Monday, October 19, 2015

As Mike Helfgot noted... his Tribune blog last week, for the first time this season, there wasn't a single game between two of his Top 20 teams.

Beth Long at the Sun-Times, however, was able to identify one from her Top 25, No. 15 Oak Park River Forest (6-1) at No. 23 Lyons (5-2). (And that turned out to be a yawn, as the Huskies dominated the Lions, 35-7.)

But that raises a question: Out of the dozens (hundreds?) of games each week, how do you select which one to attend? For most people, it's simple: the home team. But for Mr. Helfgot and Ms. Long, I presume, it's wide open. (And the same is true for this blogger.)

So, I repeat: how does one pick his or her Game of the Week? For me, it used to be simple: the Best Game Between the Best Teams. Full stop.

But then I got to thinking. Hmmm, each week there's at least one contest that goes into overtime; what could be more exciting? And so I thought: my goal is to be at that game. But that's really hard to predict, isn't it? For example, last weekend there were a number of games that extended beyond regulation time:

West Aurora 31, Glenbard East 28 (OT)
Hinsdale Central 45, Hinsdale South 38 (OT) 
Warren 27, Vernon Hills 26 (2 OT) 
IC Catholic 34, Glenbard South 28 (3 OT) 

By my reasoning, I should have been at that last one. I mean, come on, three overtimes? That must have been awesome! But the problem is, I don't have a crystal ball. (Although, in fairness, Ms. Long did have that Hinsdale Central - Hinsdale South matchup in her "Week 8′s top five games." Good job, Beth!)

While we're on the subject, what were the Chicago writers' top games last week? First Mr. Helfgot's:

Batavia 24, Geneva 14
Lemont 35, Oak Forest 0
Nazareth 62, Marist 45
Homewood-Flossmoor 55, Sandburg 21
Barrington 49, Fremd 28 

He added these three the next day:

Glenbrook North 34, Niles North 30
Palatine 14, Schaumburg 7
Prairie Ridge 42, Woodstock North 7

Ms. Long had these five:

Hinsdale Central 45, Hinsdale South 38 (OT)
Lemont 35, Oak Forest 0
Oak Park River Forest 35, Lyons 7
Barrington 49, Fremd 28
Loyola 56, St. Rita 14

What about me? I could only find four:

Batavia 24, Geneva 14
Lemont 35, Oak Forest 0
Reavis 35, Eisenhower 7
Homewood-Flossmoor 55, Sandburg 21

But then added one more for Saturday:

Lindblom 32, CICS/Longwood 12

Where should we have been? Well, besides those four overtime tilts I already mentioned, these three must have been nail-biters: 

Hoffman Estates 30, Conant 29 
Willowbrook 23, Downers Grove South 22
Lake Forest 21, Lake Zurich 20 

What about upsets? They're fun to watch, right? Here are six that jumped out at me:

De La Salle 31, St. Francis 16
(The Meteors also beat Fenwick and Marmion this year.)
Lake Park 28, Neuqua Valley 21
(Is Lake Park the most improved team in the state?)
Naperville North 25, Waubonsie Valley 24
(The Huskies finally won a game!)
Lockport 33, Bolingbrook 16
(What's happened to the Brook?)
Plainfield North 37, Oswego 25
Benet 24, Joliet Catholic 21

Check out that last one. Benet beat JCA? Wow. In hindsight, that was truly the Game of the Week. But who knew?

Let's move on to the rankings (all teams undefeated unless otherwise noted):

Chicago Tribune

1. Homewood-Flossmoor 
2. Loyola
3. Glenbard West 
4. Libertyville
5. Montini
6. Phillips
7. Naperville Central (7-1)
8. Hinsdale Central (7-1)  
9. Brother Rice (7-1)
10. Joliet Catholic (7-1)

(Phillips and Naperville Central moved up; JCA dropped four spots.)

Chicago Sun-Times 

1. Homewood-Flossmoor
2. Glenbard West
3. Loyola 
4. Libertyville 
5. Montini
6. Phillips 
7. Huntley
8. Lincoln-Way North 
9. Naperville Central (7-1)
10. Hinsdale Central (7-1)

(JCA and Brother Rice (7-1) were bumped in favor of Huntley and Lincoln-Way North.)


1. Loyola
2. Glenbard West
3. Homewood-Flossmoor 
4. Libertyville
5. Hinsdale Central (7-1)
6. Sacred Heart-Griffin
7. Rochester
8. Huntley
9. Naperville Central (7-1)
10. Joliet Catholic (7-1)

(H-F moved up to No. 3, Huntley joined the top ten and Brother Rice fell to No. 12.)

Where was I this weekend? H-F at Sandburg on Friday night and Lindblom at Longwood on Saturday. Check back tomorrow for details.

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