We have reached the halfway point of the season and there are log jams all over the rankings. The top few teams in each poll are playing at an extremely high level -- one that puts them head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Everyone else is trying to separate themselves from their peers.
The competition will be fierce down the stretch as league play intensifies. Margin of error is as slim as ever; attention to detail is going to weed out the strong from the weak.
This is the time of year when seniors begin to realize that their time is coming to an end. Heart, desire and emotion can go a long way in determining success down the stretch for these upper classmen. No one wants to be left out of the November playoff fun.
Here is a look at how things are shaping up in this week’s update:
Rankings: Ohio Division I
The deck has been reshuffled. This week’s rankings see several teams with moving significantly this week. Separation between spots 3-10 in the polls is ever so slim as they keep knocking each other off.
GCL South teams are right in the middle of all the action. The red-hot Elder Panthers moved up two spots as did league rival No. 5 St. Xavier. The two meet in The Pit this Friday. Moeller, who dropped three places after a loss to the Bombers, will go on the road to face the No. 1 ranked team in our Ohio Division II Rankings, La Salle.
Making their debut in the rankings is a Lebanon squad that has won four in a row, including last-minute, nail biters the past two Fridays. The Warriors replace the team they beat last week, Springfield, in the latest release of the poll.
The Week 6 schedule is littered with great battles amongst ranked teams, including the GCL South battles. Also on the schedule are Mason at Colerain and Beavercreek entertaining Springboro. Fairfield hosts Sycamore and Lebanon heads to Northmont in pivotal Harbin Ratings grabs.
Rankings: Ohio Division II
For a second straight week, the top five spots in our Ohio DII poll will stayed the same. The biggest mover in the rankings was No. 6 Trotwood-Madison, who is up two spots. Troy dropped two notches after losing to No. 2 Miamisburg. The Trojans’ road doesn’t get any easier as they will face a Tippecanoe, who looks to supplant them in the rankings.
The lone newcomer to the Top 10 is Edgewood. The Cougars replaced Winton Woods, who fell to No. 1 La Salle.
The road won’t get any easier for La Salle as they host GCL South foe Moeller (No. 6 in DI poll) on Friday night. Also on the slate is an ECC dandy as undefeated No. 4 Turpin entertains No. 3 Kings. Eight of our ranked squads will play on their home turf this weekend.
Rankings: Ohio Division IV-Division VII
What a strong group of small schools we have in these rankings! The top eight teams all remained the same after another week of resounding wins from the group.
How dominating were the aforementioned octet? Their combined average margin of victory in Week 5 was 42.1 points; five of those teams won by 40 or points or more.
Benjamin Logan replaced Mariemont with the only movement in the poll. The Raiders are heading toward a Week 10 battle with No. 8 Indian Lake. It looks as if both teams will be undefeated and playing for the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River division title in the finale.
A quirk in the schedule will see nine of our ranked teams playing home games. None of the Top 10 will square off against each other.
Rankings – Northern Kentucky
After a weekend full of fireworks there is very little disruption in the rankings. The only movement in the poll saw Conner and Covington Catholic flip-flopping spots -- the Cougars bump up comes after a third straight win. CovCath had a four-game winning streak stopped on the road at Columbus DeSales.
Unbeaten Simon Kenton will get a much-needed breather after winning a 77-53 shootout over Highlands. The Pioneers are one of three teams in our Top 8 that have an “open” date this weekend. Campbell County and CovCath are also off.
Don’t expect much to change in the poll as October begins. The only matchup on Friday between ranked squads has No. 8 Dixie hosting No. 5 Cooper. This is a huge opportunity for the home team Colonels to jump up the charts.