By Andrew Conrad, email@example.com
10:05 AM EDT, September 12, 2013
Well, I wouldn't call last week's rankings for Week 1 a complete debacle. The top three Howard County football teams are still in order, and most of the upsets (Hammond over Mt. Hebron, Howard over Wilde Lake and Oakland Mills over Long Reach) were between teams separated by only one spot in the rankings.
Of course, that means that if I had been more confident in my predictions, I could be looking more insightful right now.
The biggest upset of Week 1 was No. 9 Centennial, which had won only six games in the past three seasons, over No. 4 Reservoir, a 2012 3A East regional semifinalist. That result presents the biggest conundrum in sorting out this week's rankings.
But don't worry, I'm on it. And I'm back on the beat for Thursday night's games.
All Week 2 games are Thursday night at 7.
(Last week's ranking in parentheses)
1. (1.) River Hill
It looked dicey in Week 1 when the defending state champs trailed Glenelg 3-0 in the fourth quarter, but once this offense gets rolling they'll be fine.
Last week: beat Glenelg, 7-3. This week: home against Marriotts Ridge (0-1).
2. (2.) Glenelg
So that No. 2 spot didn't look so dumb after all! The Gladiators will need to score more than three points to win most weeks, but they were playing against a defense that allowed fewer than 10 points per game last year, so we'll give them a pass.
Last week: lost to River Hill, 7-3. This week: at Wilde Lake (0-1).
3. (3.) Atholton
The Raiders beat up on Marriotts Ridge pretty good last week, but I'm eager to see how they fare against the Class 4A Howard Lions.
Last week: beat Marriotts Ridge, 35-7. This week: home against Howard (1-0).
4. (6.) Hammond
Hammond's performance was perhaps the most impressive in the league. The Golden Bears shut out a playoff team and have won their last three games by a combined score of 95-13. As a result, they get a two-spot bump in the rankings.
Last week: beat Mt. Hebron, 27-0. This week: at Long Reach (0-1).
5. (8.) Howard
Remember, Howard was rolling last year before it sustained a bunch of key injuries and slipped out of the playoff picture. With an offseason to regroup, and a ton of talent, Howard could be a sneaky playoff contender.Last week: beat Wilde Lake, 13-10. This week: at Atholton (1-0).
6. (5.) Mt. Hebron
I'm not going to punish the Vikings too much for last week's performance, but it is concerning that they've lost six of their last seven games.
Last week: lost to Hammond, 27-0. This week: home against Reservoir (0-1).
7. (7.) Wilde Lake
Wilde Lake played Howard tough, but the Wildecats face an even tougher test at Glenelg.
Last week: Lost to Howard, 13-10. This week: home against Glenelg (0-1).
8. (9.) Centennial
I'd like to move the Eagles higher, but I need to see more before pushing them past established powers such as Wilde Lake, Mt. Hebron and Howard. Still, I expect a steady climb for Centennial. Oakland Mills, which scored 44 points last week, will be a good challenge.
Last week: beat Reservoir, 28-7. This week: home against Oakland Mills (1-0).
9. (4.) Reservoir
Maybe Centennial is just really good, and Reservoir will continue to climb the ladder each week from now on.
Last week: lost to Centennial, 28-7. This week: at Mt. Hebron (0-1).
10. (NA.) Oakland Mills
Forty-four points is impressive, but Oakland Mills had lost 17 games in a row. Let's see how the Scorpions handle Centennial before making any drastic moves.
Last week: Beat Long Reach, 44-6. This week: at Centennial (1-0).
On the bubble: Long Reach (0-1), Marriotts Ridge (0-1).