I uncovered this article about a comparison of Pennsylvania’s leading potato chip brands, which caused me to think: what would a March Madness bracket of potato chips look like?

So I gave it a shot. But I only crafted an eight-team seeding. A full sixty-eight chip bracket (there are sixty-eight teams in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament) is too daunting a task. There’s certainly that many potato chip brands, but I don’t know enough to be fluent in them yet.

I seeded the chips subjectively. There is no tournament committee – only me in my living room and my experienced chip-eating gullet.

Rankings are based on chip preference (would I eat them again), historical stature (how long have they been around), and percentage of good flavors (the crap ratio. A high crap ration is important: for example, every Herr’s chip I’ve tasted has been tolerable even the steak flavor! So the denominator, number of crap flavors, is lower. This makes the score higher.). The texture of the chip has no bearing on the ranking – a ridged is treated equally to kettle cooked or plain.

To make the top 8 is an honor, so there are no losers here.

If this becomes a hit, I’ll plan to re-rank the chip brands for the 2015 tournament.. So consider these the 2014 tournament ranks.

Here’s the list:

  1. Herr’s
  2. Lay’s
  3. Vitner’s
  4. Utz
  5. Cape Cod
  6. Krunchers
  7. Wise
  8. Better Made

The Lay’s / Wise matchup has the biggest upset potential. Wise’s Onion and Garlic is a unique, fantastic flavor. Plus, Lay’s barbeque chips are all over the board. Utz/Cape Cod will be a bloodbath.

What do you think? Who got snubbed? Leave a comment or email