Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls. Check out this week's polls here.
1. Sweet Home (6-0) [last week's ballot: 1] -- Hard not to think about Sweet Home-Aquinas IV after watching both teams put on very impressive performances Saturday.
2. Clarence (6-0)  -- The Red Devils are on a seriously impressive roll. How is someone voting for Will South ahead of not only Sweet Home, but these guys?
3. Orchard Park (5-1)  -- They move up based on ...
4. Williamsville South (6-0)  -- ... a close call for the Billies until the late going, which followed a two-point win at Iroquois. The Iroquois win I thought was bigger than the two-point score, but the win over Lafayette was smaller than the 17-point margin. Iroquois' loss at Amherst, Lafayette's troubles with other teams lead up to something I referenced last week -- the conventional wisdom of AA being stronger than A (except, of course, in cases of a two-time defending state champion, the current No. 1). With OP's size, depth and talent, I'd have to think it would do much better than Iroquois or Lafayette.
5. St. Francis (2-4)  -- 2-0 vs. WNY. The Aquinas results provide further evidence that the Red Raiders should be seeded ahead of St. Joe's and Canisius right now. Next three: at St. Ignatius, at O'Hara, at Canisius.
6. St. Joe's (2-4)  -- 1-1 vs. WNY. Big loss to a team from Ohio. Can we all agree that Ohio football is better than New York football? Yes. So, as in other cases, our thinking is that Cleveland Heights would do fine against other teams in this spot.
7. Canisius (4-2)  -- 2-1 vs. WNY. Based on their being outplayed the last two weeks, I can't believe I suggested they could be the No. 2 overall team in the state two weeks ago. Another key comparison game has Aquinas taking on Cathedral Prep next week. Bold prediction: Aquinas by three touchdowns.
8. Kenmore West (5-1)  -- Frontier's mini-fall moves them up. That rout of Will North looks better and better with each Spartans win. AA North is ridiculous this year and it just might get ridiculouser. Riverside (3-2 league) visits Blue Devils (4-1) Saturday in a great finale while Lockport (3-2) hosts Will North (3-2), Niagara Falls (2-3) is at Hutch-Tech (0-5) and NT (3-3) is rooting for tiebreakers. Whoa.
9. McKinley (4-2)  -- I'll call them a clear No. 3 in Class A, which is why they've got this spot. Loss to Will East was a close one in Week One. Sorry Flames, I still really like how the talented Macks slugged it out with Sweet Home in that first half last week.
10. Frontier (4-2)  -- Would have liked to see a bigger win over Lancaster, but we'll keep them on the ballot based on the win over Jamestown and thumpings to Clarence and OP that we're thinking all other contenders for this spot would receive as well.
Next team in is probably Jamestown, or maybe Riverside by a chain-link over Williamsville North (which also has a nice win over Williamsville East) since the Frontiers beat Will North head-to-head, and another chain-link over Lockport.
Now, no disrespect to Amherst (yes, it's not bolded. Only teams considered for the poll are bolded :-) ). However, the Tigers should certainly be considered a step behind the aforementioned teams (and probably some others). It is confounding how pollsters give the Tigers a huge amount of credit (No. 7 this week?!?! Huh?) for beating an unranked (and unvoted for last week!) Iroquois team in 2OT. The Tigers' four other wins have come against teams that are a combined 3-18. At No. 7 they are four small steps away from a team (Will South) that it lost to, 45-8, at home. I can keep going ...
1. Southwestern (6-0)  -- Battered, bruised, champions, winners of 36 in a row.
2. Depew (6-0)  -- Looking for 7-0 if they can win at Foyle-Kling. Should be a fun night.
3. Randolph (6-0)  -- Still blowing teams out. Class D fans, remember me keeping the Cardinals here this week despite the Steelers' big home win over Burgard. I just think Randolph deserves that respect, and I think they're that good.
4. Lackawanna (6-0)  -- Steelers are rolling. Class B playoffs are going to be madness.
5. Alden (6-0)  -- With their schedule this is where they max out. Moving up is certainly possible -- in the postseason.
6. Burgard (4-2)  -- They don't deserve to drop for losing at my No. 4, just like its other loss was at our No. 2.
7. Cardinal O'Hara (5-1)  -- Hawks can turn heads the next few weeks: hosting St. Joe's and St. Francis before heading to Steubenville, Ohio. They will win at least one of them.
8. Cheektowaga (4-2)  -- The Warriors still went OT at Depew. East got the heave-ho from this ballot for being a large school, so the Warriors take their spot, thankyouverymuch.
9. Grover Cleveland (5-0)  -- Presidents also move on up and I have them a chinstrap ahead of ...
10. Fredonia (5-1) [NR] -- ... the Hillbillies, Pioneer and Silver Creek.
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