December 21, 2011

Expanded Rankings: Larger look at the Lakes

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Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to and follow him on Twitter.

It's the most often-asked question: How does RivalsHigh keep track of the Top 100 teams in the country?

The answer often surprises folks: By keeping track of well more than five times that number of teams.

Maintaining state and region lists throughout the year helps us elevate teams as needed.

And while some never quite make the Top 100, we know they are of top quality and deserve recognition.

That's what the rest of the week is for. Going by our five geographical areas (Atlantic East, South, Lakes, Heartland and West), we'll reveal our lists for each state or region.

The Lake Region was lead by a pair of Top 15s in Michigan and Ohio.

  • Top 10s in Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota;
  • Top 5s for Kentucky and Wisconsin.
  • This group marks the first unveiled group of 70 total teams on our expanded rankings reveal.

    With the Atlantic East and South on Thursday as well as the Heartland and West on Friday a total of more than 500 teams is expected.

    Illinois Top 10 for 2011
    The Land of Lincoln had a lot of solid teams this season but few that made noise nationally. There have been better years in Illinois, but there have been worse. (More:
    Team RecordHow it fared
    Bolingbrook (Ill.) High13-1 Won Class 8A title over Loyola Academy
    Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy13-1 Class 8A runner-up
    Rockford (Ill.) Boylan14-0 Won Class 7A title over Wheaton-Warrenville South
    Crystal Lake (Ill.) Prairie Ridge13-1 Won Class 6A title over Richwoods
    Lombard (Ill.) Montini12-2 Won Class 5A title over Joliet Catholic
    Wheaton (Ill.) Wheaton-Warrenville South10-4 Class 7A semifinalist
    Joliet (Ill.) Joliet Catholic11-3 Class 5A runner-up
    Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita12-2 Class 7A runner-up
    Lake Zurich (Ill.) High9-3-1 Class 7A semifinalist
    Naperville (Ill.) Central9-4 Class 7A semifinalist

    Indiana Top 10 for 2011
    This was a fantastic year for high school football in Indiana. It is no longer just a basketball state that is for sure. (More:
    Team RecordHow it fared
    Carmel (Ind.) High14-1 Won Class 5A title over Penn
    Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central11-1 Eliminated in Class 5A second round
    Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis10-3 Eliminated in Class 5A third round
    Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral12-3 Won Class 4A title over Washington
    Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central9-2 Eliminated in Class 5A first round
    Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove9-5 Class 5A semifinalist
    Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn14-1 Class 5A runner-up
    Brownsburg (Ind.) High9-2 Eliminated in Class 5A first round
    Avon (Ind.) High10-2 Eliminated in Class 5A second round
    Indianapolis (Ind.) Bishop Chatard13-2 Won Class 3A title over St. Joseph's

    Kentucky Top 5 for 2011
    There have been better seasons for depth of football in Kentucky but maybe none better for top end teams. Louisville Trinity, Bowling Green, and Ft. Thomas Highlands are all very strong teams but the drop is quite steep after those three. (More:
    Team RecordHow it fared
    Louisville (Ky.) Trinity14-0 Won Class 6A title over Scott County
    Bowling Green (Ky.) High15-0 Won Class 5A title over Anderson County
    Ft. Thomas (Ky.) Highlands15-0 Won Class 4A title over Franklin-Simpson
    Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier8-5 Lost in Class 6A quarterfinals
    Georgetown (Ky.) Scott County14-1 Class 6A runner-up

    Michigan Top 15 for 2011
    Aside from the state needing to consolidate its divisions, there was not much to complain about in Michigan this year for high school football. Solid teams and good competition across the board. (More:
    Team RecordHow it fared
    Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech11-3 Won Division 1 title over Catholic Central
    Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary Prep12-2 Won Division 3 title over Mt. Pleasant
    Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice10-4 Won Division 2 title over Lowell
    Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison10-1 Eliminated in Division 2 first round
    Zeeland (Mich.) West14-0 Won Division 4 title over Marine City
    Shelby Township (Mich.) Utica Eisenhower11-2 Division 1 semifinalist
    Battle Creek (Mich.) Harper Creek12-1 Division 3 semifinalist
    Detroit (Mich.) King9-4 Division 2 semifinalist
    Lowell (Mich.) High12-2 Division 2 runner-up
    Novi (Mich.) Catholic Central12-2 Division 1 runner-up
    Warren (Mich.) De La Salle9-3 Eliminated in Division 1 second round
    Rockford (Mich.) High11-2 Division 1 semifinalist
    Grand Blanc (Mich.) High9-3 Division 1 quarterfinalist
    Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) High13-1 Division 2 runner-up
    Walled Lake (Mich.) Central8-4 Division 1 quarterfinalist

    Minnesota Top 10 for 2011
    Often overlooked for the level of quality it plays at the highest level, Minnesota was a little behind Michigan this year but ahead of Wisconsin. (More:
    Team RecordHow it fared
    Eden Prairie (Minn.) High12-1 Won Class AAAAA title over Wayzata
    Plymouth (Minn.) Wayzata12-1 Class AAAAA runner-up
    Minnetonka (Minn.) High12-1 Did not compete for a state title
    Findley (Minn.) Totino-Grace11-2 Class AAAAA semifinalist
    St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Durham Hall11-1 Class AAAAA semifinalist
    Lakeville (Minn.) North10-1 Eliminated in Class AAAAA first round
    Anoka (Minn.) High9-2 Eliminated in Class AAAAA first round
    Prior Lake (Minn.) High8-4 Eliminated in Class AAAAA first round
    Arden Hills (Minn.) Mounds View9-2 Did not compete for a state title
    Osseo (Minn.) High9-2 Did not compete for a state title

    Ohio Top 15 for 2011
    A banner year for Ohio football this was not. Interplay always hurts the rankings of teams in the state but out-of-state performances also hurt this season. (More:
    Team RecordHow it fared
    Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius13-2 Won Division I title over Pickerington Central
    Pickerington (Ohio) Central11-3 Division I runner-up
    Toledo (Ohio) Whitmer13-1 Division I semifinalist
    Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier10-4 Division I runner-up
    Trotwood (Ohio) Trotwood-Madison15-0 Won Division II title over Avon
    Cleveland (Ohio) St. Edward8-4 Eliminated in Division I second round
    Cincinnati (Ohio) Archbishop Moeller9-4 Division I quarterfinalist
    Hilliard (Ohio) Davidson11-1 Division I quarterfinalist
    Mentor (Ohio) High11-2 Division I quarterfinalist
    Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain10-2 Eliminated in Division I second round
    Middletown (Ohio) High10-2 Eliminated in Division I second round
    Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville8-3 Did not compete for state title
    Solon (Ohio) High10-2 Eliminated in Division I second round
    Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney11-3 Won Division III title over Shawnee
    Kirtland (Ohio) High15-0 Won Division V title over Coldwater

    Wisconsin Top 5 for 2011
    Wisconsin is generally a state that is at the very least on par with Minnesota for quality football most seasons. This year was a down year, not only for individual talent but also team play. (More:
    Team RecordHow it fared
    Kenosha (Wis.) Bradford15-0 Won Division 1 title over Lincoln
    Waunakee (Wis.) High14-0 Won Division 2 title over Menomonie
    Menomie (Wis.) High11-2 Division 2 runner-up
    Verona (Wis.) High12-1 Division 1 semifinalist
    West De Pere (Wis.) High15-0 Won Division 3 title over Wisconsin Lutheran

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