October 29, 2012
The Bee's Top 20 high school football rankings heading into Week 10

Heading into Week 10 and the final regular-season games of the season, and there is very little change in The Bee's Top 20.

We will run rankings into the playoffs, for kicks, debate and discussion, and to chart progress.

Franklin is top ranked again this week - and for the first time in school history starting last week. It is also 9-0 for the first time. The only ranked teams to lose were previous No. 8 Pleasant Grove, falling to No. 7 Oak Ridge 38-19 after leading 12-0. Also, previous No. 11 Nevada Union lost at No. 13 Del Oro 45-35 as Brandon Monroe erupted for four scores for Del Oro.

We will continue to rank teams that play brutal nonleague and conference schedules - which explains a lot of the losses in the Top 20. In some cases, teams with four or five losses will be ranked over those with one or two losses based on strength of schedule alone.

The Top 20 is deep with no true "great" team as that description is greatly overly used. There are very good teams, to be sure, and the potential is there to have some "greatness" status attached with Sac-Joaquin Section and NorCal and state-bowl wins.

Antelope (8-1) is No. 20 with no ranked wins (it did beat Monterey Trail 17-14 when MT was ranked No. 18). Antelope's loss was to No. 19 Rio Linda 15-14. Rio Linda (8-1) lost to No. 14 Center 16-14. Center (8-1) lost only an early game to Chico 30-19, and Chico lost a shootout at Nevada Union 38-30 to offer a glimpse of how closely all these teams are.

No. 18 Inderkum (7-2) lost to No. 9 Rocklin (31-22) and to No. 11 Yuba City (49-42) and it has a win over No. 10 Pleasant Grove (42-28). But too many teams ahead of Inderkum kept winning to justify a quantum leap for Inderkum ahead of Pleasant Grove, which has a win over Nevada Union (29-28) and a win over Rocklin (35-21) to add to the chaos.

No. 12 Whitney (8-1) has lost only to Rocklin (6-0), which is why Rocklin remains ahead of the Thunder at No. 10.

And more: No. 8 Del Campo beat Rocklin (21-20) and has a 20-16 loss to then No. 1 Elk Grove. Rocklin has a 41-34 double-overtime setback to No. 5 Granite Bay and a 16-7 loss to No. 7 Oak Ridge.

And a bit more: No. 16 Vista del Lago is 1-1 against the ranked foes it faced, falling to Oak Ridge 42-6 in an opener in a game that was 14-6 at the half and in Week 8 at Cosumnes Oaks, 35-34. CO is ranked No. 17.

Monster games this week:
* No. 20 Antelope at No. 12 Whitney to decide the Capital Athletic League for the third successive season. Antelope won in 2010 and Whitney last season.

* No. 14 Center at No. 6 Placer to crown the Pioneer Valley League champion. Center has speed on offense and Placer fields a physical, unyielding defense.

* No. 8 Del Campo at No. 19 Rio Linda for the Capital Valley Conference title. Both live to run and hit.

* No. 9 Pleasant Grove at No. 2 Folsom in a Delta River League finale. If Folsom prevails, it takes the title outright. If Pleasant Grove wins, it forces a three-way tie for the title with Oak Ridge, if the Trojans can toppled Jesuit. Pleasant Grove has won or shared four league titles in recent years and Folsom three, including 2010 when the Bulldogs stormed to the State Division II championship.

* No. 10 Rocklin at No. 13 Del Oro boils down to this: the winner is in the playoffs and the loser is likely out. Both are tied for second place in the Sierra Foothill League behind Granite Bay. The top two teams in every division in the section reach the playoffs, and then it comes down to wins and other criteria.

* Monterey Trail needs to beat top-ranked Franklin in a Delta Valley Conference finale to secure a playoff berth. The Mustangs are coming off tough losses to Grant (14-7) and No. 3 Elk Grove (54-40).

* Grant needs a victory over 2-7 Laguna Creek to lock down the program's 22nd consecutive playoff streak, the longest in the section. Grant (4-5) has close losses to Burbank (36-27) and Franklin (34-26) when a game-winning field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a score on the final play.

Grant has a 31-30 win over Del Oro and also crushing losses to Nevada Union (37-7) and Oak Ridge (42-14). You can bet a lot of regional coaches would project a Grant victory over any number of ranked teams rated No. 10 or lower.

In short, it's been a wild ride of teams in a season of parity.

THE Bee's Top 20
(last week's ranking included)
1. Franklin 9-0 1
2. Folsom 9-0 2
3. Elk Grove 8-1 3
4. Burbank 9-0 4
5. Granite Bay 6-3 5
6. Placer 9-0 6
7. Oak Ridge 8-1 7
8. Del Campo 7-2 9
9. Pleasant Grove 6-3 8
10. Rocklin 5-4 10
11. Yuba City 8-1 12
12. Whitney 8-1 13
13. Del Oro 4-5 14
14. Center 8-1 19
15. Nevada Union 5-4 11
16. Vista del Lago 8-1 16
17. Cosumnes Oaks 7-2 17
18. Inderkum 7-2 18
19. Rio Linda 8-1 19
20. Antelope 8-1 20
Others: Grant (4-5), Sacramento (7-2), Ponderosa (5-4), Dixon (8-1), Capital Christian (8-1), Monterey Trail (5-4), Bear River (7-2), Jesuit (4-4), El Camino (6-3), Golden Sierra (5-3).

Week 10 schedule
Ranked teams
No. 1 Franklin at Monterey Trail
No. 10 Pleasant Grove at No. .2 Folsom
No. 3 Elk Grove at Davis
No. 4 Burbank at Kennedy
No. 5 Granite Bay at No. 15 Nevada Union
No. 14 Center at No. 6 Placer
Jesuit at No. 7 Oak Ridge
No. 8 Del Campo at No. 19 Rio Linda
No. 9 Rocklin at No. 13 Del Oro
River Valley at No. 11 Yuba City
No. 20 Antelope at No. 12 Whitney
No. 16 Vista del Lago at Union Mine
River City at No. 17 Cosumnes Oaks
No. 18 Inderkum at Natomas
Other games:
Woodcreek at Roseville
Oakmont at Casa Roble
Florin vs. Valley at Cosumnes River
Cordova vs. Mira Loma at El Camino
Ponderosa at Sheldon
Grant vs. Laguna Creek at Elk Grove
Foothill at Bear River
Colfax at Lincoln
Pioneer at Woodland
El Dorado at Galt
Dixon vs. Mesa Verde at San Juan
Encina at Bradshaw Christian
San Juan at Golden Sierra
Vacaville Christian at Rio Vista
Cristo Rey at Foresthill
Valley Christian vs. Woodland Christian at Highlands
Capital Christian at Lindhurst
West Campus at Marysville
Bella Vista vs. CBS at Hughes Stadium
Rosemont at Johnson, 1 p.m.
McClatchy at Sacramento, 1 p.m.
El Camino at Rio Americano, 1 p.m.

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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