Week 7 Power Rankings by Joe Carrot October 24, 2006 PORTLAND-Unlike last week, Portland is making me very happy. Having bet against Portland in their game with Miami in my Game of Week 6, I got smarter, picking the JailBlazers over the Ruff Ryders in the Game of Week 7. And it paid off-big time. Portland won 76-58, very close to my prediction of 80-65. The JailBlazers have sold out back-to-back home games and are maintaining a slim lead over division-rival Hawaii. Should they lose out on the division, they will probably still win the wild card spot. But that doesn't mean that the fans will be happy with that. "I love JailBlazer home games, man," says Garry, a 20-year old college student wearing a hemp team t-shirt. "It's, like, cool 'cuz we can smoke pot and not get arrested. Oh, and we like the JailBlazers too. So I definitely want the JailBlazers to win the division. That way, we get more home games. So we can smoke more pot." (Garry then went on to stare at his hands for four very awkward minutes.) "Oh, and also to watch the JailBlazers, man." Carry on Garry. Carry on. Hawaiian Punch (1) Hawaii defeated a hapless Connecticut team right when things were going the Yanquis' way. More importantly, Hawaii is still a stronger team than Portland. Portland JailBlazers (2) Portland could have scored more points had they been more active in free agency and found a replacement for Steven Jackson. Miami Dolphins (4) Miami won, improving their playoff hopes significantly. They needed this win badly, but almost didn't get it had it not been for a last minute FG by Mr. Clutch Adam Vinatieri. But be forewarned, Miami: you edged-out a not-so-good Omaha team and should watch your back. New York Ruff Ryders (3) They have now lost two games in a row. but so has every other team in the division. Interestingly enough, they could still miss the playoffs in the last weeks of the season. If that happens, I guarantee New York will not be in the top four of my rankings. Guaranteed. Philadelphia Phanatics (6) Philly shows up against lesser teams, then disappears when playing stronger ones. Seattle Giants (5) Seattle put up great points this week, they just couldn't win on the road against a very tough Philly team. This team is much better than their record indicates. New Jersey Archenemy (7) A week ago they were tied with Miami for the division lead. Now, they are not. Wow, how quickly things change. Springfield Pirates (8) Their fate is tied to the Ruff Ryders. If New York blows the creampuff division title, expect this team to switch places with them in the rankings. Omaha 9Ball (9) Omaha put up 80+ points for the second consecutive week. and lost for the second consecutive week. But don't be discouraged: every other team in the creampuff division lost too. Lathom Legion (10) Lathom is actually good and should improve next season. Loudonville Legends (12) Tip # 1 for improving this team: fix the starting quarterback, both for now and the future. Connecticut Yanquis (11) The Yanquis have re-taken their rightful place as the bottom-feeders of the league, but take heart: they lost to a very good team. Game of Week 8 - Hawaiian Punch @ Portland JailBlazers Even though this is the third week in a row that Portland is playing in the game of the week, they deserve this one more than any of the others. This game will determine who wins the division. And guess what? It's in Portland. again. Prediction: Hawaii takes it in a squeaker, 85-84.