Thursday, July 23, 2009

Football Power Poll and Thoughts - Week 12

11/16/09
I will first post what the actual Power Poll rankings are this week, as voted on by members of WGAM, the Union leader and WMUR. Then I will post how I rank the teams, along with my reasoning for why I have each team ranked where I do.

Actual Power Poll:
1. Bishop Guertin
2. Salem
3. Nashua North
4. Plymouth
5. Winnacunnet
6. Souhegan
7. Man. Central
8. Exeter
9. Portsmouth
10. Trinity

Now, Here's how I currently have the teams ranked. And let me preface this by saying that this weekend I saw Salem vs. Central, Pinkerton vs. North, and BG vs. Exeter. I also saw Plymouth and Portsmouth last week, and Winnacunnet twice in the past month.

1. Bishop Guertin...Most teams, even the really good ones have at least some games when they slip up. Not this team. Week in and week out they dominate. I will say this though, I saw them play Exeter and Alvirne in the last 2 weeks. For a team that is so good, they sure do commit a lot of penalties.

2. Nashua North...I had North and Central in the 2 and 3 spots last week. North beat Central 26-19 yesterday in the D-I semi-finals. That makes this a pretty easy choice. I like them to beat Salem, but it should be a heck of a football game.

3. Manchester Central...Yes, I know they lost this weekend and Salem won. But Salem beat a non-ranked Pinkerton team, who was playing without Mazzola and Guinto at less than 100%. Central lost to the 2nd best team in the state, and they only lost by one score. Not to mention the Little Green defeated the Blue Devils 45-7 just 10 days ago with both squads at full strength. If you ask me, the D-I title game was played yesterday at Stellos Stadium.

4. Salem...See Central above

5. Winnacunnet...The turnover battle was crucial in the Exeter game. The Blue Hawks turned it over 5 time, the Warriors had just once. In the last 9 months, the two seacoast rivals have squared off in the first round of the playoffs in both basketball and football, with Winnacunnet winning both.

6. Souhegan...Fans got their wish, and were able to see Souhegan play Portsmouth, with both teams at full strength. Portsmouth gave them a good fight, but the Sabres showed once again why they are one of the state's top teams. Now if only we could see them play Plymouth.

7. Plymouth...I'm not surprised that they beat Laconia, won Division IV and keep the streak alive. I am surprised that they won by such a wide margin of 38-0. Congrats to the Bobcats for continuing to make history. Will they now move up to Division III? We'll see, but I've got a feeling the division realignment moves will continue after the season ends this weekend.

8. Exeter...They only lost to Winnacunnet by 1 score, why are they 3 spots lower than them? I saw the Blue Hawks play every one of their games this season. The first 8 games they played like a top 5 team. The last two games they just did not look very good. They had way too many turnovers and missed tackles yesterday. They gave up a 90 yard kickoff return yesterday, and a 90 yard kickoff return for a TD that was called back against BG. That's why they're ranked where they are. That being said, this is a very good football team that had a good year. I'm confident they would beat any team in the state not ranked in my top 7.

9. Portsmouth...They were neck and neck with Souhegan for 3 quarters. Another good season fo the Clippers. And they play a very exciting brand of football. I didn't think they'd be as good as last year after losing Fransoso and Hogan. But Nate Jones played very well all year long. He's best QB in the state who didn't start a varsity game before this year. Of course it doesn't hurt when you have the state's best WR to throw to.

10. Trinity...Ok, I know I'll get flack for this one. But I actually agree with Thaler here. A team that finishes the season below .500 shouldn't be in the top 10. And I know Trinity is D-V, but they not only went 12-0 for the season, but dominated its opponents more than any team not named BG. They can run the ball, and they can stop the run. And they can do both of those things better than the vast majority of the state's teams. Bow and Bishop Brady are both good football teams, and they made both squads look silly over the last 3 weeks.

