Originally Posted by lawyerdad
Eh. Nothing you're saying is unreasonable, of course, and there's no "right" or "wrong" here. That said, what is "best" in this context? Do you measure that by some sort of power ranking driven by fantasy-type valuations of their rosters at the beginning of the season, adjusted or not for injuries? Or by some sort of strength-of-schedule weighted number crunching of their wins and losses and margins of victory and defeat over the course of the season? Some of it comes down to how we each watch sports and root for our teams, obviously. If my team is the odds-on favorite to win it all and fucks the duck, I'm not going to be happy. If they have a huge upside surprise, I will. And one could argue that running the table when everyone thinks you're an "inferior" team should count heavily in the "best" analysis, at least assuming you value whatever "intangibles" enable a team to do that.
I generally look at a mix of record and margin of victory. A few websites have ratings that track along those lines. Things like strength of schedule matter a bit in close cases and head to head can have a bit of value. I'll admit it's an inexact science, at least the way I look at it (I tend to use record / margin of victory) but might make an adjustment for weak SoS. Postseason matters to an extent (as any additional game provides new information), but I don't weight it more heavily than regular season. I tend to think there are great teams that underperform in the playoffs and lesser teams that can sometimes outperform.
I'd also rather have upside surprise than see my team lay an egg as a heavy favorite. I think as fans we get more satisfaction from winning, but when you like to play with numbers and analyze things, the "best team" question becomes a pretty interesting one.