Here's how I see it:
1. BG...They don't play a Mass. team like last year, nor do they have a second D-I game later in the season. So other than the Pinkerton game they will likely go untested until the lat week of the season vs. Exeter at Stellos. Both squads should both be unbeaten heading into that game. Too bad we'll have to wait till then to get a read on just how good each team is. Until then, it's safe to say the Cardinals are #1.
2. Nashua South...North beat Central 24-0 last weekend, so you'd think South should beat Central by even more this Friday night. We'll see.
3. Souhegan...They beat up Laconia to solidify their #3 ranking. Their only other test during the regular season will be in two weeks against Portsmouth.
4. Exeter...Started very slowly Thursday night in Hudson, but played classic Blue Hawk football in the second half. Pinkerton and Salem both have cases to be in the 4th spot, and these three teams are all pretty close. However, Salem doesn't have the offensive line or defense Exeter or Pinkerton have, and part of me thinks that the Blue Hawks could give BG a better game than the Astros did. So that's why they're in the order they are. Should be fun this weekend, one of the state's best rivalries, Exeter-Winnacunnet competing not only in football, but all fall sports.
5. Pinkerton...See above for why they're at the ranking they are. This Saturday's tilt with the Blue Devils will DEFINTELY play a big role in how these teams are ranked at this time next week.
6. Salem...See Pinkerton. This team will be even better next year when both Cannone and Jacques will be seniors.
7. Nashua North...They were very impressive Saturday vs. the Little Green. What was even more impressive about their performance was that they did it by switching up their QB so much my head was spinning. I'd like to see how they do against the South, Salem and Pinkerton. We'll have to wait 3 weeks for that however. The Titans have a brutal end to their season. Their last four games are against South, Salem, Londonderry and then Pinkerton. Don't forget the Lancers will be a tougher team at the end of the season if they can get McLoughlin back healthy.
8. Plymouth...Congrats for the 47 wins in a row, but they certainly looked vulnerable this past weekend, only beating Kennett by a TD. Does that mean the streak will come to an end in 3 weeks at home agains Laconia? Stay tuned...
9. Timberlane...Not sure how their defense held South to 17, and shutout a good Dover offense, but gave up 21 points to Merrimack. Still, Owls fans must ave been comforted by the huge game for Furey. They have no cupcake schedule, playing BG this weekend. They have road games at Keene, Exeter and Alvirne and also play Salem and Winnacunnet at home. I still think Timberlane is D-II's 3rd best team, but if they lose to either Keene or Winnacunnet, they might not get that 3rd seed in the playoffs, and if they lose both of those games they might be out. I think Coach Fitzgerald will have his team ready to go for those games, and they'll finish at least fourth.
10. Trinity...I took some flack for this slection on my blog. I had Winnacunnet in the 10 spot last week, but they lost to Dover. I don't think the Green Wave are quite good enough to make it. Trinity on the other hand, is unbeaten in D-V, behind a great defense and running game led by Connor Lyons. I think Pelham is possibly worthy of the 10 spot, but Trinity beat them 22-0 in week one. If, I'm sorry, WHEN those two teams meet again in the D-V title game will be a great football game. As for Portsmouth, good team. But after graduating Fransoso and Hogan, last year's team was better. Two more weeks till the Clippers play Souhegan. If they win that game, or even come within a TD, they'll likely be back in my top 10.