Thursday, October 10, 2013
There are only four undefeated teams...
...remaining in 8A: Loyola, Niles West, Bolingbrook and Homewood-Flossmoor. I've already seen the first two; tomorrow I'll see the last two.
Not only are the Brook and H-F undefeated, they're also ranked in the top ten by the Tribune and the Sun-Times. In MaxPreps, H-F is ranked No. 11 and Bolingbrook is No. 24. Oh, and they'll be competing for the Southwest Suburban Blue Conference title.
How can I not go? My buddy Kevin, who lives in Flossmoor, even recommended a restaurant (above) for me.
But, before I go any further, here are the games I won't be attending.
Up north, Maine South (4-2) will be at Niles West (6-0) while Marist (4-2) travels to Notre Dame (5-1).
Down south, there's Loyola (6-0) at De La Salle (5-1), Richards (5-1) at Argo (5-1) and Lincoln-Way West (5-1) at Lincoln-Way North (6-0).
And if you live out west, you can watch Marian Central (5-1) at Montini (6-0), Glenbard North (5-1) at Naperville Central (5-1) or Neuqua Valley (5-1) at Waubonsie Valley (5-1).
There. Now that we have that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let's focus on the contest at hand.
Bolingbrook has outscored its opponents this year, 203-22. Wow; that's impressive. (When I tweeted from the Naperville Central - Wheaton Warrenville South game that I may have been witnessing the two best defenses in the state, someone tweeted back: Raiders ... Then those other guys.)
But when you dig a little deeper you'll find that the Brook has yet to play a winning team. What's more, only one -- Hinsdale Central, at No. 96 -- has cracked the MaxPreps top 100. Have the Raiders really been tested this year?
Here's their schedule so far, with home team in CAPS:
Bolingbrook 17, HINSDALE CENTRAL 6
BOLINGBROOK 41, Romeoville 7
BOLINGBROOK 50 Joliet 0
Bolingbrook 41, STAGG 0
BOLINGBROOK 30, Joliet West 6
BOLINGBROOK 24, Lockport 3
H-F, on the other hand, has defeated three winning teams: Stevenson, Lincoln-Way East and Sandburg. Stevenson, you may recall, was ranked No.4 by the Trib and No. 2 by the Sun-Times before the season, and Lincoln-Way East was the 7A runner-up last year. Those three teams, plus Simeon, are all ranked in the top 100 by MaxPreps.
Here are the results for the Vikings so far this year:
HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 27, Simeon 13
Homewood-Flossmoor 28, STEVENSON 21
HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 48, Joliet West 14
Homewood-Flossmoor 49, JOLIET 0
HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 24, Lincoln-Way East 21
Homewood-Flossmoor 48, SANDBURG 10
Who do I think will win? Well, the Brook has defeated H-F in three of the last four meetings. (They didn't play in 2008 somehow.)
2012: BOLINGBROOK 45, Homewood-Flossmoor 28
2011: Bolingbrook 41, HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 28
2010: Homewood-Flossmoor 19, BOLINGBROOK 6
2009: Bolingbrook 42, HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 6
2007: Homewood-Flossmoor 20, BOLINGBROOK 17
2006: Bolingbrook 21, HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 18
2005: BOLINGBROOK 28, Homewood-Flossmoor 7
The Raiders won the 8A crown in 2011 with Aaron Bailey at quarterback and middle linebacker Antonio Morrison anchoring the defense. Boy, that was a team! (Bailey was injured on the second play of the game against Lincoln-Way East last year and was out for most of the season. He's seen some action, though, as a true freshman at Illinois this year as did Morrison last year at Florida.)
I saw the Brook twice last year -- against Lincoln-Way East in Week Six and against Neuqua Valley in the playoffs -- and their vaunted defense gave up a total of 86 points! So, even though coach John Ivlow has a state championship under his belt, count me a skeptic right now.
As for H-F, I've never seen them play. But I'm impressed with their schedule and just have a feeling that it's their year to win the conference outright. Who knows? Maybe the Vikings will end up facing Loyola in the 8A final in DeKalb.
Either way, it should be the Game of the Week. And I'll be live tweeting it @BoringOldWhtGuy.