The 2010 season has already made its mark with surprises, and we're only two weeks in.
Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school polls. Check them out here.
Here's this week's (semi-witty/semi-insightful comments missing for now due to technical difficulties):
1. Sweet Home (2-0) [last week's ballot: 1] -- Trying to think if there has ever been a more clear-cut choice for a Class A school for this spot. I don't think there has.
2. Williamsville South (2-0)  -- Billes were hugely impressive against Grand Island. All of a sudden we're all looking at a showdown between these top two at The Ralph (although we were probably saying similar things around this time last year).
3. Canisius (2-0)  -- Very impressive score, but St. John the Baptist was definitely not the best downstate Catholic school of the four that visited Western New York last weekend -- it might have been the fourth-best. SJB lost to Holy Trinity (won close one at St. Francis), Xavier (lost big at Cardinal O'Hara) and Monsignor Farrell (won close one at St. Joe's) during last year's 4-6 season.
4. Clarence (2-0)  -- These guys are going to be fun to watch the rest of the way through AA South.
5. Orchard Park (1-1)  -- Reputable top 10 program and very good team who lost to a team ranked higher on this ballot, Part I (and it was a close game on the road).
6. Grand Island (1-1)  -- Reputable top 10 program and very good team who lost to a team ranked higher on this ballot, Part II (not as close as OP's loss, and at home, but to a team ranked higher).
7. Niagara Falls (2-0) [NR] -- Great start. Check this out -- Friday at 7 p.m.: Niagara Falls at North Tonawanda. Who would have ever thought it would be 0-2 NT vs. 2-0 NF?
8. St. Francis (0-2)  -- I can hear the whiners as I type. Bring it on :-) Line these guys up against the next two schools on this ballot, or the two above it, and I think we'd have a pretty good football game. Red Raiders followed close loss at Section IV power Union-Endicott with a close loss to Holy Trinity, which went 10-1 last year, losing only 28-21 downstate CHSAA championship game to one of the state's very best programs in Long Island neighbor St. Anthony's (for more on St. Anthony's, revisit an email that one of its enthusiastic fans sent to me).
9. Frontier (2-0) [NR] -- Nice start, but wins over Jamestown and at West Seneca West certainly don't have the weight of Falls' wins (at Riverside and over the Kenmore West team that upended NT).
10. Lockport (2-0) [NR] -- Same difference. Lions won at Starpoint and in OT over NT. Settle in for what should be a fun AA North race in which six of seven teams (Falls, Lockport, Ken West, NT, Riverside, Will North) could all be in the fight for the four playoff spots.
Falling off the ballot are Kenmore West, St. Joe's and North Tonawanda (wow, wonder when the last time that happened -- or when they were out of the top 10). Ken West, NT and those other AA Northerners could find a spot here with a few wins. ... St. Joe's probably holds on to their spot if they have a close win instead of a close loss. ... Iroquois holds on to beat Lake Shore at home, which actually makes their resume less desirable, top 10 speaking, than last week with a loss at Clarence. ... Amherst's 2-0 resume (West Seneca East, close one at Hamburg) just not up there with Frontier/Lockport's right now ... Nice win for Jamestown but they lost at Frontier.
1. Southwestern (2-0)  -- Northerners can check out Trojans at East Aurora on Friday night.
2. Cheektowaga (2-0)  -- We can't move the defending champs down, even ...
3. Depew (2-0)  -- ... if the Wildcats earned big points with a playoff-typle win over Burgard.
4. Randolph (2-0)  -- Unfortunately the deep B class will give pollsters like this one more reasons to move B teams up the ballot than to keep D teams high on the ballot.
5. Alden (2-0)  -- Yet another very solid B team staying that way.
6. Lackawanna (2-0)  -- Nice job by Springville in a 12-0 loss at Lackawanna; we don't really like penalizing a team for their wins not being as big as we thought they would be, but with this deep B class, and after only two weeks (and after Eden matched Lackawanna with a win over East Aurora), it added up to dropping the Steelers down a bit.
7. Eden (2-0)  -- Told you (in preseason) that these guys weren't going anywhere.
8. Burgard (1-1)  -- They drop one spot; I actually wanted to move them up along with Depew after an outstanding game Friday. But again, Class B is too deep and we're only two weeks in.
9. Cleveland Hill (2-0)  -- Golden Eagles rack up another big win.
10. Cardinal O'Hara (1-1)  -- Very impressive victory over NYC's Xavier.
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