1. Bishop Amat (5-0) — Lancers closed up shop by halftime against previously unbeaten Damien and Cathedral. They’re still No. 4 in the Pac-5 poll, and are outscoring their opponents by a 26-point margin, averaging 34 points while allowing just eight per game. Until Bishop Amat loses, there is no debate for No. 1, not unless Chino Hills can replay their 24-12 loss to Corona Santiago.
2. Chino Hills (4-1) — The Huskies have done something that West Covina, Diamond Ranch, South Hills and Charter Oak have been unable to do in recent years. They scheduled up and won. Anyone can make a tough schedule, but doing something with it, as in wins over Tesoro and Redlands East Valley, is why the Huskies climbed to No. 3 in the Inland Poll.
3. Bonita (4-0) — The much anticipated season debut of Garrett Pendleton, injured prior to the season, takes place this week at Diamond Bar. The ‘Cats have done fine without him, partly because of a much improved defense, but now lets see if Pendleton can shake the rust and make the ‘Cats a real contender in the Hacienda.
4. West Covina (4-1) — The Bulldogs are scoring at will, 35 on Venice, 42 on South Hills, 33 on Glendora and 41 in the Hacienda league opener against Walnut. As long as their defense stays consistent, nobody left on the schedule can slow these guys down. Can they?
5. Glendora (4-1) — Can use the bye week after going to Lynwood and getting it done. Next week we begin to find out how the Tartans will fare in the Baseline.
6. Charter Oak (3-2) — QB Josiah Thropay did enough to help the Chargers over Santa Fe, but the credit goes to their defense, earning a big shutout. The Chargers have a week off before the Sierra, with starting QB Travis Santiago set to return after an ankle sprain.
7. Claremont (4-1) — The Wolfpack have a week off, then open the Sierra against Chino Hills. The way these two have played, won’t be a surprise if the outcome eventually decides the league title.
8. Rowland (4-1) — The Raiders find out what their made of at home against West Covina on Friday. The question is, can they score enough to keep up with the run-happy Bulldogs.
9. Azusa (4-0) — Any way you slice it, the Aztecs are averaging 35 points while allowing just 2.5 points per game. That’s a 33 point margin, which also includes three shutouts.
10. Damien (3-1) — Solid win over El Dorado. Except for their huge stumble against No. 1 Bishop Amat, the Spartans have been impressive, which includes a win at Diamond Ranch.
The Rest: 11. Ayala (4-1), 12. San Dimas (3-2), 13. Covina (4-1), 14. Arroyo (3-1), 15. Diamond Ranch (2-3), 16. South Hills (1-3); 17. Diamond Bar (4-1). 18. Walnut (2-2), 19. Wilson (3-1), 20. Sierra Vista (4-0), 21. Baldwin Park (1-4), 22. Rosemead (2-2), 23. Pomona (3-2), 24. La Puente (2-2), 25. Ganesha (2-2), 26. Nogales (1-4), 27. El Monte (1-3); 28. Los Altos (0-5), 29. Gladstone (1-3), 30. South El Monte (1-3), 31. Mountain View (2-2), 32. Northview (0-4), 33. Workman (1-3), 34. Bassett (1-3), 35. Duarte (0-3)
More on Debate: In our Bishop Amat, Chino Hills debate, Aram also said there’s an “argument” over who has the toughest division in Southern California, the Inland or Pac-5. At the beginning of the season Aram said the Pac-5 is the toughest division in the country, and with three leagues in the MaxPreps’ top ten leagues in America rankings, he’s probably right. So why now is there an “argument” or “debate” over the best division, Inland or Pac-5? For MaxPreps top ten ranked divisions in the country, click thread…
Maxpreps’ top ten leagues in America…
1. Greater Catholic South (Ohio)
Archbishop Moeller, 5-0, 3 in state, 18 nationally; LaSalle, 5-0, 14 in state, 167 nationally; St. Xavier, 3-2, 7 in state, 46 nationally; Elder, 20 in state, 241 nationally.
2. Trinity (California)
Servite, 4-0, 2nd in state, 7 nationally; JSerra Catholic, 3-0, 79 in state, 725 nationally; St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), 3-1, 16 in state, 139 nationally; Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), 3-1, 48 in state, 419 nationally; Orange Lutheran, 2-2, 114 in state, 1,242 nationally; Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 1-2, 24 in state, 227 nationally. Long time powerhouse Mater Dei is at the bottom looking up this year, attesting to the overall depth and power in this league. No team in the league ranks lower than 114 in the state of California, which has close to 1,200 teams, meaning all six teams are in the top 10 percent of the state.
