Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Football Power Poll and Thoughts - Week 10

Here's how I see it:

1. Bishop Guertin...Cuipa returned to the lineup for the Cardinals in their 48-0 victory vs. Alvirne. Good news for them, bad news for Exeter, especially since the health of Blue Hawks QB Carson Cross is still up in the air. See my below post titled, "Insider Injury Report" for a complete breakdown of all current injured athletes for both football and basketball.

2. Salem...They have clinched the top seed in D-I, so they have nothing to play for in their regular season finale vs. Central. The only way they won't win the D-I title will probably be if one of their key players gets injured. If I'm Salem, I don't risk that happening against the Little Green. I'd rather win the championship and have 1 loss than go undefeated in the regular season then lose in the playoffs.

3. Exeter...The BG game is finally here. If you can't make it to Stellos Stadium Saturday night, be sure to listen to its live play-by-play, by yours truly, on 1540 AM, or online at 1540wxex.com. The winner gets the top seed in D-II, as well as the top spot in my power poll for next week.

4. Nashua North...Beat Pinkerton this week, and they lock up the #2 seed in D-I. Lose and they are the #3 seed...unless Central beats Salem. If that happens we have a three-way tie for the second seed between Central, Pinkerton and North. And each squad would be 1-1 in head-to-head matchups. Bottom line is North and Pinkerton both have plenty on the line when they square off this Saturday afternoon in Derry. And there's a chance that they will face each other again in the D-I semi-finals.

5. Souhegan...After seeing this weekend's Portsmouth/Milford game, I think that either school could give the Sabres a game. That's not to say that I think they'll beat Souhegan, but the D-III playoffs should be fun to watch. The Souhegan/Milford rematch is upon is in the semi-finals this Saturday.

6. Plymouth...The health of two of their best players is uncertain going into their D-IV playoff game with Kennett this Saturday. Neither Kyle McAuliffe nor Duncan Williams played in the final three quarters of the Bobcats' win over Sanborn. McAuliffe's is certainly the bigger injury here. Before injuring his right hand, he had 3 carries for 190 yards and 3 TD's. Coach Lenehan told me after the game that McAuliffe will be fine for next week, but his hand looked very red and swollen to me. Bigger question here is does it even matter? With Laconia losing to Monadnock, will Plymouth even need McAuliffe to win D-IV?

7. Londonderry...Tough call between them, Central and Pinkerton. Guinto's injury is a big factor here. Until I know that he is back and 100%, I can't put the Astros ahead of these two teams. Both last year in the playoffs and this year we have seen how much of a difference he makes for them. Abd I can't put Central ahead of Londonderry after they lost to the Lancers just a couple weeks ago by 2 scores. Of course this weekends games between Central/Salem and Pinkerton/North will have a big impact on next week's rankings. Unfortunately for Londonderry, all they can do is just sit back and watch.

8. Manchester Central...See Londonderry

9. Pinkerton...See Londonderry

10. Winnacunnet...I think they're a good team, and they're playing well right now. I can't put them any higher than this, because although they've had some big wins last few weeks, they've beaten Alvirne, Timberlane and Merrimack, and none of those teams are playing well right now. Portsmouth and Trinity can both make very good cases for getting this spot. But I've seen them all play and I think the Warriors are better.

On the Cusp...Portsmouth and Trinity


  1. Jeremy -

    Guertin vs. Exeter game is Saturday night...no?

  2. Jeremy -

    I asked Marc the same question earlier today on his blog - what do you think?

    I think all HS football fans are looking forward to BG vs. Exeter Saturday night at Stellos. You’ve seen both teams, what do you think it going to happen?

    Also, if you had the authority to change the current division alignment or playoff system, what changes would you make…if any? You are an informed, objective person. I would really like to know what you think about the current state of HS football. For example, would you like to see the D1 and D2 champions meet for a “real title” game? Or, would you be in favor of cross-over playoffs between D1 and D2? Just curious.

    For example (assuming the playoffs started today and seeding held):

    BG (1) vs. Central (4)
    Exeter (2) vs. Pinkerton (3)
    North (2) vs. Winny (3)
    Salem (1) vs. Timberlane (4)

    BG (1) vs. North (2)
    Exeter (2) vs. Salem (1)

    BG (1) vs. Salem (1)

    The same could be done in the other divisions with the three state title games held on the same day at a neutral, turf field.

    Keep up the good work. Shane, Manchester

  3. Hmm, I see you moved Souhegan up. We'll see what they've really got this weekend. If they get their revenge they keep crying about in a big way there might be an arguement for their moving up. Would've loved to have seen them in DII this season to see where they stack up with the BG's, Exeter's, and Winnicunnet's.

  4. Shane,

    I think BG/Exeter will be a very good football game. BG is clearly the favorite, but I don't think it will be a blowout. Cross's injury will be a big factor. I'll have a full preview of the game and this weekend's other big games on Wednesday.

    As for your question about the playoff setup. I think they should that instead of having 6 division champs, they should have 6 division regular season champs and ONE state champion. Play the regular season out. Then have an 8 team playoff. The regular season champs from D-I and D-II get automatic bids. The other 6 spots are at-large bids and these teams can be from any division. Who gets the automatic bids, and how the 8 teams are seeded is decided by a committe appointed by the NHIAA. Quarterfinals are at home of higher seed. Semi-finals and championship game at neutral site, like UNH. With 3 playoff games instead of 2, just have 9 regular season games instead of 10. A lot of schools only played 9 this year anyways.

  5. Jeremy -

    If Cross's injury is a big factor, Walter Kell's injury must also be considered a significant factor. He was on the sidelines Saturday night. Strong Mike LB play is a must against the vaunted Exeter running game.

  6. This weekends Milford/Souhegan rematch is Friday night at 7 in Amherst.

  7. Are you sure Milford/Souhegan isn't 7 PM on Saturday?

  8. It's now 2:30 PM on Saturday at Souhegan.

  9. Jeremy -
    Any insight into the NHIAA football committee meeting today? Where do you think teams will end up in the next cycle? Particularly, Exeter, BG, West, Trinity, Plymouth and Soughegan?

  10. Souhegan won't move for sure. At 894 students they're the smallest school in DIII, and they're losing pretty much their entire team after this year. Expect to see the Sabers in DIII. And don't get your hopes up for Plymouth moving either.

  11. Souhegan is not losing their entire team next year. They are losing Jellison and Petropolous, as well as some key guys on the line, but their JV team was undefeated, blowing every team they played up by an average score of 45-7, and that's with most of the starters out by halftime. The have a solid group of juniors that will fill in, and some excellent sophomores that already saw a lot of Varisty action. They will be favored to win it all next year again in Div 3.

  12. The players that are moving up. Are they the same ones that played when they lost to Milford?

  13. Fair question...Souhegan is definitely losing some key lineman, and yes, some filled in during the Milford game and didn't play well at all. Some were playing out of position, while others probably weren't prepared to play by the coaches. They will need work there for sure, but it can be addressed. Milford only gets weaker next year as well. I believe they only have on lineman that is NOT graduating and they have no decent skill guys in the lower grades. They will not be a factor at all next year.

  14. The Souhegan game was moved again, to 3pm Saturday, according to NH Football Report