I week left in the regular season. With Merrimack's win over Exeter and Windham suffering their first loss, it seems like we have a consensus as to which 10 teams belong on this list, with Merrimack now in and Windham being out. However, the order those 10 teams belong in is definitely up for debate (other than Goffstown being their definite #1 team).
Here's how we see the teams stacking up as of right now.
7. St. Thomas
10. Bishop Guertin
Now, here's why we ranked the teams in that order...
1. Goffstown - The only unbeaten team in D-I. They beat a very good BG team last Saturday, and they did it without four defensive starters.
2. Bedford - the Bulldogs and Exeter are both 7-1. Bedford gets the nod for the #2 spot, because their loss came to #1 ranked Goffstown, whereas Exeter's loss came to previously un-ranked Merrimack.
3. Exeter - See Bedford.
4. Timberlane - the Owls have won 4 in a row, including 2 wins over teams currently in the statewide top 10 (Winnacunnet and Pinkerton). Not a lot of people are talking about him, but Timberlane QB/DB/K Jason Hughes is a dark horse candidate for NH Mr. Football.
5. Salem - yes, Pinkerton did beat Salem head to head earlier in the season. But the Blue Devils get the nod for the #5 spot, because since that time Salem has won 3 in a row, while Pinkerton has lost 2 of their last 3 and they were only tied at the half last weekend with Dover (1-7). Right now the Blue Devils are playing better football.
6. Pinkerton - See Salem.
7. St. Thomas - There's two sides to the coin here. On one side you have the fact that St. Thomas is undefeated, so they can't possibly be ranked below teams that have 3 losses in D-I, right? Plus St. Thomas has won all of their games by 34 points or more. However on the other side of the coin - not only have the Saints not beaten any team currently ranked in the top 10, they haven't even beaten a team with a winning record all year. Plus, judging by the point rating system they're not even the best team in Division II. In the end I'm looking at Margin of victory here, and the fact is even though they have played a weak schedule nobody has come close to even touching them all year. Meanwhile the other 3 teams on the list (Winnacunnet, Merrimack and BG) all have 3 losses and each team has at least 1 loss which was by 10 points or more. So yeah, St. Thomas gets the nod for the #7 spot.
8. Winnacunnet - alright, so we're down to Winnacunnet, BG and Merrimack for the last 3 spots. All 3 teams have identical 5-3 records in D-I. The #8 spot is between Winnacunnet and Merrimack. BG has to be #10, since Winnacunnet has beaten Pinkerton, Merrimack has beaten Exeter, but BG has yet to beat a top 10 team. From there we have to give the #8 spot to Winnacunnet, since they crushed Merrimack in their head to head match up 44-19. Not only that, but all 3 of Merrimack's losses have come by double digits, while only 1 of Winnacunnet's losses came by double digits. So taking all of that into account, it goes 8) Winnacunnet, 9) Merrimack and 10) BG.
9. Merrimack - see Winnacunnet
10. Bishop Guertin - see Winnacunnet