Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The final rankings are in...

...and all three news services have Whitney Young at No. 1. As they should. Is it any doubt that the Dolphins (Dolphins?) are the best team in the state of Illinois? (Well, yes, there is that small matter of Curie, above. But I'll leave that to those with a higher pay grade, i. e., anything above zero, to decide.)

The only question left, I think, is: What the heck do we do with Benet? The team I saw lose to St. Viator in January was not the same squad that came within two points of winning the 4A championship.

According to Mike Helfgot of the Tribune, "Nobody played Young, Jahlil Okafor better." Really? So why doesn't he have them ranked No. 2?

Michael O'Brien of the Sun-Times, meanwhile, has Benet ranked No. 3, over Stevenson and Marian Catholic, two teams which beat the Redwings this year.

So who's right? What should we do with a team that lost seven games en route to the final? (Benet's other four defeats were at the hands of Fenwick, Providence-St. Mel, Rockford Auburn and Hamilton of Milwaukee, WI.) How, might you ask, did the Redwings find themselves in the finals against Whitney Young? Could it be -- gulp -- that they competed in a "favorable" bracket? Maybe. After all, Benet's postseason run went through Lemont (ranked No. 189 by MaxPreps), Waubonsie Valley (No. 77), Hinsdale Central (No. 20), Geneva (No. 22) and Glenbard North (No. 21). What if they had had to face Curie? Or Loyola? Or St. Rita or Simeon? Or Stevenson or St. Viator or Marian Catholic again? Would the Redwings have made it all the way to Peoria?

I don't want to sound like I'm knocking Benet or the guys whose job it is to compile the final rankings. There isn't a perfect playoff system and rating teams is not an exact science. But after looking at these three sets of rankings, I think MaxPreps has it the best this week.

My only remaining question, of course, is: Is Curie really the best team in Illinois?


1. Young (29-5)
2. Stevenson (32-2)*
3. Morgan Park (24-6) 
4. Benet (25-8)*
5. Orr (26-5)
6. Marian Catholic (28-3)*
7. Curie (0-26) 
8. Simeon (22-5)* 
9. Bogan (27-6)
10. North Chicago (26-5)


1. Young (28-5)
2. Morgan Park (24-6)
3. Benet (25-8)* 
4. Stevenson (32-2)*
5. Orr (26-5)
6. Marian Catholic (28-3)*
7. Bogan (27-6)
8. North Chicago (26-5)
9. Glenbard North (24-6)
10. Loyola (25-6)*


1. Young (30-5)
2. Stevenson (31-2)*
3. Curie (17-8)
4. Morgan Park (22-5) 
5. Benet (24-9)*
6. Lincoln (34-3)^
7. Springfield Lanphier (27-2)^
8. Marian Catholic (27-3)*
9. Orr (24-4)
10. Edwardsville (29-4)^

 And here's last week's.

* Seen 'em.

^ Outside the Chicago area.

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