Sunday, October 20, 2013
Glenbard North joins my rankings...
My Game of the Week will be selected from one of the following:
Lake Zurich (8-0) at Stevenson (6-2);
Loyola (8-0) at St. Rita (7-1); or
Glenbard North (7-1) at Wheaton North (7-1)
In the meantime, here are the 24 teams I've seen that are still playoff-eligible. (Each team's individual rank after its name is in the following order: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and MaxPreps. You can click on each of those links to see their entire rankings.)
1. Loyola (8-0); Trib No. 1, Sun-Times No. 1, MaxPreps No. 3.
The Ramblers remain on top after beating Lake Forest Academy (3-5). This week brings the big finale at St. Rita (7-1).
2. Glenbard North (7-1); Trib No. 7, Sun-Times No. 7, MaxPreps No. 8.
Running back Justin Jackson put on quite a show Friday night as he rushed for 349 yards and scored three touchdowns in only three quarters against a strong Wheaton Warrenville South (6-2) defense. This week's match-up against Wheaton North (7-1) could be every bit as good as last year's when the Panthers edged the Falcons, 17-15.
3. Bolingbrook (8-0); Trib No. 6, Sun-Times No. 6, MaxPreps No. 14.
The Brook beat rival Lincoln-Way East (6-2) and have to get past Sandburg (5-3) to finish undefeated. Could I have ranked the Raiders No. 2 or even No. 1? Absolutely.
4. Homewood-Flossmoor (7-1); Trib No. 8, Sun-Times No. 8, MaxPreps No. 17.
The Vikings defeated Lockport (2-6) and should beat Stagg (4-4) this week. If so, H-F could be in for a rematch with Bolingbrook.
5. Mount Carmel (7-1); Trib No. 2, Sun-Times No. 2, MaxPreps No. 5.
The Caravan shut out Providence (4-4) without star running back Matt Domer. Carmel should cruise past Leo (7-1) this week and enter the postseason at 8-1.
6. Wheaton North (7-1); Trib No. 12, Sun-Times No. 11, MaxPreps No. 9.
The Falcons handled Naperville Central (5-3) with ease and now host Glenbard North (7-1). The contest will determine the winner of the DuPage Valley Conference.
7. Lake Zurich (8-0); Trib No. 3, Sun-Times No. 3, MaxPreps No. 6.
The Bears eliminated Libertyville (3-5) from the postseason and now travel to Stevenson (6-2) in what should be a good test (and harbinger) for both teams.
8. St. Rita (7-1); Trib No. 9, Sun-Times No. 9, MaxPreps No. 10.
The Mustangs struggled to get past Brother Rice (3-5). Will home-field advantage be enough to upset Loyola (8-0) this week? Quarterback Tommy Mister will have to be at the top of his game.
9. Neuqua Valley (7-1) Trib No. 11, Sun-Times No. 12, MaxPreps No. 33.
The Wildcats beat West Chicago (0-8) and now face Bartlett (3-5). I have Neuqua ranked higher than Naperville Central, who defeated them in a head-to-head contest. And that begs the question: Are rankings supposed to be for the whole season or just a snapshot?
10. Warren (6-2); MaxPreps No. 39.
The Blue Devils defeated Mundelein (1-7) and now travel to Lake Forest (6-2). If you're in the neighborhood, this should be a good game.
11. Marist (5-3); Sun-Times 21, MaxPreps No. 18.
The RedHawks redeemed their loss to Notre Dame (6-2) in Week Seven by upsetting Benet (6-2). Marist should defeat Moline (1-7) this week and enter the playoffs at a respectable 6-3.
12. Wheaton Warrenville South (6-2); Tribune No. 16, Sun-Times No. 14, MaxPreps No. 7.
The Tigers were a completely different team without running back Isaiah Campos. Wheaton South should bounce back against Glenbard East (2-6) this week but will need to be at full strength for the playoffs.
13. Naperville Central (5-3); Sun-Times No. 17, MaxPreps No. 22.
The Redhawks dropped their third game in a row, to Wheaton North (7-1). If Central can regroup against crosstown rival Naperville North (5-3) they can also enter the postseason at a respectable 6-3.
14. Benet (6-2); Trib No. 17, Sun-Times No. 22, MaxPreps No. 27.
The Redwings are another team that needs to turn things around before the playoffs. That could be hard to do against Joliet Catholic (7-1), though, even at home. Look for Benet to finish the regular season at 6-3.
15. Notre Dame (6-2); MaxPreps No. 25.
The Dons are still another school that badly needs a win this week. Fortunately, the Niles squad faces Carmel (1-7). Phew!
16. Providence (4-4); Sun-Times No. 22, MaxPreps No. 29.
The Celtics fell to Mount Carmel (7-1) and now have to defeat Brother Rice (3-5) for a playoff bid. I'll say Providence makes it and is a dangerous 5-4 team in the first round.
17. Fenwick (7-1); MaxPreps No. 35.
The Friars had no trouble with De La Salle (5-3) and should have even less with St. Laurence (4-4). At 8-1, Fenwick should draw a good seed for the playoffs.
18. St. Patrick (5-3); MaxPreps No. 53.
The Shamrocks barely got past Carmel (1-7) and now travel to St. Viator (5-3). This should be a good test for both squads.
19. De La Salle (5-3); MaxPreps No. 89.
The Meteors were shut out for the second week in a row, this time at the hands of Fenwick (7-1). De La Salle now travels to Bishop McNamara (5-3) for a game that will leave the winner at 6-3 and the loser at 5-4; that could mean a much different first-round opponent.
20. Niles West (6-2); MaxPreps No. 125.
The Wolves lost their second game in a row, to New Trier (4-4). Can they salvage a 7-2 season against Glenbrook South (6-2) on the road? I'll say no.
21. Phillips (5-3); MaxPreps No. 204.
The Wildcats appear to have finished their regular season by beating Westinghouse (0-7). Do some CPS teams only play eight games?
22. Crete-Monee (7-1); Trib No. 19, Sun-Times No. 22, MaxPreps No. 46.
The Warriors beat Rich South (1-7) but now have to travel to undefeated Rich Central (8-0). That could be a heck of a game!
1. IC Catholic Prep (5-3); MaxPreps No. 68.
The Knights beat Walther Lutheran (2-6) and should improve to 6-3 against Chicago Christian (2-6) this week.
2. Aurora Central Catholic (6-2); MaxPreps No. 135.
The Chargers upset Marmion (6-2) but now have to host Montini (8-0). Oh, well; 6-3 is a good finish.