16 Detroit Lions should be.
In addition, all commentaries on team rankings are filled mainly with dollar signs, indicating that "Bang for Your Buck" was weighed more heavily than others. This category took into account everything from ticket prices to expensive hot dogs.
Personally, the sliver lining here is that the Raiders have nowhere to go but up in the eyes of the "almighty" ESPN guys. And, as noted in my previous article, it looks like 2009 will do just that.
For a full list of the rankings check out the Ultimate Standings.