Thursday, September 19, 2013

The weather forecast for Wilmette...

...this Saturday is 65 degrees and sunny. How can I not walk the two miles over to Loyola and see the Ramblers host Providence, arguably the best 2-1 team in the state? (By the way, Jerry G., I'll save you your usual seat!)

Providence was 8-3 last year and made it to the second round of the 7A playoffs where they ran into eventual runner-up Lincoln-Way East. While the Trib doesn't rank the Celtics, the Sun-Times has them at No. 21 and MaxPreps at No. 25. The AP has Providence at No. 5 in 6A. Here's how the New Lenox squad has fared this year:

JOLIET CATHOLIC 42, Providence 35
Providence 38, MINOOKA 17
PROVIDENCE 55, De La Salle 20

Loyola, one of the darlings of the news services (ranked No. 2 in the Trib, No. 3 in the Sun-Times and No. 1 in 8A by the AP), was 11-2 last year and fell in the semis to Justin Jackson and Glenbard North. The Ramblers are undefeated in 2013, of course, but ranked only No. 13 by MaxPreps. Who's right? (We'll find out.) Here are their results so far:

LOYOLA 31, Marquette (WI) 8
Loyola 44, O'FALLON 20
LOYOLA 42, St. Ignatius 0

If it wasn't for that victory over O'Fallon (who seem to go deep in the playoffs each year), I'd say "Meh." But Loyola is Loyola, and although they don't boast a ton of Division I prospects, they are still the biggest school in the Catholic League and able to reload each year.

Here's how the two teams have performed against each other over the last nine years:

2012: LOYOLA 41, Providence 21
2011: Loyola 32, PROVIDENCE 6
2010: Loyola 21, PROVIDENCE 7
2009: PROVIDENCE 10, Loyola 3
2008: LOYOLA 13, Providence 0
2007: PROVIDENCE 20, Loyola 17
2006: LOYOLA 14, Providence 7
2005: PROVIDENCE 31, Loyola 29
2004: PROVIDENCE 29, Loyola 0

What do I make of it? I don't know, but Providence is bringing junior Miles Boykin, a 6'4", 207-pound wide receiver who is being heavily recruited by several Big Ten schools. The Celtics impressed me with that big win over De La Salle last week. Can they upset the Ramblers on the road?

P. S. I'll be live tweeting both games this weekend, Benet at Crete-Monee and Providence at Loyola, @BoringOldWhtGuy.

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