Analysis

Friday Night Drive’s Power Rankings: End of season

I’m not necessarily a big fan of the BCS as currently assembled.

But in the case of Illinois High School Football I’ve often wished for something like it. And I can’t remember a year where I felt like I wanted it more than this year.

Championship weekend left people debating the question that always gets debated at this time of year at various levels of degree. Although there were eight champions crowned over the course of the weekend, which one is the best of that group?

There’s no way to solve that debate other than scheduling more games, which of course, I’m all for. But I don’t see that happening so it leaves us to only hatch hypotheticals.

For me the discussion for this year’s top spot came down to three teams: Cary-Grove, Joliet Catholic and Lockport.

Cary-Grove toppled the team ranked at No. 1 for much of the season, East St. Louis, in one of the better state final games in recent memory. The Trojans executed a fantastic game plan and showed off the skills both offensively and defensively that allowed them to dominate everyone it ran into until that point.

Joliet Catholic’s decimation of Sacred Heart Griffin once again showed that the Hilltoppers were a powerhouse that weren’t going to be denied. The steady outcry that the Hilltoppers didn’t belong in Class 4A was heard and understood, and led to many wondering how the Hilltoppers would have matched up in larger classifications. But considering the rigorous regular season schedule that Joliet Catholic also dismantled, the Hilltoppers belong in this conversation.

Lockport won the state’s largest classification, 8A, and did so with a dominant defense effort. I’d love to see the Porters defense take a crack at shutting down either of the two teams listed above. You can’t convince me that they wouldn’t be up for that task.

All three have a legitimate argument for the top spot. Add a fourth team to the mix, Wheaton North perhaps? Blind draw it and let me know where we’re playing and I’m there in a heartbeat.

Since we won’t get that to come to fruition, a hypothetical decision must be made for the sake of the FND Power Rankings.

Cary-Grove gets the nod in the end. The win over East St. Louis weighed heavily in that decision, I still believe strongly in the talent that the Flyers roster possesses. And while we’ll never know how the Trojans would match up with the Hilltoppers or Porters, I saw more than enough to convince me that neither team would enjoy that experience very much if they were to lock horns.

Maybe the BCS isn’t so bad after all.

Here are the full final Friday Night Drive Power Rankings: