(Last week's rankings in parentheses; NR -- not ranked)
1. Andrean (1) 8-0
One more win and the Niners wrap up the Northwest Crossroads Conference title before preparing for one of the easiest sectionals in the state. A one-point win over Lowell at home last year makes you think this one should be good.
2. Merrillville (2) 7-1
Wasn't pretty but last Friday's 20-17 win over Lake Central was classic, region football. The Bucs made enough plays on O and the defense was nasty, especially in the second half. Are these guys ready to make a run?
3. Lake Central (3) 6-2
The Indians' offense was suspect against the Pirates. It seems like the suspect was cuffed and walked off the field at halftime. L.C. could not move the chains or a blade of grass. Must find a way before sectionals.
4. Lowell (6) 6-2
Solar flares aren't as hot as these Red Devils, winners of six straight heading into the NCC championship game against Andrean. The question here is what happened to George Fields? Will he be back? If not, what?
5. Rensselaer (5) 6-2
You can't knock or drop a team that lost to perennial powerhouse Lafayette Central Catholic by a point. The Bombers get Benton Central tonight for a breather, then a sectional opener vs. Bishop Noll.
6. Munster (4) 5-3
OK, so Lowell kicked your back side. What do you do? A long drive to Wheatfield tonight to face the Kougars, then a week off in the Class 5A sectional. Bye, bye Miss American Pie, drove the Chevy to the levee ...
7. Morton (7) 7-1
The Govs have a big game tonight against Gavit with the Great Lakes Athletic Conference championship on the line. OK, the Govs won 44-0 last year. But they didn't win this trophy last year. A trophy's a trophy.
8. Portage (9) 5-3
The surging Indians are looking forward to hosting No. 1 Penn in next week's sectional opener. First things, first, they go for five in a row -- haven't done that in seven years -- tonight at LaPorte before the Kingsmen come to town.
9. Crown Point (10) 5-3
Jake Jatis has found his game and at just the right time. Four straight wins heading into tonight's tilt with Michigan City. Make it five. Then, a big 6A sectional opener against Lake Central. Simple. Get your tickets now, folks.
10. E.C. Central (NR) 6-2
Morton in Week 6 is the only team to score double figures against this dangerous defense in the last six weeks. The Cards head to South Bend to take on a solid Adams team, then it's a short drive to Hessville for the Govs. Tickets?
On the bubble: Bishop Noll 4-4, Boone Grove 6-2, Hobart 4-4, Kankakee Valley 4-4, River Forest 5-3, South Central 4-4, West Side 4-4, Wheeler 4-4, Whiting 7-1.