Power Rankings: Saints No. 2?

ESPN.com's inaugural 2010 regular-season NFL Power Rankings are out, and let me make one thing very clear as I get ready to head to New Orleans for Thursday night’s opener between the Vikings and Saints: I did not have a vote.

Somehow -- and this is beyond my comprehension -- the defending Super Bowl champions are No. 2 in the rankings. How’d that happen? Well, three voters did the only prudent thing they could and gave the Saints their No. 1 vote.

The fourth voter ranked the Saints No. 5. Yes, No. 5.

For the record, that voter is John Clayton and he and I will have a little discussion about this Wednesday when we roll out the final segment in our Great Debate series.

For the record, I think Clayton is the best in the business. Clayton also is a longtime friend and mentor. I’ve had dinner with him and ridden in the same rental car with him. Heck, we’re both Pennsylvania born and bred, although I have a pet name for the side of the state Clayton’s from -- “West Virginia.’’

But I disagree with Clayton on this one and I’m sure there are many New Orleans fans that more than disagree. They’re already filling up my mailbag with venom for Clayton.

Hmmm. I always thought retirement was a long way off, but I’m sensing a sudden opportunity here. For the right price, I might be willing to sell Clayton’s cell phone number.