Monday, December 03, 2007

Sound Off on the Week 17 National Prep Football Poll

This is the place to leave your comments, questions and other observations about the Week 17 National Prep Football Poll.

Please keep your remarks clean and at least somewhat mature in nature. Otherwise, they will be deleted.

Now, fire away.


Anonymous said...

im confused on how tulsa union has fallen out of the rankings. in your week 5 poll when they beat jenks, jenks only fell one spot. jenks beats tulsa union in the state finals and union falls from number 10 all the way off the list. how does that work?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jamie...your poll has finally "jumped the shark." We can now include it in the pile of meaningless and worthless polls of USAToday and

I certainly hope you take the time to publish your reasoning for NOT vaulting St. Xavier to #1 in the nation after they posted only the 2nd shutout in the glorious history of Ohio High School Division I football game. You owe the fans of the best TEAM in the nation that after giving them the royal screw job by telling them that if they ran the table against the toughest schedule in the nation, they'd more than likely finish #1.

So the key for MNW was beat one good team early (and how good is SLC now?) and destroy a bunch of patsies on their way to yet ANOTHER meaningless FLA 6A title. Nice. got some 'splanin to do!!!

PrepNationSports said...

I will start by posting my commentary that was included in this week's poll release:

But St. Xavier and its fans are not alone in making a legitimate claim for the top spot, should Northwestern lose or play badly enough to drop from No. 1.

No. 3 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) is dominating opponents in a fashion reminiscent of the Spartans teams that won six Prep Poll titles between 1994-2003. And unlike those years, should it win this week, De La Salle will play in a legitimate state championship game this season against the top large-school team from Southern California.

Then there's No. 4 Katy (Texas). The Tigers, who have unmatched tradition in the Lone Star State, have reached the 5A state quarterfinals for the 10th time in 11 seasons and appear likely to claim their fourth state title since 1997.

No. 5 South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) certainly has a strong case of its own for the No. 1 spot again this season. The Tigers are closing in on a fifth consecutive 5A state championship and 75 straight wins.

With all that on the record, Miami Northwestern has done enough to keep the No. 1 ranking, in our view. The Bulls grade out highest when applying the four major criteria to which the National Prep Poll gives most weight when ranking teams: schedule strength, accomplishing the ultimate goals of being a dominant team and winning championships, fielding a team with impact/memorable players, and coaching/recent tradition.

Some other teams appear to grade out better in any one individual category than the Bulls. But, overall, Northwestern appears to us to be the best team in America.

At least for now.

OK. With that said. Here are a couple of other things to consider:

1) St. Xavier DID play the toughest schedule of any team in the country this season, in my opinion. However, Miami NW did something that St. X did not: Beat a top-notch opponent OUTSIDE their own state. Miami NW's win over Southlake Carroll is still the single most impressive win by any team in the country this season, in my opinion.

2) Unlike most people who post their comments here, I do NOT have a dog in the fight. I am not from Ohio. I am not from Florida. I am not from Texas. I am not from Mississippi, North Carolina, etc. I do not have an emotional attachment to any of these teams, states or traditions. (In case you wondered, I was born and raised in Iowa and currently live in Kansas City.)

Please keep those two issues in mind.

PrepNationSports said...

With regard to Tulsa Union. It was a tough call to drop them completely out of the rankings. But there are two large differences from when Union beat Jenks compared to when Jenks between Union. 1) Union required overtime to beat Jenks the first time. The second game wasn't even close. 2) The Jenks win came at playoff time -- when all the chips were on the table, and of course, it was the most recent result and therefore the more relevant to this week's poll.

Anonymous said...

As far as the debate on who is #1, it's hard to say. St. X has played a heck of a schedule, but I think that Miami Northwestern would beat St. X if they were to play.

