Friday, August 28, 2015

In the words of that famous...

...Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, "Predictions are very difficult, especially about the future."

Just the other day my cousin asked me, "Who are your picks this year for state champions?" And my reply was, "That's too hard before the season; hard enough when playoffs start." And it's true; if you don't believe me, just take a look at your brackets the last few years. "It's a crapshoot," I concluded.

With that in mind, take a good look at the preseason polls below, because chances are they will look nothing like this at the end of the year.

(Having Homewood-Flossmoor in the top spot everywhere is the kiss of death. I think last year's preseason rankings had Bolingbrook at No. 1 in both Chicago papers and Loyola on top in MaxPreps.)

But this isn't a knock against Mike Helfgot, Beth Long, and whoever ranks the teams at MaxPreps* and the AP**. It's just that it never seems to work out the way everyone expects.

Now, to be clear: I'm not doing this to pick on anyone. These writers all have jobs that involve selling newspapers (or clicks) and, admittedly, this stuff is fun to read. And I'm sure they would all say, This isn't a prediction of where the teams will be at the end of the season; it's a snapshot. Fair enough. But I intend to revisit these from time to time, not to embarrass anyone, but to show how different it all looks once the teams actually start playing.


Chicago Tribune:

1. Homewood-Flossmoor
2. Mount Carmel
3. Glenbard West
4. Naperville Central
5. Lincoln-Way East
6. Stevenson
7. Loyola
8. Simeon
9. Wheaton North
10. Wheaton South
11. Phillips
12. Libertyville
13. Providence
14. Montini
15. Maine South
16. Joliet Catholic
17. Barrington
18. Lake Zurich
19. Oswego
20. St. Rita

On the verge: Batavia, Glenbard North, Nazareth, Neuqua Valley, New Trier.

Chicago Sun-Times:

1. Homewood-Flossmoor
2. Glenbard West
3. Nazareth
4. Maine South 
5. Simeon 
6. Lincoln-Way East 
7. Libertyville
8. Naperville Central
9. Mount Carmel
10. Stevenson
11. Joliet Catholic
12. Bolingbrook
13. Montini
14. Loyola
15. Providence
16. Hinsdale Central
17. Hinsdale South
18. Barrington
19. Phillips
20. Neuqua Valley
21. Cary-Grove
22. Lyons
23. New Trier
24. Glenbard North
25. St. Francis 


1. Loyola
2. Barrington
3. Providence
4. Stevenson
5. Homewood-Flossmoor
6. Glenbard West
7. Rochester
8. New Trier
9. Nazareth
10. East St. Louis
11. Mount Carmel
12. Simeon 
13. Maine South 
14. Sacred Heart-Griffin
15. Cary-Grove 
16. Naperville Central 
17. Oswego
18. Lake Forest
19. Edwardsville
20. Lemont
21. Libertyville
22. Lincoln-Way East
23. Phillips
24. Carmel
25. Fenwick

The AP

Class 8A

1. Homewood-Flossmoor
2. Stevenson
3. Loyola
4. Naperville Central
5. Maine South
6. Bolingbrook
7. Edwardsville
8. Barrington
9. Oswego
(tie) Hinsdale Central

Others receiving votes: Neuqua Valley, O’Fallon, New Trier, Lyons, Huntley. 

Class 7A

1. Glenbard West
2. Mt. Carmel
3. Lincoln-Way East
(tie) Simeon
5. Libertyville
6. Wheaton Warrenville South
7. Normal Community
8. Glenbard North
9. Wheaton North
10. Belleville West

Others receiving votes: St. Rita, Geneva, Batavia, Lake Zurich, Fenwick, Auburn, Addison Trail, Machesney Park Harlem, Hononegah, Grant.

Class 6A

1. Sacred Heart-Griffin
2. Providence
3. Montini
4. East St. Louis
5. Hinsdale South
6. Cary-Grove
7. Lemont
8. Normal West
9. Richards
10. Prairie Ridge

Others receiving votes: Lake Forest, Lincoln-Way West, Quincy, Champaign Centennial, Rock Island, Chatham Glenwood, Belvidere North, Oak Forest, Danville.

Class 5A

1. Nazareth
2. Joliet Catholic
3. St. Francis
4. Normal University
5. Metamora
6. Belvidere
7. Peoria Central
8. Sycamore
9. Sterling
(tie) Peoria Notre Dame

Others receiving votes: Washington, Mahomet-Seymour, Marian Central, Highland, Peoria Richwoods, Lincoln Way West, Glenbard South, Kaneland, Decatur MacArthur, Jacksonville, Champaign Central.

Class 4A

1. Rochester
2. Phillips
3. Rockford Lutheran
4. Belleville Althoff Catholic
5. Geneseo
6. Herrin
7. Quincy Notre Dame
8. Murphysboro
9. Columbia
10. Coal City

Others receiving votes: Rock Island Alleman, St. Viator, Morris, Herscher, Freeburg, Manteno, Breese Mater Dei, Plano, Richmond-Burton, St. Edward, Stillman Valley, Canton, Waterloo, Mt. Zion, Evergreen Park.

A few final comments. Nazareth is No. 3 in the Sun-Times but only "On the verge" in the Trib? Bolingbrook is nowhere to be found in the Trib? And, conversely, Wheaton North and Wheaton South are conspicuously absent from the Times?

Let the games begin.

* MaxPreps, like the AP, and unlike the Trib and Times, ranks teams from across the state.

** Why did I not include classes below 4A? Because they really seem to thin out after that.

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