3. 5A Region 1 District 8 (Texas)
Allen (Texas), 4-0, 8 in state, 78 nationally; Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), 4-0, 16 in state, 118 nationally; Lewisville (Texas), 3-1, 91 in state, 853 nationally; Hebron (Carrollton, Texas), 3-1, 14 in state, 113 nationally; Plano West (Texas), 3-1, 43 in state, 389 nationally; Plano (Texas), 3-1, 114 in state, 1,056 nationally; Plano East (Texas), 2-2, 133 in state, 1,190 nationally; Flower Mound (Texas), 2-2, 84 in state, 774 nationally. The depth in this league is amazing — all eight teams have at least a .500 record. Three of the teams are also ranked in the top 16 in the state of Texas, a tremendous feat in a state known for its football.
4. South Coast (California)
Mission Viejo (Calif.), 4-0, 5th in state, 12 nationally; San Clemente (Calif.), 4-1, 49 in state, 425 nationally; Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), 3-1, 42 in state, 379 nationally; Dana Hills (Dana Point, Calif.), 2-2, 76 in state, 696 nationally; Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 2-2, 191 in state, 2,262 nationally. Orange County football is pretty impressive, considering that two of the top four leagues on this list consist of Orange County teams. This year Mission Viejo is ranked in the Xcellent 25 presented by the Army National Guard and rising.
5. Big North I (New Jersey)
Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), 3-0, 1st in state, 2nd nationally; St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.), 3-0, 3 in state, 142 nationally; Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), 3-0, 2nd in state, 39 nationally; Paramus Catholic (N.J.), 2-1, 69 in state, 3,104 nationally; DePaul (Wayne, N.J.), 1-2, 64 in state, 2,939 nationally. New Jersey is a strong football state and Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic and St. Joseph Regional rank 1-2-3 in the state. Don Bosco Prep is the defending national champion by MaxPreps and is currently ranked No. 2 in the country.
6. Catholic Central (Michigan)
Catholic Central (Novi, Mich.), 1 in state, 26 nationally; St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.), 5-0, 2 in state, 75 nationally; De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.), 4-1, 14 in state, 454 nationally; Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 2-3, 37 in state, 1,237 nationally; University of Detroit Jesuit (Mich.), 2-3, 73 in state, 2,303 nationally. The top two teams in Michigan find a home in the Catholic Central. Even the last place team in the league is in the top 75.
7. MIAA A (Maryland)
Calvert Hall (Baltimore), 5-0, 6 in state, 264 nationally; Gilman (Baltimore), 4-1, 1st in state, 15 nationally; McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.), 3-0, 4 in state, 154 nationally; Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore), 3-1, 26 in state, 1,656 nationally; Georgetown Prep (North Bethesda, Md.), 2-2, 21 in state, 1,525 nationally; Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.), 1-3, 67 in state, 4,581 nationally. Three of the top six teams in Maryland are in this league, led by Gilman, which has been among the top 25 in the country all season.
8. 6A District 7 (Tennessee)
Oakland (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 6-0, 1st in state, 63 nationally; Smyrna (Tenn.), 5-1, 4 in state, 114 nationally; Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 5-1, 12 in state, 317 nationally; Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) 5-1, 17 in state, 407 nationally; Siegel (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 3-3, 46 in state, 1,471 nationally; LaVergne (Tenn.), 2-4, 104 in state, 3,493 nationally. Four of the top 17 teams in the state of Tennessee reside in this district.
9. Serra (California)
Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.), 4-0, 19 state, 158 nationally; Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.), 4-0, 17 state, 151 nationally; Crespi (Encino, Calif.), 3-1, 61 state, 551 nationally; Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), 1-3, 125 state, 1,504 nationally; Loyola (Los Angeles), 1-3, 91 state, 904 nationally. Alemany has come on in the past few years, making this tough league even tougher. Bishop Amat, Crespi, Notre Dame and Loyola all are among the top teams in the Southern Section each year.
10. 6A District 5 (Kentucky)
Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), 4-2, ranked No. 1 in state, 66 nationally; Ballard (Louisville, Ky.), 4-2, 11 in state, 641 nationally; Seneca (Louisville, Ky.), 4-2, 28 in state, 1,909 nationally; Eastern (Louisville, Ky.), 3-2, 14 in state, 846 nationally. This league benefits from the presence of Trinity, which is the premier program in the state of Kentucky. Four times in the past five years the Shamrocks have finished No. 1 in the state and in the top 50 in the national rankings. Ballard has also routinely finished among the top 25 in the state the past five seasons.
Note: Two leagues ranked by Freeman’s rankings, the Steel Valley in Ohio and the 5A District 14 in Florida, were not included in this list because they have fewer than four teams in the league.