I just posted this on the Friday Night Lights WGAM page. But I liked it so much I figured I would post it here as well.
1. Bishop Guertin...I don't think there's anyone who doesn't have them #1 right now. It sure would have been fun to see BG play South last year so we could have crowned a true "State Champ."
2. Nashua South...Keith Farkas is for real, arguably the best QB in the state as a junior. Petropulos is right in that discussion too. Their defense is also for real. They'll need both to continue to produce to offset the graduation of Zocco.
3. Souhegan...Sure would be fun to see how these kids would fare if they were in D-I or D-II. Most people had them ranked around the 5-7 area at the end of last year, and there's no question this year's team is better. Their QB is 6'2" 210 lbs, their RB is 6'2" 235 lbs, both might be the best in the state at their position. Two of their top receivers are 6'2" or bigger, plus both of their lines are big.
4. Exeter...A good win over Central, and a blowout of Spaulding. Possibly the best coached team in the state, they flat out don't beat themselves. They're not flashy, they don't have anyone who's going to win Mr. Football, but they get the job done. Good, solid fundamental football.
5. Pinkerton...Yeah they got blown out vs. BG. But it's one game, it was week 1, and it was against the consensus best team in the state. Before the season, many had them ranked #1. They still have a ton of returning talent on both sides of the ball.
6. Salem...I see that I have them ranked lower than some others. Why? Well I really don't think they're very far behind Exeter or Pinkerton at all. They've blown out their opponents in the first two weeks, but neither team they beat is a top ten team. They lack playoff experience, and their offensive line and defense aren't as good as Exeter's or Pinkerton's. That said, the Blue Devils do have a very good team, and a #6 ranking is nothing to sneeze at, especially for a team that didn't make the playoffs last year.
7. Manchester Central...Lost to Exeter by 10, only beat Alvirne by 5. Not to mention losing 34-0 to BG in the Queen City Jamboree. Not exactly how Coach Ray expected this season to start out. But this team lost some quality players in the off-season, particularly O'Neal, Parenteau, Tatro and Tremblay. They have a lot of speed and athleticism in their RB/WB corps though, led by Mike Cavanaugh, and an improving sophomore QB in Jared Chandler. They'll have to do a better job in defense and limiting penalties in order to move up the rankings, however.
8. Plymouth...It's a shame they're no longer in the same division as Souhegan. They lost a lot of good seniors off ANOTHER unbeaten team last year. This program doesn't rebuild, they reload.
9. Timberlane...They looked suspect against Memorial in the Queen City Jamboree. But they won a game they were supposed to win vs. Dover, and were one play away from beating the state's 2nd best team. Plus they have possibly the best RB in the state in Derek Furey, and they were mere plays away from the D-II title game last year. That's a recipe for a top 10 team if you ask me. They did however lose some key guys off that team including QB Erik Hatton, WR Matt Caiazzo, and OL/DL Brian Nicoll.
10. Winnacunnet...I actually had them ranked #4 preseason in D-II based on returning talent. They beat a team they were supposed to beat in Manchester West. Then last week they blew out Keene, who not only made the playoffs last year but beat Londonderry in week 1.