I like being right.
I mean, sure, the top 13 teams in last week’s rankings all winning is just a testament to a brilliant ranking process that, while comprised of a very complex computer scoring system mixed with various algorithms and variables with a little bit of the quadratic equation thrown in to put a finer point on it all, is the most accurate around.
Take all that, and throw in a pickle juice joke or three, and you have a top 25 poll just in time for post-lunchtime reading.
1. Armwood 3-1 (1): The Hawks celebrated coach Sean Callahan’s 200th win (on the field) Friday night, which goes to show you, again, that you can try to take away a guy’s wins as a penalty, but you never really take away that guy’s wins.
2. Largo 4-0 (2): The Packers defense is only allowing nine points a game. If it’s still allowing only nine points a game after Friday’s East Lake game, I’m kicking everyone off the Packer bandwagon and driving to Orlando today for a good parking spot.
3. Plant 2-1 (3): The Panthers spent their bye week scouting possible second- and third-round playoff opponents. That’s how the Panthers do.
4. Robinson 4-0 (4): With USF’s struggles, it’s nice to see one of the local football teams winnng games on Saturdays.
5. Pasco 3-0 (5): The Pirates are scoring in so many different ways that they could promise to go three and out every series and still be favored by 28.
6. Countryside 3-1 (6): The Cougars look like they got things straightened out last week.
7. East Lake 3-1 (7): It’s the Game of the Year for East Lake this week when the Eagles play Largo. I wonder if it will be better than the Game of the Year against CCC, or that Game of the Year against Countryside. Also, I think we might be using Game of the Year too much.
8. Hillsborough 3-0 (8): The Terriers didn’t roll Strawberry Crest like I thought they might, which means either they aren’t as dominant as I thought, or the Crest is better than I knew. I’m guessing the latter.
9. Lakewood 3-0 (9): The Spartans are winning big with defense and a running game. Are they for real? Maybe, but I’m waiting for Lakewood to brush the cobwebs off Tracy Johnson’s right arm and the hands of Marquez Valdes and Rodney Adams to make my final decision.
10. Wharton 3-0 (10): The cheering section at Wharton is front-page news, apparently. But if the WIldcats keeping winning, especially this week against Durnt, maybe they can be, too?
11. Durant 3-0 (11): The Cougars just win, baby.
12. Tampa Bay Tech 3-1 (12): The loss of Tajee Fullwood will hurt for a few weeks, but a sizable dosage of Richard Benjamin could be just the thing to make the Titans feel all better.
13. Clearwater Central Catholic 3-1 (13): I knew the Marauders weren’t going to let cramping fell them against another opponent, but “Claussen Kosher Dills on three....1-2-3, CLAUSSEN KOSHER DILLS!” as a pregame chant just sounded weird.
14. Sickles 2-1 (16): The Gryphons win convincingly, and by that I mean they have convinced me that they can beat Jesuit, so they hop over the Tigers this week.
15. Jesuit 2-2 (14): I liked the Tigers alot more as a playoff contender before Travis Johnson graduat.....wait, what? He’s still on the team? (Psssst....I’m no offensive mastermind, but I might, well, you know...)
16. Berkeley Prep 4-0 (17): Great comeback win last week, though as far as rankings go, the Bucs are making me nervous. I’m trying to ignore the fact their oppponents' combined record is 2-14, but last-second wins against those guys only reminds me.
17. Gaither 3-1 (18): Still making me scratch my head. Cowboys not winning with any flash, but they are winning. Mostly.
18. Springstead 4-0 (19): The Eagles had their first (of many) big district showdowns last week in beating Sunlake and passed the test. We grade it as a solid B.
19. Pinellas Park 3-1 (21): The Patriots haven’t scored a combined 84 points in two games since Kenneth Alexander Crawford, the current coach’s great grandfather, was riding his trusted steed Wingtee to school and back in the early 1900s. Look it up.
20. Tarpon Springs 3-1 (24): The Spongers' rushing attack makes them a playoff contender. It is the defense, though, that this week will tell us if they are for real.
21. Northeast 4-0 (25): Don’t be blinded by the brilliance of Ryan Davis, which is easy to succumb to: the Vikings defense hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in any game this season.
22. Jefferson 1-2 (22): The Dragons needed a week off last week to fix a struggling defense. They get to find out how they did this week against Armwood.
23. Alonso 1-2 (23): The Ravens invade New Tampa to take on the red-hot Freedom Patriots. I just wanted to write “red-hot Freedom Patriots” for the first time since 2009.
24. Mitchell 4-0 (NR): Color me convinced, and embarassed it took me so long. Scott Schmitz can coach.
25. Tampa Catholic 4-0 (NR): The Crusaders toughed one out against a bigger school last week and have now only allowed 22 points this season..
25. Palm Harbor University 3-1: Hurricanes running the risk of being downgraded to a tropical storm if the offensive line doesn't toughen up and some playmakers don't emerge on offense.
Dropped out: Sunlake.
Close to dropping in: Admiral Farragut, Carrollwood Day.