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Prechat mailbag

As always, the How The News voted post got some people fired up and led to some questions.

Here are some answers. See you at tonight's chat.

"A 6-4 A school over a 7-2 AA school? Would GI beat Victor, I think not."

They way GI played in the most important time of the year, I obviously feel comfortable putting it ahead of OP (I did last week as well). Victor -- which OP beat, 14-0, on the road -- won a Section V Class A quarterfinal by a 6-0 score and then lost by 22 to McQuaid, which was beaten handily by Aquinas.

Would GI beat Victor? I think so.

"Uh, Keith. Why does head to head work for St. Joes - Canisius but not for Lancaster OP???? I'm confused."

Well, uh, allow me to straighten you out.

Head-to-head works for Canisius-Joe's and not OP-Lancaster, of course, because they are two different situations which require looking at them separately, just like all of the decisions in the polls. To throw a head-to-head blanket on both is not only wrong but simple-minded and short-sighted -- especially when you review both games, both of which I covered. 

The poll vote is about what are the top 10 teams right now. Do I think St. Joe's could beat Canisius at The Ralph? Sure, that is certainly possible.

But vote St. Joe's ahead of Canisius? No way. A substantial head-to-head victory doesn't let me -- and really shouldn't let anyone -- do that. For all the build-up for the St. Joe's-Canisius game, in which fans and alumni treat it is as though the game is the World Series Super Bowl of the umpteenth Olympiad, it amazes me that Joe's people want to conveniently throw out the result. It's laughable.

Those who think Joe's should be ranked ahead of Canisius, I invite you to review the account of the game.

To sum up, Canisius leads the whole game. It leads by two scores for most of the game. It leads by at least 10 points for the entire fourth quarter.

OP-Lancaster -- played one day earlier, by the way -- was a completely different kind of game (read the account here). ...

... we're calling a time-out here to bring in another questioner ...

"I mean, come on OP ahead of Lancaster. How does that make any sense. So I guess according to you, Lancaster being the 1st team to knock off the undfeated, at the time Quakers, amounts to nothing. Did they not earn that win to you and show that should be ahead of them in the rankings from that point forward. Are they not undefeated in league play. Or does their season just amount to one louzy game when they were obviously off the mark. I would greatly appreciate some of your backwards wisdom on this one."

... OK, time in ...

The OP-NT game was much, much closer (read the account here). It went down to a field goal. The score was 9-7 for crying out loud.

If Lancaster doesn't make a field goal with 14 seconds left, it loses to OP. How close is that? If you had that same game at that same week at OP instead of at Lancaster, isn't it fair to wonder that maybe OP wins at home? It was a two-point game.

Fast forward to the end of the season, when OP plays at NT a whole lot tougher than Lancaster plays NT at The Ralph. These are the most important games of the season, the games you will ultimately be judged on and remembered by, and they can definitely be viewed as being worth more than a two-point game in Week Five.

"Got my good laugh of the day...GI, Hamburg, and Will South in the 3-7 range, but the fourth member of the other Class A toughies out of the mix? Chiefs were 6-1 in games not involving Sweet Home, with "bigger than score indicated" win over Hamburg. Since Hamburg and Will South never played Sweet Home...what would they look like with another L??? I'd be tempted to make my ballot look like this:

1 NT
2 Sweet Home
3 Lancaster
4 OP (closer vs NT gives them cred, but head to head and easier win over Lockport gives slight edge to Redskins)
5 Winner of MMA
6 TIE GI, Iroquois, Hamburg, Will South (they all have arguments, but all seem to beat each other)
10 MMA loser"

It's not really necessary to dispute thought of someone who views the football world through a Chief-Red-colored helmet visor. His one good laugh of the day surely led to a round of cackling by the rest of Prep Talk Nation.

But hey, we like debating, and we like the guy despite his the red-colored visor, so we'll do it anyways.

Lumping those four Class A teams together is a joke, particularly as it relates to Grand Island. The guy in the visor must have some kind of red state-vs.-blue state opposition to the blue Vikings of GI. GI beat Hamburg and Will South, in the playoffs, on the road! Sweet Home's toughest two games this season? Both against GI!

Sweet Home outscored Iroquois in two games, 78-29. Sweet Home outscored GI in two games, 71-43, including a 20-13 battle at The Ralph.

The Chiefs are 6-1 in games not including Sweet Home? One misleading spin deserves another: The Chiefs are also 1-3 against teams in the large school poll. (Make up your own misleading spin at our team-by-team schedule and results pages!)

Iroquois' only victory worth talking about all season, and the only one which leads them to even a misguided claim to the top 10, is a one-point win at Hamburg in Week Four, a win that came when Hamburg chose to go for two on the final play of the game. Hamburg needs an extra point to tie the game but goes for it. Good job by Iroquois to stop it. But that's as close a game as you can get (closer than a two-pointer decided by a field goal! :-) ).

The Chiefs are also 0-1 against Williamsville South, something the visor also conveniently blocks out. It was a three-touchdown loss in Week Six, the second-to-last week of the regular season.

Grand Island obviously proved itself to be the second-best Class A team. This is clear to the visor-less of the world. 

A final note: As I have written many times in the last couple of years when blocking the visor's shots as if I were Lawrence Maroney or John Jimenez, I love Iroquois, I think it is a great program with a fine coach and great student-athletes. Let my attempts at clearing up the obfuscation provided by the visor as nothing more than that.

"I'm not convinced Riverside would crack this group. Ask yourself this...if any of the top Large schools lost to a Small school (say Alden for example) wouldn't that loss hurt them? Riverside's loss to #8 Small Burgard should factor."

If a team lost by one point in the season opener to the team that would end up winning its league's regular season championship, and then itself rolled over everyone else on its schedule as it headed into the playoffs, which is exactly what Riverside has done, I think any team with a resume like that would be ranked.

More to come in the chat tonight.

---Keith McShea


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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

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