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Just in time for March Madness, the latest issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray features an NCAA-esque bracket that pits the country’s best steakhouses against each other, leading up to a final showdown between Grill 23 in Boston and Bern’s in Tampa, Fla. Bern’s ultimately takes the title, which is not so surprising. What’s truly alarming, at least to homers like me, is how poorly Ray’s the Steaks performed in the contest.

Michael Landrum‘s place never got out of the first round, which it lost to that stately house of bone-in stuffiness, The Prime Rib. You can view the results here in PDF form.

I’m not sure of the methodology behind the contest. This page on Ray’s Web site mentions that “[i]t took 17 critics, 20 meals and seven plane flights to find the greatest American steakhouse,” but frankly those numbers don’t add up. With 64 steakhouses competing in the initial rounds, how do you end up with only 20 meals? Maybe it’s 20 meals per critic? But even then, it means that the same judges were not used to rate all 64 restaurants, and you that means? Statistical chaos! Randomness! The Extinction of Several Species of Small Furry Animals!

Then again, it’s only Rachael Ray’s rag making the call. I’d be more worried if the contest were run by Consumer Reports.