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Cotey's top 25: Lead-ins to playoffs still exciting

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Mon. November 5, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Cotey's top 25: Lead-ins to playoffs still exciting

The playoffs are next week, but will they have the same kind of crowds and excitement as some of the games this week?

No. 2 Robinson vs. No. 3 Plant? No. 15 Jesuit vs. No. 24 Tampa Catholic?

Not sure it gets much better than that.

1. Largo 9-0 (1): With a game to play, the Packers have already scored 52 more points than they did in their last 10-0 season, back in 2007. And the defense has been better, too. The Packers allowed 88 points in 2007, and 67 this year with Gibbs still to go.

2. Plant 8-1 (2): The Panthers dropped 51 on Bloomingdale last week, the 22nd time Plant has hit the half-century mark in points since 2006.

3 Robinson 9-0 (3): Nine wins, a district title, four shutouts and more than a dozen defensive TDs, and we’re left with one question: Would a win over Plant top all of that?

4. Pasco 9-0 (4): Prediction: Janarion Grant will be the first Player of the Year in county history to have only played three regular-season games.

5. Countryside 4-6 (5): The nightmare should be over, but it's not. The FHSAA is taking a look at the Cougars' second Senior Night of the season.

6. Durant 9-0 (6): Does this mean anything? Durant allowed 26 points the first six weeks, but 58 the past three. I can’t tell.  

7. East Lake 8-1 (7): The offense continues to shine, scoring 35 points or more for the third straight week.

8. Clearwater Central Catholic 8-1 (9): CCC has now scored 86 straight points, with only Indian Rocks Christian, whom the Marauders shut out last season,  remaining.

9. Hillsborough 8-1 (10): The Terriers picked up their biggest win of the season Monday when it was determined there would be no district tiebreaker. Not often a team wins a district title twice.

10. Lakewood 8-1 (11): The Spartans have now avenged two of last year’s losses, and will try to make it three this week against St. Petersburg when the two battle for the Mayor’s Cup at Progress Energy Field.

11. Armwood 7-3 (8): Will a week off be enough to straight out the Hawks? And how unimpressive is a 19-8 victory over a King team that has been beaten 42-12, 41-8 and 46-7 by Sickles, Jefferson and Hillsborough, respectvely?

12. Wharton 7-2 (13): We hear Doug Martin doesn’t like the nickname Muscle Hamster and is looking for a new one. MIght we suggest: “Jeff Keil”.

13. Gaither 7-2 (23): The Cowboys take the biggest jump in Top 25 history. Just don’t look too closely at that fourth quarter last week...and those 24 total yards rushing...and you might agree.

14. Tampa Bay Tech 6-3 (12): Even in a loss, the Titans showed enough fight to keep us interested in their state title game chances.

15. Jesuit 6-3 (15): Playoffs? Who needs the stinking playoffs? Bring on Tampa Catholic.

16. Jefferson 5-4 (16): It’s deja vu all over again for the Dragons, who will probably end their season with five straight wins after a rough start.

17. Sickles 6-3 (17): The Gryphons' slim playoff hopes have faded, but ending the season with a game against your arch-rival is a nice consolation prize.

18. Springstead 9-1 (14): Another stellar defensive effort for the Eagles, but this time, the offense doesn’t rise to the challenge.

19. Hernando 6-4 (21): A 6-1 finish saved a season that for a time looked to be bordering on lost.

20. Sunlake 7-2 (22): You have to feel for the Seahawks, who are headed for their second 8-2 finish in the past three seasons, but are out of the playoff hunt.

21. Palm Harbor University 6-3 (18): PHU just can’t get over the hump. Setting school records, but still in search of that signature win. Maybe the 'Canes are saving it for the second round of the playoffs?

22. Osceola 7-3 (NR): Is anyone hotter? After a 1-3 start, all the losses were to playoff teams,  the Warriors have won six straight as they head back to the playoffs.

23. Nature Coast 6-4 (24): The Sharks beat the district champion to end the season. If bowl games still existed, I wouldn’t hate seeing a Sunlake-NCT rematch.

24. Tampa Catholic 7-2 (NR): The Crusaders have gotten better each week, and it’s almost enough to make you think they could end their decade-long streak of futility against arch-rival Jesuit. Almost.

25. Pinellas Park 6-3 (25): The Patriots are district champions and will play a home playoff game for the first time since 1997.

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