I'm from S.C. and see that Byrnes has moved up to #11 from #21 based on their annihilation of Summerville 48-9. With a loss or two from the teams ranked above them, they may end up in the top 10. The scary thing is that this is not their best team during their recent run because the '03 and 05' teams were better. This team is young, comprised mostly of sophmores and juniors. They will be better in 2008 and 2009.

Lastly, if Independece wins next week and capture their 8th straight state title, I think they deserve consideration to be back into the top 25 based on the fact that they beat then regionally ranked Butler, who had beaten them 2 weeks earlier, and West Charlotte who are still ranked 9th in the east region and were ranked #1 in N.C. going into the playoffs.

alex said...

While Jamie has posted his four criteria to a number one team, I find it hard to believe that MNW has an edge over St. X when the only thing MNW has on ST. X is a "signature win"....MNW has a signature win over regionally ranked #7 SLC....St. X has a win over regionally ranked #7 Dematha Catholic....I can hear the argument that the East is weaker than the South, but is the gap wide enough to justify for such a MASSIVE discrepancy in SoS? Sorry Jamie, I have always held this poll in very high esteem, but it looks like I'll be following Chris Lawlor over on CNNSI from here on out....

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jamie. A little food for thought from the conchster....

Schedule Strength: X has to be ahead of all other potential national contenders by a longshot. MNW has played a couple of decent Florida teams, but their marquis win over SLC was just tarnished. X has faced and beaten two teams that hit the PN national top ten. One is now the East #7 and I believe vying for a title. They have also beaten the current and former MW #5s (Coffman and Mentor), the current MW #3 (Trinity) and spanked Elder, who beat the East #6 Indy. In comparison, MNW beat the SW #7. X by a landslide.

Dominant team/Championships: MNW has generally been dominant, but then again their average opponent isn't even a 6-4 team. Only 2 of 15 of St. X opponents were at or below that level, as X's are the equivalant of an 8-2 team on average. And X has done it despite key injuries. Not including losses to X, 11 of X's 15 games were versus teams that had 2 or fewer losses. Oh, and X actually HAS won their title. Please refer to strength of schedule above for more. Push at worst. And shouldn't X get some credit for "walking the walk"?

Impact/Memorable Players: MNW has some big names getting scholies. But is X a slouch? X has Ashley, the All-Ohio Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, the #8 ranked punter/kicker in the country by Prokicker, four All-Ohio 1st teamers, a second teamer and an honorable mention, the Army Iron Man... MNW gets a nod....maybe. But by much? Looking good and getting stats against teams that win less than 60% of their games may distort things?

Coaching/Recent Tradition: Under Coach Specht, X is 51-3 with two Ohio D1 titles won with perfect 15-0 records. He has won coach of the year honors in Ohio twice in just four years. And if you can find me a team in the nation has faced a line-up of competition like X has faced to achieve a 51-3 record, I'd like to hear about them. I understand MNW's coach has a very good resume, but does his record match up to what Specht has done in arguaby the toughest classification in the nation and facing multiple out-of-state powers? Not just one in an off year? I'd love to hear the reasoning for X not getting this also.

Anonymous said...

Just Responding to the asertion that X has not beat any teams outside of Ohio. While that is true, they have played in 2 games that required a 4+ hr. bus ride and an overnight stay (St. Ignatius in Cleveland and Mentor in Canton). So I feel that argument is a little bunk. Once you have to leave school early and travel, then spend the night away from home, it doesn't matter if you're playing in your state or not.

By the way 4hr drives from Cincinnati in directions other than north east would have you in Tennessee, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, or Michigan.

EaglesNest said...

First Congrats to St. X on being the best FOOTBALL team in the Nation this year....

I thought Demoney actually may have a bit of knowledge of football but that is clearly not the case now. He is now following the traditons of the Chris Lawlor's and Tony Bianco's....just fat cat sports writers who never played football nor understand the fundamentals of the game. They think football is razzle dazzle and who has the most flashy all star team that can pound Little siters of the poor into oblivion.