On the cusp: Pinkerton and Londonderry

63 comments:

  1. Any other team in the poll along with PA, South, and Londonderry would wreck Trinity. Now find some real competition next year and watch the losses build up against Plymouth, Laconia, and Kennett.

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  2. souhegan is not 6th
    anyone see the BG Central Jamboree? these teams did take it seriously and bg came away 35-0 in half of a football game. i think that above all other tests, demonstrates how dominant they are this year.

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  3. i would not want to be winnacunet this week. Talk about a downer after beating exeter, getting spanked to end the season is rough but they are a very good physical team.

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  4. guess what 10:16. they aren't in the poll. trinity is. unfortunately the amazing matchup computer that is your underdeveloped brain can do nothing more but pretend you know what teams Trinity will not play for a while will do against them. I'll throw an educated guess out there, as someone who has seen every trinity game, and a lot of D1 games as well. you are wrong.

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  5. Trinity 10th? Make me barf. They would get waylayed by any team in D1. Is D5 football real football? I thought it was funky football.

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  6. West? Memorial? Concord? For other lower D1 teams you can kind of make an argument for, but come on, 11:36. You have just displayed your lack of knowledge on the subject. Trinity would annihilate those three and give everyone else except Salem, North, and maybe Central a great game. Crawl back to your JV trophy room you has-been football dad.

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  7. I don't think Plymouth beats Souhegan...

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  8. Plymouth did the same thing to Laconia they used to do to Souhegan. Play them close in the regular season then take the gloves off in the championship game. Souhegan has had similar results to Laconia in the championship games so why you think Souhegan would fare any differently now is puzzling.

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  9. 10:33, if you want to talk about scrimmages, Souhegan crushed Central just like BG did in the preseason as you say (though I thought they didn't scrimmage Central?). However, using scrimmages is sad, but Souhegan is definitely AT LEAST number 6 this year.

    And to the Plymouth people, long gone are the Boyle brothers. Souhegan has twice the talent they used to and Plymouth isn't nearly as talented as they used to be (I've seen both this year). Souhegan would win that game this year at least. Way too many athletes and a tremendous run defense that would halt Plymouth's rushing attack. Plymouth Portsmouth would be a good game with Plymouth winnning by a score or maybe two, but I reckon Souhegan is the best of the "small schools" this year. Either way, both are great teams, but the past 17-2 record doesn't apply for this year because that was a few years ago. New kids are in the system now for Souhegan, and the last couple years of the rivalry Souhegan Freshman and JV were dominant against Plymouth. Those kids are now the varsity for Souhegan and Plymouth. Is Plymouth sending at least 7 seniors to college ball after this season from their senior class? Enjoy your stay in D-IV, and keep turning down the Turkey Day invites Beliveau sends Lenehan every year...

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  10. That's funny. I guess Trinity is state champs of a "funky" D5. Now, move up to a real division and maybe you'll get on the edge of the radar screen.

    Oh and 11:43 pm, wear that D5 championship tee shirt real proud because it's like having a rec championship tee shirt LOL.

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  11. Souhegan threepeat next year?

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  12. Trinity is a very good team but they haven't really proven anything yet. Everyone talking about the teams Trinity would beat in higher divisions is basing that off of nothing but statistics against worse teams. That being said, an argument that they wouldn't win a game in D1 is just as, if not more baseless.

    I think its a lot easier to guess what teams they would beat, than to pick who would beat them, considering no team was within 20 points of them this year.

    I've heard DIII for Trinity next year. I think they will prove themselves, but the point is it hasn't happened yet.

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  13. Trinity would get stomped by anyone in D1 2 or 3 other than Spaulding, Concord, and West
    Spaulding is legitimately the worst football team i have ever witnessed in my life. Havent seen any teams outside of D 1 or 2 but i hope to god for NH's sake that none of them are that bad

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  14. You just epitomized ignorance. You've never seen anyone outside of D1 or D2, but everyone in 1, 2 and 3 would beat Trinity? I wont even say anything except wait until next year, and maybe try getting an education.

