It's been awhile since I've done one of these so here's the lowdown...
This is my list and is completely opinionated. So if you like cold hard facts, go read something else. With each of these I will have ratings. There will be an exclusiveness rating (how easy or hard it is to get in), an activeness rating (if there is a lot going on in the group), thrill (how fun it is to be in the group), and an overall rating (how good this group is). Each will be on a scale of 1-10. Last edition's ranking is in parentheses.
1. S.I.F.S. (1) - This group was the runaway favorite for #1. They have fantastic blogging (about 2 a day) and great throwdown tournaments. They've also done well in having an active message board and in having plenty of polls. There are 41 members in the group, which was founded on October 15, 2007 by hiya.
2. No More Idiots (NR) - NMI does a great job of keeping the idiots on FN in their place. Their throwdown tournaments have also been highly successful, and it's one of the best-run groups on the site. It is a fairly large group with 59 members and was established on January 8, 2008 by rstowe.
3. Chat Room Group (2) - Although the Atroo is a very controversial group, it's one of the most fun to be a part of. Yes, they don't talk about sports all the time, but they keep it interesting. Many (and I stress many) will get rejected when they apply. At any rate, it features 24 members and was founded on July 28, 2007 by Big Ben68.
4. FanNation Hall of Fame (3) - The site's HOF is very well-run and does a very good job of inducting those into the Hall that truly deserve to be there. It was established on August 30, 2007 by PackersLP21 but is basically run by hiya and DetroitFan. The HOF is a gigantic group with 224 members and growing.
5. The FanNation Community (NR) - Most would argue that the group isn't active at all. However, the amount of blogs that are viewed by members because of this group is amazing. I'd say about 75% or more of the blogs I receive word of through FanMail are sent through this group. It has 598 members and was established on August 20, 2007 by NCshvDavid.
Top 3 Throwdown Leagues and Tournaments
I will also rate these in three areas. First, the stength of field portion. It is about how good of throwdowners the tournament boasts. Next is the topic part. How creative and unique yet fair can a group be with its topics? And, finally, I will see how well the group's leader is at running the tourney or league.
1. Tournament Throwdowns (3) - They run tournaments nonstop and NCshvDavid, the founder, does a good job of keeping them moving. The topics are kept very different and difficult and the competition is extremely good for a public group.
Strength of Field- 6
Leader's Job- 8
2. S.I.F.S. (1) - This group's tournaments dropped a little due to the time they take up in between the different tournaments. However, the process hiya uses for picking the sports for the topic is great. Currently, they are in the semifinal round of the 4th group tournament.
Stength of Field- 9
Leader's Job- 8
3. No More Idiots (NR) - They are currently working on their fourth group tournament and all four have been huge successes. The topics are usually pretty good and the competition is always stiff. The NMI keeps their tournaments pretty big, too, with the current one featuring 20 good throwdowners.
Strength of Field- 8
Leader's Job- 8