St. X is the New England Patriots of High school football along with storied Concord De Lasalle. Miami Northwestern is a fantastic collection of athletes and that it. They would not beat St. X this year nor last year. Lakeland Florida 2005 and 2006 would crush MNW....Lakeland had WAY better coaching in 25+ years experience,one-time national coach of year, Bill Castle, way more discipline than MNW, and better players top to bottom. St. X 2006 took Lakeland to OT last year and if you saw that game it was an absolute slugfest and a toss-up, the most physical high school football game I have seen. X had ZERO D1 seniors on that team and fisnished the season 11-2 and did not make the State semifianls yet Lakeland went on to win their second straight National title and State title.

St. X 2007 is twice as good as last year and MNW is NOT as good as Lakeland 2006 and definately not as good as their 2005 team...who is the best team to come out of Florida in some time, IMO. Lakeland 2006 sent TEN players to the SEC (EIGHT to the National champion Florida Gators) one to LSU and one to Alabama as well and a few D-1aa guys as well. Lakeland is way more disciplined and fundamentally sound than MNW, no question. MNW also has nobody on their O-line that could match up with the Maurkice and Mikael Pouncey who were two of the best HS lineman I have seen in some time.... Gee I guess thats why both of them started as true freshman for the Florida Gators this year. MNW is a razzle dazzle team and you cannot play that B.S. against a real team like St.X because that isn't football. MNW has great athletes in QB Jacory Harris and WR Aldonius Johnson but X has seen players of their caliber ALL year long. Lets see...Top ten rated recievers...

(five star Wr Kenny Tate of Demtatha , four star Wr Cordale Scott of Glenville, five star Osu bound WR Devier Posey, Colerains Ravelle Sadler, five star Notre Dame bound #1 TE in nation Kyle Rudolph...need I keep going on??

You think just beacause MNW has all these athletes they are better than X??? LMAO...that is the reason why the Patriots have been embrassing the NFL for the past several years and other teams are trying to catch up. WHy are they so GOOD? Because they have great discipline, coaching, can run the football, have a crack defense, smart, and they draft FOOTBALL PLAYERS with good FOOTBALL IQ'S. St. X is a FOOTBALL TEAM. Much like the Patriots and Belichek...Coach Specht, like Belichek, doesnt care who you are...the toughest, smartest, and kids with the most heart will play and X has over 130 who are fighting every week to play. When you play X you are in a WAR.

Like I said MNW is not nearly as disciplined as Lakeland. Not even close. MNW turned the ball over FIVE times versus SLC. Are you kidding me? You think you are going to win a game by giving the ball to St. X five times in a game?? You think youre gonna beat the Patriots by giving them the ball five times?? MNW has a high powered offense but if they could not score early and often on X it would be ugly because X will impose their will and run the ball and play field postion with impeccable special teams. MNW alos doesnt have as good a defense as Lakeland did...MNW has a stud DT,forget his name?, but Lakealnd's HS ALL American, DT John Brown was just as good and the X oline made him work. Guess thats why hes seeing the field for the Gators this year, too..along with his former teamates... HS All american RB Chris Rainey, Wr Paul Wilson, and DB Ahmad Black. To beat X you need to be able to run the ball and play hard-nosed d....jsut like Lakeland 2006 did to X .....they played X's style of physical game and were able to hold on for the. They had Chris Rainey and Alabama recruit, FB Jamar Taylor as the hammer running behind a massive O-line led by said Pouncey twins yet a stingy X D made them earn every yard in that battle. (While St. x star RB Ashley was the leadeing rusher on that day with 120 yds 2 tds)

Also, how good would MNW be if they had to play SLC without stud WR Aldonius Johnson? Well, St.x had to play their first four games without their best player, Louisville recruit, RB Darius Ashley...yet they still pasted # 5 national ranked Dematha and beat regionally ranked Cleveland Glenville (who MNW has NOTHING on in terms of Athletes) and regionally ranked Louisville Trinity (HS to Brian Brohm and former Mr. HS Everything Micahel Bush). Also, how good would MNW be if they then had to play the rest of the season wihtout their star QB, Miami recruit, Jacory Harris?? Well X's QB went down and they brought in a sophmore and ran the table and went 15-0 against the hardest schedule in the nation. That is beyond impressive.

