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Football: Behind the new rankings

November 9, 2008 |  8:58 am

Here's a sneak peek at the new rankings that will be published in Monday's paper, with comments on team movement after the jump:

1. Long Beach Poly (9-0)

2. Corona Centennial (9-0)

3. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (9-0)

4. St. Bonaventure (8-1)

5. Mater Dei (7-2)

6. Tesoro (9-0)

7. Oaks Christian (9-0)

8. Orange Lutheran (7-2)

9. Mission Viejo (8-1)

10. Chaparral (8-1)

11. Los Alamitos (8-1)

12. Edison (7-2)

13. St. John Bosco (7-2)

14. Bishop Amat (7-2)

15. Crespi (6-3)

16. Servite (6-3)

17. Vista Murrieta (8-1)

18. Moorpark (8-1)

19. Alemany (8-1)

20. Los Osos (7-2)

21. Upland (8-1)

22. Miller (9-0)

23. Rancho Verde (9-0)

24. Serra (9-0)

25. Narbonne (8-1)

Moving In: Bishop Amat. These Lancers are a befuddling bunch: Lose to Los Osos. Beat Orange Lutheran. Lose to Loyola. Beat Crespi. Bishop Amat's penchant for unexpected big wins should make Notre Dame nervous. Very nervous.

Moving Out: Valencia. The Vikings couldn't handle Saugus' two-headed monster of Ryan Zirbel and Desi Rodriguez. No shame in that.

Moving Up: There's a new No. 1, and it's Long Beach Poly. We weren't sold on the Jackrabbits earlier this season when they pulled out a nondescript victory over Carson, but we are now. They have the best defense around and a balanced offense capable of dropping 40-plus points on quality opponents. Corona Centennial might be a tad more explosive, but we figure Poly's defense makes it more complete and a more legitimate top-ranked team. The Huskies' defense? It just gave up 30 points to Corona Santiago. ... After getting an up close and personal look at Mater Dei, we decided it's time to anoint the Monarchs the best team in Orange County, pushing them past Tesoro. This was the Mater Dei team we expected to see all season but didn't early on when the Monarchs would have lost to Carson had the Colts made an extra point in overtime. With once-erratic quarterback Matt Barkley having settled down and tailback Jaron Hytche turning into a running machine, Mater Dei is again a legitimate Pac-5 Division contender. ... Orange Lutheran gets a one-spot bump just in time for its showdown against Mater Dei, a team it has beaten in both meetings since moving into the Trinity League. ... Mission Viejo struggled a bit to pull out a high-scoring thriller against Dana Hills, but we still like the Diablos and moved them up two spots. Hey, good teams sometimes pull out ugly victories. It happens. ... Chaparral, Los Alamitos and Edison also each moved up two positions following victories. ... We got a tip from an inside source familiar with both Alemany and Moorpark that we had the latter team ranked WAY too low, so we gave the Musketeers a six-spot hike.

Moving Down: Corona Centennial fell out of the top spot (see above). ... We still like Tesoro but believe the way things are going right now, Mater Dei is a touch better, so the Titans slipped one spot. ... St. John Bosco wasn't nearly as impressive as we were expecting during a 35-6 loss to Mater Dei, but something tells us it was just an off night for the Braves against an exceptional team. So St. John Bosco moves from No. 10 to No. 13. ... Crespi plummeted all the way from No. 6 to No. 15 after coughing up a 15-point, third-quarter lead against Bishop Amat. Now the Celts are in real danger of missing the playoffs. ... Servite and Vista Murrieta each dropped one spot despite winning because we had to shoehorn Bishop Amat into the rankings. ... Alemany falls two places in part because of our Moorpark tip. Sorry. ... Los Osos and Upland each fell two spots because they might not even be the best team in their league. If Rancho Cucamonga defeats Upland on Friday to win the league title, the other two teams could find themselves on the outside of the rankings looking in this time next week. ... Miller, Rancho Verde and Serra also fell two spots each. We actually like Serra a lot but wish the Cavaliers had more high-profile opponents so we could better gauge their talent. Should they topple Oaks Christian in the playoffs, that won't be a problem.

On the Doorstep (in no particular order): Newport Harbor (6-3), Loyola (5-4), Saugus (6-3), San Clemente (7-2), Thousand Oaks (8-1), Rancho Cucamonga (8-0-1), Valencia (7-2), Oxnard (9-0), Fountain Valley (6-3), Paso Robles (8-1).

--Ben Bolch

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