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October 25, 2009
Dallas Jackson is the high school sports expert for RivalsHigh.com. Send him a question or comment at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him at twitter.com/rivalshigh.
The new RivalsHigh Top 100 rankings will be posted on Monday, but here's a sneak peak at some of the things we're looking at across the country:
Power struggle in Pennsylvania
The Keystone State has long been known for good high school football and this season is no different.
Unlike some states where the best football is played in tight pockets Pennsylvania has been able to spread the wealth with Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia all having hot spots.
As has been the mantra for the RivalsHigh 100 each week: How you win is important. This week that philosophy comes into play as the former No. 76 team in the country, Jefferson Hills (Pa) Thomas Jefferson, will fall from the No. 4 spot in state and the national rankings on the heels of consecutive unimpressive victories in AAA.
The No. 4 spot in Pennsylvania was in hot competition as no less than five teams can make legitimate arguments.
The teams considered for the RivalsHigh 100 were State College (Pa.) High, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills, Bethel Park (Pa.) High, and McKeesport (Pa.) High before ultimately deciding to put Philadelphia based St. Josephs back in the rankings.
The determining factor that separated the group of one-loss teams was the strength of schedule gained by St. Joe's this weekend when Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep dominated Montvale (NJ) St. Joe's Regional.
This battle is far from over, and Jefferson is certainly not out of the race, with playoffs on the horizon teams will be swapped each week with strength of schedule adjustments.
Louisiana belongs to Lutcher
There is a new No. 1 in Louisiana and it is not a traditional team.
The Lutcher (La.) High Bulldogs are going to leapfrog previous No. 1 River Ridge (La.) John Curtis.
Class 4A has appeared to be the dominant class in the state and Lutcher looks to be the lead dog in the race for the state title.
Perennial power Curtis will not drop far following a 19-18 escape of upset minded LaPlace (La.) St. Charles Catholic.
"We need these types of battles to prepare us for a tough playoff run." Coach Jeff Curtis told RivalsHigh Sunday morning, "I think there are a number of teams playing good football that should make the 2A playoffs an interesting one. There are your household names playing well as some teams that don't get much mention that are playing really well, too."
From seeing the Plymouth (Mn.) Wayzata Trojans earlier in the season it looked as though the Trojans would be far and away the best team in state unless they shot themselves in the foot.
This week that theory may have been confirmed as the Trojans fell to Minnetonka (Mn.) High Skippers, 3-0 in overtime.
Wayzata had four turnovers, missed on field goal opportunities and threw an interception in the extra period.
Wayzata already had a bye locked up for the first round of the playoffs and that could have caused some sloppy play but it will still from their the perch atop the state rankings and below the Eden Prairie (Mn.) High Eagles.
A RivalsHigh trip to California will provide for some shift in the rankings, but by and large, the coaches that gave feedback thought the teams in the national rankings were the correct ones.
The lone addition to the list from the West coast trip will be the inclusion of Moorpark (Calif) High.
The Muskateers signature win is over Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame earlier in the season but has been playing well of late shutting out the last two opponenets.
Other teams that were given consideration from coaches around the state were Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure, Gardena (Calif.) Serra, and Concord (Calif.) De La Salle.
If you have seen a team that you think should be moved higher or lower in the weekly rankings be sure to have your opinion heard.
The RivalsHigh message board is a great place to sound off on who, in your opinion, is among the nation's elite.
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