Monday, November 10, 2014

I made it out to all three...

...of my Round Two Games of the Week: Phillips at Johnsburg on Friday night, Loyola at Stevenson, above, on Saturday afternoon and Oswego at Bolingbrook on Saturday night. (I know what you're thinking: I thought this guy said he was going to cut back on high school football? Yeah, well, whatever.)

Now before I get to the games themselves (probably tomorrow), let's have a look at the rankings from the three news services, followed by my own (and my own marginally insightful comments).

I saw four more new teams this weekend: Johnsburg, Stevenson, Oswego and Bolingbrook. That makes 21 teams in all, and 15 games in eleven weeks, for me. Of the eleven teams I ranked last week, Loyola, St. Rita, and Carmel are all out. But Stevenson and Bolingbrook are now in. So that means I've seen ten teams that are still in the playoffs. Got all that?

On to the rankings:


1. Glenbard West (11-0)
2. Providence (10-1)
3. Stevenson (11-0)
4. Loyola (8-3)
5. Barrington (10-1)
6. Edwardsville (10-1)
7. Cary-Grove (11-0)
8. Naperville Central (9-2)
9. Maine South (10-1)
10. Sacred Heart-Griffin (11-0)

Chicago Tribune

1. Stevenson (11-0)
2. Glenbard West (11-0)
3. Cary-Grove (11-0)
4. Providence (10-1)
5. Nazareth (11-0)
6. Lincoln-Way East (10-1)
7. Barrington (10-1)
8. Naperville Central (9-2)
9. Simeon (10-1)
10. Homewood-Flossmoor (9-2)


1. Stevenson (11-0)
2. Glenbard West (11-0)
3. Cary-Grove (11-0)
4. Nazareth (11-0)
5. Lincoln-Way East (10-1)
6. Providence (10-1)
7. Homewood-Flossmoor (9-2)
8. Naperville Central (9-2)
9. Simeon (10-1)
10. Mount Carmel (7-4)


1. Providence (10-1)

I could have wimped out and ranked these guys tied with Stevenson for No. 1. But I decided to choose, and I still give the edge to the Celtics. This week the No. 1-seed will host No. 13-seed Wheaton Warrenville South (7-4) in what could be a heck of a contest. I still think the Celtics will prevail, though, and face either Lincoln-Way East or Mount Carmel next week. That game is already on my calendar.

2. Stevenson (11-0)

I know, I know: the Patriots beat Loyola and the Ramblers beat Providence, so these guys should be my No. 1, right? Well, we'll never get to know which one is better because Providence plays in 7A and Stevenson in 8A. So if they both win their respective championships we'll just have to go to our graves not knowing the answer. 

In the meantime, I think the Pats should have no trouble with No. 4-seed New Trier (10-1) before they take on either Glenbard West or Barrington next week.

3. Glenbard West (11-0) 

The Hilltoppers dispatched Palatine with ease, 41-7, while the Pirates handed No. 6 Barrington (10-1) their only loss of the season, 24-14, in Week Eight. Does that mean the Hitters will have an easy go of it with the Broncos? I don't think so. Barrington is on a roll, having beaten a pair of SOLID teams, Oak Park and River Forest and Maine South, the past two weeks. I'll pick the Glen Ellyn squad to prevail, but in a hard-fought contest.

4. Lincoln-Way East (10-1)

This week's showdown with No. 14 Mount Carmel should be at Gately Stadium on Saturday or Saturday night (we'll know later today). This will surely be my Game of the Week as I've been anticipating it since I was born the brackets were revealed. Check back later in the week for my pregame rundown.

5. Mount Carmel (7-4)

See above.

6. Nazareth (11-0)

Am I ever going to give these guys the respect they deserve? Maybe this week. With the Lincoln-Way East - Mount Carmel game freeing up a spot, the Roadrunners are guaranteed to move up in my rankings. (So everybody out there in LaGrange Park can exhale.) 

Nazareth beat King on Saturday, 45-8, in another lopsided victory. So when -- if ever -- will these guys get challenged? Maybe this week. No. 13 Lake Forest (8-3) is always a sleeper in the playoffs. But, especially now that No. 2 DeKalb went down this week, I can't imagine Nazareth NOT making that trip down to Champaign.

7. Bolingbrook (8-3)

This team is probably the biggest question mark on my list. The Brook lost three games this year to three winning teams and blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead (and almost the game) on Saturday night. How good (or not-so-good) are these guys? They have speed and athleticism (and a veteran playoff coach in John Ivlow), but that may not be enough to beat No. 3 Homewood-Flossmoor (9-2) in a rematch on the road. (The Vikings bested the Raiders, 35-28, in Week Seven at Bolingbrook.)

8. Wheaton Warrenville South (7-4)

The Tigers' Cinderella season may come to a screeching halt this weekend when they travel to No. 1-seed Providence. If they should somehow squeak past the Celtics they would run into another brick wall the following week against the winner of that Lincoln-Way East - Mount Carmel game.

9. Phillips (10-1) 

Finally, the Wildcats don't have to share a ranking with Carmel, who went down this weekend against Fenwick. And the Bronzeville squad is guaranteed to move up this week IF they can get past No. 1-seed and undefeated Rockford Lutheran (11-0). I'm assuming the game will be at either Lane Tech or Gately, and I'd really, really like to see it. I don't know a thing about the Crusaders, except that they outscored their first two playoff opponents, 119-7 (!), but I do know that Phillips is really talented, with an explosive offense and a stingy defense. This could be my other Game of the Week, depending on scheduling. (What if this tilt and the Lincoln-Way East - Mount Carmel game get played back-to-back at Gately? Wouldn't that be great?) But, either way, I'm going to say that the Wildcats can take 'em.

10. Sycamore (7-4)
In an earlier version of this piece I omitted the Spartans completely. My bad! I thought St. Viator defeated Sycamore on Saturday, 15-14, instead of the other way around. (Can you get dyslexia in your old age?) Anyway, mea culpa, mea culpa, mia MAXIMA CULPA! Now the No. 12-seed Sycamore must play No. 1-seed and undefeated Geneseo (11-0), albeit at home. How can you bet against the Maple Leafs?


Ed Crotty said...

NCHS Redhawks still in the hunt for a repeat. Another slow first half and a spectacular Second half.

Mike Tracy said...

Simeon had a big game Saturday, a 55-17 victory over Hinsdale Central. Redhawks may have their hands full!