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  15. I agree - there are some TERRIBLE teams including: Concord, West, Memorial and Spaulding...with Dover not too far behind. I would hope Trinity could beat those teams. Regarding consolidating 6 divisions into 3, aren't we really talking about consolidating D1 with D2 and D3 with D4?

    No disrespect, but does anyone care what happens in D5 and D6? I mean, whether they consolidate into one Division or remain in two divisions no one is going to give it any thought...right? I bet most of the people who care enough to voice an opinion have never attended a game below the D3 level.

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  16. D6 is pathetic. Theres a huge gap between 5 and 6. The best team in that division (Inter-Lakes) was blown out by Somersworth, who Trinity, the best in D5, beat 55-19.

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  17. There should be three divisons, made up of 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6. Just make two conferences in each. Unless its in D1 or D2 a state championship means very little, and takes away from the achievements of good teams in low divisions.

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  18. It should be divided the way basketball is.

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  19. Too many teams and not enough games if they do it like BBall. Then crap like the Heal Point system gets involved makin it all stupid and stuff. The 3 divisions with 2 conferences each idea is ideal.

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  20. Agree. Thanks for getting this thread back on track. The teams in 5,6 that are not competitive can do the "open schedule" thing like Trinity did 2 years ago until they build thwmselves up & draw more interest.

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  21. Trinity is vastly overrated.

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  22. Anonymous said...
    "Trinity is vastly overrated."


    Are you just going to make that statement or are you going to back it up?

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  23. i think if you you read any posts on this blog about trinity, or at least 95% of them, you will believe trinity is not even close to overrated. Trinity has done nothing to deserve being made fun of, but by that same token nothing to be overly praised for.

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  24. "Trinity has done nothing to deserve being made fun of, but by that same token nothing to be overly praised for."

    Regardless of what division a team plays in, i guess going undefeated and winning a state title is not worthy of acknowledgment or praise?

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  25. Trinity, great job this year!

    OK, now back to the point. NHIAA/football committee - listen closely, what we are asking you to do might actually take a little thought and God forbid, work! Yes, you may be asked to actually work at these meetings (yes, possibly more than one meeting) instead of getting together, drinking coffee and suggesting everything stay status quo. We are not asking much, we only ask that you do what is best for NH football. It's simple:

    Three Divisions
    D1
    D2
    D3

    Two conferences in each Division
    D1 = West and East
    D2 = North and South
    D3 = (something, I don't know the teams)

    Put the schools where they belong based on enrollment and geography (only) and you are done. If the schools don't like it, tell them that's tough for the next two years. In two year's you will take a fresh look. If they really don't like it, they can secede from the NHIAA and play in VT, play Independent football or put away their equipment and play soccer and cross country. Honestly, it's up to them.

    Furhermore, schedule the three title games on one day at a TBD stadium with turf following three rounds of playoffs at the higher seeded teams fields.

    Is that so hard? Really? OK, forget it. I guess there is a reason you went into education vs. for profit business in the first place. Honestly, what the F is so hard?

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  26. Sports are supposed to be about the kids and their experiences not some adult's ego trip. Having 6 divisons gives more kids the opportunity to experience the thrill of success and grow from their shortcomings. A kid doesn't care what division they play in as long as they are held in high esteem by the peer group. There are more Varsity football teams now than ever. Let them enjoy the fruits of their hard work and leave the souped up playoff banter to the press and the adults.

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  27. In other words, give everyone a "Gold Star". Actually, I disagree completely. In the end athletics are about the journey, not whether you win the championship. You can learn just as much about teamwork and hard work by going 3-6 or 6-3. Not an ego trip at all...stay away from the everyone gets an award philosophy...save it for Pre-school.

