Scott Kennedy: Top 20 teams in CIF-SS, Week 4
SEP 23, 2013 10:55a ET
That certainly has been the case with trying to rank the CIF Southern Section early in the 2013 season.
The more I've learned, the more I know there's an incredibly deep pool of teams capable of beating one another on any given night.
Chaminade is a two-point conversion away (Hart) from being undefeated. The Eagles are also a blown fumble call away from having two losses. Notre Dame had Serra beat right up until the minute it lost. Servite got blown out by Bishop Gorman, who probably should have lost to Santa Margarita, and then the Friars handled Servite.
Corona Centennial all of a sudden can't move the ball when it has to, and the Huskies still can't stop anyone when they need a defensive stand.
All in all, it's been an interesting first month of the season, and with a greater sample size to choose from than preseason rankings, there are more shakeups in the Top 20.
No. 1 St. John Bosco holds on to the top spot after a win against a scrappy Loyola squad. The Braves didn't dominate Loyola like a No. 1 team might, but they were without starting quarterback Josh Rosen. Even though backup Andrew Katnik was very effective against Chandler ( Ariz.) the week before, it's a different mindset going into the week as the starter. Bosco has the week off to get Rosen healthy before taking on Crenshaw on Oct. 4.
No. 2 Mater Dei continues to play an impressive brand of football. The Monarchs have given up only 20 points this year, and only seven in the last three weeks. Yes, they're considerably better than their competition level the last three weeks, but they're dominating them, not playing down to their level. Mater Dei takes on an Edison squad that was overwhelmed by Servite last week on the FOX Sports 1 National Game of the Week before hitting the gauntlet that is the Trinity League schedule.
No. 3 Serra hasn't looked like a Top 5 Southern Section team the first three weeks of the season, but the Cavaliers put together a full game against Dorsey on Friday, blowing out the Dons 48-18. The Cardiac Cavs gave their fans a rest in this one as Serra controlled the game from beginning to end. Serra should cruise the next two games against Narbonne and Harvard-Westlake before its showdown with Chaminade on Oct. 18.
No. 4 Mission Viejo gets a significant jump in the rankings after another impressive win. Last week the Diablos decimated an undefeated La Habra squad in every phase of the game. Mission Viejo's swarming defense overwhelms opponents and gives the impression that it's playing with 15 men on the field. Quarterback Ian Fieber has a very good arm and tremendous accuracy, and was terrific against La Habra.
No. 5 Vista Murrieta moves down a spot through no fault of their own. The Broncos are doing what they need to do, which is blow out bad teams. Redlands East Valley doesn't have their strongest squad this year, and Vista Murrieta hammered REV 69-21. Quarterback Coltin Gerhart has made Vista Murrieta's offense even more explosive than last year's team. The Broncos will get their biggest, and maybe only, challenge of the regular season in San Diego this week against Cathedral Catholic.
No. 6 Bishop Alemany left little doubt who was the better team last week in its clash with Corona Centennial. The Warriors brought back nearly every starter on defense, and the difference between last year and this year has been amazing with the added experience. Quarterback Alief Grayes is a terrific athlete who throws the ball well enough to keep defenses honest. The Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside combination of running backs Okalani Langi and Dominic Davis have been unstoppable this year, but Alemany can't afford a letdown. The Warriors are on the cusp of what could be a special season, but St. Bonaventure looms this week.
No. 7 Servite gets the big jump from No. 19 last week. I was willing to write off the win against Long Beach Poly as the Jackrabbits got caught looking ahead to Corona Centennial. After all, Servite had just been beaten by a good, not great Bishop Gorman team, and we've seen Poly struggle early in the season before. Then I went to see Servite play No. 11 Edison last week, and the game was never in doubt. Servite has a big, athletic offensive line. The Friars play an attacking style of defense that they've been known for over the course of the last decade, and junior quarterback Travis Waller has solidified the spot with his good arm and excellent mobility. Servite plays arguably the toughest schedule in the nation, and the Friars get the week off before hosting the state's No. 1 team, De La Salle.
No. 8 Long Beach Poly drops three spots after an impressive win against Bakersfield in a revenge game. It seems counterintuitive that they would drop after a win like this, but taking the first month of the season as a whole, it would make less sense to keep Poly ahead of Alemany and Servite considering common opponents and head-to-head victories. This isn't to say Poly is going to be any less dangerous in the playoffs. On the contrary, Poly has the luxury of focusing on the playoffs the rest of the season as it will blitz through the Moore league starting with Cabrillo on Friday.
No. 9 Hart moves into the Top 10 for the first time in 2013. The offense has been a well-oiled machine and their win over Chaminade several weeks ago looks even more impressive after the Eagles knocked Oaks Christian out of the Top 10 last week. Hart has scored over 50 each of the first three weeks, and the Indians should keep putting up big numbers the rest of the regular season.
No. 10 Chaminade is a two point conversion against Hart from being undefeated, but they're also a blown fumble call against Oaks Christian from possibly having two losses. After giving up 50-plus points to Hart, the Eagles have solidified their defense and only surrendered 14 points to Oaks Christian. The Eagles have also established their go-to guy at running back with Donavan Lee getting 30 carries against Oaks Christian last week. The running game helping to spell the defense has made Chaminade a better team.
CIF-SS Top 20: Week 4
1. (1) St. John Bosco (4-0)
2. (2) Mater Dei (4-0)
3. (3) Serra (4-0)
4. (7) Mission Viejo (4-0)
5. (4) Vista Murrieta (3-0)
6. (8) Alemany (4-0)
7. (19) Servite (3-1)
8. (5) Long Beach Poly (3-1)
9. (12) Hart (3-0)
10. (13) Chaminade (3-1)
11. (14) Notre Dame (3-1)
12. (9) Oaks Christian (3-1)
13. (6) Corona Centennial (2-2)
14. (10) St. Bonaventure (3-1)
15. (15) Rancho Cucamonga (4-0)
16. (16) Bishop Amat (3-1)
17. (18) JSerra (3-0)
18. (20) Chino Hills (3-1)
19. (NR) Orange Lutheran (4-0)
20. (NR) Trabuco Hills (4-0)
Out: La Habra, Edison
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