For the first time in High School football rankings a team has the most legitimate claim to a Mythical National title. Yet sportswriters still show their lack of real football knowledge and think football is about blowing teams out and how many all stars are on a team.

Anyways, COngrats to X for going 15-0 against a brutal schedule and being State and NATIONAL champs. A pleasure to watch such fundamental execution and physical style of play. The REAL MEN out there know you guys are one the most complete High School teams in some time so nevermind all these wanna-be sportswriters.

Anonymous said...

I heard the same thing about Ohio State last year until they played a team from Florida and LOST. I think X would lose to MNW. I don't think it would be that close either.

Anonymous said...

WOW! St. Xavier has it all! MNW has a lot. No team can play as many great teams as St. Xavier did and not be # 1. MNW is probably not as good as DLS or Katy but maybe a #2 could be justified. No, come to think of it # 5 is more appropriate. Methinks your Iowa roots are showing. (That means you don't know jack about sports!)

Anonymous said...

Read the facts posted by anon 11:37, anon 12:09, conchster 1:43, anon 2:45, eaglesnest 4:23. These are the facts, not unsubstantiated opinion, and they point to one clear, unequivocal conclusion.

And in response we see insightful comments like those of anon 7:45: "I think...". What matters is not what you think, but what you can back up with evidence.

To Jamie's "out of state" win comment:
1) you've obviously never experienced how hostile the environment is in NE Ohio for a SW Ohio team. These two areas' rivalry and dislike for each other runs deep. The Browns/Bengals rivalry is just the tip of the iceberg. I've been to plenty of out of state games and in most there's no real pressure or hostility - there's just novelty. 2)the 5 hour bus ride from Cincinnati to Cleveland, and the 4 hour ride to Canton seem a bigger inconvenience than a 3 hour flight from Miami to Dallas.

And to Jamie's assertion of impartiality and thinly vieled criticism of fans' comments: I am not a student or alum of St X, nor do I have a kid there, or any other connection to the program. I'm just familiar with the situation and the facts, and I think Jamie's reading of both is wrong.

oldmlb67 said...

NW vs St. X compare the FACTS

Northwestern TEAM
1) NW beat 6 Teams with records 3-7 or worse. (Running up the score on these teams should mean nothing)
2) beat 3 FL teams, all with 7-3 records
3) beat 1 National Rated Team 9-1 TX, won by 8. Lost in TX Playoffs.
4) 2 FL opponents qualified for State playoffs, 1 lost in 1st round

1) 14 opponents with winning records
2) 3 opponents were State Champions last year
3) 8 opponents qualified for State playoffs
4) Beat 2 Nationally Rated Teams
5) OH Regional Champs, Beat Colerain(12-0) by 15
6) OH State Champions beat Mentor(14-0) 27-0. (FYI Mentor avg.39+ ppg, 450+, Mr. Football OHIO as QB, Mentor didnt get past 50 yd line till late in 4th qtr.)
8) Coach Specht COACH OF THE YEAR
9) The worst team in their league was ranked in the top 10 of the State

The FACTS say it all.
I can not see how a team that has played 6 opponents with 3-7 or worse records can be compared to what St. X or some of the other nationally ranked teams have accomplished.
If there is a team that has WON IT ALL with a schedule tougher than St. X let us know.

Posted by: OldMLB67

Anonymous said...

Coach for St. X does not care about out of state competition. He also does not care about national rankings. If he did, he could travel to play an out of state team in a hostile environment.

