October 6, 2013

No changes at the top of RivalsHigh 100

The top of first RivalsHigh100 ranking for October will look similar to that of the final week in September. The top 13 teams will remain unchanged. It is the first time in the history of the poll that there has been no shuffling among the group because historically even in victory some teams have traded places.

The first team that fell was Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain, which was jumped by four teams in going from No. 14 to No. 18 this week despite defeating Cincinnati (Ohio) Princeton, 56-38.

Hoover (Ala.) High, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee and Concord (Calif.) De La Salle slid up after more impressive victories over better opponents this week.

The only two programs that lost this weekend from inside the top 25 were previously ranked No. 18 Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, which fell, 28-12, to top-ranked Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington, and previously ranked No. 23 Chicago (Ill.) Mount Carmel, which lost to Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy, 24-17, over two days. Lightning and rain late in the third quarter pushed the game from Saturday to Sunday.

Bishop Gorman dropped to No. 24 nationally, but its stock is dropping and the program could fall out of the top 25 even if it wins out and claims a state title.

Mount Carmel suffered a much steeper fall. It lost 62 spots and slid to No. 85 with the loss.

Outside of the top 25, there was not as much movement as usual. Teams have gotten into district play, so the likelihood of upsets has decreased.

The greatest upward mover -- outside of the nine teams that will break into the poll this week -- was Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic which climbed 18 spots to No. 76. The team has outscored opponents 292-27 on the season and may prove to be a top 50 program.

The volatility of the poll showed its teeth this week toward the back end of the rankings. Four teams that were victorious were jumped and fell from the RivalsHigh100, and two programs that were idle suffered the same fate.

Previously ranked No. 89 San Antonio (Texas) Madison, No. 91 Massillon (Ohio) Washington, No. 99 Louisville (Ky.) Trinity, and No. 100 Carmel (Ind.) High dropped despite winning. No. 73 Corona (Calif.) Centennial and No. 90 Cibolo (Texas) Steele fell out without playing.

Previously ranked No. 37 Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany, No. 47 Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove and No. 48 Olive Branch (Miss.) High dropped due to their on-field losses.

GETTING DEFENSIVE

Having one of the most talented defenses in the state has pushed Buford (Ga.) High into the RivalsHigh100 this week -- checking in at No. 64.

The program had been just on the outside of the rankings since its Sept. 6 victory over Gainesville (Ga.) High in which it held the high-octane offense in check to win, 36-14. It has since had three consecutive shutouts -- against inferior competition -- and the Wolves have outscored opponents on the season, 260-21.

The team is headlined by four-star Clemson commit Korie Rogers at linebacker, Missouri pledge Thomas Wilson and two-star Terrance Wilson in the secondary. It also boasts Zavior Hoxie in the defensive backfield, and with Deion King and class of 2015 prospect Austin Smith at linebacker, it makes for one of the most complete back sevens in the nation.

Joining Buford as new teams breaking into the RivalsHigh 100 are Upper St. Clair (Pa.) High and Elk Grove (Calif.) High.

The two are not as talented individually as Buford -- with only Rori Blair of Upper St. Clair committed to Pittsburgh as an FBS prospect -- but each plays great team defense and has done well against recognized programs.

Upper St. Clair will enter the RivalsHigh100 as the No. 2 team in the Keystone State and No. 95 nationally.

The Panthers have outscored opponents, 220-10, and have not allowed a point since Aug. 30 against Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills.

With a schedule that includes winless Pittsburgh (Pa.) Plum and a down squad in Pittsburgh (Pa.) Mt. Lebanon, it figures that the next challenge to its defense will come in the WPIAL playoffs in November.

Elk Grove has also feasted on inferior opponents in outscoring teams, 223-20, but it has pushed into the top three in NorCal -- behind De La Salle and Folsom (Calif.) High.

It enters the RivalsHigh100 at No. 96 but it is holding off Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove, San Mateo (Calif.) Serra and Granite Bay (Calif.) High for its placement locally and nationally.

POCKET FIVES

The landscape of high school football has changed, and the glacier carvings have been a result of interstate games.

This national movement to play out-of-state and out-of-region contests has caused packs of teams that may otherwise be unrelated to become intertwined in the RivalsHigh100.

A Florida-Louisiana grouping has formed in the last four weeks. Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas defeated River Ridge (La.) John Curtis and fell to Miramar (Fla.) High the next week.

While Aquinas was being bested by Miramar, it was Curtis that went on to defeat New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr.

Karr had already secured a victory over New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine, which then defeated Curtis this weekend.

The teams will be ranked near one another and inside the top 30 nationally -- led by Miramar, which holds the trump card and is No. 22. Aquinas will be close behind at No. 23, followed by the three Louisiana teams at 26, 27, and 28.

The breakdown of those teams from the Bayou gives the edge to Edna Karr. The Cougars defeated St. Augustine while at full strength and nearly downed Curtis with their star athlete, Speedy Noil, playing on a bad leg before falling, 38-33.

Curtis -- despite losing this week to St. Augustine -- will be the second-ranked of the trio. It downed Karr weeks prior by five during a fourth-quarter comeback and then fell to St. Augustine on a last-minute drive and two-point conversion, 29-28.

St. Augustine gets the last ranking here, but it is not far from the pack as its loss to Karr was by 10 -- after leading, 24-12, it gave up the final 20 points -- and it has the last-minute victory over Curtis.

All three contests involving the Louisiana teams saw the program that jumped out to the lead unable to close the game, providing further evidence of how competitive the games were and how closely the teams should be ranked.

EARN YOUR STRIPES?

Of the teams included in the RivalsHigh100, only a handful have yet to have a game of consequence added to their resumes.

The highest-ranked program to have been elevated without a victory over a nationally relevant opponent is No. 12 Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School. The Suns have outscored opponents by a total of 356-54 but have not been tested.

In recent years, teams on their schedule such as Miami (Fla.) Norland, Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay and Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson, may have qualified, but this season they are just name games.

University School is set to change all of that and could find itself making a run at a national title with its last two months of games. It will play a quality Belle Glades (Fla.) Glades Central team following its bye week. It then will take on No. 16 Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee on the road, No. 4 Miami (Fla.) Central on the road and potentially No. 1 Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington in the playoffs, which would also be on the road.

University School is led by a trio of four-star athletes, quarterback Sean White, linebacker Richard Yeargin III and defensive back Quincy Wilson. The team also has Rutgers pledge Brandon Russell at linebacker, Duke verbal commitment Chris Taylor at receiver and two Air Force Falcons in Emmauel Soto at receiver and Lajuan Hunt backing up class of 2015 star Jordan Scarlett at running back.

There are a few other teams that have moved up the RivalsHigh100 without a quality victory. They include No. 30 Houston (Texas) Lamar, No. 31 Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, No. 40 Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes, No. 45 Clifton (Va.) Centreville, No. Lake Zurich (Ill.) High, No. 90 Knoxville (Tenn.) Fulton and No. 96 Elk Grove (Calif.) High.

Dallas Jackson is the national columnist for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.




 

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