By Michael O'Brien

Football's Super 25, the final chapter for 2008

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Time to come in out of the cold and watch some basketball.
The Super 25 is a ranking of teams in the circulation area of the Chicago Sun-Times. To the fans of East St. Louis, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Bloomington Central Catholic, your teams all performed like champions and that's why they won championships, but to rank teams that are out of our area that we don't cover on a regular basis wouldn't be fair.
My own thoughts are that the IHSA should scrap the multiplier. I can understand football enrollment, which went away this year. The problem with the multiplier is that larger schools move up a class or two. But when small numbers are multiplied, thet still produce small numbers.
Was it fair that Immaculate Conception played in Class 2A when its schedule for the nine game regular season consisted of 4A and 5A schools, with one 6A (Marmion). Multiplying their enrollment might have moved them up from Class 1A, but football enrollment would have moved them up more.
And what about IC's opponent Casey. Three or four times an exchange of game films fell through. We held up our end of it every time," IC coach Bill Schmidt said.
With the multiplier, non-boundaried schools won four of the eight classes in football, a far higher percentage than the number of schools that have no attendance boundaries. And it wasn't that far-fetched to think that Mount Carmel or Brother Rice could have been in the Class 8A title game -- both lost on last minute field goals to Hinsdale Central -- or that St. Rita could have been in the 7A final, after all, the Mustangs had a 28-7 lead at East St. Louis. And the Flyers won the 7A championship.
In my opinion, the answer is simple, either have two or three non-boundaried school classes and five or six for public schools; or keep the current eight classes, can the multiplier and go to football enrollment.
My final word on the Catholic League vs. DVC debate -- this year's winner as the top conference goes to Suburban Catholic, which produced two state champions in St. Francis and IC. Funny thing, every preseason prediction I saw had Marian Central (before the Jon Budmayr injury), Driscoll and Montini as the top three teams in the SCC.
Even though Montini lost to St. Francis in a quarterfinal rematch, the Broncos beat three state champions -- Sacred Heart-Griffin, St. Francis and IC -- during the nine-game regular season.
The DVC had no team in the quarterfinals and the Catholic League had two teams in the semifinals, Mount Carmel and Providence, and they both lost. Funny thing, every preseason prediction I saw had Marian Central (before the Jon Budmayr injury), Driscoll and Montini as the top three teams in the SCC.
The Mount Carmel jinx continued. Only one team that defeated the Caravan in a state semifinal, Providence, has gone on to win the state title.
Now, it's time for football's second season, recruiting. Before long the seniors will have their colleges picked and it will be time to look at the juniors. Just wondering, does anyone have directions to Johnsburg?

Here are my final rankings of the season:

STEVE TUCKER¹S FINAL SUPER 25
(Preseason ranking)

1. Maine South 14-0 (2)
2. Glenbard West 12-1 (21)
3. Hinsdale Central 11-3 (16)
4. Geneva 13-1 (12)
5. St. Rita 10-2 (4)
6. Mount Carmel 10-3 (1)
7. Bartlett 12-1 (NR)
8. Brother Rice 9-3 (15)
9. Naperville North 10-1 (7)
10. St. Francis 13-1 (NR)
11. Lemont 13-1 (NR)
12. Wheaton Warrenville South 8-2 (9)
13. Bolingbrook 10-1 (14)
14. Antioch 12-1 (NR)
15. Loyola 11-3 (NR)
16. Aurora Christian 13-1 (NR)
17. Providence 8-5 (NR)
18. Crystal Lake South 10-3 (NR)
19. Lincoln-Way East 9-2 (13)
20. Immaculate Conception 10-4 (NR)
21. Cary-Grove 11-1 (NR)
22. Carmel 10-2 (6)
23. Marist 9-3 (NR)
24. Montini 11-1 (NR)
25. Lane 11-3 (NR)


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10 Comments

East St. Louis?

Steve,
Hmm, not many good (close) games Saturday with the first one being the best. I don't care if people wanted to question why Metamora didn't throw earlier as the announcers mentioned. A "track meet" against St. Francis would've had the same result as they just would've scored more if they had the ball more. And you need to take care of the football which they did. Congrats to St. Francis. What's in the water in that town?
I would say congrats to Geneva on a great season and their drive to get to Champaign as a great story that we enjoyed following all season. They had some very talented players and are a team that's earned respect now annually. My only hope is Geneva uses their two non-conference games to show a level of competition against some of the "establishment" to cement their place in this echelon.
And having said that and with all due respect to Geneva, the 7A championship was played at Duchon Field the week before. ESL was almost flawless at Glenbard West and had to be. Had they faced Glenbard West with ESL making that many mistakes/penalties in Champaign the champion would be the Hilltoppers (St. Rita supporters, you had your chances vs. an undisciplined ESL and didn't come through so no argument allowed by you). But congrats to ESL also as their talent, skill and big plays (and players) won the day. Discipline did not win the day with an embarrassing dubious achievement award of a state record for number and yards of penalties.'They are who we thought they were'...a talented, undisciplined team who were just too much on the day, but there were others who could play with them.
8A? Hinsdale Central looked nervous and tentative. Maine South was on a mission and accomplished it. ESL vs. Maine South would still give you Maine South as they penalized teams for mistakes.
So congrats to Maine South, Hinsdale Central, Geneva, ESL, Lemont, SHG, St. Francis, Metamora and the others for making it to Champaign and supplying us something to do for two days.

