Referee Mark Clattenburg has displaced Chelsea at the top of the network's latest rankings. Wait, that's not right.
I kid, I kid. Mark didn't move atop the power rankings in Week 9. However, the official did have a massive say in how Manchester United reached the summit. It's not in the interest of any of us to revisit the nightmarish scene at Stamford Bridge over the weekend, but suffice to say it was not a kosher one.
Voters are, of course, entitled to their own opinion. I support the process (Yes, we can). However, I find it difficult to see how Manchester United leapfrogs Chelsea following Sunday's match. Sure, Chelsea lost 3-2. But the match, following a fairly egregious opening 20 or so minutes, belonged to Chelsea in my estimation - even after the hosts went down to 10 men.
What can you do, though? We'll just have to reclaim first place with the ninja quickness.
Elsewhere, this could be seen somewhat as a week of stability. Spurs remain fourth, while the bottom three is unchanged. Liverpool, meanwhile, continue their prodigious climb, moving one spot into midtable. Let's have a look at this week's power rankings in full, shall we?
1. Manchester United (Average ranking: 1.73): Not that far ahead of Chelsea, but they are indeed ahead of us. Me no pleased with this decision, but, to be fair, we are pretty woeful defensively these days. I reckon it's going to be a jolly old marathon sludge to the Premier League crown.
2. Chelsea (1.80): Second, bah. Regardless, after watching this team answer the bell on two occasions over the past few days, against United of all people, I'm in a pretty decent mood altogether.
3. Manchester City (2.47): Grinding out league results with Michael Myers-like efficiency. Sound familiar? Travel back a few seasons to a side managed by a well-dressed man named Jose. Eh, let's hope not.
4. Tottenham Hotspur (4.07): Fourth again for Spurs, this despite looking highly uneven against a Southampton team that, well, couldn't keep a clean sheet against my vastly inept adult side. Still, three points are precious in this league, and to do so without one of your key schemers (Moussa Dembele) is not half-bad.
5. Everton (5.47): The Toffees are beginning to look a bit frail, at least when gazing back at the way they started the season. There's only so much David Moyes can do with this lot, as thin as his side is, but he may want to do some reworking. That being said, rallying from two goals down to secure a draw with Liverpool - even if the result is tainted by a phantom offside decision - is positive stuff, and fifth is spot-on.
6. Arsenal (5.60): Kieran Gibbs was already injured, and now Gervinho has joined him. Arsenal are rubbishing my fantasy auction league team. To think, I was certain I couldn't loathe this club anymore than I already did. RELEGATE.
7. Newcastle (7.80): A kind deflection has pushed the Magpies from 10th in last week's rankings to seventh currently. Huh? That's harsh on West Bromwich, in more than just these rankings. Recall, it was that deflection - off the back of Papiss Cisse - that resulted in a 2-1 defeat for Romelu Lukaku and Co.
8. West Bromwich Albion (8.20): Speaking of the Baggies. Here there are, down a spot despite some misfortune doing them in in their past two defeats. They'll be fine.
9. Fulham (8.33): Martin Jol's men fell a spot in this week's rankings and, to be frank, I half-expected them to slide even further. Conceding three goals, the last in stoppage time, minutes after Count Berbatov gave Fulham the lead, isn't exactly a formula for top-half stability. Add in a horrid run of fixtures to follow - Everton, Arsenal, Sunderland, Stoke City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle - and the Cottagers may well be ducking out of not just this top half but also the real version as well.
10. Liverpool (10.40): They spilled an early two-goal lead at Goodison Park and remain erratic as hell. But I just keep getting this feeling that Liverpool are about to straighten out - and it makes me sick. Can't really argue with midtable to be honest.
T11. West Ham (11.53): Hey, Yossi Benayoun played. I swear.
T11. Swansea City (11.53): I thought Swansea looked pretty good at the City of Manchester Stadium. City needed a couple of excellent Joe Hart saves (shocking, I know) from Michu to deny the visitors a point. The Swans are unlikely to fashion a way toward the European places, but I could envision them, if some consistency is unearthed, closer to where Fulham currently sit.
13. Sunderland (12.53): Why is Sunderland so boring?
14. Stoke City (13.27): Why is Stoke City so boring? Oh, right, we already know the answer to that question. But look, they're 14th. Again.
15. Wigan Athletic (14.47): I continue to be impressed with Roberto Martinez. Every time I see him on the tube, I think I become more of a fan. Creepy? Whatever. This Wigan side is meek at best, but Martinez is managing to pluck more and more out of it each week. Rise forth, Latics, and challenge for top half.
17. Norwich City (16.87): By all accounts, Chris Hughton is a nice guy. And it looks like that image is beginning to pay off with a string of solid results. Will they survive? Probably not, but at least they aren't folding. I like them in 17th at the moment. They may just hang out here for a while, too.
18. Reading (18.13): One win in eight isn't as poor a record as it suggests. Who am I kidding? It's pretty bad. This weekend's relegation six-pointer at Loftus Road is immense, for both sides.
19. Queens Park Rangers (19.07): Mark Hughes out! (if they lose this weekend, that is)
20. Southampton (19.13): I've harked on (and on and on) about Nigel Adkins' lack of foresight in the summer transfer window. Choosing not to reinforce your defense in favor of lush attacking signings is dumb. This is a fireable offense, people. They're going to score goals, yes. They're going to concede more. Right now, this is exactly where the Saints should be hanging out.