(Last week's rankings in parentheses; NR -- not ranked)
1. Andrean (1) 5-0
The Niners only scored 28 points at Hobart last week. Only 28. No cause for alarm. Highland's much improved, but Andrean's simply on another level.
2. Merrillville (2) 4-1
There will be football tonight at Demaree Stadium. The Pirates are playing to stay atop the DAC. The grieving Slicers will take the field in memory of teammate Jake West.
3. Lake Central (4) 4-1
The Indians gave up a touchdown to LaPorte, which is news with this defense. Spiraling Michigan City limps into the Burial Grounds with L.C. remembering last year's road loss. Good luck, Wolves. You'll need it.
4. Rensselaer (7) 5-0
Class 2A's No. 2 team plays one of Class 3A's best when the Bombers take the trip to West Lafayette. Rensselaer's No. 1 defense hasn't given up more than a touchdown in a game. If that continues tonight, look out.
5. Hobart (5) 4-1
In the midst of a rugged four-game stretch, the Brickies come off their first loss with a visit from Lowell. With the Andrean game being moved to the Brickyard, Hobart won't have to get on a bus until Oct. 11.
6. Munster (NR) 3-2
The 'Stangs put up their third big defensive performance of the season, blanking Morton for their second shutout. They've alternated those by giving up 35 and 41 in the other two games. Doesn't figure to happen tonight at the Boneyard, where Munster hasn't won in a decade.
7. Morton (3) 4-1
The Govs couldn't dent the scoreboard against Munster and fell from the unbeaten ranks. They better rev it up for tonight as they head to East Chicago to face a Cardinals team whose feathers are still ruffled from last year's sectional smack down.
8. Whiting (8) 5-0
The Oilers were pushed for the second week in a row, having to fend off Bishop Noll, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's a good chance they won't have to sweat again before the postseason.
9. Valparaiso (NR) 3-2
The Vikings aren't flashy. They just do what they do and do it well, controlling the ball on the ground and playing solid defense. Valpo has rebounded from an 0-2 start to win three straight, heading to demoralized C.P. with a share of the Duneland perch.
10. Lowell (10) 3-2
Guess who shares the Northwest Crossroads lead? The Red Devils continue to play some of the best defense in the region. No one's scored more than two touchdowns on them. Hobart will put that to the test.
On the bubble: Bishop Noll 2-3, Boone Grove 4-1, Chesterton 3-2, Crown Point 2-3, E.C. Central 4-1, Highland 3-2, Kankakee Valley 2-3, Portage 2-3, River Forest 4-1, West Side 2-3.