Here is my wish list for next season a bit early:
1) A weekly Sun-Times ranking system that takes only 7A and 8A level teams into account. 10-15 teams and it is statewide (we know we only have to add one usually). Then take a 4A-6A locally. After the State Championship, you can add the “Downstate” teams, which excuse me for my insult but it is anything south of I-80 and Highway 30, teams during the playoffs. Again 10 teams. Special mention each week to those 1A-3A teams that deserve some recognition. You stay in the rankings even after you are eliminated based on Tucker's view.
2) If you want to be ranked in the Top 10 for 7A/8A, you must have at least one non-conference game against someone of caliber. We can determine this definition by stating they must play a team that has competed in the quarterfinals or higher level at 7A/8A in the last three years or has been ranked in the Top 20 sometime in the prior year or pre-season.
3) A revamped 7A-8A (only) playoff process as the whole 150 miles thing is a farce for these levels. Anything North of I-90, west of the Fox River and south of I-80/Hwy 30 will form one division of 16 called the “Pioneer” Region (or something to reflect the region) and anything between the highways/river is considered the “Metro” Region. Of course, we will give Mr. Gannaway some latitude in the boundaries year to year as needed when they are not of equal strength. And this only applies to 7A-8A teams.
4) Home field advantage to the higher seeded team for quarterfinals and semifinals regardless of how many games they have played at home already. Not as important as the first three.
5) A non-conference tournament/series of games in Chicagoland that competes with Herbstreit. Are you trying to tell me that we couldn’t get teams to come to Chicago for this over Cincinnati? Think we have a little more to offer here. Let’s remember what Mark Twain said about Cincinnati. The quote attributed to Twain was “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times." Say no more. Games could be played at Ryan Field or ideally Soldier Field.
6) There are no changes to the multiplier or enrollment processes at this point. This part is working.
Large Tier Top 1-15 (7A-8A)
1) Maine South (more disciplined than ESL)
2) East St. Louis
3) Glenbard West
4) Hinsdale Central
5) Bartlett
6) Naperville North
7) St. Rita
8) Geneva
9) Bolingbrook
10) WW South
11) Mt. Carmel
12) Lincoln Way East
13) Brother Rice
14) Loyola
15) Carmel/Crystal Lake South (tie)
Mid-Tier Top 10 4A-6A
1) St. Francis
2) Sacred Heart –Griffin (would have lost in 5A)
3) Lemont
4) Metamora
5) Providence
6) Antioch
7) Glenbard South
8) Kankakee
9) Bloomington Catholic Central
10) Montini
Again, all the respect to the 4A-6A class but I am sure that any of 7A-8A school would play them anytime, anywhere (for instance let’s see St. Francis, Lemont, Antioch or Aurora Christian add Bolingbrook, Lincoln Way East, Wheaton South or Carmel to their schedule next year…then we will talk about the rankings)

I'm a highschool football fan who lives in the city, and I care to see what talent exists outside our cirulation area. I believe there is a large portion of our circulation area who grew up in IL towns like Rockford, Peoria, Bloomington, Champaign, Springfield, Decatur, Danville, Belleville, and Quincy, and would also care. Even those who would simply consider themselves highschool football fans, in addition to their devotion to their favorites, would like to know how they stack up against ALL the schools within the competitive structure of their sport.

good-

You're delusional if you think WSF would have beat SHG. The Cyclones were very impressive over the last 4 weeks. I would have been surprised if the Spartans stayed within 3 TDs in a game with SHG. Provi would have beat them handily too.

If. It's a small word with huge meaning. And I'm referring to the 7A Title game. If East St. Louis would have played Hinsdale or Glenbard West with having that many penalties and mistakes, there would have been different 7A champions. Regardless of how many mistakes or penelties East St. Louis made, their record show a team with heart and composure. Down by as many points in the St. Rita game, what team you know could come back from that kind of deficit. You guys are quick to down the teams from downstate when you need to give them their respective rankings. Anyway, the officiating was terrible on East St. Louis but I'm not gonna go there because it's expected for the officials to watch the Inner City football teams with a high powered lens. The teams up north are slow, therefore, the Flyers were able make up for the mistakes they made. Now, coaching on the otherhand, why didn't Glenbard West coach keep running the ball behind the ALL-AMERICAN linemen? No one mentioned that! HE CHOKED, just as St. Rita did. Just call the rankings as they are and don't be biased towards the down state teams or at least mention them. I guess in May we'll have to show you people up north at the STATE TRACK MEET that speed is basic in EAST ST. LOUIS!

East St. Louis ROCKS! In spite of the Referees one-sided calling of the game, this team still dominanted Geneva!

Give them the FULL CREDIT DESERVED, instead of nit-picking about undiscipline players. If the team was that undisciplined they wouldn't have dominated Geneva as the score indicated. East St. Louis would have scored at least two to three more touchdowns in spite of terrible officiating! IMAGE WHAT THE FINAL SCORE WOULD HAVE BEEN THEN!

At least some of the Geneva players admitted they played a team which was better than them! Now why can't most of you do the same and admit, Big Dave is correct!

By the way, what possibly could have been said on the East St. Louis sidelines to be admonished a warning less than three or four minutes into the game that was not said on the Geneva sideline is what I would like to know?

Geneva lost in spite of the terrible officiating PLAIN & SIMPLE!

sorry but big dave is a dope, mainly for stating a kid (and i emphasize he is a kid) CHOKED. Be a man Big Dave. He's a HS kid.
and Maine South was more disciplined than ESL (so was my dog). Sorry WSF would have beat SHGriffin just like Montini did. And the mighty Providence.

How do u feel about crete being in the top 25 they will be great next season not really missing anybody from this year in the second loss to joliet catholic but they are a powerhouse i wanna no how do u put a team like kankakee up there in crete monee not beating them but banged them at crete monee

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