Monday, August 27, 2007

The Week in Review

It sure was an exciting first big week of the season, wasn't it?

Uh, not really. At least not concerning teams ranked in the National Prep Poll. But I guess just opening another football season is excitement enough for most of us.

Only seven of this week's Top 25 teams saw action over the weekend. They won by a cumulative score of 246-39, including No. 19 Booker T. Washington's 36-3 drubbing of Summerville (S.C.) on national television.

ESPN had BTW ranked No. 9 entering the game and Summerville was No. 8.

BTW resembled a team that deserves a Top 10 ranking; Summerville certainly did not.

Do you suppose the composition of ESPN's national rankings are influenced at least slightly by the network's promotion department?

  • Top-ranked St. Xavier looked sloppy, according to coach Steve Specht, in its pedestrian 35-7 season-opening rout of Winton Woods. Of greater concern to the coaching staff, no doubt, was the ankle injury sustained by star RB Darius Ashley on just his second carry of the game. Ashley told reporters after the game that he expects to be ready to go when the Bombers play No. 3 DeMatha this Sunday on ESPN.
  • National high school poll compilers are often accused of refusing to lower a team's national ranking unless they lose. It's mostly a case of perception winning out over reality -- at least in the poll that I'm responsible for. A perfect example is this week when two Top 25 teams dropped from the national list without losing: Gaffney (S.C.) and St. Peter's Prep (N.J.). Gaffney is off to a 1-0 start, but a loss in the preseason followed by an unseemly seven-turnover effort last week indicates to me that the Indians are not playing much like the squad that was 15-0 and ranked No. 14 to finish last season. St. Peter's will get an opportunity to win its way back into the rankings when it kicks off the season on Sept. 9.
  • I ranked Prattville (Ala.) at No. 34 in the preseason Power 50 rankings that I did for RISE Magazine's preseason football publication. I now think that was way too low. At the time, I like what Prattville had on defense but was somewhat concerned about how the Lions' would replace departed state MVP Larry Smith at QB. I knew that incoming transfer Casey Weston was a talent, but I wondered if everything would gel right off the bat. Well, if Prattville's 36-3 preseason win over North Gwinnett is any indication, the Lions appear to be gelling like Magellan. (Sorry, that was bad.)
  • ESPN and the NFL Network will combine to show 10 of the 11 Kirk Herbstreit Classic games in Canton and Cincinnati this weekend. But you'll have to wait a week for some of the coverage. The NFL Network will have all four Canton games -- which includes No. 5 Long Beach Poly vs. Midwest No. 8 Cleveland Glenville -- but will tape delay the games for broadcast on September 8. ESPN will have all four Saturday games from Cincinnati live on the 'net, something it calls ESPN360. Then it's the big one on Sunday with No. 1 St. X versus No. 3 DeMatha on regular ESPN, followed by No. 16 Pittsburgh Central Catholic taking on Clayton Northmont on ESPNU. Great coverage for a great event.
NOTE: Photo of Darius Ashley is courtesy of

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jamie,

Love the new look for the web site.

Sure miss your preseason football magazine this season. I loved last season's.

Keep up the good work!