Chad Callihan gets things sorted:
Have you ever needed a Top 10 list? It may sound like a simple task but not all lists are the same. Consider records where there are ties. Does that mean you need more than 10 records? If two records tie for first does that mean the third record is considered to be ranked second? No matter what type of list you need, SQL Server can help you find your way.
Click through for an overview of three of the four ranking functions in SQL Server. Poor