Welcome To Top Ten Week

If you are a regular reader of our website you will have noticed that we publish Top 10 lists every month or so. In fact, this week we are rerunning many of our favorite lists from the past as well as unveiling a new one. Many of our fans have asked us how we come up with the topics to rank and how the actual ranking process works. I am here to give you a peek behind the REO curtain to see exactly how the sausage is made.1

Each Top 10 list we have done is voted on by anywhere from 7 to 11 people.2 One of us will throw out a potential topic that we think would be of interest and if there is enough support we compile a list of nominations. The size of our nominations list is dictated by the topic. When we ranked the Top 10 Sitcoms we started with a list of 128. Most of our lists have 64 or 32 entries. There is generally a small amount of bickering during this phase of the process.

After we have settled on the entries for a particular tournament we plug them in to an online bracket generator. Sometimes we will seed the entire field, sometimes we don’t seed any of them and allow the bracket to be completely random. Often times we will seed what we feel3 are contenders for the top 10 just so we won’t have the two best entries facing off in the first round. During this phase of the process the bickering usually begins to escalate.

After the bracket is set we vote on the matchups until the tournament is complete and we crown a winner as well as the rest of the top 10. The bickering intensifies at this point and there tends to be a lot of name calling and questioning of each other’s sanity, manhood and/or potential addiction to illegal substances. These are not our finest moments and I hesitate to even share this, but our loyal readers have asked and we always strive to be transparent here at REO.

After the list is complete, if we choose to publish it,4 we will divide up the list and write blurbs for some of our favorites. Then we share the list with the world and wait to be mocked for some of our selections.

There you have it. The complex inner workings of developing at great Top 10 list.

  1. I will do my best to stop mixing metaphors and using clichés for the remainder of this article.
  2. We try to have an odd number to break ties in voting. We are a group of guys so the female perspective on our lists is sorely lacking.
  3.  This part is not scientific. It is more of a gut feel. When we ranked the sitcoms for example we knew that Seinfeld and The Office would finish high so we seeded them so they would not face off in round 1. They ended up finishing first and fifth respectively.
  4.  I say “if” because we have some lists that will never see the light of day. The Power Ballad debacle of 2016 is a great example.
Michael Lytle

Michael Lytle

I live in Ashland City, TN. I am a happily married father of three children.

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