I just saw a pattern yesterday for a hat that did exactly what you're talking about... more or less. The band was cabled, and then you picked up stitches along the border of the cable to begin the top of the hat. Now if I could just remember where I saw it...
Anyway, to answer the question, yes it would work. And if I can find the pattern again, I'll post the link. You could easily modify it to work with your ribbed band. At least I would think you could.
Update: This isn't the pattern I was thinking of, but it looks like what you're talking about if you want to see what a horizontal rib wold look like.
I don't know where the pattern I saw yesterday went, but basically (as I recall) you worked the band flat starting with a provisional cast on, then joined the ends with Kitchener stitch, then picked up from the top edge and off ya go!