Monday, September 16, 2013

Here's how I would rank...

... the eighteen teams I've seen through Week Three.

(Rather than post the rankings from each news service like I have in the past, I just put each team's individual rank after their name in the following order: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and MaxPreps. You can click on each of those links to see their entire rankings.)

This week I plan on seeing Benet (3-0) at Crete-Monee (3-0) on Friday night and Providence (2-1) at Loyola (3-0) on Saturday afternoon.

On to the BOWG rankings!

1. Wheaton Warrenville South (3-0); Tribune No. 6, Sun-Times No. 5, MaxPreps No. 4.

Are the Tigers really the best team in the state? I'm not sure. Could they beat Naperville Central or Mount Carmel? I don't know; South plays the Red Hawks in Week Six and could very well meet up with the Caravan in the 7A playoffs. But any team that can beat Glenbard West, Maine South and Wheaton North in its first three outings deserves to be ranked No. 1.

2. Naperville Central (3-0); Trib No. 13, Sun-Times No. 16, MaxPreps No. 5.

The team that I saw play Neuqua Valley in Week Two could have competed with anyone, including Mount Carmel. The Redhawks could be undefeated by the time they travel to Wheaton Warrenville South in Week Six. Put it on your calendar!

3. Mount Carmel (3-0); Trib No. 1, Sun-Times No. 1, MaxPreps No. 1.

The Caravan has outscored its three opponents, 131-8. Wow! But Carmel won't really be tested until Week Five at St. Rita. (And I'll be out of town. Can you believe it?)

4. Lake Zurich (3-0); Trib No. 4, Sun-Times No. 2, MaxPreps No. 3.

The Bears have surrendered only 7 points in twelve quarters. Their next big test will be Lake Forest (3-0) in Week Five.

5. St. Rita (3-0); Trib No. 7, Sun-Times No. 10, MaxPreps No. 14.

The Mustangs' showdown with Mount Carmel on September 27 could be the Game of the Year.

6. Marist (2-1); Trib No. 17, Sun-Times No. 15, MaxPreps No. 20.

The RedHawks had another big victory this week, over previously unbeaten Nazareth (2-1). Marist plays St. Patrick this Saturday and should be 3-1 in time for the showdown at Joliet Catholic (3-0) in Week Five.

7. Notre Dame (3-0); MaxPreps No. 36.

The Dons could be undefeated by the time they face Nazareth (2-1), Marist (2-1) and Joliet Catholic (3-0) back-to-back beginning in Week Six. (When did the East Suburban Catholic Conference get so tough?)

8. Wheaton North (2-1); Trib No. 18, Sun-Times No. 11, MaxPreps No. 17.

The Falcons disappointed me Friday night. Quarterback Clayton Thorson had to be frustrated too; his receivers dropped a lot of balls thrown in their hands. Did the Wheaton South defenders intimidate them? North will definitely have to play better this weekend if they expect to get past Naperville North (1-2).

9. Neuqua Valley (2-1) Sun-Times No. 25, MaxPreps No. 27.

The Wildcats shouldn't have had to struggle so much to beat winless South Elgin (0-3). If wide receiver Mikey Dudek ever came down with mono and had to miss a game like last year's placekicker (God forbid!) Neuqua would be in big trouble. This week brings undefeated St. Charles East (3-0). The Cats will have to be at the top of their game.

10. Warren (2-1); MaxPreps No. 41.

The Blue Devils should get back on track this week when they host winless Zion-Benton (0-3).

11. De La Salle (2-1); MaxPreps No. 120.

I really like this team, but the Meteors lost their first game to Providence (2-1) decisively. Next week against St. Ignatius (1-2) should be better. But my real question is: Can Providence upset Loyola this week?

12. Niles West (3-0); MaxPreps No. 174.

The Wolves could be undefeated by Week Seven when they host Maine South (1-2).

13. Phillips (1-2); MaxPreps No. 234.

Here's another team I really like. The Wildcats shut out Orr (0-3) for their first victory of the season Friday night. Phillips should get up to .500 this week against Julian (1-2).

14. St. Patrick (1-2); MaxPreps No. 60.

The Shamrocks fell to undefeated Benet (3-0) this Friday and face Marist next week. There just aren't many easy games in the ESCC.

15. Niles North (1-2); MaxPreps No. 335.

The Vikings were shut out by New Trier (1-2) this week and face undefeated Glenbrook South (3-0) this Saturday. That could bring their record to 1-3.

16. Bartlett (1-2); MaxPreps No. 203.

The Hawks notched their first victory against East Aurora (0-3) and could improve to 2-2 against Metea Valley (1-2) this week. Look for these guys to improve and climb in the rankings as the season progresses.

I also saw a couple of smaller schools play on Saturday and had originally planned on including them in my rankings. But while I was impressed with both teams, I now think it would be a little like ranking teams from Divisions I and II together: just not an apples-to-apples comparison. But they were fun to watch!

1. IC Catholic Prep (2-1); MaxPreps No. 141.

The Knights defeated Aurora Central on Saturday and face St. Edward (2-1) this week.

2. Aurora Central Catholic (2-1); MaxPreps No. 240.

The Chargers should get back on track this week against Chicago Christian (1-2).

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