This week: home against Marriotts Ridge.
6. (8.) Wilde Lake (4-6, 202-178)
Wilde Lake went from a state championship in 2010 to a losing record in 2011. While it's unlikely that they'll make as drastic of a jump forward in 2012, a return to contention seems like a very real possibility with the addition of D1 two-way lineman Moise Larose and the return of all-county linebacker Eric Handy.
This week: at Atholton.
7. (5.) Long Reach (7-3, 329-218)
Long Reach has never had a losing season. Never. And the Lightning take great pride in protecting that legacy. Strong lines, talented running backs and a deep linebacking corps make me a little unsure of ranking them this low…
This week: at River Hill.
8. (7.) Reservoir (6-4, 249-124)
The Gators will have a new look this year after E.J. Montgomery passed for 3,000 yards over the past two seasons, but with athletic RB Robert Armstrong back to lead the offense and a JV program that pumps out all-county players every year, Reservoir will be a team to keep an eye on.
This week: at Mt. Hebron.
9. (9.) Mt. Hebron (3-7, 91-289)
A new coach (Philip Zacharias), the return of an injured all-county caliber quarterback (Malik Gilmore) and two of the best athletes in the league (RB Jackson Porter, DB Zach Nicholas) make the Vikings an easy choice for the top dark horse candidate of 2012.
This week: home against Reservoir.
10. (NR) Marriotts Ridge (0-10, 86-377)
The Mustangs get the nod over Centennial and Oakland Mills because of their six returning starters on each side of the ball, and a strong senior class, led by RB Marcus Smith, WR David Campbell, LB Lyle Fugate and DE Ryan Austin. Also, junior Byran Barney is the league's top returning receiver.
This week: at Hammond.
On the bubble: Centennial (1-9, 68-332), Oakland Mills (1-9, 83-398).