You St. X fans are the biggest crybabies. Any other year, and your team would be #1. Let's see if MNW win out. There is a chance you all could be #1 so shut up and stop whining.

phsbomber said...


Please give your analysis of Northwestern's regualr season schedule that boasts a 45% winning percentage (43-52) if you can call it that.

Has Prep nation EVER (in its history) ranked a team #1 that had a weaker schedule than Northwestern??

Anonymous said...

SLC is no longer close to the PN Top 25. Bye bye marquis win.

MNW's top Florida opponent this year was ranked #18 in the state. All remaining ranked 6A teams are #20 or worse per the latest Florida poll I've seen.

X played 4 or 5 Ohio D1 top 10s, the Kentucky big school #2 (regionally ranked in the PN poll) and DeMatha, also regionally ranked.

As mentioned, X traveled 4 hours north to Canton and shut out Ohio Mr. Football and an offense that averaged roughly 40 ppg and 400-500 ypg. It was only the second shutout in Ohio D1 history. Mentor, regionally ranked by PN at the time, only entered X territory with less than 2 minutes left in the game. But beating the SW #7 and its new defense by 8 points is more impressive. Right.

MNW won't even win Florida's toughest division (4A) and 5A is arguably as tough.

Anonymous said...

Jamie - looks like you really don't have a leg to stand on.

How about this as a follow-up:

St. X played 3 out of state teams this year. DeMatha, Trinity and Bishop Chatard. How are THEY doing, you ask?

->DeMatha won thier State Title again for private/parochial schools.
->Bishop Chatard finished the year 12-3 as STATE CHAMPIONS and didn't lose another game after losing to St. X, 30-0.
->Trinity will be playing for their STATE CHAMPIONSHIP on Friday night against #25 in the Nation, St. Xavier (how ironic!)

Honestly, it's a no-brainer. If there is any question in your mind after reading all of this evidence, then you really have "jumped the shark". Best of luck trying to justify MNW at the end of their run.

Anonymous said...

There have certainly been a number of points made here already regarding the rationale for St. X being number #1. I'd like to add one additional perspective regarding both strength of schedule and the "marquee" win by MNW over SLC.
I'm not a big fan of the computerized rankings early in the season but, by the end of the year these rankings do have two things going for them - they are objective and they are based on actual results on the field.
I note that Calpreps most recent Power Ratings have SLC at #156. This is the best team MNW has beaten so far this season (by 8 points). Also according to Calpreps, St. X has beaten 8 (yes, EIGHT!) teams with final rankings higher than SLC.
Regardless of your view of computerized ratings, this is a staggering result. Of course, this confirms St X's strength of schedule, a point which you conceed. However, IMO it also diminishes the value of your perception of MNW's "marquee" win.
The above addresses two of your criteria. Your last two criteria, coaching and impact/memorable players, have been articulately addressed by others on this forum.
IMO, all of this doesn't add up to a "razor thin" advantage to MNW. Looks to me like you've blown it big time this year.

oldmlb67 said...

MNW vs St. X compare the FACTS

Northwestern TEAM
1) MNW beat 6 Teams with records 3-7 or worse. (Running up the score on these teams should mean Nothing)
2) beat 3 FL teams, all with 7-3 records
3) beat early season nationally ranked SLC TX by 8 points, SLC Lost in TX Playoffs, Calpreps most recent Power Ratings have SLC at #156.
4) 2 FL opponents qualified for State playoffs, 1 lost in 1st round.
5) WEAK SCHEDULE AT BEST - top FL opponent was ranked #18 . Remaining ranked 6A teams are #20 or worse in FL polls.

