(Last week's rankings in parentheses; NR -- not ranked)
1. Andrean (1) 4-0
Is it nervous knuckles time on Broadway? The incoming Brickies beat the 'Niners last fall to share the Northwest Crossroads Conference title. The 59ers have been Da Region's top team so far. So who's got next?
2. Merrillville (2) 3-1
The Bucs get a break from their traditional tough schedule with a two-week romance in LaPorte County. Michigan City tonight and the Slicers next week.
3. Morton (3) 4-0
The Govs are rolling, but the Munster game is always a showdown. The 'Stangs have won two straight. If Morton wants to win another unofficial NCC title, this one's big.
4. Lake Central (7) 3-1
The Indians almost played a perfect defensive game last Friday against Crown Point. Is there anything left in the tank? The super groovy drive to LaPorte awaits. The road could be tougher.
5. Hobart (5) 4-0
The Brickies could probably outscore the 1980s' Lakers. Ringing up 39.5 points a game has Hobart No. 10 in the state in Class 4A. They'll need to bring more than offense to Andrean. Much more.
6. Chesterton (6) 3-1
The Trojans scored 35 points for the third consecutive week. Coincidentally, all have been wins. Now they get a Valpo defense that dumped water on Michigan City's engine. Winner maintains at least shared occupancy of the Duneland Athletic Conference penthouse.
7. Rensselaer (8) 4-0
After a Bomber win against Tipton last Friday, the 2A No. 4 team in Indiana has a very tough tilt against Twin Lakes. Any kind of letdown will take them to Indiana Beach with no elephant ears. Not a one.
8. Whiting (9) 4-0
This one won't be pretty. The Oilers and Bishop Noll aren't friendly. This is a backyard brawl. Period. This is likely Jeff Cain's toughest game until sectionals, so expect Whiting plays that way. Expect a few flags, too.
9. Crown Point (4) 2-2
If ever there was a gut-check time this is it. A month of mistake-filled football has the wagon off the trail. The L.C. loss was bad. Playing a good Portage team tonight must be better. Or else. Tick, tick, tick.
10. Lowell (NR) 2-2
When the Red Devils started 0-2 who thought they were done? Yes, I see those hands. Two big wins in a row have a young but talented team going in the right direction. Highland should be no obstacle tonight.
On the bubble: Bishop Noll 2-2, Boone Grove 3-1, E.C. Central 3-1, Munster 2-2, E.C. Central 3-1, Highland 3-1, Kankakee Valley 1-3, Michigan City 2-2, Portage 1-3, River Forest 3-1, Valparaiso 2-2, West Side 1-3.