Week 8 rankings
Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that ...
-- George Carlin
That's pretty much how I felt this weekend after watching games, seeing scores and hearing accounts. It was a whirlwind of upsets and unexpecteds. Between the upsets in Class A, getting to see Carmel and Mount Vernon up close, the losses in the CHSFL and a breakout game by Stepinac, this week's rankings have jumbled everything.
I agonized over this week rankings before I reminded myself of two things:
1. These rankings will be ripped and torn apart, regardless of how I configure them
2. I'll most likely be proven wrong on the field, anyway.
Anyway, all I can say is that I did my best. After the top four teams in the large school poll, I agonized over every spot. Mount Vernon and Carmel look, to me, as playoff spoilers who are peaking at the right time. Stepinac belongs in the poll after squashing Fordham, and Eastchester and Somers both deserve recognition after their wins. And what do I do with Mount St. Michael, which lost again this week?
I try to answer those questions below, in what was BY FAR the toughest rankings to come up with this season, if not ever:
1. New Rochelle (7-0): No contest here. Undefeated and probably won't be tested this week.
2. John Jay (6-1): Not an easy road to its third straight sectional final.
3. Iona Prep (4-3): Back to back losses with a scary Farrell team coming up.
4. North Rockland (6-1): Only loss still to mighty Monroe-Woodbury. The Raiders have a Cinderella team coming to town in Carmel.
... now here's where it gets difficult...
5. Stepinac (5-2): Watching this team live -- at full strength, with Rashaad Slowley 100-percent -- convinced me how good this team really is. I'm not saying it's going to win a championship just yet. But it's on course.
6. Fordham Prep (6-1): The Rams were handed their first loss by Stepinac and got a reality check in the process. They can't just show up and expect to win. They must cut down on the mistakes... and hope for a different set of refs the rest of the way.
7. Mount Vernon (6-1): The more I see this team, the more I like it. There are some serious athletes on this defense. The key the rest of the way for Mount Vernon is to be close at the half. The Knights have played their best in the third and fourth quarters all year.
8. Mount St. Michael (3-4): Go ahead and start throwing this tomatoes. This is still one of the best teams around and they're still a championship contender.
9. Carmel (6-1): Again, another team I have newfound respect for after watching them live. The defense let Mahopac run on it, which scares me going into a game with North Rockland. But at the QB and receiver positions, this team matches up with anyone, and the line is rock solid.
10. Somers (6-1): Tough call here putting the Tuskers ahead of unbeaten Eastchester. I just think it's a difficult match-up for the Eagles if they go head-to-head. Somers defense is very strong, especially against the run, which is what Eastchester relies on most.
... so you understand why I didn't rank them...
11. Eastchester (7-0): I probably won't be allowed in Pipers Kilt or Chubby's Deli after this, but I've got to stand my ground. And trust me, being the "Black Curse" of Eastchester athletics, this is probably a good thing (Note: I wasn't exactly a lucky charm for any of the teams I played for in high school, either).
Honorable mention: Fox Lane (5-2); Ossining (6-1); Harrison (5-2); Gorton (5-2); John Jay-EF (5-2).
1. Rye (7-0): Losing Sam Fulmer could completely change the landscape of Class B. He's a major factor on both sides of the ball.
2. Dobbs Ferry (7-0): 54-0. Yawn.
3. Sleepy Hollow (6-1): Poised to knock off Pleasantville and get another crack at Rye.
4. Pleasantville (7-0): Unbeaten. The No. 1 seed. And yet still an underdog on Friday.
5. Westlake (5-2): What a gutsy group. I bet the Wildcats play Rye very close on Friday and put a real scare in them.
Rankings by conference
1. New Rochelle
2. John Jay
3. North Rockland
4. Mount Vernon
3. Fox Lane
2. Sleepy Hollow
1. Dobbs Ferry
3. Rye Neck
1. Iona Prep
3. Fordham Prep
4. Mount St. Michael
2. Tappan Zee
4. Sacred Heart