Thursday, October 29, 2015

If I went to a 7A game...

...this week it would be No. 21-seed St. Charles North (7-2) at No.12 Benet (7-2) on Saturday afternoon.

While Mike Helfgot of the Tribune and Beth Long of the Sun-Times are touting that No. 17 Glenbard North (7-2) at No. 16 Mount Carmel (7-2) tilt, I'm just not seeing it. I like to watch teams that are on a roll, and the Caravan lost last week to Loyola (9-0). What's more, Mount Carmel hasn't beaten a winning team since Week Two. In fact, over the last month, the Woodlawn squad lost to Brother Rice (8-1), beat Leo (1-8), won by forfeit over Hales Franciscan and lost to Loyola. That's not a roll. (It's almost the opposite of a roll.)

As for Glenbard North, after dropping their first two games, to Naperville Central (8-1) and Waubonsie Valley (5-4), the Panthers won seven in a row but only beat one winning team, Neuqua Valley (6-3), during that stretch, in Week Nine. Not bad, but not great.

Why not just wait and see who wins this contest and then go see them get beat by play Glenbard West (9-0) in Round Two?

If you insist on sitting in the rain on Saturday, how about St. Charles North at Benet?

For starters, the North Stars beat two playoff-caliber non-conference opponents, Schaumburg (5-4) and Bartlett (5-4), before losing to Geneva (8-1) -- by only one point -- and Batavia (8-1). St. Charles North could very easily be 8-1. Here's their full 2015 schedule (with home team in CAPS):

ST. CHARLES NORTH 30, Schaumburg 15
St. Charles North 35, BARTLETT 13
ST. CHARLES NORTH 62, West Chicago 0
GENEVA 42, St. Charles North 41
Batavia 48, ST. CHARLES NORTH 28
St. Charles North 55, LARKIN 7
ST. CHARLES NORTH 38, Streamwood 6
St. Charles North 31, ST. CHARLES EAST 10

Benet, meanwhile, lost to Notre Dame (8-1), one of the most underrated teams in the state, and Nazareth (7-2), last year's 6A champ. But the Redwings beat a pair of good non-conference opponents, St. Laurence (7-2) and O'Fallon (5-4), before also besting Marist (5-4) and Joliet Catholic (8-1) just two weeks ago. (Ever heard of JCA?) Here's their schedule:

Benet 42, ST. LAURENCE 21
BENET 41, O'Fallon 3
Notre Dame 29, BENET 14
Benet 30, ST. PATRICK 28
BENET 29, Marist 25
NAZARETH 33, Benet 0
Benet 28, CARMEL 14
BENET 24, Joliet Catholic 21

The two schools are 20 miles apart -- farther than I would have thought -- and haven't played each other in at least ten years, if ever. Who's going to win this one? Don't fade any program that can beat Joliet Catholic, especially in the latter part of the season. Benet's a sleeper and could sneak up on Cary-Grove (8-1) in Round Two.

Not convinced? Okay, while I'm at Naperville Central on Friday night there's also No. 19 Jacobs (7-2) at No. 14 Lincoln-Way East (7-2).

The Golden Eagles beat two teams with winning records, Rock Island (6-3) and Crystal Lake South (5-4), and lost to two teams with winning records, Huntley (9-0) -- narrowly, 22-19 -- and Cary-Grove (8-1), last year's 7A runner-up. Again, not bad, but not great.

The Griffins this year are a tough one to figure out. They defeated Lincoln Park (7-2), shut out Bolingbrook (5-4) and beat Sandburg (6-3) last week, but also lost to Oak Park River Forest (8-1) and Homewood-Flossmoor (8-1). (In that H-F game they only scored three points.) So the question is, which Lincoln-Way East squad is going to show up?

Like that Glenbard North - Mount Carmel game, you could just wait to see who gets to play Libertyville (9-0) next week. (That's what I plan on doing.) But, unlike that first one, a second-round matchup between either Jacobs or Lincoln-Way East and Libertyville could be a heck of a contest.

Where will I be on Saturday? Check back tomorrow.

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