Tuesday, November 22, 2011
NH Notebook Football Power Rankings - Week 13
There were only 3 games played last weekend, but there was still quite a bit of movement in this week's Power Rankings. That is because in all 3 of those games the winning team was the one that was ranked lower in last week's rankings. So things shuffled around a little bit as a result.
Congrats to Exeter, BG and Portsmouth on winning titles this weekend. All 3 of those teams proved me wrong. Conventional wisdom says that is Pinkerton won 42-16 on the road during the regular season they should easily win at home in the championship. Same thing with Bedford vs. Portsmouth - how do the Clippers win 41-6 on the road after losing 24-12 at home to that same Bulldogs team just 3 weeks earlier? And looking at late season common opponents, Dover CRUSHED Timberlane last week of the regular season while BG only BARELY beat the Owls in the semi-finals. So how do the Cardinals then beat the Green Wave 16-7 in the title game? You can't explain any of these occurrences. It's called parity and unpredictability. You never know what's going to happen. And that's what makes covering these games so much fun!
Exeter especially deserves a lot of credit. The other 2 games were tossups, but in the D-I title game Pinkerton was a HUGE favorite. Not only were the Astros unbeaten on the season vs. NH teams, but no one had even come within 2 touchdowns of them all year. Yet the Blue Hawks pulled off the upset of the year. Just shows that if you are well prepared, you play hard and you play as a team anything can happen. What a great Story Exeter is, because not only did they win the title with the big upset but they did it just a year after they went 0-8 in the division. Bill Ball is a great coach, and he had a great team this year, no question about it.
Some people might be surprised to see Central and Souhegan still in there, but they deserve it. It's true that neither team has played in a couple weeks now, but it's also true that Central beat South in the last week of the regular season and they played Pinkerton and Exeter tougher than either South or Salem did late in the year. They deserve the #4 spot. And Souhegan ends the season as the second best team in D-III. Portsmouth wins the title, by easily beating both Goffstown and Bedford in the playoffs. And while the Clippers beat Souhegan by 5 TD's in the final, Souhegan beat Bedford by 3 TD's in the last week of the season (and they also won their last 5 games in a row).
That being said, here are this week's updated NH Notebook Power Rankings. On Thanksgiving there's a match up of 2 ranked teams, as #4 Central takes on #9 Trinity in the Turkey Bowl. The NH Notebook will have complete coverage of that game so check back.
3) Bishop Guertin
4) Manchester Central
5) Nashua South
12) St. Thomas