Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WGAM / Telegraph Power Poll Week 4 - My Ballot Revealed!

Ok, so this week's article will be a short one. That is because the ballot I turned in for this week's WGAM / Telegraph Power Poll was virtually identical to the one I turned in the previous week. I switched Dover and Nashua South in the #7 and #8 spots and that's it.

So here's this week's poll, followed by my ballot and then a couple of quick points on why I voted that way.

WGAM ‘The Game’ / Nashua Telegraph High School Football Poll

1. Exeter (9)
2. Pinkerton
3. Winnacunnet
4. Keene
5. Manchester Central
6. Bishop Guertin
7. Bedford
8. Nashua South
9. Plymouth
10. Goffstown

(1st place votes)

Other receiving votes: Souhegan (5), Concord (3), Dover (1)

My ballot...
1. Exeter
2. Pinkerton
3. Manchester Central
4. Bishop Guertin
5. Winnacunnet
6. Keene
7. Dover
8. Nashua South
9. Concord
10. Bedford

A couple quick points on why I voted that way:
Again, not too much to say here since my ballot is basically the same as it was last week. So why did I switch Dover with South? Well, pretty simple - South got blown out on Friday night while Dover beat Spaulding 31-10. South doesn't deserve to fall completely off the ballot because Lowell is a very good team and it was a game that didn't count in the standings. You shouldn't drop too far in the rankings for losing a meaningless game. Meanwhile, Dover impressed with their win over Spaulding. Yes, I know the Red Raiders are now 0-3, but I still think they're a good team. One of Spaulding's 3 losses came in a meaningless game and of the other losses (to Timberlane) they lost on a TD scored in the last couple minutes. I thought the Dover/Spaulding game would be a closer battle. Both Dover and South have gotten knocked around in losses to teams from Massachusetts. But the team Dover lost to (King Philip High) is the #12 rated team in the entire state of Mass) whereas Lowell is not ranked in the top 25.

Come to think of it, I'm SHOCKED that once again I am the only voter who had Dover on my ballot. Like I wrote in my Power Poll column last week, yes they started off the season 0-2 but they were both meaningless games that did not count in the standings. Not only that, but those 2 losses came to Exeter (the undisputed #1 team in the NH) and King Philip High (the #12 rated team in Mass, and if they were in NH they would be the #3 rated team in the state). So then in their first game of the season that actually counted, the Green Wave went out last Friday night and beat up on their arch-rival Spaulding 31-10. These guys were a consensus top 10 team in the preseason, so how are they not a top 10 team now?

Why did all of the other teams stay in the exact same spots on my ballot as last week? Well, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Of the 10 teams I voted for last week only 2 of them lost (Central and South). All of the other teams won (most of them in blowouts) so I just kept them where they were at.

So why didn't Central drop? Well the bottom line is even after their 49-0 loss to Exeter on Friday nigh they are STILL the #3 team in the state. First off, 2 of Exeter's TD's came after both teams pulled their starters out of the game. It was 35-0 Exeter with the starters in there. Secondly, everything that could go wrong for Central in that game did go wrong. They aren't really that bad of a team. They turned the ball over twice inside the Exeter 5 yard line, and 3 times inside the Exeter 30. If they score on even just 2 of those 3 possessions it would have been a MUCH different football game. Central was able to move the ball on Exeter, they just couldn't finish drives. The Blue Hawks are the best team in the state hands down, especially now that they have Logan Laurent and Colby Swane back in the lineup from suspension. It's not so much that Central is a bad team and deserves to drop because of this game, it's just that Exeter is REALLY good and further cemented their place as the #1 team with this win.

So not much shifting on my ballot this week. I've got a feeling next week will be a different story, though. This weekend you have Exeter vs. Winnacunnet, BG vs. Dover, Concord vs. South and Bedford vs. Keene. That's a pretty impressive slate of games! 8 of the top 10 teams all playing against each other this weekend. Later on this week I'll be previewing each of these games. And I will be in the house covering Exeter/Winnacunnet, Concord/South and BG/Dover.

Oh yeah, and why don't I have Plymouth on my ballot? Yes, I know that some people were putting trinity in their top 10 and that Plymouth crushed Trinity last Saturday 36-14 (it wasn't even that close). The reason they're not in there is because the teams in Division I and II face a MUCH more grueling schedule from week to week that a team from D-III or D-IV has to REALLY be good to make the top 10. And by REALLY good I mean they would have to be like 8-0 and have all of their wins be by at least 2 touchdowns. Yes, Plymouth beat up on Trinity. But I'm sorry, they're going to also do it to Windham and St. Thomas to be considered a top 10 team. Maybe if the Power Poll expanded to 15 or 20 teams then teams like Plymouth, Windham and Souhegan would be in there. But right now it's 10 teams. And as of RIGHT NOW, the top 10 teams in the NHIAA are Exeter, Pinkerton, Central, BG, Winnacunnet, Keene, Dover, South, Concord and Bedford. It is what it is.

Photo credit: Randy Arial Photography

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