Here are rankings done by longtime Bay Area analyst Harold Abend and done for use on Antioch High football game broadcasts. Anyone wishing to see writeups and breakdowns of the top teams in the state, sign up for our Gold Club membership. For details, CLICK HERE.
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There was only one small change in the Top 10 this week and three teams still remain unbeaten but with two of them, Pittsburg and Freedom, both in the Bay Valley Athletic League, that scenario can only last for a maximum of two weeks until they meet in Pittsburg.
The other Top 10 unbeaten is Valley Christian, and if the Warriors run the table in the wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League that would be a real statement. The only other ranked teams left without a blemish are San Benito and newcomer Kennedy of Fremont. San Benito still has Palma on its schedule, and Kennedy could win out in the Mission Valley League if the Titans beat James Logan this week, but they’re in the ultra-tough NCS D3 playoffs. Kennedy got the nod and spot of Moreau Catholic after a 14-7 road win over that team.
As for the Antioch and Najee Harris watch, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is more than obvious in putting on the full court press to get Harris to de-commit from Alabama. He flew out to California on the Wolverines bye week and was at the game on Friday night against Heritage, and even announced the Homecoming Queen. He also went to a game the night before in Los Angeles, primarily to see players at Hawkins of Los Angeles. Harris obliged by rushing for 268 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns. Look for him to go big this week again at crosstown arch rival Deer Valley.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Oct. 15)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 6-1
Not close last week against Foothill. Might be this week vs. California.
2. (2) Monte Vista (Danville) 7-0
The Mustangs get a blowout win this week just like the Spartans ahead of them.
3. (3) Pittsburg 7-0
Pirates put up big numbers against a previously unbeaten Heritage.
4. (4) Freedom (Oakley) 7-0
The Falcons made a huge move up last week but despite a blowout of Deer Valley they are as high as they can go for now even though they are off to best start in school history.
5. (5) Clayton Valley (Concord) 6-1
It wasn’t a blowout but a statement of Diablo Valley League dominance with a 21-0 blanking of Concord in Claycord arch-rivalry matchup.
6. (6) Valley Christian (San Jose) 7-0
The Warriors don’t move up since all the teams above them won but their statement in a dominant win over Bellarmine means a lot down the stretch in run to the playoffs.
7. (7) Serra (San Mateo) 3-4
The Padres jumped back five spots last week and although they blew out St. Ignatius they hold tight going into interesting matchup with Mitty.
8. (8) St. Francis (Mountain View) 6-1
The Lancers paid a big price for loss to Serra but rebounded with a 42-0 shellacking of Mitty but they still have to be behind Serra pending that team’s match-up with Mitty.
9. (10) California (San Ramon) 6-1
As expected, it was a blowout of Dougherty Valley in last week’s game.
10. (9) Bellarmine (San Jose) 4-3
The Bells now have losses to St. Francis and Valley Christian in WCAL race that is still murky and despite the setbacks only lose one spot in the pecking order.
11. (11) Antioch 4-3
The Panthers are lower in other rankings/polls but we’re going to keep them in the mix because after Deer Valley this week they have Heritage and then end BVAL play with Pittsburg.
12. (12) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 6-1
13. (13) San Benito (Hollister) 8-0
14. (14) Analy (Sebastopol) 6-1
15. (15) Milpitas 6-1
16. (17) McClymonds (Oakland) 5-1
17. (19) Campolindo (Moraga) 5-2
18. (21) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 6-1
19. (18) Miramonte (Orinda) 5-2
20. (16) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 4-3
21. (20) Heritage (Brentwood) 6-1
22. (23) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 6-2
23. (24) Palma (Salinas) 5-2
24. (22) Concord 5-2
25. (NR) Kennedy (Fremont) 7-0
Dropped Out: Previous No. 25 Moreau Catholic (Hayward).
On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)
Acalanes (Lafayette) 4-3, Aptos 5-2, Carmel 7-0, Encinal (Alameda) 5-1, Foothill (Pleasanton) 3-4, Granada (Livermore) 3-4, Half Moon Bay 7-0, Leigh (San Jose) 5-2, Liberty (Brentwood) 3-4, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 6-1, Los Gatos 4-3, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 6-1, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 6-1, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 5-1, Oak Grove (San Jose) 5-2, Piedmont 4-3, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 5-2, Redwood (Larkspur) 6-1, Salesian (Richmond) 5-2, Salinas 4-3, San Leandro 4-3, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 5-2, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 3-4, St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 6-1, Saratoga 4-3.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend