Tuesday, October 5, 2010
NH Notebook Football Power Poll - Week 6
Another exciting weekend of football is behind us. We had 2 thrilling overtime games (Memorial vs. Exeter and Bedford vs. Con-Val), we had BG put up a valiant effort against one of the top teams in Massachusetts, and we saw one of the highest scoring games in recent memory (Salem over North 67-54).
Here's what it all means with regards to my Power Poll.
Yes, they just barely beat Dover and Exeter, who aren't exactly powerhouse teams this year. And yes they fumbled the ball 10 teams vs. Dover. But this team flat out wins games. They're undefeated, including their week 1 win over North. Until they lose they're my #1 team.
Ok, let me get this straight. Pinkerton lost to North but they beat Salem. North lost to Salem but they beat Pinkerton. And Salem lost to Pinkerton but they beat North. All 3 teams are 1-1 against each other...so who's better than who? I give the nod to Pinkerton for 2 reasons. 1 is because they're only one of the 3 teams who didn't give up 500 points this weekend. And 2 is because when they lost to North they were playing without arguably their best player - Luke Somers. I think that's 2 pretty good reasons.
Both teams have 2 losses, but I give Salem the nod because they beat North head to head on Saturday and lead 34-0 at one point. I think that's a pretty good reason.
4) Nashua North
See Pinkerton and Salem...the Titans have a big game this Friday night with city rivals Nashua South, which should tell us a lot about where both teams are at right now.
5) Bishop Guertin
You could argue BG deserves to be higher, since they have just 1 loss and it was to one of the top 10 teams in Mass (Catholic Memorial) while the 2 teams above them have 2 losses. But without Kelly in the lineup they're just not the same team, and I feel like the teams above them are better, but JUST BARELY. Only a couple more weeks until their HUGE showdown in Hampton with Winnacunnet. If I can help it, I WILL be at that game.
6) Manchester Central
They really needed that win on Saturday over Souhegan. Up until that game, the Little Green had played two playoff caliber teams and they got pummeled by them both. They needed a win over a top team to validate themselves. I obviously have them ahead of Souhegan, and I have them ahead of Nashua South because South because Central's best win (Souhegan) is much more impressive than any of South's wins (Portsmouth, Concord and Memorial).
7) Nashua South
See Manchester Central. And like I said above about North, the game this Friday night between the 2 Nashua schools will be VERY telling about the state of both squads. Let's hope at least one of them plays some defense.
A good team with a lot of talent and a strong senior class. But they shot themselves in the foot with a lot of penalties, turnovers and other mistakes vs. Central and in the first half of their games vs. Londonderry and Goffstown.
Keene is undefeated on the season and has some explosive weapons on both sides of the football. They've beaten the teams they were supposed to beat, and they've beaten them easily. That being said, they have had a soft schedule so far, as none of the teams they've beaten are playoff contenders (except possibly Con-Val in D-III). This week begins the part of the Blackbird's schedule when we find out how good they really are. They finish the season with Merrimack, Dover, Timberlane, Winnacunnet and BG. All good teams, and 3 of them are on the road. These games will all be crucial in D-II playoff positioning, as Keene could end up finishing anywhere from 1st - 6th in the division depending on how they do over the next 5 weeks.
I was impressed with what I saw from the Owls on Saturday night in their win over a solid Merrimack team. They have good toughness, and are a very well coached team. Who's the 3rd best team in D-II, them or Keene? We will find out in a couple weeks when the Owls fly west to visit the Blackbirds. Yes, I'm making a cheesy bird analogy here sue me.
I have to put Timberlane over Trinity, but the Pioneers continue to steamroll their way through D-IV and deserve a spot in the poll so they get the honorary #11 spot. I can't see Trinity with an enrollment of 450 beating Timberlane with over 1500 kids. I've seen both teams, and the Owls are better right now. But Trinity deserves some credit. I know some folks are giving them slack for not moving up higher, but they did at least move up 1 division (although based on how the 2 teams are doing this year it does seem silly that Pelham is in D-III and Trinity is in D-IV - should be the other way around). But the Pioneers are undefeated, they beat Hanover, Laconia and walloped Plymouth and they blew out a decent Monadnock team. I said it before and I'll say it again - there is a VERY good chance that them and Lebanon will be unbeaten when the matchup on October 30 at Gill Stadium. I WILL be at that game, for what could be a D-IV title game preview.