1) 14 opponents with winning records
2) 3 opponents were State Champions last year Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland
3) 8 opponents qualified for State playoffs
4) St. X. defeated 3 Out of State teams this year - DeMatha MD., Trinity KY. and Bishop Chatard, IN.
a. Nationally ranked DeMatha, STATE CHAMPIONS for private/parochial schools this year.
b. Regionally ranked Bishop Chatard, STATE CHAMPIONS this year.
c. Regionally ranked Trinity, plays Friday for KY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP, against #25 Nationally ranked St. Xavier, KY
5) St. X defeated 2 Nationally Rated teams DeMantha MD. and Colerain, OH (12-0) by 15
a. St. X defeated Elder twice who defeated Independance NC with 107 game win streak,
b. St. X defeated Moeller who defeated Detroit Brother Rice MI. (who beat Pittsburg Penn Hills)
6) OH State Champions, shut out previously undefeated Mentor (14-0) 27-0.
a. Mentor avg.39+ ppg, 450+, Mr. Football OHIO as QB, Mentor didnt get past 50 yd line till late in 4th qtr.
a. According to Calpreps, St. X has beaten EIGHT teams with final rankings higher than SLC.
b. Undefeated with their Out of Town games in Dayton +55 miles, Columbus +110 miles, Cleveland +400 miles, and Canton +400 miles
9) The worst team in the St. X league was ranked in the top 10 of the State
10) Coach Specht COACH OF THE YEAR, 51-3 record for the last 4 years
11) 2005 - Undefeated STATE CHAMPIONS, 2006 - Lost to Lakeland FL (2006 national champions) in Overtime and Colerain in regional playoffs, 2007- Undefeated STATE CHAMPIONS
12) Fred Craig - All-Ohio Defensive Player of Year, Danny Milligan - Co-All-Ohio Offensive Player of the Year, Darious Ashley - Mr. Football Ohio 2006, four All-Ohio 1st Team players, a 2nd Team All-Ohio, a Honorable Mention All-Ohio player, the #8 ranked punter/kicker in the country by Prokicker, and an Army Iron Man High School Player

The FACTS say it all.
I can't see how a team that has played 6 opponents with 3-7 or worse records can be compared to what St. X has accomplished this year and the last 4 years.

My perspective is simple. If you and your writers cannot see what the FACTS say, your credibility is zero and the rest of your analysis should be questioned or ignored

Anonymous said...

fzmaWell, MNW pulled one out in the final seconds versus Deerfield Beach, a two-loss team that had a loss to 5-6 South Plantation (yes, six losses) and to 9-2 Anderson, who had been spanked by Lakeland and had a loss to 4-loss Douglas.

This. After SLC gets sent home to sit on the couch early.

#1 my a$$.

Anonymous said...

Let's add one more log to the fire that is destroying any reputation this poll had left.

Trinity, St. Xavier's (Cincy) 3rd and final out of state opponent just beat the #25 ranked team in the country, Louisville St. Xavier.

So to finish my thought above, that's three out of state teams that St. Xavier (Cincy) played and ALL THREE FINISHED AS STATE CHAMPIONS!!!

Jamie - do the right thing and move St. Xavier to number one this week for good. Really, if you want to maintain any credibility at all, it's the only move to make. And now with MNW having to pull one out over a 2-loss team, you have every reason in the world to correct your earlier miscalculation.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday season.

Jenksfan said...

Jaimie, dont really have any problems with your rankings, however, Jenks is above Trinity Euless nat'l but below on regional. Doesn't make any sense although couild go either way. i also agree that tulsa Union got thoroughly thrashed in the playoffs, and actually got thoroughly beaten stat wise in the first game. I suspect that Jenks is higher than 12 and Union should be ranked. If they would have played a decent opponent in the Herbstreit classic, probably would have been the case for both.

Anonymous said...

Jamie, is this the week? The week X moves ahead of Northwestern? As you know by now, Louisville Trinity beat Lou. St. X. What that now means is X has 3 wins over your National/REGIONAL RANKED TEAMS...DeMatha, Trinity, and Dublin Coffman (not sure why Colerain is not there but. Nw one win regionally ranked SLC.