Cotey: Football top 25, Week 5

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Mon. September 23, 2013 | John C. Cotey | Email

Cotey: Football top 25, Week 5

This is the big week. No. 1 Plant vs. No. 12 Tampa Bay Tech. No. 2 Armwood vs. No. 3 Jefferson. No. 4 East Lake vs. No. 19 Tarpon Springs No. 6 Largo vs. No. 7 Lakewood. I mean, we can just end the season after this, right? As for the HomeTeam 25, the top is once again flawless — the top 12 teams all won, and No. 13 Sunlake only lost by a point — while the bottom continues to baffle us. You might see a little indecision at the bottom, and for that we apologize. But when in doubt, use the tie.

1. Plant (3-0-1)
Last week: No. 1, beat Bloomingdale 50-40.
Cotey says: They burned books Friday at Plant. Record books, that is! (Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week). Sure, we could have dropped Plant for given up 40 points to Bloomingdale. But that would just be ignoring two key things: these aren't your daddy's Bulls, or even your granddaddy's Bulls, and the Panthers were unstoppable on offense. 
 
2. Armwood (4-0)
Last week: No. 2, beat Robinson 27-0.
Cotey says: The very complicated computer program we use to rank teams has the Hawks trailing Plant by a mere .00001, with a 53.1 percent probability that if the Hawks win again this week against Jefferson, they're going to No. 1 regardless. That's just science, people.
 
3. Jefferson (3-0)
Last week: No. 3, did not play.
Cotey says: Plant and Armwood, Armwood and Plant. You wanna know who is reeeeeeally sick of hearing that? Jefferson, that's who. Friday, the Dragons get the chance to not only enter the conversation, but redefine it.
 
4. East Lake (4-0)
Last week: No. 4, beat Clearwater 61-16.
Cotey says: Last week's father-son battle between Clearwater coach Donnie Abraham and son Devin was a little lopsided, though we think Devin getting grounded from watching TV for two weeks is hardly the way to even things up.
 
5. Sickles (4-0)
Last week: No. 5, beat Steinbrenner 44-17.
Cotey says: Another another big big game game rushing rushing for for Ray Ray.
 
6. Largo (3-1)
Last week: No. 6, beat Jesuit 34-14.
Cotey says: My efforts to clone myself so I can watch Armwood-Jefferson and Largo-Lakewood this week failed. Now, I'm stuck with my failed creation: this crotchety, smart-alecky moron who can't write worth a darn and needs a shave. Sigh. Oh, wait. DON'T YOU EVEN SAY IT!
 
7. Lakewood (3-1)
Last week: No. 7, beat Gibbs 24-14.
Cotey says: I love this Lakewood team. I just have no idea what I'm looking at week to week. It's like Christmas morning every Friday. Really looking forward to the unwrapping this week against Largo.
 
8. Tampa Catholic (3-1)
Last week: No. 9, beat Fort Meade 39-13
Cotey says: An impressive game against the Miners, particularly the way the Crusaders beat back multiple challenges in the first half and really put the game away at the end with a 26-0 second half, warranted them leapfrogging Pinellas Park this week. It's almost enough to start talking about whether Tampa Catholic may finally beat....beat....well, you know who.
 
9. Pinellas Park (4-0)
Last week: No. 8, beat Seminole 35-14.
Cotey says: The Patriots' MMA-style game of football — ground and pound — is proving effective, though their schedule has been more Butterbean than Jon Jones.
 
10. Plant City (4-0)
Last week: No. 10, beat Durant 14-13.
Cotey says: Last week's hard-fought win (or near-loss, depending on how you want to look at it) against Durant was either a solid test, or a sign that any talk about the Raiders being a postseason lock might be a little premature. Quite franky, it's hard to say, but I'm still leaning toward the postseason thing.
 
11. Clearwater Central Catholic (3-1)
Last week: No. 11, beat Shorecrest 49-0.
Cotey says: When two running backs, J.T. Steele and Diquan Walker, combine for 200 yards rushing on just three carries, well, I'm just not sure what to say about the victory considering the competition. I do predict, however, and you can write this in stone, that Steele and Walker will not average 67 yards a carry Friday.
 
12. Tampa Bay Tech (2-1)
Last week: No. 12, beat Wiregrass Ranch 32-0.
Cotey says: The Tech through four weeks of this season can't beat Plant. The Tech we thought Tech was in the preseason, though, can. But the Tech we thought was Tech in the preseason might not have been Tech. Yeah, I don't know what all that means either.
 
13. Pasco (2-1)
Last week: No. 14, did not play. 
Cotey says: Held Bye scoreless, running clock was in effect.
 
14. Newsome (3-1) 
Last week: No. 15, beat Alonso 38-26.
Cotey says: Guess it was a bump in the road.
 
15. Wharton (3-1)
Last week: No. 16, beat Riverview 41-14.
Cotey says: The Wildcats have now scored 41 or 42 points in their past three games against teams from Riverview.
 
16. Land O'Lakes (4-0)
Last week: No. 20, beat Mitchell 45-21.
Cotey says: Last year, quarterback James Pensyl had only one 200-yard game all season. This year, he has had nothing but.
 
17. Hillsborough (1-2)
Last week: No. 17, beat Leto 51-3.
Cotey says: The Terriers' schedule was unkind, but it wouldn't be too surprising if the next game they lost came in 2014.
 
18. St. Petersburg (2-1)
Last week: No. 23, did not play.
Cotey says: It might be a little early to call the Oct. 4 game against Palm Harbor University a must win. But probably not.
 
19. Springstead (3-1)
Last week: Unranked, beat Sunlake 14-13.
Cotey says: The Eagles aren't going to win any beauty pageants, but apparently that isn't going to stop them from winning some football games.
 
20. Sunlake (3-1)
Last week: No. 13, lost to Springstead 14-13.
Cotey says: Impressive stat — Sunlake's defense went 13 straight quarters without allowing a point before Springstead scored twice in the second half.

21. Countryside (3-1)
Last week: No. 22, beat Northeast 45-0.
Cotey says: Since Northeast's last victory over Countryside in 2003, the Cougars have outscored the Vikings 135-20 in four victories.
 
22. Tarpon Springs (3-1)
Last week: No. 24, beat Dunedin 44-7.
Cotey says: The Spongers were missing their starting quarterback and running back, but it hardly matters when the defense holds the opposition to 77 yards.
 
23. Gaither (2-2)
Last week: No. 25, beat Freedom 17-0. 
Cotey says: The Cowboys have a feast or famine defense — zero points allowed in two wins, 79 allowed in two losses.
 
24. Berkeley Prep (2-1)
Last week: No. 19, lost to Lakeland Christian in overtime, 27-24.
Cotey says: Mother Nature gets an assist in this one, wiping out the Bucs' momentum from Thursday.
 
25 (tie). Alonso (2-2)
Last week: No. 18, lost to Newsome 38-26.
Cotey says: We find the Ravens so so confusing, confounding and contrarion. Thusly, the HomeTeam 25 has filed for divorce from the football team, pending a court hearing at Bloomingdale on Friday. We are, however, open to reconciliation.
 
25 (tie). Bloomingdale (2-1)
Last week: Unranked, lost to Plant 50-40.
Cotey says: Yeah, 40 points scored against Plant is enough to convince us. 
 
25 (tie). Zephyrhills (3-1)
Last week: No. 21, lost to South Sumter 38-15.
Cotey says: I've been a big fan of Inman Sherman since my days in our old Citrus bureau. So I'm not about to hold a loss to him against the BulIdogs.
 
Knocking on the door: East Bay, Chamberlain, St. Petersburg Catholic

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