Every week of the football season, nine voters rate Western New York's best teams from 1 to 10 in the large and small school polls (published in the Sidelines of each Tuesday's Scholastic Spotlight). The News has one vote in each poll.
And this week:
1. Orchard Park (6-0) [last week: 1] - Back to blowout form. Someone please explain to me why they're playing Niagara-Wheatfield. Someone please explain to me why they don't schedule nonleague games that will help them for the playoffs, like OP does in lacrosse. Please.
2. Canisius (3-2)  - Very impressive against St. Francis. Big, talented, complete team. Did I mention big? Brady was excellent. If he's not sick, do they beat Aquinas?
3. Sweet Home (6-0)  - D.J. Nettles has made them even stronger.
4. North Tonawanda (6-0)  - Still undefeated, still have played teams who haven't even come close to making this list. Part of me wants to put an AA South team above them just based on competition, but there's no sorting out that bunch anymore.
5. Grand Island (5-1)  - Recap of Saturday's game at Starpoint: Oliverio to Neutz. Oliverio to Neutz. Oliverio to Neutz. Halftime.
6. Lancaster (5-1)  - OP 13, Lancaster 0 after three quarters.
7. St. Francis (0-6)  - Record against WNY: 0-1 to our No. 2 team. Again, for the whiners: This pollster believes Red Raiders would beat the teams below. That's what a poll is about.
8. Iroquois (6-0)  - For the second straight week, a gritty, clutch, commendable road win (and one we thought wouldn't be so close).
9. Jamestown (4-2) [NR] - The Red Raiders are back. Thank goodness. WNY is better for it. Here we were, thinking that Jamestown's win at Frontier was fluky, but ...
10. Frontier (3-3)  - ... when you look at it, Frontier's win over Lancaster seems like it might be the fluky one. They stay in the poll ahead of Clarence for the same reason we had them ahead of the Red Devils last week, the great run they gave OP. But after Jamestown's win at Clarence, we had to reset our Class AA South thinking. Riverside, West Seneca East, Williamsville South (try and pick between those two: West Seneca East's only loss was at Amherst, which South pounded Friday; both won fairly big at Cheektowaga) and Grover Cleveland are a couple of chain links short.
1. Cleveland Hill (6-0)  - Speaking of chain links, Golden Eagles are about two or three ahead of the Steelers.
2. Lackawanna (6-0)  - Friday night at East Aurora. Another quality win might push them atop our ballot.
3. Alden (6-0) - Every week the Bulldogs show they're more and more "for real," if that's grammatically correct. Or even if it's not. Winning at Albion is not easy. They deserve to move up ...
4. Southwestern (6-0)  - ... while the Trojans slide down. I'm not a huge fan of moving teams down when their margin of victory is, shall we say, big enough but not as big as expected. But Southwestern won, 30-14, at home against Salamanca. Salamanca lost by larger deficits to Fredonia (23) and Silver Creek (21-0 shutout) and also lost to Allegany-Limestone (15).
5. Maple Grove (6-0)  - A school record point total against a 4-1 team. Whoa. They likely won't move up until they punch a ticket to the Ralph. We need to be convinced.
6. Fredonia (5-1)  - Dunkirk shouldn't make the playoffs, so Friday night is their playoffs.
7. Depew (5-1)  - Wildcats are rolling. Fifth straight win, third in a row that hasn't been close. They could beat Lancaster again.
8. East Aurora (4-2)  - Greatest new Week Eight tradition is EA-Lackawanna. Should be fun.
9. Maryvale (3-3)  - Three wins in a row, three losses to Nos. 1, 3 and 7 on this ballot. I'd take the Flyers up against No. 10 and that spot's other suitors.
10. Portville (5-1) [NR] - It was down to the Panthers -- who have won huge five times and lost to Maple Grove -- and Silver Creek after its win at former No. 9 Allegany-Limestone. The nod goes to Class D over Class C. Randolph is rolling, but Portville beat them. Clymer, in the smaller half of D, is still considered a notch behind the DD teams despite the big numbers. St. Mary's could still return.
Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below. Or visit here Wednesday night at 7 for a live chat with yours truly.
taggedHigh school football