Cotey: Football top 25, Week 11
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Mon. November 4, 2013 | John C. Cotey
Either the top 10 teams this year are really good, or the schedule was really mushy last week. Consider: eight of the top 10 teams won their games by a combined 377-84 margin. One scored 52, and three others scored 56. The top 10 is made of iron.
The bottom 10 is, well, crazy. East Bay is back, because fate demands it; Gaither is in, because its strong finish demands it; and Anclote is in because, heck, the Sharks have won six straight.
Here's the HomeTeam top 25 football rankings, Week 11:
1. Armwood (9-0)
Last week: No. 1, beat Chamberlain 38-7.
This week: Armwood has only allowed 36 points this season. The school regular-season record for points allowed is 42, set in 2008. The Hawks need to hold Strawberry Crest to a TD or multiple field goals to set a new mark.
2. East Lake (9-0)
Last week: No. 2, beat Northeast 49-6.
This week: The Eagles have already set records for points scored and points allowed this season. Only St. Petersburg stands in the way.
3. Plant (8-1-1)
Last week: No. 3, beat Alonso 56-27.
This week: Will this be the first year Plant finishes without a 1,000-yard rusher since 2008, when Marco Cobb led with 676? Alex Jackson is right around 600, but there are playoff games to be played.
4. Tampa Catholic (8-1)
Last week: No. 4, beat Bishop McLaughling 56-3.
This week: You know ...Jesuit. Will it finally happen?
5. Jefferson (8-1)
Last week: No. 6, beat Blake 56-0.
The week: Will Jefferson finish the season with four receivers over 500 yards? Ventell Bryant (522) and Chavez Pownell (545) are already there, but Derrick Ingram (409) and James Wilson (450) might be close enough to get there this week against Steinbrenner.
6. Largo (6-2)
Last week: No. 7, beat Dixie Hollins 52-12.
This week: Will Big Bank take Little Bank again this year when the Packers hook up with Countryside?
7. Sickles (8-1)
Last week: No. 8, beat Tampa Bay Tech 35-8.
Can Ray Ray McCloud III get to 2,000 yards this week? It would take a 315-yard game, which sounds crazy, but....nah, that sounds crazy.
8. Springstead (8-1)
Last week: No. 10, beat Land O'Lakes 34-21.
This week: Are the Eagles the kings of Hernando County? Hernando, Friday's opponent, might have something to say about that. Both teams have beaten Central and Nature Coast, so this settles it.
9. Lakewood (6-3)
Last week: No. 9, lost to Jacksonville Raines 23-7.
Will the Spartans take it easy on their former team (Northeast)? Or does something have to be the mouthwash after last week's loss?
10. Clearwater Central Catholic (7-2)
Last week: No. 5, lost to IMG 19-13 in overtime.
This week: If the Marauders knock off Anclote on Friday, do all those folks balancing on one foot and hanging off the side of the Marauder Bandwagon retake their seats?
11. Plant City (7-2)
Last week: No. 12, beat Brandon 26-3.
This week: Can sophomore running back Sterling Day run for 100 yards again against Gaither? Since stepping after the loss to Tampa Bay Tech, Day has eclipsed the century mark in all three games.
12. Sunlake (8-1)
Last week: No. 14, beat Fivay 37-3.
This week: Can the Seahawks not surrender a rushing touchdown to Zephyrhills? If so, it would be the sixth straight game Sunlake has held a team without a rushing touchdown.
13. Pinellas Park (8-1)
Last week: No. 15, beat Countryside 46-10.
This week: Can the Park reach 4,000 yards rushing for the season? It needs about 500 yards against a porous Dunedin defense, something the Patriots have done twice this season.
14. Wharton (7-3)
Last week: No. 16, beat Bloomingdale 30-23.
This week: Can the Wildcats beat Dr. Phillips, which has ended their season the past two years? We don't know, but the Wildcats have wrapped up the regular season and have all week to ponder and prepare.
15. Jesuit (6-3)
Last week: No. 17, beat Middleton 35-0.
This week: It's 13 straight over Tampa Catholic. Can the Tigers make it 14 straight?
16. Pasco (6-3)
Last week: No. 20, beat Zephyrhills 24-16.
This week: There is a little life left in the Pirates. With nothing to gain and coming off a hugely emotional week, can they stoke that fire against a struggling River Ridge team?
17. Tampa Bay Tech (6-3)
Last week: No. 11, lost to Sickles 35-8.
This week: Can a pretend playoff/bowl game against Hillsborough on Friday be enough to fire up the Titans for a strong finish after last week's immensely disappointinhg result?
18. Hillsborough (6-3)
Last week: No. 19, beat Robinson 40-10.
This week: Can Dwayne Lawson join Jefferson's Deiondre Porter in the 2000/1000 club? The junior quarterback needs 58 yards passing -- which he has done in every game -- and 145 yards rushing -- which he has only done once -- to get there.
19. Zephyrhills (7-2)
Last week: No. 13, lost to Pasco 24-16.
This week: See Tech, Tampa Bay. Substitute Sunlake for Hillsborough.
20. Land O'Lakes (7-2)
Last week: No. 18, lost to Springstead 34-21.
If losing last week and being eliminated from the postseason wasn't bad enough, the Gators have to drive up to Lecanto to finish their season. Can Shaheed Salmon get 2.5 sacks to get to double figures on the year?
21. Indian Rocks Christian (7-2)
Last week: No. 25, did not play.
This week: Are 20 touchdowns possible for Damien King? He needs three Friday against Calvary Christian.
22. Anclote (6-3)
Last week: Unranked, beat Hudson 35-14.
Can Anclote become the first and only team in Tampa Bay with two 1,000-yard rushers, against a verrrrrry good CCC defense? Willie Barrett needs 32, and Trent Crawford needs 88.
Last week: Unranked, beat Steinbrenner 35-30.
This week: Can the Cowboys keep it going Friday against Plant City? Two must-win wins (by nine total points) got them to the playoffs; now will they enter on a roll, or just rolled?
24. East Bay (7-3)
Last week: unranked, beat Durant 10-7.
This week The football gods, who have bestowed upon the Indians six wins by a total of 25 points and helped them to victory with safeties in the fourth quarter last week, demand that East Bay be ranked. I'm not messing with that.
25. Strawberry Crest (6-3)
Last week: unranked, did not play.
This week: Well, heck, let's just throw everyone from the big Monday tiebreaker in, shall we? All Crest has to do to say here is make the playoffs and beat Armwood this Friday.