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  28. Hey 9:43...BINGO you got it...you said what other people are afraid to say. "let them play independent until they grow more interest" That was a stupid statement from somebody that knows nothing about the student population of the smaller schools ...those teams in D-VI have less than 650 kids in their schools and will always have on avg 30-40 kids on their roster no matter how good or bad they are....you can't build interest without taking from other sports...learn the situations of those schools before you speak.

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  29. OK, what gives small schools the "right" to play football. If they cannot field a team they should not offer the sport. Period. Or, think outside of the box. Why not play 8-man football instead of 11-man? It is widely popular in many rural areas in the midwest and west.

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  30. That or just send your kid to BG to play

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  31. Yes, if he or she can get in and you want to drop $11 K per year....

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  32. You can field a decent football team with just 30-40 kids. They might not compete with teams in D-I or D-II, but they could be competitive in the lower divisions.

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  33. That was i whole point of my comment...they can field competitive teams against other smaller schools....so what is wrong with them having their own championship...that's my whole point.

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  34. Great - that's the answer.
    Combine D1 and D2 = D1 East/West
    Combine D3 and D4 = D2 North/South
    Have a conversation with D5 and D6 and figure out what is in the best interests of those schools. Honestly, because the schools are small and are located north of Concord, most people are not concerned about them. Most of us want to figure out a better way to deal with D1 through D4.

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  35. "Having 6 divisons gives more kids the opportunity to experience the thrill of success and grow from their shortcomings. A kid doesn't care what division they play in as long as they are held in high esteem by the peer group."
    9:43 am

    That's an awesome post 9:43 am. Really, one of the best I've seen. Why don't we go further and have 10 divisions. This way even more kids will grow from their shortcomings and be crowned CHAMPION at the end of the season. We could even have one of those clowns at the games that makes balloons into the shapes of animals. We could also have a face painting booth. At the end of the HS football kiddie day care line we could send the players away with juice boxes and animal crackers.

    Now, with all this they can really enjoy the fruits of their labor !!!

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  36. you must be from a team that hasn't ever participated in a championship 1:47. I see faced painted fans, ballons and even cotton candy at D-1 games all the time. I am absolutely against giving everyone a gold star as mentioned above but for anyone who has ever played football it's a different sport. Just as hot, sweaty and gruling on a team with 30-40 players as it is for the recruitment team. Knowing they will never have a chance to play with those teams is only slap in the face to the sport itself. Why make those kids feel like practice dummies for the whole season.

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  37. You certainly are beating a drum for small schools 2:12. I must be missing the point - Roger Brown and Gary Fitz (among others) have only suggested combining 6 divisions into 3...not combining 6 into 1. If that's the case, aren't D5 and D6 teams roughly the same size? If so, what is the problem? No one is asking them to play with large schools we are only saying that there is absolutely no reason to crown 6 "state champions" in a state the size of NH.

    BTW - what the heck is a "recruitment team"? I suspect it is a BG reference, because they seem to be the hottest topic on every HS football board. Talk about football envy.

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  38. Hey 1:32....aren't the schools in D-IV north of Concord. So your statement makes no sense. No one cares about teams north of concord. So i guess NO ONE cares about the Plymouth's Hanover's Laconia's or Kennett's...on any given day they can give any team a run for their money. Get real....there are people care about the smaller schools. We don't need to have the "power rankings" That is just a waste of time....Who really cares about that anyways?

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  39. Actually, you're correct. I don't care about D4 teams including those that you listed. At all.
    But, I would like them combined into a new D2 with the current D3 teams. Yes, they do play football and I wish them the best but I don't have any interest - just my opinion.

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  40. BG is ranked #288 in the nation for football, and #20 in the Northeast. Not bad for a DII New Hampshire football team.

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  41. I thought they'd be in the top 10.

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  42. Nope. Do you by chance happen to be a player from Catholic Memorial? One of the top MA teams who BG spanked, 52-13.

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  43. Anyone who thinks CM Football is a top MASS team has them confused with the CM hockey program. CM Football is a weak MA D-I team.
    BG should have played Billerica again. They are much better than last year, as is BG.

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  44. BG vs. Central Catholic would have also been a fun matchup to see.

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  45. "CM Football is a weak MA D-I team."

    I stand unconvinced, seeing as they just recently lost to the #1 team in Massachusetts, Xavien, 30-28. It's reasonable to call them one of the top teams.

    Nonetheless, I would've liked to see BG play Billerica as well. Or Central Catholic, any one of those teams would've made for an interesting contest.

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  46. BG vs. Billerica would've been the game...21-7 last year but both are better this year. If the game was played in NH, BG would've had the edge.

    Jeremy, right on, CC would've been good as well. Regardless, I like when NH teams test themselves out of state. Now, if we can only get BG to move to D1 and test itself in state week in and week out...except when they play Concord and Memorial.

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  47. how about playing Pinkerton? people do your research. Despite being in DII, BG has at this point played, and beaten every NH D1 team under coach Johnson. Except that is North who are reasonably new and wouldnt even be worth playing before this year

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  48. CM is not weak. After playing BG they had some serious injury issues and lost 3 straight. But they appear to be back on track. they are a very good D1 Mass team, the rankings are unreliable until the playoffs are completed because MA has much more teams per division

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  49. Agreed. People are making it sound as if there is a whole new level of "wear and tear" in D1 as opposed to D2. The fact of the matter is, 15-18 year old high school football players are just that. The D1 label may sound more intimidating, but the players playing there are of the same demographic as the players in D2. BG suffers injuries in D2, as they would if they played in D1.

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  50. I live south of Concord and had never heard of Kennet, Hanover, Plymouth, or Laconia (except on a vacation one summer) before reading these rediculous posts.
    none of those teams could hang with BG or North or Salem's second strings. and you know what? no one cares. I dont like putting teams down but when you make rediculous challenges like that you ask for it

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  51. the small schools arent given a chance because they arent as good. there are too many divisions. Texas has 5 divisions. TEXAS. New hampshire needs about 3. those small schools would get spanked by any upper level team, except Spaulding because they belong in Division 107

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  52. 10:13 and 10:18, you're both just so ignorant (or are you the same guy?). No doubt the lower divisions are weaker, but individual teams could compete with the bigger schools. Souhegan, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and PERHAPS Laconia could compete with anybody in D1/D2 except maybe BG (who are on a whole different planet). You'd know this if you took the time to actually watch these teams play instead of just crapping on them anonymously on some blog with no information at hand.

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  53. Agreed. People are making it sound as if there is a whole new level of "wear and tear" in D1 as opposed to D2. The fact of the matter is, 15-18 year old high school football players are just that. The D1 label may sound more intimidating, but the players playing there are of the same demographic as the players in D2. BG suffers injuries in D2, as they would if they played in D1.

    There is a difference because of the number of kids per school. Just a numbers game. This year you could argue D2 better but every year no. If you take BG out of the equation (being a private school who should be in D1 anyway) I think D1 is better just because of the numbers

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  54. As far as D-I vs. D-II goes, if you ranked the 18 teams in the two divisions, it would look something like this:

    1. BG
    2. North
    3. Central
    4. Salem
    5. Winnacunnet
    6. Exeter
    7. Pinkerton
    8. Londonderry
    9. South
    10. Alvirne
    11. Timberlane
    12. Keene
    13. Dover
    14. Memorial
    15. Merrimack
    16. West
    17. Concord
    18. Spaulding

    D-I has 3 of the top 4, and 6 of the top 9. I think D-I is better this year.

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  55. OHM - Concord and West are better than another team!

    "Spaulding, you'll get nothing and like it!"

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  56. Explain to me how Central is out, and still above Salem who has only one loss??

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  57. Hahah poor Spaulding, we still love you guys

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  58. 10:10, I addressed that exact question in my post further up on this exact page.

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  59. Jeremy,
    I would definitely put Pinkerton, Londonderry and South ahead of Exeter and also Winnie if the get demolished today.

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