ESPN the Magazine's ninth annual edition of its Ultimate Standings saw the Colts take a slight step back while the Pacers took a major leap forward.
The Colts finished 14th out of the 122 franchises evaluated from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. The Colts were the fourth ranked NFL team, but still fell 12 spots from their runner-up finish in last year's rankings on the heels of their trip to Super Bowl XLIV.
The Pacers made a major jump in the rankings after returning to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2006. They finished 98th overall and 22nd among NBA teams in 2010, but moved up to 48th overall this year. That was good for 13th among NBA franchises.
The poll considered eight categories: bang for the buck, fan relations, ownership, affordability, stadium experience, the likability and effort of players, coaching, and championship contention.
The Colts' strongest categories were title contention, where they finished eighth, and player likability and effort, where they finished 11th. But the Colts finished just 87th in coaching. The Colts finished first in the rankings in 2008.
The Pacers finished 21st in affordability and 26th in bang for the buck, but still lagged behind in coaching and championship contention, where the franchise finished 95th and 88th, respectively.
The Green Bay Packers, the only community owned franchise in major American professional sports, finished first in the poll. The Cincinnati Bengals were ranked last.